What Can I Expect When Arrested For My 6th DUI?

Posted on in DUI

Wheaton 6th DUI lawyerIf you are arrested for DUI in Illinois for the 6th time in your life, you can expect to face serious criminal consequences, including:

DUI #6 is a Class X Felony, punishable by:

  • 6-30 years in prison served at 85% of the sentence imposed
  • Probation or conditional discharge may not be imposed
  • A $1,000 DUI Technology Fee
  • A $50 Roadside Memorial Fund Fee
  • Fines of up to $25,000
  • DASA Counseling and Victim Impact Panel
  • If your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) was at least .16, the mandatory minimum fine is $5,000
  • If you had a child passenger under the age of 16 in your care, the mandatory minimum fine is $25,000 AND you must serve a mandatory 25 days of community service in a program that benefits children
  • If Great Bodily Harm, disfigurement, or disability occurred, DUI is still a Class X Felony, and it can be punished by at least 480 hours of community service up to 1-12 years in prison, and you will be required to serve at least 85% of the sentence
  • Driver’s License Revocation upon the Clerk of the Court sending notice of the Conviction to the Secretary of State.

A skilled DUI attorney can help you understand your options for avoiding some or all of these consequences!

In Illinois, every DUI case has two parts. First, a driver will face a Statutory Summary Suspension. This is a driver’s license suspension that is required by the Implied Consent Law in Illinois and by the Illinois Secretary of State. The Implied Consent Law states that a person who drives on a public road in Illinois has already provided consent to perform chemical testing if they are arrested based on the suspicion that they were driving while intoxicated. Typically, this chemical test performed at a police station using a breathalyzer, but in some cases, a person's urine and/or blood will be tested.

Drivers who have not been subject to a Statutory Summary Suspension within the previous five years and were not arrested for DUI during this period will be considered a "First Offender" by the Secretary of State, although this will ONLY apply to the first part of the DUI case. A“First Offender” is eligible to receive a restricted driving permit that will allow them to drive during the period of their Statutory Summary Suspension. Under this type of permit, a driver must have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicle. This device functions as a breathalyzer, and drivers will need to perform a breath test before starting the vehicle, and they will also be required to blow into the device approximately every 15 minutes in order to continue operating their car. When using an IID, there will be no restrictions on when or where a driver is allowed to drive.

If, following a DUI arrest, a chemical test shows a BAC of at least .08 OR if any amount of a controlled substance is present is a driver's urine or blood OR if tests show that a driver has at least 5 nanograms of delta 9 THC in their blood or 10 nanograms of delta 9 THC in another bodily substance, the Statutory Summary Suspension will last six months IF the driver is a “First Offender”. A driver who refuses to submit to chemical testing will have their license suspended for 12 months. For a driver who is NOT a “First Offender,” a chemical test showing a BAC of .08 OR any amount of a controlled substance in the driver's urine or blood OR  results that show a driver has at least 5 nanograms of delta 9 THC in their blood or 10 nanograms of delta 9 THC in another bodily substance, the Statutory Summary Suspension will last for 12 months, and the driver will not be eligible for a restricted driving permit. A driver who is NOT a "First Offender" who refuses to submit to chemical testing will face a three year driver’s license suspension, and they will not be eligible for a restricted driving permit.

A driver may challenge a Statutory Summary Suspension in a hearing before a judge. While it is tied to the criminal DUI case, this hearing is a civil law proceeding, and it provides a driver with a number of options to avoid having their license suspended. With the help of an experienced DUI defense lawyer, you can challenge the suspension of your driver’s license and work to retain rights to drive without having any restrictions placed on you.

In Illinois, the second part of a DUI case is the prosecution of criminal charges. A 6th DUI in your life is INCREDIBLY serious, whether any past DUI cases took place within Illinois or in a different state. The prosecutor must show that you are guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, and in a jury trial, your case will be argued before a jury of 6 or 12 people selected from your community. If you waive your right to a jury trial, you can have a bench trial in which a judge will hear your case and make the decisions about whether the prosecutor has met the burden of proof to demonstrate that you are guilty of each and every aspect of the DUI charge. For a 6th DUI, the judge who hears the criminal case will be the same judge who heard the first part of your case. 

The prosecutor is required to disclose all of the evidence which they plan to use to demonstrate your guilt. This disclosure is known as discovery, and both the prosecution and defense will be able to review all evidence before the trial, with no surprises. The process of discovery can take a great deal of time, but it is important for your DUI defense attorney to review every piece of evidence to determine your options for defense. This is especially important in a 6th DUI case, since the stakes are incredibly high!

If you are have been arrested for a 6th DUI in Illinois, you ABSOLUTELY should not attempt to go to court by yourself! Contact an experienced Wheaton DUI attorney to protect your rights and help you determine the defense strategy that will get you the best possible results!

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