Just getting a DUI is bad, but the problem is many are multiple offenders: those who’ve been involved in drinking and driving cases many times. Much like other states, in Illinois even first time offenders face severe penalties. Just what are these penalties? Is a defense in Illinois criminal court possible? Let’s find out.
Penalties for an Illinois DUI
It was mentioned that even a first offense can lead to some major charges. This includes up to one year jail time, fines of over $2,000, license suspension for at least one year, probation, and more. If you get a second offense, the general penalties are the same, but you may lose your driving privileges for 5 or more years if you’re pulled over. In this instance, if you get a DUI a second time after a first less than 20 years ago (a long time), you can lose driving privileges for a large period.
The more charges you get, the worse the penalties are. You can even expect to get felony charges if you continue to drink and drive.
How do you defend a DUI?
In order to build an effective Illinois DUI defense, you need the right lawyer. In order to get the right lawyer, you need to focus on experience, knowledge, availability, and price. You really cannot put a price on winning in court against a DUI charge; it’s likely worth far more than any lawyer charges. Yet most Illinois DUI charges stick, though often charges are lessened with the right defense. The problem is one of proof, where if you fail both a breath and blood test, and the officer says you were clearly under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the cards are against you.
A defense is based on precisely these three things: the validity of the breath test as done by the officer, how close to the BAC (blood alcohol content) limit you are, and how the officer’s testimony is considered. Breathalyzers are quite effective, but subject to human error. If a blood test says you are clearly far over the limit, especially far over it, you really can’t question the test, as these are the most accurate. However, even if you get a high breathalyzer and blood test, if the officer made mistakes in the arrest, you have a case for defense.
Who can help?
You need an Illinois DUI lawyer to defend you in court. This is no time for a court appointed lawyer nor time to defend yourself. Even if you are guilty and you know it, you have a strong case for defense. You cannot put a price on staying out of jail, avoiding thousands in fines,and being able to drive. A lawyer will charge his or her fee, but if they’re good, the price is a good investment.