Addison, IL First-Time DUI Defense Lawyers
Experienced DUI Defense Attorneys in DuPage, Cook, and All Surrounding Counties
Any first-time criminal charge is unsettling, and a first-time DUI charge is often completely overwhelming. In addition to the prospect of jail time, and the high probability of court supervision and steep financial penalties, there are drivers license revocation proceedings and other ancillary items. So, in addition to an aggressive courtroom advocate, you need a trusted adviser and counselor that can help you make informed decisions.
At Stringini & Garvey, P.C., our attorneys have over 65 years of combined experience, and nearly all of these years have been dedicated to standing up for ordinary citizens accused of criminal offenses throughout Chicagoland. Our experience means that we are well-versed in all the local procedural rules and use proven methods to provide an effective defense. We also pride ourselves on our diverse client base and spend as much time as necessary with each and every client, because we understand the magnitude of this event, for both you and your family.
Elements of a DUI Case in Illinois
Under Illinois statute 625 ILCS 11-501, a person commits an offense if he or she is in actual physical control of any vehicle while having a BAC above .08 or while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of these substances. The prosecutor has the burden of proof to prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This term is not defined in Illinois, but it is the highest evidentiary standard that the law recognizes. There is also an administrative component to a DUI criminal case involving possible license suspension.
Although the state can charge some first-time offenders with a felony if certain aggravating circumstances are present, a first-time DUI is usually a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction means a maximum 364 days in jail and $2,500 fine. There are also substantial indirect costs that eclipse the fine; the state estimates these costs, which include high-risk auto insurance, will exceed $12,000 over approximately a three-year period.
If a DUI suspect submits to a chemical test, and the test shows a BAC of at least .08, the suspects drivers license may be suspended for up to six months; if the suspect refuses a chemical test, the drivers license may be suspended for up to 12 months. In each case, a monitored driving permit, which normally involves the use of an ignition interlock device, is available.
Defenses in a DUI Case
Many times, DUI penalties may be substantially reduced during pretrial negotiations, so a trial may not even be necessary. Two of the more common defenses in a DUI case are:
- Lack of Evidence: Chemical tests are far from perfect and DUI field tests, like the one-leg stand, are not entirely accurate either. Many times, there is simply not enough evidence to convince a jury that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Illegal Arrest: An officer must have reasonable suspicion for a stop and probable cause to make an arrest. Sometimes, the peace officer lacked the legal authority for one or both of these things.
The defenses in a drivers license suspension matter are similar to the ones used in criminal court.
A first-time DUI has serious consequences. For prompt assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney, contact Stringini & Garvey, P.C. at 630-834-9595. Se habla Español.