Nearly 3,000 people were arrested for driving under the influence in Illinois in 2022. If you’re one of those people today, you need a zealous traffic lawyer who will fight for your rights.
Even if you think your case is hopeless, you still need an attorney. A good lawyer can do a lot when you get a DUI in Illinois. Every DUI case has unique elements that can help reduce your penalties.
Do You Always Need a Lawyer?
Some DUI cases present few complications. You might not feel you need a lawyer if you face a standard first-time DUI conviction. These cases tend to have few complications or defenses, and a guilty plea may lead to reduced penalties, but it is still a good idea to hire an attorney.
The more complex your case is or the more unique your needs are, the more likely you are to benefit from a lawyer. Even if you don’t think you need one, though, you should still consider scheduling a consultation. Your case may include factors you’re not considering.
Penalties for DUI in Illinois
The consequences of DUI in Illinois vary depending on how many prior infractions you’ve had and what happened during the DUI. A simple first-time DUI may cost you your license for at least a year and get your vehicle registration suspended. This type of DUI counts as a misdemeanor.
Several other factors can elevate your DUI from a misdemeanor to a felony. If you’re facing possible felony charges, you need to involve a DUI lawyer. A felony on your record can lead to lifelong repercussions.
Blood Alcohol Concentration
For adult drivers, the state of Illinois sets the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for a DUI at .08. For commercial driver’s license holders, DUI starts at .04, and for school bus drivers or those under 21 years of age, any BAC above .00 will lead to a DUI.
If you reach a BAC of .16, you will face added fines and mandatory imprisonment.
Why This Matters When Getting a Lawyer
A DUI attorney can help you fight charges by reducing their severity. An attorney may have ideas for how to contest aggravating factors associated with a charge. This can make the difference between a felony DUI and a misdemeanor and change your life.
If you rely on your vehicle for work or childcare activities, the loss of your driving privileges might terrify you. How will you go about your life with your driver’s license suspended or revoked ? A lawyer can help you navigate this process too.
To have your license reinstated, you should expect to prove that you present no danger to public safety. Things will go easier if you prove that you face a hardship that can only be addressed by reinstating your driving privileges.
A lawyer can help you put together a case for reinstating your license. While you can attempt to complete the process alone, different offices may tell you different things and make it more difficult. A DUI attorney will have the experience to make sure things go well the first time.
As having your license reinstated will require a hearing, a lawyer can also help you deal with the process if you choose to pursue reinstatement.
Lawyer as Negotiator
While your lawyer can handle any of these specific elements for you, part of the value of a lawyer comes from negotiation skills. Lawyers not only know the system but can fight on your behalf with a general understanding of your situation.
If some elements of your case prove ambiguous, your lawyer can do a lot to make sure things go in your favor.
Like any court case, a DUI in Illinois involves a lot of paperwork. Your lawyer will have filled out similar paperwork many times, while you will likely be a novice in comparison. Leaving it to the professionals will lead to fewer errors.
You only get one shot to defend yourself against a DUI charge, so it’s better to leave it to the experts.
Don’t Let Your DUI Ruin Your Life
Getting a DUI in Illinois can change your life, especially if it becomes an aggravated DUI. You shouldn’t sit there and let the worst results come to pass, even if you think your situation can’t change. A lawyer can help you avoid compounding your legal issues, negotiate on your behalf, and even have your DUI possibly dismissed or reduced to reckless driving.
If you stand accused of a DUI, give us a call and we’ll find an attorney who can help you.