Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

Illinois law has prohibited the expungement and sealing of DUIs as part of a longstanding policy. Past failed legislative efforts have primarily sought to make DUIs expungeable, which would affect the Secretary of State’s ability to track a driver’s DUI history.

In Illinois, a person’s DUI arrest history is significant in a variety of ways. For example, it is used to determine whether to charge a new DUI as a misdemeanor or felony, whether the individual is eligible for court supervision, and determine their eligibility for license reinstatement. If the Secretary of State were forced to delete such information from a driving record, certain laws would become difficult, if not impossible, to enforce. As a result, the Illinois Secretary of State has opposed past efforts to pass DUI expungement and sealing laws.

Now, a new legislative effort is underway, which has a chance at passage due to substantial support among legislators and a lack of opposition from the Secretary of State.

There are a variety of possible consequences resulting from a second DUI arrest in Illinois. To a large extent, the penalties depend on the outcome of your first DUI. The majority of people arrested for a first DUI receive an automatic suspension of their driver’s license for 6 or 12 months depending on whether they failed or refused chemical testing. This is referred to as the Illinois Statutory Summary Suspension law. Additionally, many first DUI arrests will result in court supervision for a period of 1 to 2 years. If you successfully complete the conditions of court supervision (e.g. payment of fines/court costs, treatment, community service, victim impact panel, etc.), a conviction will not be entered.

However, in Illinois, you can only receive court supervision for DUI once in your lifetime. As a result, this means you face limited options on a second DUI charge. You will ultimately have the choice of pleading guilty and receiving a conviction (i.e. conditional discharge or probation), pleading not guilty and going to trial or seeking a negotiated plea to reduce the DUI charge, ideally, to the offense of Reckless Driving.

Criminal Penalties of a Second DUI

While jail can often be avoided for a first time DUI in Illinois, there are a variety of factors that help determine whether any period of incarceration will be imposed. In Illinois, DUI is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a fine in the amount of $2,500.00 plus mandatory court assessments. The sentence may also range anywhere from court supervision to probation. Jail time can only be imposed if you are convicted of the DUI offense. 

Penalties of a First DUI 

A first offender who is found guilty after trial or pleads guilty to a DUI may be sentenced to court supervision. Court supervision is not a conviction under Illinois law, meaning that a jail sentence is not permitted. In addition, if you comply with all of the conditions of court supervision, the DUI will not go on your public record. However, court supervision for a DUI is only possible once in your lifetime.

DuPage County DUI Defense Attorney Case Study

The DUI defense attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. have an unmatched understanding of the Illinois Vehicle Code, especially DUI law. Our in-depth knowledge of the law, combined with our experience in both negotiation and litigation of DUI cases, allows us to achieve the most favorable results for our clients who have been charged with driving under the influence throughout Illinois including the Wheaton Courthouse in DuPage County.

DUI Defense Case Study – DuPage County, Illinois

Due to the health concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, many upcoming court appearance dates in Illinois have been postponed. This includes court dates scheduled throughout the primary geographic area of our legal practice: Cook County, Lake County and DuPage County. The details below are related to criminal and traffic cases. For the most up-to-date information, please review the information posted by the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county where your case is pending.

Cook County Courthouses

Most court appearances scheduled from March 17, 2020 through April 15, 2020 will be rescheduled.

If you are under the age of 21, you face stiff penalties for alcohol-related offenses under Illinois law. Aside from the possible criminal penalties, which may include jail time, community service, traffic safety school and/or high fines and court assessments, the Illinois Secretary of State may impose a driver’s license suspension or revocation for many of alcohol-related offenses as follows:

Illegal Transportation of Alcohol 

  • Conviction – 12-month driver’s license suspension

The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act requires that applicants meet a ‘good moral character’ standard that is defined as ‘adherence to generally accepted moral standards of the community’. Until October 25, 2019, DUI was not used as the basis for a finding that an applicant was not of good moral character and, generally, did not carry any immigration consequences. Now, under a new directive from the U.S. Attorney General, evidence of two or more DUI convictions establishes a presumption that the non-citizen is not of good moral character and immigration relief may be denied.

Evidence of rehabilitation after the DUI arrests is not enough to challenge the presumption that the non-citizen is not of good moral character. Evidence would need to be presented that the non-citizen sustained good moral character throughout the relevant look-back period, including at the time of the arrests.

Crimes of Moral Turpitude & Consequences

While the vast majority of offenses for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) are filed and heard in state courts, DUI may also be charged as a federal offense. Most commonly, federal DUI charges arise in situations where the offender is stopped on the property of a federal military installation, national park, national monument, post office or on other federal property.

DUI on National Park Service land

If the DUI occurred on land controlled by the National Park Service, the DUI may be prosecuted as a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6-months incarceration, a $5,000.00 fine and 5-years of probation. Additionally, a refusal of testing is considered a criminal offense with punishment of up to one-year incarceration, a fine and the suspension of driving privileges on federal land or property for a period of up to one-year.

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