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Chicago DUI Lawyer
Dealing with a DUI can hurt your license, your wallet, and your future. Don’t accept those consequences without a fight—instead, talk to a DUI lawyer from Chicago Trusted Attorneys about fighting your DUI charges.
One minute, you’re on the road in Chicago, maybe heading home from a friend’s house or from a bar, when you’re pulled over. The officer cites suspicious driving behavior, and soon, you’re in the back of the police car. You’ve been arrested for drunk driving, and your future may be on the line.
When you’re accused of driving under the influence, you may need to fight back now to protect your future. When a serious conviction is possible, you’ll need a Chicago DUI lawyer. At Chicago Trusted Attorneys, we understand what needs to be done in order to get your charges dismissed or reduced. That’s why we’ll fight for you when you’ve been accused.
Legal Limits for Chicago Drivers
While you know that a DUI is driving under the influence, how much alcohol does it take to be considered “under the influence”? The legal limit often depends on your age and how far over the limit you are.
For the typical Chicago driver, a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent is considered over the legal limit. At this point, Illinois police officers will consider you too impaired to drive and will likely arrest you. However, an even higher BAC level can make matters worse. If you have a BAC level higher than 0.16, you could receive higher DUI penalties.
If you’re underaged, any amount greater than 0.00 percent is considered drunk driving. Illinois is a zero-tolerance state, which means that you could be facing a DUI if you’ve had even one drink before driving. Unfortunately, a DUI penalty can be high, so it’s best to fight back now.
DUI Penalties in Illinois
A DUI is a serious charge in any state, but if you’re arrested in Illinois, you can expect a few serious penalties for a Chicago DUI.
First, you’ll need to consider the fines. For a first offense alone, you could be facing up to $2,500 in fines, which can put you in debt quickly. Jail time is a real possibility, too, with sentences of up to a year for even a first-time offender.
You could also lose your license for some time after the conviction if you don’t fight to get your charges dropped. For your first conviction alone, you might be unable to drive for a year. If you’re facing a third offense, that could be as high as ten years.
First-time DUI offenders may be able to apply for a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID), though that can be a frustrating situation. You need a way to get to work so that your DUI doesn’t leave you jobless. However, an interlock device keeps your car from starting until you’ve passed a sobriety test. That can be embarrassing and frustrating, so it’s best to fight back and avoid a DUI conviction when possible.
Fight Your Drunk Driving Charges in Chicago
Before you head to court for your DUI charges, you’ll need to know what to expect and how to fight back. Building a strong defense can be tough, so you’ll need to fight back for your future now. Typically, though, your defense will depend on the circumstances of your case.
For example, you might believe that you weren’t over the legal limit at the time that you were pulled over. In these cases, you may fight back by questioning the accuracy of the field sobriety tests. These machines are delicate, so misuse or incorrect calibration could lead to inaccurate results.
Alternatively, you might not have been driving at the time. You may have parked to let yourself sober up, but because you were sitting behind the wheel, the officer might have accused you of breaking the law. Finding the right DUI defense can be as important as finding the right lawyer, so reach out now for the help you need.
Consequences of a DUI
If you’ve been convicted of driving under the influence or you’ve plead guilty to the offense, it comes with serious consequences. Whether this is a first-time charge or whether you’ve faced DUI charges in the past, the impact a DUI has can be devastating. Not only does it have financial consequences, but you may have trouble with driving again, finding a job, or renting.
DUI convictions are costly. On average, the first time DUI can cost thousands. This can turn into a serious debt problem to many people who don’t have those funds available to them.
The costs come from fines associated with the court fees and sentencing. However, the costs of legal fees, DMV fees, drug and education courses, and higher insurance premiums can add up quickly if you don’t have an effective .
The financial burdens of criminal DUI charges can be even worse in some cases. If you are found guilty or plead guilty in court, you may be required to report this conviction to your employer. This can make it difficult to secure employment or certifications anywhere.
