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DUI while under court supervision for an earlier DUI may lead to double trouble

In Illinois, a first time offense for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) may result in a dismissal, a conviction or court supervision.  In a court supervision scenario, the offender pleads guilty to the DUI charge. (730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.1)

In return, the judge imposes certain conditions upon the driver that he or she must satisfy during the time the supervision is in effect.  (Supervision cannot last longer than two years).  Among the conditions are payment of fines, completion of a Victim Impact Panel, obtaining a drug and alcohol evaluation, as well as completing any necessary treatment classes, and not violating any criminal laws.

The word “supervision” conjures up images of close oversight by the judge. In reality, as long as the offender complies with the supervision conditions, there will be no direct contact with the judge or a probation officer.  At the end of the supervision period, the DUI charge will be dismissed assuming that the offender has complied with the supervision requirements.

However, while the charges are dismissed, the supervision stays on the driving record that is forever available to the police, the prosecutor and the judge. This is critical, as DUI supervision is a once in a lifetime sentence, which is why the record becomes permanent. (730 ILCS 5/5–6-1)

Nonetheless, supervision is better than a conviction. First of all, jail can never be part of a supervision sentence.

As far as driver’s license issues are concerned, supervision, not being a conviction, prevents a driver’s license revocation.  This means that once the Statutory Summary Suspension terminates, the driver has valid driving privileges without a hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State.

Two other sentencing options are conditional discharge and probation. These sentence options are available only in the case of a conviction.  Because there is a DUI conviction, the Secretary of State is required to revoke the driver’s license of the person convicted. (625 ILCS 5/6-205)

A revoked license means that the license ceases to exist. The revoked driver must have a hearing with the Secretary of State to prove that despite a DUI conviction or convictions, the applicant is now a safe and responsible driver who would not endanger the public safety and welfare.

If this is the first conviction, the Secretary of State will impose a revocation for one year. What this means is that for a year, the revoked driver cannot apply for a full license but may be able to apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) under most circumstances. But waiting out the one year revocation will not result in restoration of full driving privileges. There still must be a hearing.  (625 ILCS 5/6-208)

If this is the second conviction but it’s been more than twenty years since the first one, the revocation is one year. If the first conviction occurred less than twenty years after the second arrest, a conviction on the second offense will result in a five year revocation. And regardless of how far apart the convictions occurred, during the first year of any second conviction, there is no right to any driving relief, not even an RDP.

For a third conviction, the revocation is for ten years, regardless of the time between convictions. And there is no RDP or other driving relief during the first year.

In the case of four or more convictions, any of which arose out of an arrest after December 31, 1998, there is a lifetime ban on any driving relief.  Otherwise, the rules that apply to three convictions apply to four.

If someone is under a supervision order and violates the order by receiving another DUI, the consequence will be two convictions, as a violation of supervision will result in the supervision being revoked and  a conviction being entered. And if the second DUI is provable, just like that, the offender has two convictions.

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