Since Illinois implemented drunk driving laws in 1997, the number of DUI or ‘driving under the influence’ incidents have increased. According to statistics, in 2017, the police arrested 27,046 people for DUI in Illinois, with Chicago leading with the highest number of DUI arrests followed by Rockford.
Getting arrested for DUI in Chicago can lead to serious consequences, including loss of driving privileges, fines, vehicle impoundment, and possible jail time. For instance, if an officer suspects you and performs sobriety tests, and detects a BAC level of 0.08 or higher, they can immediately suspend the driver’s license. 91% of people arrested in Illinois for DUI lost their driving privileges.
Therefore, if you are charged with a DUI in Chicago, it’s often best to immediately seek the legal counsel of DUI lawyer Chicago IL to review your case’s facts and ensure your rights are protected. Here are some reasons why you should consider hiring a DUI lawyer in chi-town:
1. Navigate Through Complex DUI laws in Illinois
Illinois is an implied consent state which means that if you are driving on Illinois roads or highways, you cannot deny taking sobriety tests. Depending on the extenuating circumstances, a denial can result in a statutory license suspension or even revocation. This means that a hearing of your case can take place only after the statutory or immediate action.
Even if the officer finds you with a BAC level of 0.05 to 0.08, they can give you a citation depending on how impaired the driver is behind the wheels. In addition to legal complexities, the potential penalties are also harsh, and a conviction can appear in your permanent record even if you avoided jail time.
2. Thorough Knowledge of Legal Procedures and Protocols in Illinois
Following a DUI charge in Chicago, your driver’s license may be automatically suspended for 46 days after your arrest. Subsequently, you are entitled to a hearing to fight the suspension, charges, and penalties, and according to the protocols, there is a time limit to file a petition.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Chicago, schedule your initial consultation with a DUI lawyer Chicago IL, and don’t wait to file a petition. If you fail to adhere to the deadlines and documents are not filed according to the procedures, you may not get a chance to defend your case.
3. They Know the Court Process
Whether you are assigned to Daley Center, Skokie, Bridgeview, Markham, or Maywood courthouse in Chicago, a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago would be familiar with the courtroom and the judges with a good working relationship.
They know which questions to interrogate you and the state’s witnesses to point out your case’s merits and shortcomings in the prosecution’s case. The sooner you contact a DUI attorney, the better they will help you strategize a good defense for the courtroom.
4. Access to Experts
DUI charges are based on sobriety tests, including breath analyzer and other chemical tests that ascertain the BAC levels. In many cases, the test results could be faulty and often need experts who can testify and suppress the DUI evidence. Experienced DUI IL Lawyers have access to a wide range of resources and experts that can help you dismiss your DUI charges.
5. Favourable Plea Deal
The best DUI lawyer Chicago IL also knows how to minimize your penalties as they have handled several local DUI cases. They can help you obtain a favourable plea deal in the following ways:
- Reducing your DUI charges to reckless driving or less-serious charges
- Obtaining probationary time than conviction
- Chances of penalty reduction
- Avoid black-mark of conviction
In Chicago, a majority of drivers arrested for DUI are first-time offenders. If you are convicted of DUI in Chicago, the most crucial step you can take is to hire an experienced DUI lawyer Chicago IL to represent you. In addition to the above reasons, having a lawyer by your side can offer you peace of mind that your case is in safe hands.