This blogpost is about the critical importance of fighting to overturn the Statutory Summary Suspension (SSS) of your driver’s license, as soon as possible after your arrest. There are two aspects to each Illinois Driving Under the Influence (DUI) case, the criminal charge, and the SSS of one’s driver’s license. Promptly retaining Steven Herzberg and Herzberg Law Firm increases your chances of having the SSS rescinded and of achieving a successful result to your DUI case.
A driver will have his or her driving privileges suspended on the 46th day after a DUI arrest by the Illinois Secretary of State. The SSS will begin on the 46th day after arrest, regardless of whether a SSS hearing has been held or even whether the driver has had his or her first court date. The minimum driver’s license SSS following a DUI arrest is six months.
A driver is entitled to a hearing on the SSS issue within 30 days of filing a Petition to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension (PTRSSS) or the first court date, whichever is later. A person waives his or her right to a SSS hearing if no PTRSSS is filed within 90 days of the arrest. Filing a PTRSSS begins the “hearing clock.” The State is responsible for making sure a person has a “meaningful” hearing on the SSS issue within 30 days of filing the PTRSSS or the first court date, whichever is later. The Public Defender’s office cannot represent you or file a PTRSSS.
A skilled DUI defense attorney like Steven Herzberg, will file a Rule 214 Request for Production when filing his attorney appearance, Motion for Discovery, and PTRSSS. This Rule 214 Request for Production requires the State provide all discovery relevant to the SSS issue. Relevant discovery includes police reports and video related to the arrest and processing of the driver. The State must tender discovery within 30 days of filing a Petition to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension (PTRSSS) or the first court date, whichever is later.
Failure by the State to timely provide the relevant discovery after receiving notice of the filing of the PTRSSS and the Request for Production is a violation of the driver’s Due Process rights. A judge should grant rescission of the SSS if the State does not afford a meaningful hearing within the above time limits and the driver does not cause the delay. The merits of the case have no bearing on a Due Process rescission. I cannot count the times the State has failed to provide discovery within the time limits and a judge granted rescission of the SSS on Due Process grounds.
The State affords the opportunity for a meaningful hearing on the SSS issue if the State provides discovery including police reports and video before the first court date or within 30 days of filing the PTRSSS, whichever is later. Your attorney will have time to review the discovery before the hearing to properly prepare for the SSS hearing if the State provides discovery within the above time limits.
Typically, a police officer who effectuates the arrest will testify at the SSS hearing and the dash camera or station video will be played. Sometimes, the State will agree to rescission of the SSS if the police officer does not appear for the SSS hearing. Other times, the State will proceed “on paper” by using the officer’s reports. The driver will have to testify to meet his or her burden if the State decides to go forward “on paper”.
It is vitally important to quickly retain the right attorney to fight for rescission of the SSS and to defend you against DUI charges. Retaining Steven Herzberg and Herzberg Law Firm significantly increases the chances of winning rescission of the SSS and keeping your full driving privileges.