Can You Provide A Brief Timeline Of The DUI Process In Illinois?


A first time DUI case, is going to last somewhere between three to six months, depending on how much litigation is involved and depending on what county the DUI is in. Obviously if there are aggravating circumstances, a second or multiple offense, or if there is a personal injury accident or death, that is going to skew the time period longer. But for the most part, a first DUI is going to be somewhere in the three to six month area. The first court date is going to be about a month after the arrest and each court date from there is usually about a month apart. The reason they are so far apart is that every municipality or police department has what is called a Key Date, which is basically just a specific court date on which all of the arrests from that particular police department are scheduled.

Bigger police departments or municipalities might have a couple key days a month, but generally, it is about one a month and so when we continue the case, the judge really tries to keep them on that key date. Once we are in court, the state has to turn over all the evidence in the case to us. Sometimes, they turn that over on the first court date; other times, it takes one or two more dates, which means one or two months for them to give everything to us. Sometimes it can be longer, some counties or municipalities are not really that dialed in to turning over the squad car videos so it takes longer.

If the individual was hospitalized or taken to the hospital for a blood test, those medical records usually take longer to acquire, but it is usually somewhere in the one to two months range. Also, if we are setting a case for a hearing on some type of a pre-trial motion or setting the case for trial, most of these courts are highly congested. So if we set a case for trial, that trial date is probably going to be two to three months down the road just because of the court’s schedule. Unfortunately, the wheels of justice turn slowly, but I make every effort for my clients to move their case quickly and efficiently through the system.

Driver’s License Ramifications When Charged With A DUI

If you are arrested for DUI, there are two aspects to the case. There is a criminal charge, and then there is also the implied consent license suspension. So the license suspension is actually tied to the chemical test, which could be either a breath test, a blood test, or a urine test. In Illinois, if you submit to a chemical test and either you are over the limit for alcohol or you have any amount of an illegal substance in your blood or urine, then your license will be suspended for a period of time. If you refuse the test, it will be suspended for a different amount of time. The suspension is longer if you refuse. The license suspension goes into effect the forty-sixth day from either failing the chemical test or refusal.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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We do have the ability to contest that suspension, this is why it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible following your arrest, because if we can file that petition early on, we can maybe get a hearing on that petition to rescind or remove the suspension before the suspension even goes into effect. If we decide not to contest the suspension for whatever reason, most first offenders will be eligible for a driving permit that will allow them to drive during the entire suspension. In Illinois, they call this an MDDP (Monitoring Device Driving Permit). Basically it is a breathalyzer that is installed in your car.

It is not a work permit. In Illinois, we used to have what is called a Judicial Driving Permit that would allow you to drive to and from work or for school and things like that. This new permit, the MDDP, lets you drive anytime, anywhere, any place as long as the vehicle you are driving has that breathalyzer installed. When the suspension is over, the individuals can reinstate their full driving privileges.

Costs Involved With Driver’s License Suspensions

At the end of the suspension, there is a cost to reinstate it. There is obviously a cost to have that permit and there is a cost to have the breathalyzer installed in your vehicle. I am actually affiliated with different programs that will allow my clients to have a discounted rate on some of those items.

Consequences Of Refusing A Chemical Test In Illinois

A refusal to take a chemical test will result in a longer suspension of driving privileges than if the driver submitted to the test and either they had an illegal substance or they are over the limit. Although the law is actually more complicated than this, a good rule of thumb is that for a first offender, a refusal is going to be a twelve month suspension, versus a six month for being over the limit. A second offender, a refusal is going to be a three year suspension. This is not by accident; it is by design, because the legislature wanted to encourage people to submit to the test. The reason that is beneficial for them is that if there is a chemical test, a breath test, blood test or urine test, those cases are a lot easier for the state to prove their charges beyond a reasonable doubt and obtain a conviction.

A refusal, on the flipside, is a lot harder for them to prove those charges. From my perspective, obviously I prefer to have a refusal case. Any time the prosecutor has less evidence to use against my client gives me a stronger chance to take the case to trial and obtain a not guilty verdict. Plus, although the suspension is longer with a refusal, we do have the ability to contest those suspensions and potentially eliminate them.

For more information on Timeline Of DUI Process, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (815) 290-9170 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

Get your questions answered - Call now for FREE case evaluation (815) 290-9170.

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