Don't let a Will County DUI charge ruin your life -- there are many options available to you if you are facing a DUI case. For a free legal consultation, contact our criminal defense firm's office to discuss your DUI case at (312) 466-9466.
The urgency of obtaining legal representation for DUI cases is higher than other types of criminal cases, because in some circumstances, the state does not have to maintain every piece of evidence that may ultimately help you win your case.
Our Will County DUI attorney is well-versed in your rights and will move swiftly to make sure that any evidence helpful to your side is protected.
If you have been arrested or charged with DUI in Will County, you are not alone. In 2015, there were 1,532 drivers arrested in Will County for driving under the influence, an increase from 1,429 in 2014. Of all the counties in Illinois, Will County ranks fourth for DUI arrest, falling only behind Cook, DuPage, and Lake counties.
The high rate of DUI arrests and prosecutions in Will County means that judges and prosecutors see DUI cases on a daily basis and are accustomed to aggressively prosecuting these charges. For this reason, it is all the more important to hire a Will County criminal defense attorney who knows the ropes and can advocate on your behalf with a smart, strategic defense.
What constitutes a DUI in Will County? Under Illinois state law, the legal blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is .08. If you are pulled over and your BAC is determined to be above this level, the state is entitled to bring DUI charges against you.
In some cases, it is possible for the state to bring DUI charges even if a driver's BAC is less than .08. For drivers under the age of 21, Illinois has a zero-tolerance policy, which means that a BAC of any level above zero is grounds for arrest.
Additionally, if a driver is pulled over but does not take a breathalyzer test, the authorities can still make an arrest if there is evidence that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs. In this case, subjectivity is more at play and the line is a bit blurrier, which is good news for defendants: it means there is more room to argue against the charges with a well-engineered criminal defense.
In Will County, Illinois law delineates DUI charges into two classes: misdemeanor DUI charges or felony (or aggravated) DUI charges. A misdemeanor DUI can be elevated to a felony charge if, for example, the driver was operating a vehicle without a license. Additional aggravating conditions include being charged with a DUI for a third or subsequent time or driving without insurance. A felony DUI conviction brings harsher penalties and an almost certain revocation of license.
DUI's lesser-known sister crime, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) is another charge the State may bring against a driver who operated a vehicle while impaired by drugs. Under Illinois law, there are several circumstances that qualify as DUID. First,
First, if it is determined that there was "any amount of a drug, substance, or compound in the person's breath, blood, other bodily substance, or urine resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of a controlled substance listed in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, an intoxicating compound listed in the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act, or methamphetamine as listed in the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act." (625 ILCS 5/11(a)(6))
Second, if a driver operated a vehicle under the influence of any drugs to such a degree that rendered that person incapable of driving, he or she may be charged with DUID. In this case, even legal, prescription drugs count.
As reassuring as it would be to know just exactly what punishment your potential DUI conviction could carry, sentencing always depends on the circumstances of the arrest.
DUI convictions carry a range of sentences, and they can vary anywhere from alcohol and drug counseling to jail time. In almost every case a convicted defendant is required to pay thousands of dollars in court costs, fines and fees.
The severity of a sentence depends on several factors, including whether this is a first-time offense, the defendant's Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) at the time of arrest, or whether children were being transported in the vehicle. Additionally, if arrested for DUI while driving with a revoked or suspended license, the penalties can be even more severe.
These factors will influence the harshness or leniency of a sentence, but the most important step you can take to avoid the most serious penalties is to hire a knowledgeable, aggressive Will County criminal defense attorney who is experienced in Illinois DUI criminal defense.
The Will County Sheriff enforces DUI laws strictly and has received grant money from the state for state-of-the art DUI detection equipment. According to the Sheriff's office, deputies have access to 28 Portable Breath Testing Devices which are used to conduct field sobriety tests for suspected DUI offenders. Several Will County Sheriff squad cars are also equipped with video camera systems that are used to videotape the actions of suspects arrested for DUI.
As in other areas of the state, Will County sheriff's deputies administer checkpoints and special DUI patrols, often on holiday weekends. These specifically-engineered policies are designed to snare drivers under the influence during high-traffic moments. Between 2008 and 2013, Will County recorded more than 10,000 DUI citations and caught 715 drunk drivers at DUI checkpoints and special DUI patrols.
A good outcome in a Will County DUI case can be achieved with a good DUI lawyer, favorable DUI case circumstances and the right DUI defense strategy.
Common DUI defense strategies in a Will County DUI case include DUI Arrest Pre-Trial Motions, the "Not the Driver" DUI Defense, the "Alcohol Consumed After Accident" DUI Defense, and the "Not Drunk" DUI Defense.
There are many options. You can plead guilty or you can plead not guilty. Of course, you and your DUI lawyer must also determine if you want to take a Will County DUI case to trial or pursue any of the many alternatives to a DUI trial.
You may be able to avoid a driver license suspension. Jail is not inevitable. A plea deal, or plea bargain as it is often called, to avoid jail may be possible. DUI probation may be in your future. You may get supervision instead. The outcome is not cast in stone.
Even when the facts are against you, smart legal defense tactics are your best chance of getting the best possible outcome. Please get in touch as soon as you can if you need help, for a DUI case, DUID case or for related matters such as violating DUI probation. Regardless of your age -- whether you are under 21 or you are older -- and regardless of whether this is your first DUI, second DUI or even your third DUI, we can help you determine the right approach for your case.
Will County DUI policy emphasizes prevention, and they provide many resources to those who have been arrested for DUI in Will County or who live in Will County and believe they may have issues with alcohol or substance abuse.
Just because Will County has a high rate of DUI prosecution and conviction doesn't mean you need to be the next person to become part of the statistics. The best way to avoid the potentially devastating consequences of a DUI conviction is to hire a Will County DUI lawyer who is well-versed in fighting DUI charges and will pursue a smart and aggressive defense.
We have a long history of defending people accused of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). Call us today at (312) 466-9466 to schedule an in-office consultation.