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If you face a DUI in Chicago, or any of Illinois many cities and counties, you are probably scared of going to jail, losing your licensing, having an ignition interlock device, and a criminal record. You probably feel sick to your stomach about the jeopardy your reputation, and possibly your career and your family’s security, is now in. If you are like many people who face this serious charge, you are probably overwhelmed by the complexity of Illinois DUI law. You are entitled to feel afraid because you are facing a criminal allegation that can cause you severe hardship now, and affect the rest of your career and life.
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Illinois has a very complex sentencing format. Read more about Illinois DUI penalties to see where your case fits in terms of prior DUI history and severity of the current charge. A good attorney can make the difference between having to go to jail or not, or between having a long or short sentence.
In addition to jail time, Illinois drunk driving punishments also involve fines, alcohol classes or treatment, license suspensions and other serious sanctions. Talk with your lawyer about possible “collateral consequences” of your case that might affect your life, including immigration, insurance and professional license and career implications.
There is so much at stake in any Illinois DUI case that you can’t afford not to consult with a seasoned professional before making any important decisions. Fortunately, most good DUI defense lawyers offer a free initial consultation, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Illinois DUI Process: Navigating the criminal court process is scary and challenging no matter what kind of crime you are charged with. Some believe it is even scarier in DUI cases. This is because most people who are accused of impaired driving in Illinois are not criminals, and most are productive citizens with limited or no experience as a “defendant.” Without a good DUI lawyer forcing the Judge and Prosecutor to see you as a unique and individual human being, with a case and future worth really looking at, you are highly likely to get treated as just another defendant and file that has to be processed. A dedicated DUI lawyer with a strong voice in the courtroom and in negotiations can set your case apart from the hundreds of others that are simultaneously being processed through the system.
In addition to the criminal court process which will determine whether you are labeled a “criminal,” or an exonerated person, as well as your sentence if you are convicted or plead guilty or no-contest, you will also need to navigate the civil license suspension process. That means dealing with Illinois Implied Consent law and hearing process. Any attorney you consider hiring to help you should be well versed in the law of ignition interlock devices in Illinois.
When you were arrested, were you given a chemical test for alcohol, drugs or both? Illinois DUI chemical testing is far from foolproof. A good Illinois DUI Lawyer will be on top of the latest issues that might benefit you and your case. If you are not represented you may not learn about internal affairs issues within police departments, evidence contamination issues, breath machine malfunctions and failures, missing or destroyed evidence, missing or retired police officers, and many other things that literally make the difference between conviction and dismissal or acquittal.