Whenever you are arrested and/or charged with an Illinois DUI, you face not only possible criminal conviction, but also administrative consequences which can restrict your driving privileges. That is because DUIs in DuPage County and Illinois come with two separate penalties:
1. Criminal -- in the form of a criminal DUI charge with potential for jail time, fines, and other consequences
2. Civil -- in the form of administrative Secretary of State penalties, also referred to as a ‘Statutory Summary Suspension'
Both of these penalties can significantly impact your life in negative ways. For that reason, it's important to know the difference between these penalties and understand the benefits of challenging your summary suspension.
Below, we'll outline the difference between criminal and civil penalties, and highlight some strategies for challenging and beating your DuPage County DUI and summary suspension.
Criminal Penalties in a DuPage County DUI
The criminal penalties of a DUI cover, basically, everything outside of the summary suspension. (More on that in a second.)
Criminal penalties can include jail time, fines, community service, and -- on top of all of that -- a mark on your permanent record.
Unlike many other crimes, DUIs are non-expungeable. Once you have been found guilty of a DUI, it will always remain on your record. For that reason, it's important to explore all your options and build a strong legal defense if you are ever charged with a DuPage DUI.
Civil Penalties / Statutory Summary Suspension in a DuPage County DUI
A statutory summary suspension is, essentially, a restriction placed on your Illinois driving privileges by the Office of the Secretary of State.
Whether you are arrested for driving under the influence in Naperville, Wheaton, Downers Grove, or any other Illinois city, your driver's license can be placed under statutory summary suspension if you refuse to submit to chemical sobriety testing following a DUI arrest, or if you consent and score a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.
You have the right to challenge your summary suspension at a judicial review hearing, during which you can argue the basis of your summary suspension and, if successful, have it rescinded.
To find out more about statutory summary suspension in Illinois, you can always refer to our previous article which will answer your most common questions about summary suspension, including how you can file for judicial review.
How Will Challenging My Summary Suspension Through Judicial Review Help My DuPage DUI Case?
Let's say you petition for judicial review, successfully challenge your summary suspension, and the court rescinds it. What then?
Having your summary suspension rescinded can offer significant aid to your criminal DUI defense. A summary suspension doesn't only impact your driving privileges and your day-to-day life; it is also a direct indication of the validity of your DUI arrest and how damning the evidence against you is.
That is why, if you are facing summary suspension and/or criminal DUI charges, your best option is to challenge it through a judicial hearing. If the court rules in favor of you during your judicial hearing, your summary suspension will get rescinded, and you'll have a stronger defense for your criminal DUI.
To find out how you can beat your summary suspension after a DuPage County DUI arrest, just keep reading.
The Four Factors Which Will Influence Your Summary Suspension / Judicial Review Hearing
When challenging your DuPage DUI or Illinois summary suspension, there are four common points of contention which can determine whether the court rules in your favor. Below, we'll highlight these points and discuss how they can ultimately determine the outcome of your judicial review hearing.
1. The results of chemical sobriety testing, and whether you refused
When determining whether you were sober behind the wheel, no other factor is more conclusive than chemical sobriety testing. First and foremost, if you refuse to take any sobriety test following a DUI arrest, you can face summary suspension specifically for your refusal.
On the other hand, if you do take any sobriety tests, you can also face summary suspension if you score a BAC of 0.08 or higher. If you choose to testify that you were not intoxicated, the results of a failed sobriety test can derail that argument.
While this may seem like a no-win scenario because you can have your license suspended for refusing or failing a sobriety test, there are other factors which may help get your suspension rescinded
2. The lawfulness of your arrest
Whether or not there was probable cause for your arrest matters a great deal if you are disputing a summary suspension. When it comes to probable cause, the big question is whether or not the facts and details leading up to your arrest can sufficiently cause a reasonable individual in the officer's position to believe you are driving under the influence.
Factors which may contribute towards probable cause include:
- Poor performance on field sobriety tests
- Scoring a BAC of 0.08 or above on a portable breathalyzer
- Showing physical signs of intoxication
- Visibility of alcohol containers in the vehicle
If there are weaknesses in the officer's report, or the observations and circumstances leading to your arrest don't appear to provide probable cause like outlined above, you may just catch a break. If you can establish that there was not sufficient probable cause for your DUI arrest, your summary suspension will most likely be rescinded.
3. Proper police warning of statutory summary suspension
After you are placed under arrest, the arresting officer is required, by law, to read you a document titled “Warning to Motorist”, which explains how your license can undergo summary suspension if you refuse or fail any sobriety test. This is standard arrest procedure, and the warning serves to ensure you are aware of the possible consequences and can make fully informed decisions.
If arrest procedure is not followed and you are not issued this warning, the summary suspension will almost always be rescinded.
4. Reasonable assumption of your physical control over the vehicle
Finally, if you can establish that the arresting officer did not have reasonable cause to believe you were operating or in physical control of the vehicle you were in, there is a high likelihood you will win your summary suspension hearing. You can't be guilty of driving under the influence if you weren't operating a vehicle in the first place.
Factors which may affect whether or not there were reasonable grounds for assuming your physical control of the vehicle include, but are not limited to: whether you were driving in public roads or in privately owned grounds, whether the officer legitimately saw you operating the vehicle, and your placement within the vehicle.
Contact DuPage DUI Defense and Summary Suspension Attorneys
If you are dealing with a statutory summary suspension or DUI, the seasoned attorneys at Dolci & Weiland can fight your case for you. With decades of experience successfully defending clients charged in DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, and Kendall Counties, our firm knows all the steps to a DUI case -- from filing a petition to rescind and securing you a judicial hearing, to appearing in court with a targeted strategy and aggressive arguments. Whether you are looking to beat a summary suspension, or are also facing criminal charges, we are here to help. To schedule a free consultation or to speak to an attorney, call our office at (630) 261-9098.