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Posted on in DUI

IL DUI lawyerHere in the state of Illinois, law enforcement officials are constantly on the lookout for impaired drivers. Recognizing the fact that drunk drivers cause approximately 30% of all nationwide traffic fatalities, and over 10,000 each year, it should come as no surprise that police officers do everything in their power to prevent inebriated driving. According to the Secretary of State’s office, more than 29,000 people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, throughout 2018 alone. While the sheer number of DUI arrests could indicate that a DUI conviction comes with limited legal ramifications, this could not be further from the truth. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it is time to speak with a lawyer.

The Legal Consequences of a DUI

The first thing to understand about the consequences of a DUI conviction is that the charge will go on your permanent record and cannot be expunged. In other words, the conviction will impact your ability to secure employment, loan opportunities, and housing for the rest of your life. A first-time DUI offender will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if convicted. Along with having a misdemeanor charge on their permanent record, the offender can also face up to one year in prison, and fines as high as $2,500.

It is important to understand that this is the minimum penalty a person will face for a first-time DUI. In the state of Illinois, there are a number of aggravating factors, such as driving without a valid driver’s license or causing serious bodily harm to another party, which can result in your DUI charge being classified as an aggravated DUI. An aggravated classification will result in the charges being elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony and lead to harsher criminal punishments.

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IL DUI lawyerSome people believe that a first-time DUI conviction will not come with significant legal ramifications. This notion could not be further from the truth. While it is true that DUI charges will increase in severity for repeat offenders, a first-time DUI offender can face life-changing implications in the event of a conviction. Below we will examine some of the possible ramifications of a DUI conviction and how you need to react to a charge. If you are facing DUI charges, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately.

The Consequences

The first thing you need to understand is that a first-time DUI conviction constitutes a Class A Misdemeanor in the state of Illinois. Along with potential fines, drug and alcohol classes, community service, and even potential jail time, a conviction comes with a one-year license revocation period. It should be noted that in the state of Illinois, 91% of all drivers arrested for DUI in 2017 lost their driving privileges for some period of time. Outside of the concrete legal consequences, a DUI conviction can result in serious rises in your insurance rates. It is important to understand that there are a number of circumstances that can lead to an elevation of the charge from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Class 4 Felony.

How an Attorney Can Help

Recognizing the legal consequences of even a first-time conviction, it is important to contact a trustworthy and knowledgeable attorney as soon as you are charged with a DUI. First and foremost, a skilled attorney will give you the best chance of avoiding a conviction altogether. Your attorney will work with you in examining the initial traffic stop and the arrest process. If the officer acted in an unethical or unprofessional manner, you may have the charges dropped. For instance, if you were forced to submit to chemical testing. If a conviction cannot be avoided, a quality legal professional can assist you in regaining your driving privileges. A first-time DUI offender can regain their driving privileges through the installation of a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID).

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1555 Bond Street, Suite 103A, Naperville, IL 60563

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