Drunk Driving (DUI) Attorneys in Illinois
Driving under the influence (DUI) carries serious consequences in Illinois. If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the Chicago suburban area, Callahan & Hockemeyer, P.C. is here to help. We will devote our knowledge, experience and passion to fighting the charges against you and working toward the best outcome possible.
Drunk Driving Penalties
Even a first offense DUI can carry serious penalties. In addition to the possibility of jail time and a fine of up to $2,500, a first conviction for driving under the influence means a mandatory six month driver’s license suspension.
A DUI conviction can impact your life in many ways beyond the legal consequences as well. For example, your automobile insurance rates may increase significantly, and you may become ineligible for certain types of employment.
Subsequent offenses carry even more serious penalties. A second DUI conviction means mandatory jail time. A third offense is charged as a Class 2 felony, which may mean up to 7 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum of 90 days incarceration.
Other factors may elevate the seriousness of the charges and possible penalties, too. For instance, a DUI will be charged as a felony if the driver:
- Was driving a school bus or vehicle for hire with at least one passenger
- Was involved in an accident causing serious injury
- Was driving on a license suspended or revoked for certain reasons
- Was not licensed to drive
Refusing a breathalyzer or other chemical test to determine the presence of alcohol or other drugs in your system results in a mandatory 12 month driver’s license suspension. You may challenge the suspension on certain very specific grounds. However, such a challenge will not delay the suspension going into effect.
While refusing a breathalyzer test doesn’t carry criminal penalties, you may be charged with DUI after a breath test refusal. Although the state may have a more difficult time proving that you were intoxicated without chemical test results, the prosecution may still decide to proceed with charges on the basis of other evidence. Some common evidence submitted in cases without blood alcohol content evidence includes field sobriety test results, admissions made to the officer at the time of the arrest, and the police officer’s observations.
Fighting DUI Charges
A DUI case may be flawed in many different ways, and we’ll work hard to identify flaws in your case. For example, we’ll determine:
- Whether the officer had reasonable cause to stop your vehicle
- If a field sobriety test was administered, whether the officer was properly trained in the administration of such tests and followed proper procedures
- Whether you were properly advised of your right to refuse the breathalyzer test
- If a breath alcohol test was administered, whether it was properly administered and the equipment was properly calibrated
If you’re facing DUI charges, don’t assume the worst, and don’t assume that a deal offered by the prosecution is the best you can do. Get an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side, to examine the case against you and identify weaknesses that may work in your favor. In some cases, those weaknesses may be significant enough to have the charges dismissed entirely, or to win an acquittal at trial.
Contact us to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help you fight your DUI charge and help you fight for your future.