Rescission Hearing Deadline

In Illinois, when the police arrest a person for driving under the influence of alcohol, two things happen: (a) the government files a criminal case potentially punishable by jail time, and (b) the government suspends the person’s driver’s license. Regarding the license suspension, if a driver files a petition challenging the suspension (and gives the State notice that the petition has been filed), with one exception, the State must hold a hearing on the petition within 30 days.

The one exception is discussed in a new opinion by the Illinois Appellate Court. In People v. Janas (.pdf), the Court interpreted the first portion of 625 ILCS 5/2-118.1(b). This portion of the statute reads as follows:

Within 90 days after the notice of statutory summary suspension [being] served [. . .], the person may make a written request for a judicial hearing in the circuit court of venue. The request to the circuit court shall state the grounds upon which the person seeks to have the statutory summary suspension rescinded. Within 30 days after receipt of the written request or the first appearance date on the Uniform Traffic Ticket [. . .], the hearing shall be conducted by the circuit court having jurisdiction.

In Janas, the State did not hold a rescission hearing within the 30-day window. Instead, it intended to hold the hearing on the date of the driver’s first court appearance, which was four days beyond the 30-day window. The trial court rescinded (canceled) the driver’s suspension since there was not a hearing within the 30-day time period. The appellate court reversed the ruling of the trial court because the State had two options based on the statute in question: (a) conduct a hearing on the driver’s petition within 30 days, or (b) have the hearing on the first court appearance date on the driver’s ticket. Since the State was ready to proceed on the date of the driver’s first court appearance, the trial court should have conducted a hearing on the petition.

Jeremy Richey

Jeremy J. Richey, Attorney at Law
© Jeremy J. Richey and The East Central Illinois Criminal Law & DUI Weblog, 2008-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.