Recently on our DUI forum we had questions from a driver who was stopped for drunk driving in Chicago, Ill. This driver’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.10%, and they have been assigned a public defender. This driver asked what fines and penalties they could expect if they are convicted of a Chicago DWI.
Fines and penalties after a Chicago DWI
If you have been arrested for a Chicago DWI the fines and penalties you might face will depend entirely on whether this is your first, second or third DWI and whether there are any aggravating factors for your Chicago DWI arrest.
Assuming this is your first DWI charge you can expect the following penalties and fines if you are convicted:
- Required jail time up to one year
- Fines up to $2,500 (additional fines if your BAC is high or you had a child under the age of 16 in the car)
- Minimum license suspension of one year
- Potential installation of a ignition interlock device
- Required community service if your BAC is high or you have a child under the age of 16 in your car.
What does it mean if my BAC was above 0.08%?
This driver also indicated that their blood alcohol concentration or BAC was 0.10% which is well above the illegal limit. What does this mean for this driver? It will be tough to prove they were not intoxicated unless they can prove the BAC test was done improperly or the results were inaccurate. Talk to your DUI lawyer for more information about the test results if you have questions about your possible defenses.
What do I do about my public defender?
This driver also complained that their public defender was not working on their case. Unfortunately, this is a common complaint. It’s not unusual for public defenders to be overworked and have too many cases to fight each case effectively. But guess what? Most likely you are getting their legal help for free or at a substantially reduced cost.
What are your options if you are not happy with the level of legal help they are giving you? Your best option is to hire your own DUI lawyer to fight the Chicago DWI charges. Yes, this will be expensive, but it might be worth it if you can avoid a DWI conviction.
Will I lose my license if I am not convicted of a Chicago DWI?
When you drive in the state of Illinois and have a valid driver’s license you have given your implied consent to submit to a BAC test. If you refuse the test or if your BAC is above the legal limit you will have your license suspended through an administrative license suspension. This is a civil proceeding and is generally carried out by the Department of Public Safety in your state. The Administrative License Suspension will suspend your license, unless you are able to challenge it through a hearing, even if you are ultimately found not guilty of DWI.
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