I have represented hundreds of people in Cook County arrested for DUI, under chapter 625 ILCS 5/11-501 (a) (b). And I’m always amazed that most are more concerned about losing their license than that actual DUI charge.

A DUI charge is broken down into two parts: 1) the license hearing (which is civil law); and, 2) the DUI (which is criminal law). It’s hard to explain this to people who really don’t understand how this works. You can win the DUI, get a not guilty, and still lose your license. How can that happen? You won the case, why is your license still suspended?

Einstein once said that if you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand the problem. I’ll do my best to keep it simple, no legal mumbo jumbo.

The hearing to save your license takes place within 90 days of arrest. Even though the judge is hearing the evidence, he is sitting in substitution for the Secretary of State. The judge makes a decision and issues an order accordingly. This hearing has nothing to do with you being guilty or not guilty of the DUI. The hearing just decides whether your license is suspended or not. The trial for the DUI comes later.

What is offered at the hearing for your license? The main thing is whether the police had probable cause to stop you. Other reasons that you may raise are whether you blew lower than a .08 on the breathalizer. Whether the police followed proper procedure in offering you the chance to blow into the breathalizer. Whether or not you refused to blow into the breathalizer. Whether the police properly warned you of the consequences  of not blowing into the breathalizer. These hearings are limited to those issues only. Most people lose these hearings and have a choice. They can either give up driving while their license is suspended. Or they can have an interlock device installed into their car. Actually every car their name appears on. So if your name appears on your wife’s car, or your child’s car, an interlock device has to be installed in those cars, too. Try explaining to your wife why she has to blow into the device to start the car when she did nothing wrong.

There’s good news, though. I have been successful at defeating the state at the license suspension hearing. Since the license hearing is civil in nature, I use the civil practice act. Very few Assistant States Attorneys know how to properly counter the filings I make. The catch is that I have to file and serve upon the state these filings 30 days prior to the hearing. Otherwise, I have to continue the case so I can comply with the time limit. This means you can’t put off  making an appointment to hire me! If you want me to save your license, call me immediately at 1(708) 263-8212!  CALL TODAY.

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