When an Illinois driver faces drunk driving charges, he or she is facing consequences that can have a serious impact on his or her life. The severity of potential penalties depends on the driver’s criminal history and certain aggravating factors that may be present in the individual case.
Individuals accused of being first-time offenders may not know what to expect from a DUI, and for this reason, they may underestimate the serious nature of their legal situation. No matter what is in your past or what you may assume about your case, a guilty plea or conviction is not the only path available to you. With a strong defense, you may be able to confront the charges against you and potentially mitigate any fines and penalties.
What’s going to happen to me?
When facing a DUI for the first time, you may be unaware of the serious nature of the charges against you. Your personal freedom, your right to drive and your financial well-being are all at stake. For a first-time offender, a conviction can bring the following penalties:
- Fines that could be as high as $2,500
- Time behind bars that could last as long as one year
- At least a one-year loss of your driver’s license
- Possible community service hours
How will you get to work without a driver’s license? What if you cannot afford the expensive fines? It is always prudent to learn about how you can fight back against these types of criminal charges. In some cases, you may be able to reduce the severity of these penalties or avoid them altogether.
You may also find it beneficial to consider the other ways that a DUI can affect your life. It may result in a loss of reputation, professional relationships, career opportunities, educational opportunities and much more. By building and presenting a strong defense, you are not only protecting your freedom and money, you are protecting your future interests as well.
The foundation of a strong defense
There are many ways to defend yourself against DUI charges. From challenging the results of a Breathalyzer to challenging the treatment you received from law enforcement, you may have various options available to you.
Your particular defense strategy will depend on the factors unique to your case. You may lay the foundation of your defense simply by starting with a complete evaluation of your particular situation. This can help you understand your options, your rights and the most appropriate course of action for you.