What happens after a DUI in Illinois?
Arrests for DUI happen and they can happen to anyone. Picture this: You’re at your friend’s party across town. You have a couple drinks, thinking you’re being responsible because you don’t feel more than a light buzz. The night goes on… you see it’s getting late, so you head home. That’s when it happens. The red and blue lights pull up in your rear view mirror and your heart pounds. You know you’re in trouble, but you don’t know how bad it will be. What comes next? How will this one night change the rest of your life? Researched by James J. Feliksik. JD Candidate January 2017.
OverviewAn arrest for DUI consists of three separate cases: 1. Impoundment of your car; 2. A Summary Suspension which suspends your driver's license; and 3. DUI criminal charge, which impacts your criminal record. This article gives you an overview of what you can expect in the three cases before you after receiving a DUI charge in Illinois.
Impoundment of your vehicleThe first hurdle you will have to pass will be the impoundment of the vehicle you were driving when arrested for DUI. Illinois Law Enforcement agencies are allowed to impound the vehicle you were behind the wheel of at the time of your arrest. If the only charge before you is DUI, then this impoundment is not allowed to last more than 12 hours after you were arrested under the Illinois Vehicle Code. But an impounded vehicle may be released sooner if you own the vehicle and you give permission to another person who has a valid driver's license or if the vehicle isn't owned by you, to the vehicle owner. Keep in mind that both circumstances are up to the Law Enforcement agency's discretion to agree to the vehicle's release.
Summary Suspension of your Driver's LicenseThe second hurdle you will have to pass will be the summary suspension of your driver's license. A judicial hearing will take place in regards to the summary suspension of your driver's license. Under Illinois law, your driver's license will be suspended until the completion of the summary suspension hearing. After that point, your license may be either suspended or revoked depending on the circumstances.
DUI Criminal ChargeThe third hurdle you will have to pass will be the actual DUI criminal charge. There are many factors that go into the determination of how the Court will process your criminal DUI charge. If convicted, a first time offender can face fines, court and laboratory fees, imprisonment, and probation or conditional discharge. Likewise, there are many factors that may enhance the penalties such as past DUI convictions, whether you were involved in a motor vehicle accident where someone was hurt, where you were driving (greater penalty for driving in a school one), and a many more.