If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Illinois, you’re likely to face one or more of the following criminal consequences: potential jail time, a reduced DUI charge, loss of your driving privileges, or even a full case dismissal. At Naperville DUI Lawyer, our skilled DuPage County DUI criminal defense attorneys have defended thousands of DUI cases, and strive to seek outcomes that will avoid serious collateral consequences that may cause increased financial responsibility, educational impacts, job loss, and embarrassment. Our criminal defense team will help you maintain a clean driving record.
If you’re looking for an experienced attorney to help you with your DUI case in Naperville, contact our criminal defense firm today at (630) 425-0250 to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation.
What are the Potential Outcomes for a Drunk Driving Case in Illinois?
There are many potential outcomes in any intoxicated driving case in Illinois, including.
Dismissal: The first potential outcome in a drunk driving case in Illinois is a dismissal of the drunk driving criminal charges. Obviously, dismissal of DUI criminal charges is the most sought after outcome in any drunk driving case. This may occur in many ways, including if the prosecution agrees to dismiss your DUI charges because of a lack of evidence. However, it's essential to note that this outcome occurs rarely because many prosecutors, regardless of how weak the evidence is, aren't quick to dismiss a DUI charge. A DUI case in Illinois may be dismissed after a motion hearing in front a judge of the criminal court. Often, motions to dismiss DUI criminal charges are based on a lack of sufficient evidence, violations of the speedy trial rights, lapse of statutes of limitations, prosecutorial misconduct, or a variety of state or federal Constitutional violations. Finally, DUI criminal charges may be dismissed by a jury or judge after a jury trial in a bench trial. This type of dismissal of charges is referred to as an “acquittal.” An acquittal happens when a DUI offender is found “not guilty” of the drunk driving criminal offense.
Settlement: The second potential outcome in a DUI case is a negotiated settlement between the DUI offender and the state. This is the most common outcome of a driving under the influence case in Illinois. Often, most impaired driving cases that start off as DUI criminal charges are resolved by an agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor. This is called a plea deal or a plea bargain. Such an outcome arises after a drunk driving attorney negotiates DUI charges with a prosecutor based on the strengths of the defendant’s drunk driving case and the weaknesses in the State’s case. A plea bargain settlement allows for other probable outcomes besides a DUI conviction and it keeps the criminal penalty within the hands of the DUI offender. In Illinois, an intoxicated driving charge can be reduced to a reckless driving charge. A reckless driving charge carries a lesser sentence.
Conviction: The third outcome in an impaired driving case is a guilty finding of the DUI criminal offense. There are two ways whereby a DUI offender can be found guilty of the allegation. The first is through pleading guilty to the drunk driving charge in the legal process. The other way to be found guilty is after a DUI trial.
Because of the negative outcome, a DUI arrest and/or DUI conviction can have, it's imperative that a DUI offender in Illinois immediately hires a defense attorney with experience in DUI matters. Often, a skilled Chicago DUI lawyer can substantially reduce the effect that a drunk driving charge can have on your life. Hiring the right DUI criminal defense attorney is worth it because experienced lawyers can protect your rights, criminal record, freedom, and future. The experienced DUI criminal defense lawyers that make up our litigation team are committed to defending DUI offenders accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They have extensive experience and resources needed to defend against your DUI criminal charges successfully.
What Happens on Your First DUI Criminal Offense in Illinois?
In Illinois, a first-time drunk driving conviction is a class A misdemeanor offense, which carries harsher penalties, including:
A jail term of 364 days in jail, and
Six months in jail if the offender had a passenger under the age of 16 years in their motor vehicle.
A first DUI offender may face the following fines after a first-time DUI conviction:
A hefty fine of up to $2,500
A fine of up to $500 if the DUI offender's blood alcohol content level was 0.16% or more, and
A minimum fine of up to $1,000 if the DUI offender was transporting a minor in their motor vehicle.
A first-time DUI offender also may be subject to hours of community service for the first DUI conviction in the following circumstances:
A first-time offender whose blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.16% or more is subject to 100 hours of community service, and
A DUI offender who was transporting a minor in their car is subject to 25 days of community service in a program that's beneficial for children.
Apart from the statutory summary suspension listed above, a DUI offender convicted of intoxicated driving for the first time is subject to a one-year license suspension. Any time their driver's license was administratively suspended may be credited towards the one-year driver's license suspension period.
The DUI offender can also apply for a restricted driving permit (RDP) or hardship license to drive to medical appointments, school, work, and/or alcohol/drug treatment. Sometimes, a DUI offender with an RDP can drive minors, the elderly, and disabled persons. If your license has been suspended because of a first drunk driving conviction and you’re subject to a statutory summary suspension, you must install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) in your motor vehicle for the duration of the restricted driving permit.
Further, all drunk drivers facing DUI charges must complete an alcohol or drug evaluation program to determine if they have a substance abuse problem. If a DUI offender has a substance abuse problem, they must undergo alcohol and drug treatment in a recommended substance abuse program.
How Bad Can a DUI Affect You?
Many DUI offenders face employment consequences, especially if they’re convicted of a DUI criminal offense. A typical employment issue stemming from a DUI relates to restrictions on your driving privileges. If you have a job that requires driving, especially if you’re a commercial driver, a DUI conviction is a serious issue. However, even if you aren’t required to drive on the job, getting to qualify for job interviews can become challenging.
The negative impact of driving on your employment is much more than the issue you may face. For instance, your professional reputation might be at risk. Whether it’s at your current workplace, or on a job hunt, you might need to disclose a DUI conviction, depending on the criteria used by a current or potential employer. This could significantly limit your ability to get or maintain a working position.
DUI offenders charged and convicted with DUI charges rarely appreciate the negative impact a DUI can have on their personal relationships. A drunk driving charge, let alone a DUI conviction, can negatively impact your relationship with your family and your significant other.
Further, after a driving under the influence charge and conviction, your automobile insurance may be canceled. You definitely will see an increase in auto insurance premium rates. If your auto insurance coverage is canceled, you may have a challenging time finding replacement auto insurance coverage. A new insurance policy will probably come with higher premiums. That’s because insurance companies view you as a risk and they believe you’re likely to get involved in a motor vehicle accident.
If you have been charged with a DUI in DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Kendall County, Cook County, Lake County, or anywhere in Illinois, please reach out to our skilled criminal defense attorneys today.
Seek A Positive Outcome with Our Experienced Naperville DUI Attorneys
The DUI lawyer in Naperville at our firm understand the severity of DUI charges, and our legal team is dedicated to protecting the freedoms, rights, and futures of clients who reach out to our law firm for help. It’s imperative to note that the criminal penalties at stake are extremely serious–especially if this is a subsequent DUI arrest or other aggravating factors are present.
Thus, we encourage you to discuss your DUI case with our criminal defense representation team as soon as possible after a DUI arrest. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our experienced drunk driving lawyers today at (630) 425-0250.