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When calculating the true cost of a DUI in Illinois, you must consider both the financial and more importantly, the non-financial costs associated with a DUI arrest.

Financial Cost of a DUI

The financial costs of a DUI can be substantial. Most DUIs are charged as Class A misdemeanors, which carry a fine of up to $2,500.00 plus mandatory court costs and assessments. Court costs and assessments, which are set by law and which the judge has no control over, are approximately $1,400.00. Additionally, there are also expenses associated with the following:*

A conviction for a traffic ticket resulting from an accident, which caused personal injury or death, may result in the suspension or revocation of your Illinois driver’s license. 

We often receive requests for help from drivers who have been involved in personal injury or fatal accidents and, as a result of being convicted of a minor moving violation, have unexpectedly received a notice of suspension or revocation of their driver’s license from the Illinois Secretary of State.

In many of these cases, these drivers were assured by the court, a prosecutor or even their own attorney that by pleading guilty they would suffer no further legal consequences. However, under Section 625 ILCS 5/6-204(a)(4) of the Illinois Vehicle Code and Chapter 92, Section 1040.46 of the Illinois Administrative Code, a conviction for even a minor moving violation which is the cause of a personal injury or death may result in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license and privileges.

Typically, you are only required to appear in court if your traffic ticket is marked as “Must Appear” or “Court Appearance Required”. On most tickets, a box will be checked by the officer that confirms whether you need to appear in court. These traffic tickets will also contain a court date, time and location.  Traffic tickets that have a required court appearance are most often issued for violations which create a great potential for harm or carry mandatory minimum penalties such as an automatic driver’s license suspension. For many of these cases, it may still be possible for a traffic attorney to appear on your behalf and avoid the need for you to be personally present in court.

Traffic tickets that indicate “No Court Appearance Required” will also contain options such as how to pay the ticket or request a court date. While you may be told that these traffic violations are punishable only by a fine, there is more to first consider before just paying the ticket. Paying a moving violation will result in a conviction being reported to the Secretary of State. A conviction will appear on your public driving record and can negatively impact your insurance rates. In addition, two convictions within 24 months will result in a license suspension or revocation for drivers under 21 years of age. Three convictions within any 12 month period will result in a license suspension or revocation for those 21 years of age or older. As a result, simply paying your ticket can be a costly mistake.

The following violations are some of the most common offenses that require a court appearance in Illinois:

The Illinois Secretary of State can suspend or revoke your driver’s license for a variety of reasons. A license suspension lasts for a set period of time. After it ends, you can automatically regain your driving privileges after paying a reinstatement fee to the Secretary of State. Depending on the reason(s) for the suspension, there may be additional conditions before full license reinstatement such as completion of a remedial driving course.

In contrast, a license revocation lasts for a minimum of 1 year or longer depending on the violation that caused the revocation and your overall record of previous violations. On or after the termination date of your revocation, which is called your “projected eligibility date”, you will need to appear for a hearing before the Secretary of State in order to regain any driving privileges. These hearings can be complex and often result in a denial. It should also be noted that you may be eligible to apply for a restricted driving permit during the period of suspension or revocation. In certain cases, regardless of your projected eligibility date for full reinstatement, you may be required to drive on a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (“BAIID”) for a period of 1-5 years before being eligible to be considered for unrestricted driving.   

A conviction for the following will result in an automatic revocation of your Illinois driver’s license:

The Secretary of State has enacted new rules, which became effective on January 1, 2022, addressing out-of-state petitions for reinstatement; formal hearing procedures; informal hearing eligibility; time limits to complete restricted driving permit and reinstatement requirements; designation of four (4) different types of restricted driving permit and standards governing each type; using the restricted driving permit for other reasons; breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) violations; definition of a “DUI disposition”; updated evaluations; opiate substitution programs; medical cannabis; and prescribed opiate medication.

Additional details regarding these new rules can be found on this earlier blog post.

Attorney Larry A. Davis of The Davis Law Group, P.C. represented the Illinois State Bar Association in negotiations with the Secretary of State’s office in finalizing these new rules. If you have a driver’s license issue and would like to discuss your case, feel free to contact us.

OUT-OF-STATE PETITIONS

ALL OUT-OF-STATE PETITIONS MADE BY WRITTEN APPLICATION INSTEAD OF AN IN-PERSON APPEARANCE WILL BE CONSIDERED INFORMAL HEARINGS – 1001.100(b)

Written applications by out-of-state residents will no longer be considered formal hearings conducted pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/2-118. Accordingly, these applications will not be required to be accompanied by the $50.00 application fee. Decisions from these informal hearings will not constitute final administrative decisions and, therefore, will not be subject to the provisions of the Administrative Review Act. 1001.100(b)(3) and 1001.300(a). 

Lake County Traffic Attorneys

Our Lake County Traffic Attorneys provide professional representation to those issued traffic violations throughout Lake County. Lake County traffic tickets are assigned to one of three branch courthouses depending on the police department that issued the citation.

  1. Mundelein Branch Court located at 105 East State Route 83, Mundelein, IL 60060

If a police officer suspects that you have been drinking and driving in Illinois, they may ask you to take a breath test, commonly referred to as a breathalyzer test. The legal consequences of that decision can be significant.

With that in mind, there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer to the question of whether you should take a breathalyzer test when pulled over. Every DUI case is unique and involves a specific set of circumstances. What is important is that you understand both the legal implications of a BAC test refusal as well as the consequences of submitting to and failing the breath test.  It is essential that you know your rights under Illinois law so you can make an informed decision. You will have the ability to seek legal representation from a DUI defense lawyer in Chicago, Illinois, regardless of whether you take the breathalyzer test or refuse it.

What is a Breathalyzer Test?

Illinois residents are increasingly receiving text messages and emails from scammers claiming to be from the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State advising them that there is an issue with their driver’s license or that they have discovered an irregularity in their personal information.

These messages request that the person provide information such as their driver’s license number, date of birth, address, phone number and social security number. The latest of these messages replicate the Secretary of State’s website. The message usually includes a warning that the failure to provide the requested information will result in the ‘termination’ or ‘cancellation’ of the person’s driver’s license.

Anyone who receives such a message should be aware that they are the target of a scam. These text and email messages do not originate from the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. The Secretary of State does not email or text individuals seeking personal information.

In Illinois, speeding 26 mph or more over the posted limit is a criminal offense. This offense is also known as aggravated speeding, misdemeanor speeding or excessive speeding. The penalties for aggravated speeding tickets were addressed in an earlier post. Below are the answers to some additional questions we often receive regarding Illinois speeding tickets.

Can you be arrested for speeding in Illinois?

Speeding 26 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit is a misdemeanor in Illinois. A misdemeanor is a criminal offense and, therefore, you can be placed under arrest. While some police officers will simply issue an aggravated speeding ticket with a required court appearance and release you on the spot, that is not always the case. Depending on the officer and the law enforcement agency’s policy, you may be arrested, transported back to the police station and processed before being released.

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