A DUI in Illinois is a serious criminal offense that involves driving or being in control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating substances such as drugs or alcohol.
If you’ve been arrested and are facing DUI charges in Lake County, Illinois, or elsewhere in the state, you risk going to prison and losing your driver’s license, among other penalties, if convicted.
The good news is that a DUI arrest does not mean you’re guilty. However, whether or not you can overcome your charges and avoid a conviction to a large extent depends on how well you’re able to defend yourself during your trial. To make the most out of the opportunity you’ve been given, it is important that you get a skilled Lake County DUI lawyer to represent you throughout your case.
Our battle-ready Lake County DUI defense lawyers at Hirsch Law Group are prepared to defend you fiercely throughout your trial and work to steer your case toward a positive outcome. In the meantime, we discuss how DUI cases work in Lake County, Illinois, to help you understand what you’re up against as you prepare for your trial.
Keep reading to learn more.
Under Illinois DUI law, a DUI is committed if a person drives or is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle;
With an alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 grams per 100 milliliters of blood or 0.08 grams per 210 liters of breath in their body
Under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicating substance or a combination of them to the extent that they are unable to drive safely
With any amount of a controlled substance, such as methamphetamine, in the person’s bloodstream.
A DUI would also occur if a person tests positive for cannabis in their blood or any bodily substance within two hours of driving or being in actual control of a vehicle unless the person;
Is a licensed patient under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act
Has a valid registry card issued under that Act.
However, even if a person is licensed to use cannabis or is legally entitled to use alcohol or any other intoxicating substance, perhaps due to their health or for any other reason, they would still be liable for a DUI offense if the substance is shown to impair their driving.
Most DUI cases usually begin at traffic stops. When a law enforcement officer observes a person’s erratic driving behavior or otherwise has probable cause to suspect that the driver is intoxicated, they would ask them to take some tests to determine whether they are driving under the influence of any substance.
Under Illinois law, a DUI may be established by a chemical test of the suspect’s blood, urine, breath, or any other bodily substance. Law enforcement officers are also permitted to administer standardized field sobriety tests to assess the physical and cognitive functions of the suspect. The results of these tests would determine whether or not DUI charges would be filed against the person involved.
However, there are rules governing the administration of these tests, and if those rules are not followed, it could lead to inaccurate results.
Suppose you’ve been charged based on such tests. In that case, our Lake County Criminal Defense Lawyers can evaluate the circumstances in which the tests were administered and ensure that the proper procedure was followed. If there’s any discrepancy or any rule was breached, we can use that to destroy the case against you.
If you get arrested for a DUI, you’ll be taken to the police station, where your information and fingerprints will be recorded.
A court date would be scheduled where your charges would be formally presented. During the proceedings, you may enter a plea (guilty, not guilty, or no contest). If you plead guilty at this stage, the court may proceed to issue a sentence.
But if you plead not guilty, your case will proceed to trial, where the prosecution would be required to prove the case against you beyond reasonable doubt. This is when you’ll need to counter the prosecution’s case and evidence against you by providing evidence of your own or showing the jury that the prosecution’s evidence is unreliable so they can decide in your favor.
Having a lawyer at this point is critical and might just mean the difference between a successful defense and a conviction.
DUIs in Illinois are generally classified as misdemeanors. Upon conviction, a misdemeanor DUI is punishable by;
Imprisonment for up to a year
Suspension of driving privileges.
However, the offense becomes a felony called aggravated DUI with more severe penalties, including imprisonment for more than a year if certain factors were present when the offense was committed. Some of those factors include the following:
The present charge is the person’s third or subsequent DUI violation
The DUI resulted in a vehicle crash that caused serious bodily injury, permanent disability, or disfigurement to another.
A DUI conviction in Illinois cannot be expunged or removed from your criminal record. That means it’ll appear on background checks conducted by third parties, including potential employers. This could make it difficult for you to get a job and achieve your goals in life.
That is why you need to do all you can to avoid a conviction in the first place, which includes seeking legal help and representation from a DUI attorney.
At Hirsch Law Group, we understand the difficulty and anxiety that comes with Getting a DUI in Illinois, especially given the above penalties. That is why we are dedicated to representing people in your position and providing them with the legal resources they need to overcome their charges.
Here are some of the specific ways we can help to improve your chances of success throughout your case;
We can assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case and help you prepare an appropriate defense strategy.
We can review your case’s details to gather more evidence that might benefit your case. This includes scrutinizing the circumstances of your arrest and how your blood or breath tests were conducted.
Depending on the circumstances, we can negotiate a plea bargain on your behalf with the prosecution and ensure that the terms of the agreement are in your best interest.
We can represent you during your trial, present evidence, and cross-examine witnesses to solidify your defense and puncture the prosecution’s case against you.
Our goal as experienced Criminal Lawyers is to ensure that you emerge from your trial with as minimal liability as possible. As such, you can rely on us to fight for you and help steer your case toward a positive conclusion.
With DUI charges, the stakes are high because there’s no option for expungement if convicted. So whether your DUI charge is a misdemeanor or felony, you must give it the attention it deserves and fight to avoid a conviction and its attendant consequences.
Our fierce DUI lawyers at Hirsch Law Group have many years of criminal defense experience with DUIs and other criminal cases. We know how DUI Laws in Illinois work, and even though the outcome of a criminal case is never guaranteed, we may be able to improve the odds in your favor with our extensive knowledge and experience.
Contact our law office today if you have questions about your DUI case. Let us help you take the next steps and prepare for your defense.