A drunk driving charge is serious, even if it is your first one. Any type of criminal charge is a threat to your future, and you should not underestimate the potential impact of a conviction. If you have DUI charges pending against you, you may consider fighting these charges with the help of an experienced defense attorney.
Illinois has some of the strictest DUI penalties in the country, but you may be able to avoid a conviction. Mitigating penalties and challenging the case against you may be an appropriate response, but you would be wise to seek legal counsel regarding an appropriate defense strategy as soon as possible after an arrest.
Drunk driving penalties in Illinois
Even a first-time drunk driving offense comes with the possibility of serious penalties. With every subsequent DUI, the penalties, fines and potential time in jail increase. If convicted, you may find yourself dealing with some or all of the following consequences:
- Fines as high as $2,500
- Jail time
- Loss of driving privileges
- Mandatory alcohol counseling
- Community service
In addition to the number of previous DUI convictions on your record, other extenuating circumstances could influence the severity of the charges against you, such as:
- A very high blood alcohol content level
- Children in the car at the time of your arrest
- Caused an accident while allegedly intoxicated
- Others suffered serious or fatal injuries due to your actions
Whether it is your very first offense or you are facing the most serious type of DUI charge, your rights remain the same. You retain the right to challenge the case against you and pursue a beneficial outcome with the help of your attorney.
Protect your rights; keep your record clear
It is important to remember that a conviction or plea deal is not your only option. You also have the option to challenge the evidence against you and fight for lesser penalties or a dismissal of all charges. The choices available depend on the individual details of your situation.
From understanding the charges against you to seeking to have your driver's license reinstated, you do not have to face drunk driving charges alone. Your future depends on the strength of your defense, so take quick action to protect your rights and interests.