Driver License Suspension and Revocation
An automatic driver’s license suspension is possible when arrested for a DUI under Illinois law, called a statutory summary suspension. That leaves you in a difficult position, as you may be unable to travel to work or school, impacting your finances and your life.
Regardless of how your criminal case turns out, this suspension will still take place. Those over the age of 21 that have their license suspended will have it suspended for 6 to 12 months. Those under 21 will have it suspended for 3 to 6 months. Even those out of state are subject to having their license suspended.
If you want to avoid a statutory summary suspension, requesting a hearing within 90 days of being arrested is recommended. You will have to win this hearing, however, and that can be difficult if you haven’t first gotten the help of a DUI attorney in Chicago.
What First-Time DUI Offenders Can Expect
While a first-time DUI conviction typically comes with a lighter sentence, it can still be a costly experience. Even a first-time DUI can impact your license and insurance, and you may face hefty fines. That’s not to mention potential jail time or probation.
Probation is an option to serve out your prison sentence out of prison, with certain rules. For example, you may be abnned from coming near a liquor store or eating at restaurants that serve alcohol. If you violate any of these rules, your probation officer will be notified and your probation will be revoked. That leaves you serving your sentence in jail.
Don’t Fight Your DUI Case without a Lawyer
When you’re facing a DUI, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or discouraged, especially if you believe that you can’t afford a Chicago lawyer. You may even believe that you have all the legal advice you need from free online sources. Unfortunately, these may not be so trustworthy.
Internet resources are often outdated, and some ideas are based on myths. For example, disputing the accuracy of the field sobriety test alone may not help you. You’ll instead need someone who can also bring in expert witnesses. They’ll have the experience and knowledge needed to dispute the accuracy of the machines and fight back for you.
Public Defenders: Are They Worth It for a DUI?
Public defenders seem like a good middle option for many people. They have all the certifications of a criminal defense lawyer, but they’re provided by the court for those who can’t afford to cover the expenses of a Chicago lawyer.
Unfortunately, they’re not always the best choice for your drunk driving case. While they are lawyers, you won’t be their only client. Some studies show that public defenders are often facing multiple cases a day. If you’re facing an especially difficult case, or if your case needs more attention, you might struggle to get the answers and attention you need.
Instead, it’s best to rely on a DUI lawyer at Chicago Trusted Attorneys. We have the tools, the time, and the care you need for a successful case. When you’re facing a DUI, make sure your case is in the right hands.
Using a DUI Attorney in Chicago to Navigate the Court System
When you get arrested on criminal charges, you have to navigate the court system to get the best outcome for yourself. It can be difficult to do if you’re unfamiliar with the system. This is why it is important to obtain a DUI attorney that has the necessary training and experience to help you with this situation.
Going into the courtroom without having an experienced lawyer can cost you a lot. You want someone who can present evidence and holes in the prosecutor’s case against you. The lawyer can handle all of the motions, paperwork, and actions for you to help give you the best outcome.
The DUI lawyer can help preserve your rights and stop you from incriminating yourself during the process. Anything you say, according to your Miranda rights, can be used against you in court.
Any information volunteered to the police during your traffic stop can be used against you. Even if you’re open and honest and tell the officer you had a couple of beers before driving, it can be used in the court of law even if you weren’t officially arrested.
Your lawyer can also determine the validity of evidence in the courtroom. For example, the police may state that you failed a Breathalyzer test, even if you didn’t. This is an attempt to get you to confess to drinking more than the legal amount. This is why speaking with a lawyer is imperative for a DUI case.
What Are Field Sobriety Tests?
Many people don’t know that field sobriety tests are often flawed. Even if you fail one of them, it may not be providing accurate results. The prosecution may rely heavily on the tests.
The lawyers of those accused of a DUI know the steps to take. Non-standarized tests, such as those that make you say the alphabet backwards or put your finger to your nose may not be admissible in court. These tests assume you’re a healthy person, even if you may have medical conditions that make the tests hard to perform.
If the police pull you over for swerving, they probably assume it is because of drugs or alcohol and not due to other alternatives. This assumption can sway them on the results of the field sobriety test.
