If you are arrested for DUI, the sooner you contact an attorney, the better the chances of keeping your driver’s license.  A recent Illinois case underscores why it is important to act quickly.

When you are arrested for DUI, the Illinois Secretary of State will automatically suspend your driver’s license on the 46th day after your arrest.  You may file a petition to overturn or rescind the suspension.  Your best bet for winning your petition is to file it as soon as possible after your arrest.

Illinois law provides that you must be given a hearing within 30 days of when the court received your petition to rescind or on the first appearance date.  If you file quickly, your chances that the state will not be ready within that deadline are greater, in which case the petition should be granted.

Once filed, it is important to stick with that timetable.  You are not entitled to the benefit of the deadline if you cause the hearing to be delayed.  For example, in People v. Boyd, the trial court granted the defendant’s petition.  However, the appellate court overturned that decision because the defendant’s attorney had agreed to a seven-day extension that he mistakenly thought was within the 30-day deadline. Thus, the appellate court counted the delay against the defendant.

Note that even if you are successful on your petition, your DUI case does not go away.   The suspension and the DUI are on two separate tracks.  Likewise, if you lose the petition but win your DUI, your license can still be suspended.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email  matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

See 625 ilcs 5/2-118.1.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)


About mdkeenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 17 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU and the Illinois State Bar Association. I serve as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. Se habla espanol.
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