In some states, driving under the influence (DUI) is classified as a motor vehicle violation and not a crime. Illinois, however, classifies a DUI as a criminal offense. As a result, a DUI conviction can change your life forever. In addition to jail time, fines, and the loss of your license, you will also be burdened with a criminal record. This will make it extremely difficult to do things you once took for granted.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Chicago it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Contact the Kostopoulos Law Group today to request a free consultation and find out how we can help you fight criminal DUI charges.
DUI Crimes in Chicago
There are two primary ways you can be charged with a DUI in Chicago. The first depends solely on the amount of alcohol in your blood, while the second depends on a combination of your behavior and blood results.
Per Se Intoxication: The first is if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) registers at or above the legal limit of .08 percent. This is known as per se intoxication and will automatically trigger criminal charges.
Elevated BAC and Suspicious Behavior: The second is if your BAC registers between .05 and .08 percent and police have reason to believe that you are intoxicated. In order to be convicted of this kind of a DUI police will have to present additional evidence to back up their belief that you were not fit to drive.
Misdemeanor & Felony DUI
Driving under the influence can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The exact charge will depend on the factors relevant to your specific case.
First and second-time offenders will be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This Class A Misdemeanor is punishable by:
- One year in jail
- $2,500 in criminal fines
- If 21 or older: license revocation for 1 year
- If under 21: license revocation for 2 years
- Court-ordered drug and alcohol treatment
- Community service, and/or
- Installation of a BAIID in your vehicle.
Multiple DUI violations and/or aggravating factors can cause a DUI to be charged as a felony.
Aggravating Factors: Driving under the influence will be Class 4 Felony, punishable by 1-3 years in prison and $25,000 in fines, if:
- You drive with children under the age of 16 in the ar and cause bodily harm
- You cause another person to suffer great bodily harm to, or
- You drive while your license is suspended or revoked.
Multiple Violations: Driving under the influence will be a Class 2 Felony, punishable by 3-7 years in prison and $25,000 in fines, if you cause a fatal accident or this is your third or later offense.
Fighting DUI Charges in Chicago
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Chicago it is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. Your license is at risk of immediate suspension, and failure to act now can have significant consequences. Hiring an attorney right away will allow you to contest the charges and fight to keep your license. The defenses argued by your attorney will help to justify or explain your alleged behavior. When these arguments are successful, the state will have a difficult time building a case against you. Defenses that may be helpful in a DUI case include:
- You were not under the influence of alcohol
- The BAC tests were administered improperly, and
- Police did not have probable cause to administer a traffic stop.
Call the criminal defense attorneys at Kostopoulos Law Group today to learn more about how we can help you fight DUI charges in Chicago. A conviction will change your life forever, so it is important to act quickly. You have the ability to fight DUI charges, and our DUI defense attorneys can help.
Kostopoulos Law Group
125 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 300 A
Chicago, IL 60606