After getting a DUI, you may find yourself wondering what repercussions you can expect to face in Illinois. Although the specifics will depend on the severity of your offense, there are some general consequences that all drivers may face.
Knowing what to expect after a DUI can help you plan for the future and prepare financially and emotionally for any repercussions. To learn more you can call our firm at (773) 888-0365 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case further with a Chicago DUI attorney.
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What is a DUI?
A DUI stands for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, and it is a crime in Illinois. When someone operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, they are considered to be unlawfully intoxicated and can face criminal charges. These charges will typically become more severe if your BAC is higher than 0.08 or if you have prior DUI convictions on your record.
Usually, when it is suspected that you are driving under the influence of drugs, a field sobriety test will be administered through a breathalyzer device to determine your blood alcohol concentration level. A positive result of this test can lead to an arrest, and you may also need to take a Breathalyzer and/or blood alcohol test as further evidence.
What Documents Should I Have After My DUI Arrest?
When a police officer arrests you for DUI, it is expected that you will receive a few documents from the police station. These include an arrest report, your ticket or criminal charges, and proof of the chemical testing you have undergone. It is important to keep these documents as they may help in determining your legal rights and defending yourself against charges if necessary.
After this, you can also get a copy of your driving record from the Illinois Secretary of State, which will show any violations you have received and if you were tested for blood alcohol content. This information is helpful when talking to a defense attorney about the best way to handle the situation.
Furthermore, you may also need to obtain your insurance company’s documents related to the DUI, such as any increases to your premium or changes to your policy. These documents can be used in court and can be important for understanding the full scope of the repercussions of a DUI.
Lastly, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. This can be done before, during, or after the arrest and will help you understand the legal process and your rights in Illinois. A good criminal defense lawyer will also help provide options on how to handle any charges and consequences of a DUI.
The DUI Court Process
In Illinois, you will have to go through the court system if you are charged with a DUI. This may include a hearing before an administrative law judge or a jury trial in some cases. The judge or jury will decide whether you are guilty or not and, depending on the outcome of your case, determine any applicable punishments.
During the court process, it is vital to ensure that you have a knowledgeable defense attorney representing you and protecting your rights. Your lawyer will be able to present evidence in your favor as well as cross-examine any witnesses who may testify against you. They can also negotiate (possibly a “plea deal”)on your behalf with prosecutors to potentially reduce the severity of any punishments.
What Are the Penalties for DUI in Illinois?
According to the National Institute of Health, drunk driving accounts for a significant portion of motor vehicle accidents, so it is taken seriously by the state of Illinois and can result in serious consequences.
Most first-time DUI offenses are considered misdemeanors in Illinois and may be punished by a fine, jail sentence, community service, or a combination of all three. The exact penalties will depend on the severity of your offense and whether you have any prior DUIs or other traffic violations on your driving record.
For instance, if your blood alcohol levels are twice the legal limit, you may receive a maximum of one year in jail and/or up to 500 hours of community service. In addition, you will have your driving privileges suspended for a period of time and be required to install an alcohol ignition interlock device on any vehicles you own or operate.
If convicted of a subsequent DUI offense, you may face felony charges and up to seven years in prison. You will also have your license suspended for at least five years and be required to complete an alcohol evaluation and treatment program or drug education course before reinstating your driving privileges.
If you are arrested for a DUI in Cook County or any other Illinois county, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense law firm. A skilled attorney can review your case and help you understand the full scope of the criminal penalties and civil consequences which you are facing. They may also be able to provide strategies for reducing or dismissing any charges filed against you, as well as negotiate on your behalf with prosecutors.
Other Consequences of DUI Conviction
In addition to the mandatory penalties and punishments outlined by the court, there are many other consequences that you may face after receiving a first-time DUI conviction.
These include an automatic license suspension and statutory summary suspension; insurance companies raising your rates; financial responsibility for any damages caused due to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and having a criminal record that can affect your ability to get a job, rent an apartment, or secure certain types of loans in the future.
Regardless of the circumstances behind your DUI arrest and charges, it is important to understand the full scope of repercussions you may face. This will help you make informed decisions throughout the legal process and ensure that you are adequately prepared for any potential civil or criminal penalties.
How to Get Your License Back After a DUI
If you have been convicted of a DUI in Illinois and your license has been suspended, you may be able to apply for a restricted driving permit or Device Driving Permit that will allow you to drive for certain purposes. The requirements for these types of permits depend on the type of conviction and whether or not you are a first-time offender.
You may also be required to attend an alcohol education course, submit to a breath test every time you drive, and install an alcohol ignition interlock device on your vehicle in order to get your license reinstated.
Call a DUI Attorney Within a Few Days of Your Arrest
If you are facing a DUI, it is a must to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. This will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process and that you fully understand any potential penalties or punishments for which you may be facing.
Chicago Traffic Lawyers (formerly Illinois Traffic Lawyers) has a team of experienced criminal defense attorneys who specialize in DUI cases. Our lawyers have years of experience defending clients facing first-time and subsequent DUI offenses throughout the state of Illinois.
We understand what is at stake, and we are dedicated to providing personalized attention to each case. Contact us today at (773) 888-0365 for more information or to schedule a no-cost consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.