You don't need to learn about a crime only when you or a loved one gets caught. You should have basic knowledge of how the law works in your state so that if you ever find yourself in such a situation, you know what your first step should be. Like any other crime in Illinois, the court treats DUI offenses quite severely. Even if the violation didn't harm anyone else, there could be severe consequences if you get convicted for a DUI case.
It is significant to be prepared for such a situation because you may not be aware of it and still get convicted. Let's discuss it in detail to understand why you will require an Elgin DUI lawyer by your side if you get caught in such a situation in the Chicago Area.
What is Meant by DUI?
For those who are unaware of what the term stands for or who haven't shown much concern for the concept until now, Driving Under the Influence, more commonly called DUI, is when you operate a vehicle while being intoxicated. The police can stop you if they think you are drunk and can conduct a couple of tests. The most basic method is taking a breathalyzer test. It shows your blood alcohol content (BAC), which, according to the law, shouldn't be more than 0.08.
Apart from the breathalyzer test, they may also ask you to take a field sobriety test to file the case against you. In such circumstances, it is crucial that you ask for the officer's permission and contact your lawyer (if they allow you) before deciding if you should refuse a breathalyzer test or not. An Elgin, Illinois DUI attorney will know what step you should take under the given circumstances and your condition.
Do I Have to Take A Breathalyzer Test?
The answer to this question is complicated and simple at the same time. To give you a one-word answer, no, you do not necessarily have to take the breathalyzer test if a police officer stopped you. However, depending on your condition, you may or may not want to take the test. If you take the test, and it shows that you are intoxicated, the prosecutor could build a strong case against you, causing you to face jail time and a hefty amount as a penalty.
On the other hand, if you decide to not take the test, thinking that it is your right, you may not be doing the right thing. In the US, driving is a privilege and not a right. Thus, when you get your license, you agree to a term called implied consent. This means that in exchange for getting the privilege of driving a car, you will abide by certain principles issued by the state. These also include one for agreeing to any tests for checking the BAC level.
You might get saved from a DUI conviction if you refuse to take the test, but you will surely experience a license suspension for over 12 months. This has nothing to do with your driving, but it is an administrative fault because you refused to do something you signed on paper when you got your license.
The penalties pertaining to an Illinois DUI case are numerous. Even if it is your first offense, you may have to face consequences that you are not ready for without an attorney fighting for you. Thus, you should always contact an experienced lawyer at your earliest if you ever have a DUI arrest.
For first-time offenders, the punishment could be up to 1 year in jail and a maximum of $2,500 fine. A lawyer could fight for you and remove the jail time by compensating it with other penalties like community service. However, if you are not a first-time offender, jail time is mandatory. In such a situation, your lawyer can fight for decreasing the stay as much as possible. Furthermore, anyone convicted for a DUI in Illinois needs to take DUI classes and even counseling, if required.
Since your license will get revoked, your lawyer can file a petition for license reinstatement if it is your first-time offense. If the court agrees to it, they might ask you to install an ignition interlock device so that you can drive under supervision. The device will allow the car to start only when your BAC is less than the legal limit.
The consequences we have discussed here are just for usual DUI cases, not an aggravated one. Things can get even more complicated and severe if you are convicted for an aggravated DUI. Under such circumstances, it is best to contact our attorneys as early in the case as possible to understand your rights.
What Can An Elgin, IL DUI Lawyer do for me?
Since you are now aware of the consequences, you might wonder what a DUI lawyer can do for you? If you contact an experienced DUI attorney in Illinois, there are various ways to help you. Having legal representation when showing up in front of the judge in itself is a vital step. Let us now discuss some of the primary benefits in detail so that you could have a better understanding of why you should never take DUI in Illinois lightly and always seek help.
While it is allowed to fight your case without a lawyer, you will not have the right resources and capabilities that a lawyer would have. Additionally, if the case goes for trial, it is best to have an experienced attorney by your side to not feel intimidated and helpless in front of the judge.
As stated earlier, DUI in Illinois can have serious consequences. In such a situation, confiding in someone can also be quite dangerous. Thus, if you do not have a lawyer, you wouldn't know who is safe to discuss the case with and who is not. You can share everything with your lawyer as their interest lies in a case that will benefit you. Even if you are wholly or partially at fault, confessing it to your lawyer will help them plan a different strategy. If there isn't a possibility of removing all charges, they will try to negotiate it. However, revealing such information to anyone else can only increase the penalties you may have to go through.
Coming up with a strategy that best suits your case is what a DUI defense attorney does; they will tailor the case according to your situation. Every DUI case is different, but an experienced attorney would have dealt with a similar issue beforehand and can gather evidence necessary to best defend you. Once you tell them everything that happened, they will develop a plan and share it with you. By doing so, they will be able to explore the case with you so that if there is anything that you might have forgotten, and it is pertinent to the case, it could be considered.
What Does A DUI Lawyer Cost?
While you might understand the significance of hiring a lawyer for driving under the influence cases, you can still be worried about the various DUI costs. A DUI lawyer can cost you a couple of thousand dollars, depending on how complicated your case is. However, the effects a conviction can have on your life are far more expensive than the lawyer's fee. If you get convicted of DUI in Illinois, it will remain on your record for the rest of your life. Many job recruiters will consider it when they will check your record. Furthermore, a license revocation could cost you your job if your job required driving.
The overall legal fee is quite expensive for such a case because there are various other penalties and fines that you will have to pay for, apart from the attorney's cost. Still, for any DUI client who wants to get an estimate, the lawyer's fee for a simple DUI case could be anywhere between $1,000-$1,500, and a complicated case could cost you as much as $5,000.
While the figures may seem a bit intimidating, it is best to contact your lawyer and arrange a consultation session to get a better idea of your position. We are dedicated to serving our clients in the Elgin, IL area. Contact Naperville DUI Lawyer today to book your session with the most experienced attorneys in town.