Reeder & Brown, P.C.



Joliet Illinois DUI defense attorney

First-Time Driving Under the Influence Offenses in Will County

Drunk driving is a serious risk to public safety, and DUI is one of the highest-priority crimes in Illinois for both law enforcement and state prosecutors. Moreover, over 85 percent of the state's DUI arrestees are first-time offenders. Lengthy probation and possible jail time are just part of the punishments a person may face if they are convicted on DUI charges. The direct and indirect financial penalties, in addition to the extended driver's license restrictions, are arguably much harder on individuals and families than any time behind bars.

The tough lawyers at Reeder & Brown, P.C. fight DUI cases one at a time. We use proven methods to protect your rights when it seems that everyone else wants to trample on them. We work hard to minimize or eliminate the negative consequences of a DUI arrest, and we are not satisfied with anything less than the best possible results.

Drunk Driving Penalties

A first-time DUI is a Class A misdemeanor that carries up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Several enhancements may apply. If the driver had a BAC above .16, there is a mandatory add-on of a $500 fine and 100 hours of community service. If there was a passenger under 16 in the vehicle, there is an additional $1,000 fine and 25 days of community services, as well as up to six months of imprisonment. Other enhancements, such as a car accident in which someone else suffered great bodily harm, raise the crime to felony status.

There are also severe driving restrictions that will affect a person who is charged with DUI. If the operator did not have a valid license or insurance, the state may impound the vehicle. Upon conviction for a first DUI, the state will revoke a person's driver's license for a year. Although drivers may be eligible for relief through a Secretary of State hearing, that relief is not guaranteed and is always limited. Most of the time, a driver will be required to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed in their vehicle. These devices will prevent a person from starting from their vehicle if they have a certain amount of alcohol in their system, and they usually incorporate cameras to ensure that the drivers cannot cheat the system.

Finally, the State estimates the total cost of a DUI to be over $18,000. Much of that expense is due to high-risk auto insurance, which costs about $2,000 a year for at least three years, as well as the lost income due to jail time and/or community service.

DUI Defenses in Illinois

A DUI prosecution starts when the officer pulls over a suspect, and that is also where DUI defenses begin. Officers must have a specific reason to stop a vehicle, and they cannot stop drivers at random. If an officer did not have a valid reason to perform a traffic stop, or if they did not have probable cause to perform an arrest, the procedures they followed may be challenged during a criminal case. If the stop occurred at a DUI checkpoint, an attorney will make sure that officers followed the established procedures to the letter.

If a police officer suspects that a driver is intoxicated, they will often ask the driver to perform field sobriety tests. However, these tests are usually not required. Drivers can refuse to submit to these tests, although in situations where an officer suspects that a driver is under the influence of marijuana, a person may face a driver's license suspension if they refuse or fail to complete field sobriety tests or if the tests indicate that they are impaired due to the use of cannabis. The results of field sobriety tests may be challenged, especially when there are factors other than intoxication that may have caused a person to "fail" a test, such as conditions on the side of the road.

If you have been arrested for a first-time DUI, our experienced attorneys may be able to negotiate with prosecutors and obtain a reduced sentence. If necessary, we can help defend against criminal charges in court, working to ensure that you can avoid a conviction. Our goal is to help you put the case behind you and get back to living your life.

To avoid some or all of the devastating penalties associated with a first DUI, contact Reeder & Brown, P.C. at 815-885-5980. We offer free initial consultations, and we serve clients in Plainfield, Mokena, Frankfort, Crest Hill, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, and throughout Will County and the surrounding areas.

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