It is estimated that nearly half of the car accident fatalities that occur in the state of Illinois involve alcohol.
The consequences of drunk driving are steep, ranging from receiving fines, jail time, and losing your license, all the way to causing the loss of life of another motorist, pedestrian, or passenger.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, you might be wondering what steps you need to take to make the process go as smoothly as possible. The legal system can be confusing and difficult to navigate, but it’s best to not procrastinate dealing with this circumstance and get a DUI specialist by your side.
Are you wondering what happens after a DUI charge and what you need to do in and around Schaumburg? Here, we go over what you need to know.
What are the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Schaumburg?
In the entire state of Illinois, you can be convicted for driving under the influence if you’re in actual physical control of a vehicle or driving if:
- You’re under the influence of alcohol
- You have a blood alcohol content of .08% or more
- You’re under the influence of any intoxicating drug or compound (or a mix of drugs with alcohol) in a way that makes you incapable of driving safely
- You have any amount of a controlled substance in your urine, blood, or other bodily substance
- You have a THC concentration of ten nanograms or more in a bodily substance other than blood or five nanograms or more in the blood within two hours of driving
There are administrative penalties that occur after being arrested for a DUI. If the defendant is later convicted of a DUI in court, there will also be criminal penalties.
Illinois has something known as an implied consent law, which means that all motorists have given implied consent to tests if there is probable cause for law enforcement to believe that they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a driver is arrested for DUI refuses, fails, or fails to complete chemical testing, their license will be automatically suspended.
For people who haven’t had prior DUI convictions or, within the last five years, had a statutory summary suspension, their license will be suspended for:
- One year if they fail to complete or refuse to take a test
- Six months if they fail a test
First offenders might be issued a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP), which allows them to drive during the statutory summary suspension if and only if the vehicle has a breath alcohol ignition interlock device. If a driver refuses to be tested, though, they will not be eligible to receive this permit.
In addition to administrative DUI penalties, an arrest for driving under the influence can also result in criminal penalties. If you’re convicted of your first DUI, it is considered a class A misdemeanor. The penalties for this are:
- No more than 364 days in jail
- Six months in jail if there was a passenger under the age of 16 in the car
- A maximum fine of $2,500
- A minimum fine of $1,000 if there was a passenger under the age of 16 in the car
- A minimum fine of $500 if the BAC of the defendant was .16% or more
Additionally, a first-time offender might have to complete community service in the Schaumburg area, will face the possibility of an additional license suspension, and may have to complete an alcohol/drug evaluation and potentially undergo recommended treatment.
Defendants may be able to apply for a restricted driving permit (RDP) which allows them to drive to school, work, or medical appointments.
What to Do After a DUI Charge: Start Making Moves Right Away
It is totally understandable to be in shock or denial after you receive a DUI charge. However, the last thing you want to do is avoid thinking about it for a couple of weeks.
Within the first few days, you’ll want to start interviewing attorneys in the Schaumburg area. Once you have found an attorney, they will be able to help you file a Petition to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension, as this needs to be done at least 30 days before your first court appearance. This typically occurs within two weeks of when the arrest occurred, so you don’t have much time.
While you can fill out this paperwork on your own, it can be confusing and easy to fill out incorrectly. While it is better to fill it out imperfectly than it is to not fill it out at all, having an attorney assist you is the best option if possible.
Don’t assume that you should wait until your first court date to start acting. In the state of Illinois, your license will be automatically suspended 46 days after the arrest occurred. You are entitled to have a hearing to fight this suspension, but it’s important to act quickly.
A lawyer will be able to help you navigate every step of the process, including the court process, statutory summary suspension issues, and more.
Can You Drive After Your DUI?
You can still drive after your arrest as long as you had a valid license on the date of your arrest. As mentioned above, your license will be automatically suspended 46 days after the arrest.
The law enforcement officer probably took your license if you have a valid one. However, you are still able to legally drive without it. This is because they should have given you a piece of paper that says, “Notice of Statutory Summary Suspension” and on the back it has a “receipt to drive.”
Your driver’s license information should have been filled out by the officer will your driver’s license information. You can then use this as a substitute for your license up until that 46th day.
Working with an Experienced Schaumburg Lawyer Can Ensure That You Successfully Navigate the Illinois DUI Laws
Receiving a DUI charge can have a long list of negative impacts on your life. From losing your license and paying fines to jail time and community service, it can turn your whole life upside down.
One of the most important things you can do is enlist the help of an experienced attorney right away. It can be difficult to navigate the legal system on your own, and a lawyer will help you know what to do at every step along the way.
Are you looking for a Schaumburg lawyer to help you with driver’s license reinstatement? If so, contact us today.