How to Prepare for a DUI Hearing

Published: May 04, 2017, by admin in DUI, Legal Blog

If you get arrested for or charged with DUI, the Secretary of State will suspend your driver’s license. This administrative punishment – that occurs independently of your DUI criminal trial and possible conviction – could be devastating to your quality of life and ability to maintain employment. If your driver’s license has been revoked or suspended in Illinois, you have the right an administrative license suspension (ALS) hearing to restore your driving privileges.

If you would like to get your driving rights back through a hearing, you will need an experienced Chicago DUI defense attorney by your side. By calling O’Meara Law today you can ensure that your rights are protected and increase your chances of getting your driver’s license reinstated. Call us today at 312-909-0706.

Administrative License Suspension Hearings

There are two different types of ALS hearings – formal and informal. A formal hearing is required if your driving privileges have been suspended or revoked for an offense involving multiple DUIs or a fatality. An informal hearing is required if your driving privileges have been suspended or revoked and this is your first DUI and no fatality is involved.

To initiate a formal hearing, you must submit a Formal Hearing Request and a $50 filing fee to the Secretary of State. You will then receive a Notice of Hearing, which will occur in Chicago, Joliet, Springfield, or Mount Vernon. At a formal hearing, a hearing officer listens to testimony and looks at documentary evidence. The officer will likely operate the hearing much like a court hearing with motions, oaths, witnesses, and evidence. After the hearing, the officer will issue an order reflecting their recommendation and the decision of the Secretary of State’s office regarding your driver’s license. These decisions are appealable.

Informal hearings are held at certain Driver Services facilities on a walk-in basis before an informal hearing officer. An informal hearing officer may issue a Restricted Driving Permit or full reinstatement of driving privileges. After the hearing, you will receive the informal hearing officer’s decision via mail.

Preparing for an Administrative License Suspension Hearing

At both informal and formal ALS hearings, you have an opportunity to present evidence and make statements about yourself and your situation. In order to prepare, you should:

  • Write down how driving impacts your life daily. Explain that you need to be able to drive in order to financially support yourself and your family. Detail the need to drive your children to and from school and activities.
  • Provide evidence of drug/alcohol treatment programs. If you are seeking treatment for drug/alcohol abuse or are attending counseling or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, provide evidence to the hearing officer of those efforts.
  • Provide a drug and alcohol addiction evaluation. If your mistake did not involve the addiction of drugs or alcohol and it was a one-time mistake, present evidence that you do not have a chronic condition that will result in another DUI.
  • Present a plan. Write down a plan detailing how you will avoid driving while intoxicated in the future and why it’s important to you. This may involve avoiding intoxicating substances, seeking help, and using rideshare programs.
  • Seek legal help. A Chicago DUI attorney can help you at an ALS hearing. An attorney will make sure you have the evidence necessary to get your driving privileges back.

How a Chicago DUI Defense Lawyer Can Help

A Chicago DUI defense attorney from O’Meara Law can prepare you for the difficult questions you may face during your hearing. We will work with you to ensure that you know how to present yourself in a way that places you in a favorable light.

With over 20 years of experience, attorney Michael O’Meara has the skills and resources necessary to improve the outcome of your DUI hearing. Call us today at 312-909-0706 for your free, no-obligation consultation.

We look forward to helping you with the reinstatement of your driving privileges so that you can move past this roadblock in your life.