Arlington Heights Attorney for First Time DUI
First DUI Lawyer in Skokie, Rolling Meadows, Waukegan, Schaumburg, and Across Illinois
Once considered to be little more than a serious traffic ticket, a first-time DUI is now one of the most serious misdemeanors in Illinois. It can even be charged as a felony if certain aggravating circumstances are present. While substantial jail time may be involved, the most serious penalties are financial. In fact, the State estimates that both the direct and indirect costs of a first-time DUI amount to nearly $17,000.
Especially in a DUI prosecution, an experienced attorney makes all the difference. Scott F. Anderson has been defending accused persons in and around Cook County for over 25 years. He carefully examines the case from every possible angle, to find the flaw in the states evidence that is almost always there. Mr. Anderson continues that assertive approach all the way through trial, to help ensure results that exceed your expectations.
DUI Penalties in Illinois
If convicted of a first offense, the court will impose up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Common aggravating circumstances and penalties include a BAC of at least .16 ($500 fine and 100 hours community service), passenger under 16 (up to six months additional jail time, minimum $500 fine and 25 days community service), and a crash with a child under 16 (charged as a Class 4 felony). The fines do not include court costs, such as probation fees, ignition interlock device monitoring fees, and drivers license reinstatement fees.
In addition to lost wages from appearing for court dates and performing community service, the largest indirect cost is probably higher auto insurance rates. Most drivers see their premiums increase a minimum of 50 percent for at least three years. Most drivers are actually unable to obtain traditional insurance and must drive with even more expensive high-risk insurance.
Drunk Driving Defense
Essentially, there are two ways to prove intoxication in court. Each method has its own set of effective defenses:
- Intoxication can mean a BAC of at least .08 due to alcohol, a controlled substance, or some combination. The breath test is far from absolutely reliable. In many cases, a defense attorney partners with an expert witness to help the jury better understand just how flawed these instruments are.
- If there is no test, the prosecutor must rely on physical evidence. Many times, this evidence primarily consists of the field tests, like the walk and turn (walking a straight line), one leg stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus tests. Although the officer nearly always testifies that the defendant failed the tests, the final decision is up to the jury.
To avoid some or all of the serious consequences that come with a first time DUI conviction, contact Attorney Scott F. Anderson today at 847-253-3400 for a free consultation. After-hours and weekend appointments are available upon request.