Joliet DUI lawyer

Driving under the influence of alcohol can have major repercussions on your life. If you are arrested you will face a criminal charge that can lead to jail time, heavy fines, lost driving privileges, and more. Even a first-time DUI charge can have long-lasting effects on your life and will be listed on both your driving record and criminal record which can be harmful in the event of another violation.

If you have been charged with a DUI, one of the most important steps you can take is to find a qualified Joliet DUI lawyer to represent you. An experienced defense lawyer knows the ins and outs of the criminal justice system and will be able to apply their knowledge of the law to help you navigate your case, no matter how complicated.

Our team can provide you with the legal advice you need to fully understand your case, and we are ready to help you get the best possible result for your unique situation. Contact us today at (630) 425-0250 to schedule a free case consultation.

What to Expect After a DUI Arrest

Knowing what to expect after a DUI arrest can help save you valuable time. The following is a quick overview of what usually takes place following a DUI arrest:

Administrative Suspension Hearing

When you are arrested for a DUI and either fail or refuse to take a chemical test, your driver's license will be suspended. You may appeal this suspension through a hearing with the Secretary of State's office. You must file your hearing request within 90 days of your arrest and will be granted a hearing within 30 days of your filing date.

Arraignment Hearing

This is your first court hearing for your DUI will be scheduled on the date listed on the ticket. You may bring your own attorney to this hearing, or you may request a court-appointed attorney at this time. You will also submit your plea at the arraignment hearing.

Pre­trial Attorney Meeting

You will have this opportunity to meet with your attorney, whether private or a public defender, to discuss the specifics of your case. They will be able to offer their recommendation for the best path forward based on your case.

car keys and a shot of liquor on a black table

Criminal Trial and Sentencing

This is the part most people are familiar with, at least passingly. The criminal trial typically takes place in front of a full jury, and will determine whether or not you are found guilty of your DUI charge. After a conviction at trial (or a guilty plea if you opt for that route) the judge will pass your sentence to set the punishments you will be assessed.

How Long Can You Lose Your License After a DUI?

When you are arrested for a DUI and fail or refuse to take a breathalyzer test your license will be suspended through a statutory summary suspension.

This is a civil suspension that can last between 6 months and 3 years depending on your circumstances and has no bearing on the suspension term you may be issued for a criminal conviction. The term of your suspension following a DUI conviction depends on your DUI history:

  • First-time DUI offenders of legal drinking age will have their driving privileges suspended for 1 year, while drivers under the age of 21 will face a suspension of 2 years.
  • Second-time DUI offenders of legal drinking age will receive a license suspension of 5 years. Drivers under 21 will receive a suspension for a minimum of 5 years or until their 21st birthday, whichever is a longer period.
  • Third-time DUI offenders will receive a 10-year suspension of their driving privileges. This is not dependent on age.
  • Fourth-time DUI offenders will have their driving privileges revoked for the rest of their lives. They may, however, apply for a restricted driver's permit 5 years after the revocation with evidence of 3 years of sobriety.

How to Find the Right DUI Lawyer

Finding the right attorney for your case can be a daunting experience, particularly if you have little or no experience with the legal system. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation to assess your case and you can use this time to determine which lawyer is the best fit for you. Below we offer some general tips to help you make your decision:

Ask Detailed Questions and Look for Clear Answers

You want a DUI lawyer with criminal defense experience, who has worked cases similar to yours in the past, and who can communicate plainly and openly with you. It is also a good idea to have an experienced trial lawyer if you intend to fight your charges.

a man discussing a DUI charge with a Joliet attorney

Ask a DUI attorney questions about their background, experience, etc., and listen carefully to the answers you get in return. If they are not forthcoming or try to duck your questions with vague responses, scratch them off your list.

Discuss Their Fee Structure

Hiring a DUI attorney is going to cost money, and you should leave your initial meeting with a clear understanding of what each lawyer will charge. If it is a flat fee, be sure you understand what that covers and what may be billed extra, if they bill by the hour you should know exactly how much, as well as what additional fees you can expect to encounter.

Speak With Several DUI Attorneys

Even if you feel like the first lawyer you talk to is a perfect fit for your case, be sure to meet with several others so you can properly weigh your options and make an informed decision.

Take Note of Their Communication

While your criminal defense attorney shouldn't need to get in touch with you over every single development in your case, you will want to be kept informed of important news and be involved in the process to a certain degree.

Likewise, you will want your lawyer to be available to answer questions you have about your case as it develops. Take the time to be sure your lawyer can offer you personal attention and communicate clearly in easily understood terms.

Work With Our Talented DUI Lawyers

When you are facing drunk driving charges you want the best Joliet criminal defense lawyer you can find. If you have been tested with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limits, you should know that there may still be options for your case to avoid a criminal conviction.

Our criminal defense attorneys have a track record of success and are prepared to use their in-depth knowledge of local DUI laws to help you fight your charges with an aggressive defense strategy. Contact us today to set up an appointment for your free case consultation.