As an experienced DUI lawyer in Illinois for the past 20 years, I am repeatedly asked the question by my clients, “What should I do when I am arrested for a DUI charge?” The Illinois DUI Statutes can be found at 625 ILCS 5/11-501. This is the Statute that governs what happens when you are arrested for a DUI. The first thing that is important to note if this is your first DUI arrest is that you should not wait until the first court date to do anything. I have several clients who call me 2-3 weeks after being arrested for a DUI and sometimes it is too late to help them with the suspension aspect of their case. It is important to note, and this is what I always tell my clients, is if you are arrested for a DUI you should attack the potential suspension that is going to impact your driving ability 46 days from the date of the arrest. What this means is that rather than wait a few weeks or a month to talk to a criminal DUI defense lawyer, you should contact a defense lawyer immediately so that they can file what is called a Petition to Rescind the Statutory Summary Suspension. The sooner that this petition is filed in court, the better the chance of you beating the suspension and preventing you from losing your driving privileges.
If you are arrested for a DUI in Arlington Heights or Schaumburg or anywhere in Cook, DuPage or Lake County in Illinois and you submitted a breathalyzer of a .08 or greater, the Illinois Secretary of State will attempt to suspend your driver's license for six months. If you refused the breathalyzer test, then the Illinois Secretary of State will attempt to suspend your driver's license for one year. This is all based on the fact that the Illinois Secretary of State is seeing you as a first DUI offender.
Now we have a 46-day time period that is elapsing against you beginning the moment the officer arrests you and hands you the Law Enforcement Sworn Report. So, what do you do now? The number one thing that you can do is to work against that 46-day clock and start your own 30 day clock and what this means is that by filing the Petition to Rescind sometimes on the exact same date of the arrest the clock begins ticking against the State and if you can get that clock to tick up to 30 days before the State can answer ready for their summary suspension hearing that you just requested, you will be able to eliminate the suspension and remove it from your record.
So, if you have been arrested and you think you have a week or two to decide what you should do on your DUI charge, you are making a mistake. You should absolutely attack the suspension by filing a Petition to Rescind and using a profession, experienced DUI defense lawyer.
At the Law Offices of John W. Callahan, Ltd., we have decades of experience and have handled thousands of DUI cases successfully for our clients. If you have any questions, I want you to feel free to contact me at any time by calling 847-517-4136.