What to Know About First-Time DUI in Illinois

 Posted on January 25,2023 in Criminal Law

arlington heights DUI defense lawyerEven as a first offense, a DUI charge is not something to take lightly. It is true that first-time DUI offenses used to be considered little more than a serious traffic violation. However, this is no longer the case. Now, not only is a DUI charge one of the more severe misdemeanors someone can commit, but they are also sometimes even charged as felonies if certain aggravating factors are present in the situation.

It may come as a surprise that the total cost of a first-time DUI, when taking into account both direct and indirect costs, amounts to a whopping $17,000. This is why if you are arrested on a first-time DUI, it is essential you retain the services of a knowledgeable DUI attorney. Doing so will place you in the best position possible to avoid a conviction and move on with your life.

What Are the Penalties for First-Time DUI in Arlington Heights? 

When someone is convicted of a first-offense DUI, the offender may be subject to up to 12 months in prison and a fine of $2,500. It is important to note that the $2,500 does not include court costs, probation fees, or other related costs. The true indirect cost of a DUI is found in the increase in car insurance rates, which can increase by nearly 50 percent in the years following a DUI. 

Furthermore, in cases of a first-time DUI charge, aggravating circumstances such as having a BAC level of .16, which is double the legal limit, or having a passenger under the age of 16, may result in additional penalties and fines. Moreover, suppose you crash your car while under the influence of alcohol and an individual under the age of 16 is present in the vehicle. In that case, your DUI will likely be escalated to a Class 4 felony. 

How Can a DUI Be Proven in Court? 

There are two primary ways to prove in court that a driver was under the influence of alcohol or another controlled substance, or both, at the time they were arrested. These include the following: 

  • The prosecution may contend that the alleged offender is guilty of DUI because their BAC level was above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. However, an astute attorney may argue that breathalyzer tests are not always completely accurate. While they are usually reasonably accurate, even being off by a little can have significant ramifications in a DUI case, a point that an experienced attorney will likely make in court. 

  • In cases with no relevant breathalyzer test, prosecutors may rely heavily on physical evidence. This may include field sobriety tests, like walking in a straight line or standing up on one leg. The police officer will likely argue that the alleged offender failed all of these physical tests. However, an attorney may say their client has some type of physical disability, which may cast doubt that the physical tests administered to the alleged offender were fair or accurate. 

Contact a Rolling Meadows, IL DUI Attorney

For help defending yourself of drunk driving charges, contact the skillful Arlington Heights DUI lawyer at Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law. Call 847-253-3400 for a free consultation.


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