Driving Under the Influence (“DUI”) is a very unique charge. Unlike many other misdemeanors where an attorney can negotiate a plea immediately on behalf of his or her client, it rarely ever makes sense to do so with DUIs.
With DUIs, there are two types of procedures occurring simultaneously, i.e. there’s the judicial procedure (i.e. what occurs in court), and there’s the administrative procedure (i.e. what happens to a person’s driving privileges through the Secretary of State’s office).
If you’re found guilty of a DUI (as a first-time offender), the court can impose a sentence ranging anywhere from supervision to up to 364 days in jail, along with fines as high as $2,500.
In addition to the foregoing, when you’re arrested for a DUI (as a first-time offender), your driving privileges will be suspended for a minimum period of six months if you’ve submitted to a breath test and/or provided a blood sample, that has resulted in a Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”) level of .08 or higher. Conversely, if you refused to submit to such a test (as a first-time offender), your driving privileges will be suspended for a minimum period of a year. These suspensions are referred to as “Statutory Summary Suspensions.”
It is important to understand that you have the right to challenge the suspension of your driving privileges by filing a “Petition to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension” (“PTR”) within ninety days of your arrest. If this Petition is properly prepared and filed, once served upon the State’s Attorney’s office, you are entitled to a hearing within thirty days, unless you (and/or your attorney) decide to waive the thirty day requirement. Since a first-time offender’s driving privileges are not suspended for the first 45 days following the day of the arrest, time is of the essence in preparing, filing and presenting a PTR for hearing. Contact our office immediately to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how to protect your driving privileges, the many other aspects of a DUI (i.e. the importance of Field Sobriety Tests (“FSTs”), etc.) and/or any other traffic matters, (i.e. Driving on a Suspended/Revoked License, etc.).