Facing DUI charges can be overwhelming, regardless of whether you’ve been through the process before. If you have recently been charged with a DUI, one of the best ways to get a handle on the situation is to learn more about the process, what defenses you may have, and what you are looking at if you are convicted. Below is a list of DUI FAQs that can help provide you with a little bit of certainty during this undoubtedly stressful time.
The sentence for an Illinois DUI conviction may include a jail sentence; however, in most situations, it’s a decision that is left up to the judge. For example, a first-time DUI offense in Illinois is usually a class A misdemeanor, which carries the possibility of up to a year in jail. However, it is common for judges to order supervision or probation in lieu of incarceration. However, if you have a prior DUI on your record or you are charged with a felony DUI offense, you’ll likely face mandatory jail time or community service.
Yes, if you are convicted of an Illinois DUI, your driver’s license will be revoked for one year. If you are under 21, your license suspension will last for two years. Once the revocation period is over, you must apply to have your driving privileges reinstated, which requires you to have a clean driving record and undergo a drug & alcohol evaluation. You will also need to pay a $500 reinstatement fee.
Yes and no. Illinois has what’s called an “implied consent law.” This means that by driving a vehicle on a public road, you agree to provide a breath or blood sample when under suspicion of driving under the influence. However, you can withdraw this consent if you do not want to provide a sample. This is called a refusal. If you refuse a breath test, either on the side of the road or at the police station, your license will be suspended for one year if it is your first refusal or three years if you’ve refused in the past. If you take the test and register a blood-alcohol content of .08 or more, your license will be suspended for six months (if this is your first DUI offense) or one year (if you had a DUI within the past five years).
While refusing a breath test is a personal choice, many DuPage County DUI defense attorneys believe that refusing chemical testing makes defending against DUI charges in court easier. This is because when you refuse field sobriety testing or a breath test, you deprive the government of potentially harmful evidence of intoxication. However, you must keep in mind that prosecutors can still try to prove you were under the influence through circumstantial evidence of intoxication. Additionally, by refusing either form of testing, your driver’s license will be suspended for either one or three years.
First-time DUI offenders and may qualify for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). With a MDDP, you can drive anywhere you want whenever you want, provided the device is installed in your vehicle. An MDPP is also available for those who refused chemical or field sobriety testing for the first time. However, an MDDP is only available during the period of the statutory summary suspension and is not available for suspensions resulting from a DUI conviction. Additionally, while it’s not a guarantee, Illinois law allows some drivers who are convicted of a DUI offense to obtain a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP). You can request an RDP to drive to school, work, daycare, medical appointments, court-ordered activities, or substance abuse treatment. If you have two or more prior DUIs, you will need to install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) on your vehicle. Drivers under the age of 16 are not eligible for RDPs.
These are just a few of the most common DUI FAQs we get from clients. If you have other questions, we are happy to help.Speak with an Experienced Orland Park DUI Defense Attorney Today
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, you probably have a lot of questions, some of which may not be covered by these DUI FAQs. At the Fotopoulos Law Office, we have more than two decades of experience helping drivers get back on the road after a DUI conviction. And, as a former Cook County Circuit Judge, Attorney Fotopoulos commands an unrivaled understanding of the law and what it takes to obtain the best possible results for his clients. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated criminal defense attorney to discuss your case, call the Fotopoulos Law Office at 708-942-8400. You can also connect with us through our online contact form. We proudly represent clients in Cook, Will, DuPage, Champaign and Kankakee counties.