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Illinois Suspended License DUI

Driving without a valid driver's license in Illinois – usually because it has been suspended for one reason or another – is treated like most other petty offenses and is typically charged under Section 6-303 of the Illinois Vehicle Code. But when you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and had a suspended license at the same time, this fact can cause a typical DUI to be charged as an aggravated DUI.

An aggravated DUI is serious because, for an offense that could have otherwise been charged as a misdemeanor, it may now be charged as a felony. A felony carries harsher penalties and serious collateral consequences.

At Dolci & Weiland, we understand how extreme this law can be and the difficulties it imposes on people charged with this type of offense. Contact us to get answers to your specific questions and to learn more about our approach to DUI defense in the greater Chicago metropolitan area.

What is a Suspended License DUI Offense in Illinois?

A suspended license DUI crime in Illinois is another way of identifying a specific type of aggravated DUI crimes. A suspended license offense is governed by 625 ILCS 5/6-303 and occurs when 

any person who drives or is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on any highway of this State at a time when such person's driver's license, permit, or privilege to do so or the privilege to obtain a driver's license or permit is revoked or suspended as provided by this Code or the law of another state, except as may be specifically allowed by a judicial driving permit issued prior to January 1, 2009, monitoring device driving permit, family financial responsibility driving permit, probationary license to drive, or a restricted driving permit issued pursuant to this Code or under the law of another state...

When a person commits this offense and also drives while illegally intoxicated by alcohol or drugs – even prescription drugs if they impair your faculties – according to 625 ILCS 5/11-501(1)(G), the person is charged with an aggravated DUI offense. 

 The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your driver's license was suspended and that you were illegally intoxicated while in control of the motor vehicle. Being in control of a motor vehicle, it is important to note, can include events when the driver pulled over to wait out the intoxication before driving again or waiting for another person to come to pick you up (since your driver's license is suspended and you are intoxicated). So, you may think that you are doing a good thing, but you can still get into trouble for waiting in the driver's seat of a vehicle without a valid driver's license and while intoxicated.

For example, you may have gone to a party with friends and didn't drive because of your license suspension. But by the end of the night, everyone is intoxicated but you – or at least you think you are not intoxicated. As a result, you think you are better off than anyone else to drive. So, you risk it. Rather than leave a vehicle behind to figure out how to get it the next day, you drive your friends and yourself home.

The only problem is this: you switch lanes without using your signal. A police officer waiting in his vehicle sees it and – given the late hour – makes the assumption you are driving while impaired. The sirens come on and you are pulled over. You may or may not be impaired unlawfully, but by this time it may not matter – you will likely get arrested for a DUI and for driving without a valid driver's license. 

Always keep in mind you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Contact Dolci & Weiland as soon as you have the opportunity to do so.

What are the Penalties for a Conviction of a Suspended License DUI Offense in Illinois?

If you are convicted of an aggravated DUI because you are found guilty of driving while intoxicated and while your driver's license was suspended, then you face serious penalties. A DUI committed without a valid driver license or permit is charged as a Class 4 felony, which carries the following penalties:

  • one to three years imprisonment; and
  • up to $25,000 in fines.

If your DUI was committed without a valid driver license that was revoked because of a previous DUI, then the potential penalties as listed above are the same, but it is in addition to the penalty for any subsequent DUI violation. 

Your vehicle could also be impounded or seized. Before you can have your driving privileges reinstated, you may also be required to:

  • complete an alcohol or drug evaluation and remedial education course or substance abuse treatment program;
  • carry high-risk auto insurance for three years; and
  • install a BAIID in your vehicle.

Finally, there are collateral consequences that follow a felony criminal conviction. These include things like:

  • the loss of your right to own and use a firearm (as an ex-felon);
  • the loss of your voting right;
  • difficulty finding a job or maintaining one;
  • difficulty getting or keeping child custody;
  • problems traveling outside the country;
  • problems securing a rental lease for things like housing; and, among other things,
  • denial of financial aid or scholarships if you intend to attend or are attending a college or university.

How can Dolci & Weiland Help You Defend Against an Aggravated DUI Charge?

Defending against an aggravated DUI is complex. It requires the skill and insight of experienced DUI defense attorneys. Dolci & Weiland attorneys will challenge the State's evidence against you, including field sobriety test resultschemical test results, and police testimony.

Further, if your constitutional rights were violated during the traffic stop or arrest or after the arrest, any evidence flowing from the violation can be excluded, meaning a trial jury will not be allowed to hear or see it. It takes a thorough DUI defense attorney to know what to look for and how to properly identify constitutional violations.

In the end, a strategic defense is one that can help maximize your chances of a positive outcome. The attorney who you hire can make all the difference. 

Contact Smart, Aggressive Aggravated DUI Defense Attorneys in the Chicago Metro Area Today

If you have been charged with an aggravated DUI offense, it is in your best interest to contact the experienced attorneys at Dolci & Weiland. We represent clients throughout the greater Chicago metro area.