If you find yourself charged with a DUI offense, you’re hardly in a unique circumstance—in DuPage County alone, 2,850 drivers were arrested for a DUI in 2016, with another 1,147 in Kane County. The state’s population center of Cook County, of course, leads Illinois with 8,446—almost 30 percent of the state’s total of 29,528.
If you number among these drivers, contact an experienced lawyer as soon as you possibly can. A lawyer can help many ways, from streamlining the process and negotiating a good plea deal on your behalf to representing you before a judge in the courtroom, if necessary.
When you are looking for an attorney to represent you in your DUI case, you want someone who regularly takes DUI cases to court—and who has a good reputation and track record of success. The skilled DuPage, Kane, and Cook County, Illinois, DUI lawyers at Martin & Kent, L.L.C., regularly handle DUI matters in the courtroom and have a thorough knowledge of DUI laws in the state. Our experienced legal team can present all of your legal options to you in clear, easy-to-understand terms, and assist you with making an informed decision about moving forward.
Complexity of Illinois DUI Laws
One important reason to hire an experienced DUI lawyer to represent you is the complexity of DUI laws in Illinois. In Illinois, if you are operating a motor vehicle and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more, you can be arrested for DUI. Even if your BAC is found to be between 0.05 percent and 0.08 percent, a police officer can still give you a citation if you appear to be impaired while behind the wheel.
In addition to these legal limits, exceptions apply to minors and commercial vehicle drivers, including commercial truck drivers, who operate their vehicles while impaired.
In addition to the legal complexities associated with Illinois DUIs, the potential penalties are equally harsh and complex. If you are convicted for DUI, you can be incarcerated, lose your driver’s license for a period of time, or have your vehicle impounded. Moreover, a DUI conviction will result in a criminal record which can bring with it additional personal and professional consequences.
Access to Experts
Many DUI cases are based on results obtained from a Breathalyzer machine and other chemical tests. In some instances, Breathalyzer machines and chemical testing methods are faulty, and defense lawyers are able to have the DUI evidence suppressed. This often necessitates the use of an expert witness at trial.
Experienced DuPage, Kane, and Cook County, Illinois, DUI lawyers typically have a wide range of experts at their disposal who can testify on your behalf at a criminal DUI trial. If the expert is able to show that testing protocols were not followed or that the testing methods were inaccurate or improper, you may be eligible to have your DUI case dismissed.
Knowledge of Illinois Legal Procedures and Protocols
Every criminal case has legal procedures and protocols that must be adhered to. Illinois DUI cases are no exception. These protocols oftentimes involve meeting certain court deadlines (including filing deadlines) and filing certain documents (including motions to suppress certain pieces of evidence). If these deadlines are not met and documents are not filed in a timely manner, your case could be significantly delayed. In a worst-case scenario, the court could throw out your case on a technicality, depending upon the circumstances.
A criminal defense lawyer will also be experienced in the courtroom and will know which questions to ask you on direct examination. A good lawyer will also be able to effectively cross-examine the state’s witnesses—including police officers and investigators—and point out defects and shortcomings in the prosecution’s case.
Retain a knowledgeable DuPage, Kane, or Cook County, Illinois, DUI lawyer as early on in the process as possible. A lawyer needs time to review all of the facts and circumstances of your case—as well as the circumstances of your arrest—in order to begin formulating a good legal defense for the courtroom. Moreover, if you delay in seeking legal representation and you show up to court alone, a judge can theoretically assume that you do not wish to be represented by an attorney. The judge could then make you proceed forward with your case alone.
Ability to Obtain a Good Plea Deal
A good DUI defense lawyer in DuPage, Kane, or Cook County, Illinois, may also work with the prosecutor assigned to your case and help you obtain a favorable plea deal. Experienced DUI defense lawyers who have handled enough cases usually have good working relationships with the judges and prosecutors who also handle these matters. A defense lawyer may be able to accomplish the following by way of a favorable plea deal:
- Reducing your criminal DUI charge down to a reckless driving charge or some other less-serious offense that carries lesser penalties
- Obtaining a period of criminal probation for you, instead of incarceration or other penalties
- Obtaining a penalty reduction on your behalf
A term of probation can be especially beneficial, as it technically avoids the black mark of a conviction on your criminal record. It also allows time for self-rehabilitation while completing the probationary terms.
Contact a DuPage, Kane, or Cook County, Illinois, DUI Lawyer Today
If you have been charged with DUI in Illinois, the single most important legal step you can take is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you. In addition to the benefits of legal representation listed above, having an experienced DUI defense lawyer in your corner can offer you peace of mind, leaving you secure in the knowledge that your case is in good hands.
The DuPage, Kane, or Cook County, Illinois, DUI lawyers at Martin & Kent, L.L.C., have an excellent track record of success when it comes to representing people facing criminal DUI charges. Our knowledgeable legal team can offer you thoughtful, result-oriented representation throughout every stage of your case, from your initial arrest all the way up through trial and sentencing.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with an experienced DuPage, Kane, or Cook County, Illinois, DUI lawyer, please call our free 24-hour hotline at (630) 474-8000 today.