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IL defense lawyerThe Illinois Secretary of State’s office recently released its 2021 DUI Fact Book and, though the figures from last year have yet to be tallied, there are some surprising statistics on drunk driving offenses in 2019. More than 26,200 people were arrested for DUI, 90 percent of whom lost their driving privileges as a result of an administrative suspension or revocation. Plus, many others were convicted for drunk driving through the criminal process. Though the details vary, penalties include a jail term of up to one year, fines, and others.

Another interesting statistic revealed by the Fact Book is that 86 percent of all individuals arrested for drunk driving are first-time offenders. Therefore, there is a good chance that you never had reason to retain legal counsel – and may not believe that it is even necessary. If you are on the fence about hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney, these four reasons should convince you.

In-Depth Knowledge of Illinois DUI Laws

You know drunk driving is illegal, but you probably do not have a meticulous, comprehensive knowledge of the statutes, case precedent, and court procedural rules. Plus, it is essential to grasp the relevant legal concepts for both the criminal case and the administrative process regarding your driver’s license.

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IL DUI lawyerThere are many reasons a person might have their driver’s license suspended or revoked in Illinois, such as for DUI, accumulating points on your driving record, or being cited for specific traffic offenses. Because losing your driving privileges is an administrative matter, your case will proceed according to a very specific process: A formal or informal administrative hearing before the Illinois Secretary of State. The two proceedings are distinct and apply in different situations, the nature of which depends upon the traffic violation, your driving record, and many other factors.

The details involved with either type of proceeding are extremely complex, yet they can have very profound implications for your driver’s license. Therefore, it is wise to trust a Secretary of State hearings lawyer to represent you and protect your interests. You can also read on for some basics in comparing formal and informal administrative hearings in Illinois.

Informal SOS Hearings in Illinois

As the term suggests, the rules governing this type of administrative hearing are quite relaxed. You do not need to make an appointment, so you can walk into your nearest Driver Services facility and request an informal hearing. This proceeding is only available for first-time DUI and minor traffic offenses that resulted in a suspended or revoked license. Depending upon your specific circumstances, the informal hearing may result in:

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IL DUI lawyerIllinois DUI laws are tough, imposing severe penalties that aim to discourage drunk driving and protect public safety. One of the harshest – and most common – forms of punishment is a driver’s license suspension or revocation. Statistics from the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office reveal that 90 percent of all motorists arrested for DUI will lose their driving privileges. The personal and professional implications can be extensive, so you will want to get your license back as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, the driver’s license reinstatement process can be extremely complex. You could struggle for months trying to decipher the complicated statutes and court proceedings, during which time you are unable to get around. Therefore, it is critical to retain an Aurora driver's license reinstatement lawyer for legal help. You might also benefit from reviewing a few facts about reinstating your driving privileges after an Illinois DUI.

1. There is a difference between a driver’s license revocation and suspension.

A starting off point for reinstatement is understanding this distinction and how it applies to your driving privileges. A suspension is a temporary loss of your license for a designated time, at which point you can pay the required fees and have your privileges reinstated. Revocation is an indefinite termination of your driving privileges, where you can only seek reinstatement when you become eligible – i.e., you served the minimum period of revocation.

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IL defense lawyerEven if you do not have a legal background and have never been arrested for DUI, you know that the sanctions for drunk driving in Illinois are harsh. A Secretary of State publication outlines the penalties for a first-time DUI, which is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. Plus, besides being a crime, driving while intoxicated can lead to a driver’s license suspension and/or revocation. As with other offenses, subsequent offenses mean stiffer penalties and possibly even felony charges.

However, when reviewing the criminal punishment and administrative sanctions for drunk driving, you may not consider other effects that can be extensive. Once you realize the far-reaching implications, you understand how important it is to retain a skilled Naperville DUI defense attorney for assistance. A few of the collateral consequences include:

Employment and Employability: A driver’s license suspension could affect your occupation if it directly involves driving or you need to travel to complete job-related tasks, such as for a position in sales. In addition, there are additional implications for your employment:

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IL defense lawyerIn Illinois, commercial drivers are held to a higher standard than most motorists. Similarly, commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders are also subject to more severe penalties when charged with a traffic violation, or when accused of driving under the influence. These penalties are notoriously harsh, so if you were recently arrested for driving under the influence in Illinois, it is important to speak with an Aurora CDL violations defense lawyer about your legal options as soon as possible.

Suspension of CDL Privileges

DUI cases in Illinois can be broken down into two separate phases: the Statutory Summary Suspension of a person’s license and the criminal proceedings for driving under the influence. Either one of these stages of a DUI case can impact a person’s CDL driving privileges. For instance, the Secretary of State imposes a minimum one-year disqualification of all CDL driving privileges if a driver submits to and fails a BAC test, or refuses testing altogether. The same penalty can be imposed on those who are actually found guilty of, or who plead guilty to, a criminal DUI charge, regardless of whether the judge convicted the defendant or ordered court supervision.

This is because an order of court supervision, which prevents license consequences for those with regular driving privileges, still results in a one-year disqualification for CDL holders. In fact, if a person receives a second DUI that results in a Statutory Summary Suspension or a finding of guilt, he or she will be disqualified from holding a CDL for life.

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