Are you facing a possible DUI Charge in Highland, IL? Is it your first time dealing with law enforcement? In many instances, those who are facing a DUI charge simply made a mistake. This mistake is that they got a little too intoxicated, and then got behind the wheel of a vehicle. A result of this mistake can have you facing legal consequences for the first time in your life. It is common for people to become overwhelmed in this situation, as you do not know what is up ahead for you. However, in this post, we discuss what kinds of penalties you could be facing, and why getting a DUI attorney is vital for your case.
Possible Penalties for First-Time Convictions
There is some good news when it comes to a first-time DUI offense. If your DUI charge was not a felony, such as it being an aggravated DUI, then your penalties will be much less severe. The bad news however is that you will still have to deal with the consequences of having a DUI. This can seriously impact your life for the next several months, to even years. Here are some possible consequences you could face:
- Permanent Record: A DUI charge will become permanently marked on your Illinois driving record. Any conviction may be put into consideration when they judge determines your sentence. There is a 20-year lookback period for a second DUI driver’s license revocation.
- Alcohol/Substance Abuse Classes: There is no mandate that says you have to enroll in a substance or alcohol abuse course for a first-time offense. However, your judge may decide that you have to attend one anyway. This is sometimes in lieu of another penalty such as jail time, or a reduced license suspension. Attendance will then become mandatory and tracked by the DMV for the required amount of time you must attend.
- Fines: This is the one that gets people most of the time. The minimum fine for a first-time DUI Charge in Illinois is $500 if your BAC was .16% or more. However, if you were also transporting someone under 16 years of age the minimum fine is $1,000. The maximum for a first-time conviction in Illinois is $2,500. This however does not include court costs, surcharges, and other possible expenses that are associated with your case. You could easily find yourself owing thousands of dollars, which is a huge expense.
- License Suspension: If you are convicted of a DUI, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for 180 days. You will most likely be able to apply for a restricted or hardship driver’s license during your suspension which will restore some of your driving privileges. However, if you do not submit to a blood-alcohol test, your license will automatically be suspended for one year.
- Jail Time: There is only a minimum jail sentence if you had a passenger in the car that was under the age of 16 years old. That minimum jail time is 6 months. However, there is usually no minimum jail time involved if you do not have a minor in the car. If you argue your case well, you could avoid going to jail all together. There is a possibility that you could face up to 365 days of jail time maximum if you do not have an attorney properly representing you.
If you are facing a DUI charge, make sure you have the best legal counsel you can get by calling us at Elovitz Law Office. Getting a DUI can be hard for anyone, so make sure you are being represented by the best by giving our team a call today!