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Have you recently been arrested by a police officer for driving under the influence of Alcohol (DUI) in Chicagoland? What you do next – and when you do it – is critical. After an arrest, you will be placed in a precarious legal situation where the prosecution has already started to gather evidence against you while you are still trying to figure out what to do next.
Remember: No matter what your charges are, you should never plead guilty without speaking to an experienced Chicago DUI attorney first.
At the Law Offices of Mitch Furman, I put an entire legal team of skilled and experienced lawyers in Chicago in your corner so you aren't alone during this stressful time. Contact my office today at (312) 236-7078 to schedule your free consultation with a DUI defense lawyer!
What Is Illinois DUI Law?
The Illinois Driving While Under the Influence Statute is codified under Section 625 ILCS 5/11-501. The statute provides that a person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this State while:
- the alcohol concentration in the person's blood, other bodily substance, or breath is 0.08
- under the influence of alcohol;
What You Need to Know After a DUI Arrest
After a DUI arrest, you have limited time to file a Petition for a Statutory Summary Suspension Rescission Hearing. If that is not done, the Illinois Secretary of State will suspend your driving privileges under 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1.
I, Attorney Mitch Furman, can act on your behalf at the hearing, contest the suspension, and provide you with powerful representation in court that is supported by my 20+ years of legal and trial experience. Be sure to read our blog for more info about what to do if you are pulled over for a DUI.
Financial Consequences of a DUI
Being convicted of a DUI can come with steep financial consequences that many people often don't consider when they decide to get behind the wheel after drinking. The total cost of a first-time DUI conviction typically exceeds $10,000 and often even more, depending on each case. This amount consists of fines imposed by the court, legal fees, loss of driving privileges, license suspensions or revocations, Secretary of State fees, mandatory drug and alcohol education course fees, mandated community service, an alcohol ignition interlock device requirement, as well as higher insurance premiums and a criminal record that may be in effect for years to come.
Additionally, more serious criminal convictions may carry other hefty costs, such as jail time or suspended driving privileges, resulting in a loss of employment or overtime income. DUI-affected individuals need to seriously weigh the potential outcomes and financial damage versus alternative forms of transportation before getting behind the wheel while under the influence. Financial difficulty due to a DUI conviction is avoidable, but unfortunately, those suffering from this situation may require additional means to cope with a variety of monetary penalties.
Going To Court For DUI Without A Lawyer
Getting a professional at your side is essential if you are arrested for a DUI. Following your arrest by the police, the clock starts ticking. Certain rigid time limits fall into play at the moment of your arrest. For example, if you need to keep your driving privileges intact, you must file a petition to rescind your statutory summary suspension immediately.
Under Illinois law, this petition has to be filed no later than 90 days from the arrest. Additionally, you have a right to have a hearing within 30 days to determine whether to suspend or reinstate your driving privileges. Should you fail to bring an experienced DUI attorney to court to assist you, your driver's license suspension can stay in effect for up to three or more years.
Do not risk handling your case alone. Let my firm's 20-plus years of legal experience handle this daunting process for you.
How Long Will You Lose Your License for Your First DUI in Illinois?
In Illinois, you will have your driving privileges suspended for one year if you submitted to the breathalyzer test but were over the legal limit of .08. If you refused to take the breathalyzer test altogether. Your suspension will be six months. Additionally, DUI arrest will remain permanently on your driving record.
Some of the tactics that may apply to your case:
- Roadside breath tests and field sobriety tests are notorious for being inaccurate. I may be able to challenge these types of evidence and get them dismissed from your case.
- Blood and urine samples, when taken by poorly trained personnel, will often result in contaminated samples and inaccurate test results. As a result, challenging the blood test is often an effective defense for drunk driving cases.
- Timing is another factor that may allow you to challenge the evidence of your drunk driving charge. If your blood, urine, or breath was tested several hours after arrest, your blood alcohol level (BAC) could be higher than it was at the time of arrest.
- Individual BAC results may not be enough to warrant a conviction. My firm can fight to prove that a physical or medical condition—such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or even heartburn—caused you to register a.08 BAC or higher.
Guiding You Through the Criminal Process
After an arrest in Cook County for driving under the influence, you must make important decisions concerning your case and how you are going to go about defending yourself. Hasty or otherwise uninformed choices about hiring the right criminal defense attorney could limit your chances of a favorable outcome. Rather than rushing into things or stepping into a situation without the proper knowledge and preparation, let our Chicago DUI attorney look at your case and determine the right course to develop a solid defense.
DUI practice areas we handle include:
- Aggravated DUI
- Driver's License Reinstatement
- Commercial Drivers
- Drug DUI
- Felony DUI
- Multiple DUI Convictions
- Plea Bargains
- Summary Suspension Hearings
- Underage DUI
- Vehicular Manslaughter
- Reckless Homicide
Constructing a Proper Defense
You should not be left hanging and feeling helpless after being arrested for a DUI in Chicago. At my firm, I am confident that as a skilled criminal defense attorney, I can come to your assistance and find a way to help you. If I need to burn the midnight oil and go the extra mile for my clients, I am happy to do so. It all comes down to finding a way to get you the best resolution possible.
Some ways I can challenge your arrest and charges include:
- Questioning the accuracy of breath and field sobriety tests
- Contending that your stop was unlawful
- Reanalyzing the results of your chemical tests
The importance of a unique and well-developed defense in drunk driving cases cannot be stressed enough. Choosing an experienced criminal defense lawyer who routinely handles DUI cases is of utmost importance. Even if you are a first-time DUI offender and not hit with jail time and high fines after sentencing, you will likely lose your license for quite some time. For most of us, that would mean unnecessary stress in our lives and a loss of freedom of mobility. For many others, it could also mean a loss of employment as you are unable to make it to work without a car. The law firm of Mitch Furman is a top-rated DUI charge firm handling DUI cases in Chicago, Illinois. For a free, confidential evaluation, call us today.
Don't leave things up to chance! Contact my firm for a free initial consultation and to start working with an experienced Chicago DUI attorney.