Many falsely assume that a first offense DUI will equate to a slap on the wrist, with very light consequences. However, this is far from the truth. A DUI charge, even for a first offense, can impact the rest of your life. As such, understanding the consequences you can face when arrested for a DUI is vital. The following blog explores what you should know about these charges and how a Peoria DUI lawyer can help you navigate the criminal charges you’re facing.
Generally, anyone operating a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% is above the legal limit for driving with alcohol in their system and will face a DUI charge. It is essential to understand any amount of alcohol in your system can warrant a DUI charge if the police believe it impacts your ability to safely drive.
It’s also important to note that DUI charges are not exclusive to alcohol. If you are under the influence of drugs, whether illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter, and you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, it can warrant a DUI charge.
A first offense DUI is generally charged as a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. This carries a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in prison. Additionally, you can face fines and fees, mandatory rehabilitation, substance abuse counseling, higher insurance premiums, and the suspension or revocation of your license.
It’s also essential to note that there are aggravating factors that can impact the severity of the charges you face. If charged with a first offense DUI, and there was a minor in the vehicle, the minimum fine is $1,000.You also must participate in twenty-five days of a child-centered community service program. If your BAC is double the legal limit or higher (0.16%+), you must complete one hundred hours of community service.
Though it may not seem like there are any potential defenses for a DUI charge, your attorney will examine the details of your case to explore all possible avenues.
One possible defense is to prove the stop was a violation of your rights. For law enforcement to pull you over, they must have legal justification that an office has been or is being committed. If there is no probable cause, this constitutes an illegal search and seizure, and your attorney may be able to have the evidence collected during the stop deemed inadmissible.
Another possible defense is that the breathalyzer used to detect the levels of alcohol in your bloodstream was not functioning properly. If the device is defective, the test is not administered properly, or the device has not been calibrated properly, it can skew the results of the test.
Though it may not seem serious, a DUI will remain on your record forever, as these convictions cannot be expunged from your criminal record. As such, it’s essential to do everything possible to fight for the best outcome. This includes contacting an experienced attorney from Giraudo Law. We understand that these charges can be anxiety-inducing. As such, we will do everything possible to fight for you. Contact our firm today to learn how we’ve helped others across Illinois and how we can represent you.