In Illinois, there are two different types of actions that the state can take against your driver's license due to DUI. You will receive a driver's license suspension, a driver's license revocation or both.
A suspension has a specific ending date. When the suspension date arrives, the suspension ends after you pay a reinstatement fee. A revocation also has an ending date but when the date comes, you do not automatically get your license back but instead must have a driver's license hearing.
Your DUI arrest involves two cases. The first is the suspension case. The suspension arises not from the state having to prove you were driving drunk but from the mere fact that they asked you to take a breath or blood test and you either: 1) refused to take the test or 2) took the test and registered over the legal limit of .08.
Therefore, even if the DUI is dropped or you are find not guilty, your license will be suspended unless your DUI lawyer is able to convince the judge that the police had no basis to stop you, or to believe you were under the influence or to ask you to submit to a breath or blood test.
How long you will be suspended depends upon two things. The first is whether or not you submitted to a breath test or refused. A refusal always results in a longer suspension because the police want you to take the breath test and make it easier to prove their case.
The second factor is whether you have a previous DUI arrest and how long ago that arrest occurred. If in the previous 5 years you have not had a DU arrest that resulted in court supervision, a plea down to reckless driving or a breath test suspension, you are a "first offender". If you have had a DUI in the previous 5 years, even though you received supervision or reckless driving or the DUI was dismissed but you had a breath test suspension, you are not a "first offender".
If you are a "first offender" and you took a breath test, your license will be suspended for 6 months. If you refused the test, the suspension will be for 12 months.
In either case, you will not be able to have a hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State to obtain a work permit. However, after the suspension has been in effect for 30 days, you are entitled to petition the judge for an MDDP.
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