If you are charged with a DUI in Chicago, IL, you may be charged $2,000 plus towing and storage for a vehicle seizure and impoundment; a six (6) month, one (1) year, or three (3) year statutory summary suspension of your Illinois Driver’s License; and criminal penalties, which, include fines, jail, community service and other penalties.
Below are some helpful tips at each stage of the process in Chicago, IL. However, if you are charged with a DUI you will be better prepared and more likely to succeed at each stage if you have an attorney. For a free consultation call Richard at (630) 917-2051 or email Richard at [email protected].
Vehicle Seizure and Impoundment
The City of Chicago has the authority to seize and impound vehicles for unlawful drugs, DUI, dumping, unlawful firearm, solicitation of a prostitute, and other offenses. The fine for a DUI is $2,000 plus towing and storage. All hearings regarding vehicle seizures and impoundments occur at 400 W. Superior, Chicago, IL.
A Preliminary Hearing
The owner of the vehicle, not the driver, may request a preliminary hearing within 15 days of the seizure before the Administrative Law Judge to determine if there is probable cause for the vehicle to be impounded. It is critical to hire an attorney prior to this hearing because defects in the Vehicle Impoundment & Seizure Report may result in a dismissal.
A Full Hearing
If you do not request a preliminary hearing or you have requested a preliminary hearing and lost, you may proceed to a full hearing. At a full hearing, the City of Chicago will likely notify the officers to appear, but can also simply submit the police report into evidence. An attorney can represent you during the hearing, negotiate a settlement, and/or ensure that the City of Chicago does not continue the matter indefinitely.
Statutory Summary Suspension of Illinois Driver’s License
In Illinois, if an officer stops your vehicle and suspects that you are driving under the influence (DUI) he or she will likely ask you to submit to a Breath Alcohol Test at a police station. If you either refuse to blow or blow over the legal limit you will suffer a statutory summary suspension beginning 45 days after your arrest. You should receive a letter from the Illinois Secretary of State notifying you of the suspension and whether or not you qualify for a MDDP/BAIID (a permit and the device that checks your breath for alcohol before your car can start).
You can fight the suspension in the trial court where your criminal charges are pending. An attorney can petition the court to rescind the statutory summary suspension. Most public defenders do not assist defendants in a petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension because this is considered a civil matter.
DUI Criminal Charges
If you are charged with a DUI in the City of Chicago your case will most likely be assigned to a courtroom in the Daley Center. If this is your first or second DUI charge you face a variety of penalties, including:
- Up to 364 Days in Jail;
- Up to $2,500 Fine;
- Drug & Alcohol Evaluation;
- Drug & Alcohol Treatment;
- Drug & Alcohol Treatment Aftercare;
- Community Service;
- Sheriff Work Alternative Program (SWAP);
- Court Costs;
- A Conviction = License Revocation; and/or
- Other administrative and court sanctioned penalties, such as, attending a Victim Impact Panel.
The Judge and Prosecutor will look at a variety of circumstances when determining your “offer” and/or “sentence;” such as:
- (1) BAC %;
- (2) Children in the Vehicle;
- (3) Multiple Offenses;
- (4) Accident;
- (5) Injuries;
- (6) Open Container in the Vehicle;
- (7) Criminal History;
- (8) Drug/Alcohol Arrest History;
- (9) Other Aggravating Circumstances;
- (10) Mitigating Factors.
An aggressive and knowledgeable attorney can make a big impact on the disposition of the charge, the fines, costs, license suspension, and other issues.
Hopefully, these helpful tips helped you understand the process. However, if you are charged with a DUI you will be better prepared and more likely to succeed at each stage if you have an attorney. For a free consultation call Richard at 630-917-2051 or email Richard at [email protected]. Fenbert & Associates, LLC, is located at 10 S. La Salle #3702, Chicago, IL, 60603.