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What Happens To My License After A DUI Arrest In Illinois

When you are arrested for DUI in Illinois, the police officer will confiscate your license and give you a piece of paper called a ‘Notice of Summary Suspension’. This paper serves as a temporary license until you, as the driver, have your license suspended formally or you file a petition to challenge the suspension. In Illinois, a person charged with DUI has 46 days after the day of the DUI arrest before his license is automatically suspended.

License suspension process in Illinois

When you are arrested for an Illinois DUI, it is important for you to understand that you have two different hearings that you need to be preparing for. The criminal proceeding gives a judge, jury, or prosecutor the power to determine the validity of the criminal DUI charge against you. The other process affects your driver’s license and takes place at a Circuit Court in the same area where the Illinois DUI arrest occurred. This is separate from the criminal DUI charge and you can actually be found not guilty in a criminal court on your DUI charge and still lose your driver’s license. As previously stated, the driver has 46 days to file the proper paperwork to fight the license suspension. This is called a ‘Petition to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension.‘ This must be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court where the DUI offense occurred. When the proper motions are filed, then the responsibility is shifted to the State. If the State does not respond to the motion with a hearing within 30 days of receipt, the driver automatically wins and gets his license reinstated. The same DUI attorney you hire to help you with your criminal DUI charge can also help with the DUI license suspension process. He can help you file the proper motions within the required time limits and evaluate your chance of success for a full reinstatement or even a license with limited driving rights. If you ask for and receive the services of an Illinois Public Defender, he is not allowed to help you, by Illinois DUI law, with the Petition to Rescind.

What about a limited driving permit after an Illinois DUI?

If the driver has his license suspended, he may still be able to get limited driving privileges. A first time DUI offender could qualify for a JDP, or Judicial Driving Permit. This JDP would permit the offender to drive to and from school, work, and medical appointments. The offender would still have to serve 30 days of the license suspension before he could drive with the JDP. Repeat offenders who had their license revoked still may qualify for the limited license, but they must first petition the Secretary of State. If the State denies the petition for the JDP, the driver can request reinstatement of his license after he serves the entire suspension period. Getting the help of a qualified Illinois DUI attorney can greatly increase your chances of keeping your license or obtaining a hardship permit; not to mention, assist you in developing a strong legal defense to your DUI criminal charge.