What happens after your first DUI in Illinois?
Being arrested for a first-time DUI in Illinois is a frightening experience, and can leave you wondering what happens after your first DUI in Illinois? In short, you face both administrative and criminal penalties that may include jail time, up to $2,500 in fines, and license suspension. A first DUI is considered a Class A misdemeanor; but if someone is harmed, even a first DUI may be classified as a felony. If you are convicted, there will be additional consequences — your insurance premiums will rise and it may affect your job and educational opportunities and career.
This is not something you can fight on your own. You need the help of an experienced Illinois DUI defense attorney who is aware of legitimate defenses to DUI charges and knows how to plea bargain to get your sentence lessened or even dismissed.
The skilled and seasoned Illinois DUI defense attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are aggressive litigators and thoroughly understand the courts and the law. We offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your individual DUI situation, so call our offices or contact us online today.
What is a DUI in Illinois?
Illinois defines “Driving Under the Influence” as operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, other drugs (including those prescribed for medical purposes), or intoxicating compounds and methamphetamine. You are considered to be under the influence if you have a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more or if you have used any illegal substance or are impaired by medication. You may also be convicted with a BAC between .05 and .08 if additional evidence shows you were impaired.
For drivers under 21, any amount of alcohol in the blood can lead to a DUI. For drivers of commercial vehicles, the limit is 0.04 percent.
What Happens after Your First Illinois DUI Offense?
If you were pulled over by a police officer who has probable cause to believe you are intoxicated, the law considers that you have consented to providing a blood, urine, or breath sample to determine whether you were over the legal limit. Since tests must be given as soon as possible, many are given right in the field. Others may be given if you are taken into police custody.
You have the right to refuse to take a roadside sobriety or preliminary breath test; but if you refuse to give a blood, urine, or breath sample once you’re in police custody, you will face an automatic administrative license suspension. You will also face confiscation and suspension of your driver’s license if you fail a field sobriety test, record a BAC level over the legal limit, or refuse to take a breath test — and this is independent of criminal court proceedings. In many Illinois counties, you are subject to having your blood drawn if you won’t submit to a breath screening.
If you are charged with DUI, you will be given a date for a court appearance. It is important to have an experienced DUI attorney with you, as an attorney can make a major difference in many DUI situations, especially if your case involved “aggravating circumstances” such as property damages, injuries, or endangerment of a child.
Here are some additional reasons why an attorney can help:
- Your attorney can file a petition against suspension of your driver’s license; and even if you lose the petition, your attorney may get you permission to drive with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device.
- Your attorney can obtain and evaluate the evidence against you and may be able to bring motions that benefit you, including petitioning the court to have the arrest thrown out if there is probable cause to do so.
- Your attorney can advise you on whether you should plea bargain or take your case to trial.
- Your attorneys can help get you off if you weren’t drinking but somehow failed the field sobriety test or the breath test.
- Your attorney can make sure you are prepared to go to court, complete requirements prior to your court appearance, file proper forms, and complete any required alcohol education or treatment programs.
What are Penalties?
There are a range of penalties for a first-offense DUI in Illinois, and sentencing will vary depending on the circumstances of your case.
1) Administrative license-related penalties — An Illinois first offense results in license suspension of six months, and may be more if great bodily harm was caused. Your license may be suspended for one year for refusing or failing to complete a sobriety test.
A first offender may be issued an MDDP Monitoring device driving permit — if the car is equipped with a breath-alcohol ignition interlock device. Drivers who refused chemical testing aren’t eligible for the permit.
2) Criminal Penalties – A DUI is a class A misdemeanor, and conviction penalties include the possibility of court supervision, a suspended license, fines of up to $2,500, and up to one year in jail. First-time offenders face a mandatory suspension of their driver’s license and having a Breath-Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) with a camera unit installed on their vehicles.
Community service will be imposed for first DUI convictions for a first-time offender whose BAC was .16% or who had a passenger under the age of 16 years.
All DUI offenders must complete an evaluation to see whether there is a substance abuse problem and may have to undergo recommended treatment.
Put Your Trust In Us — Contact Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. for a Free Consultation.
Once a DUI conviction is on your record, it is almost impossible to get it removed. If you are facing first-time DUI charges, you need the help of an experienced attorney to help you avoid conviction.
The seasoned Illinois DUI attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. know the courts and the system and that there are aspects of DUI charges that may lead to a dismissal or result in a lesser offense or penalty. We are aggressive litigators and will work with you to investigate and fully understand the facts of your case and be your strong advocate in the courtroom. We will make sure you complete requirements and forms and are properly prepared to go to court.
Delaying can only make your situation worse, so call or contact us online today for your free initial consultation.