An experienced lawyer knows how to challenge the results of these tests and know if the machine was faulty. There are many factors that can influence your case. Not having a lawyer to represent you can lead to less than positive results.
Contact a DUI Lawyer in Chicago
When you’ve been accused of driving drunk, you’ll need to fight back to protect your future. You need a lawyer from Chicago Trusted Attorneys to help you overcome your charges and fight back with the right defense. You may even be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed completely with our lawyers’ assistance.
Get started today with a consultation about your arrest. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, reach out, and we’ll help you determine the best options for you to protect your future. We understand it can be tough to fight alone, so take advantage of your consultation and learn what to expect.
Ready to begin? Reaching out is easy. Just give your Chicago DUI lawyer a call at 312-519-3171 or fill out the online form below.
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Chicago DUI FAQ
When you’re facing a DUI charge, it’s important that you come to your Chicago court date prepared. Unfortunately, you might have questions that you’re not finding the answers to right away.
Fortunately, our Chicago lawyers can help. Check out some of our common questions below or speak to our lawyers about your case.
What can I expect if I’m arrested for DUI in Chicago?
If you fail the field sobriety tests, you can first expect to be taken into the station. Your car will be impounded, and, typically, your license will be suspended. You’ll be booked, meaning that your information will be put in the system. Once your bail is posted, you’ll be able to pay it and receive your court date for your DUI case.
Will I have to take driving courses or counseling if I’m convicted for DUI?
Often, programs on drug and alcohol abuse are required for first-time offenders. This effort to inform drivers about the dangers of driving under the influence may be a part of your sentence, along with other programs like community service.
What if I’m pulled over for an aggravated DUI in Chicago?
An aggravated DUI means that you’ve been charged with more than a DUI. This often means that someone was hurt because of a drunk driver. If you’ve been accused, it’s more important than ever to fight back because you will be facing higher penalties for felony charges.
Is it legal to drink alcoholic beverages and drive in Chicago?
Illinois law states that it’s illegal to be over the legal limit in the state. This legal limit is 0.08 percent for most drivers, with specific rules for underage drivers and for commercial drivers. These laws are meant to protect others who may be harmed by drinking and driving.
If I am over the .08 limit on a Breathalyzer test, am I guilty automatically of a DUI?
The law in Illinois states that it is illegal to drive or be in control of a vehicle if you have a registered blood alcohol level of .08 percent or above according to a Breathalyzer test. However, you still must be proven guilty of driving under the influence beyond a reasonable doubt. You’re unable to be convicted unless this can be proven. Having a proper defense attorney can ensure your evidence is properly gathered and presented in court.
Do I have to take a field sobriety or Breathalyzer test?
A police officer cannot force you to take a field sobriety test. However, even if you refuse the test, you can still get arrested, and your license can still be suspended. The same goes for a Breathalyzer test. You are not required to take one, and they cannot make you take it. It can still lead to an arrest and an automatic license suspension. Speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as you’re arrested for a DUI, whether you refused the tests or not.
Can I stay silent when stopped for a DUI?
You have to provide the police officer with your license, insurance card, and registration if these documents are requested. You are not required to answer any questions from the police if you choose. This is the same for any tests they request you to take. You have the right to refuse those, as well, though it’s important to be aware of of the consequences if you say no.
What should I do if I’ve just been arrested for a DUI?
Before you do anything else, to protect your rights, you should contact an experienced DUI attorney in Chicago. You do not want to answer any questions, make any statements, or enter a plea or deal before having a lawyer present.
I don’t know why the officer stopped me. Is it legal for them to do so if I wasn’t doing anything wrong?
If there was not probable cause for the officer to pull you over, your charges may be able to be dismissed. You should discuss the circumstances of the stop and arrest with our lawyers. Tell them what the officer claimed was the reason for stopping you. If you felt you were driving safely with no traffic infractions, you may have been stopped unlawfully. If this is the case, it is important that you use an experienced DUI lawyer to help you fight it.