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Illinois law is very strict when it comes to penalties for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), so it is very important that you do not go through the legal process without an experienced Evanston DUI lawyer. Even if it is your first DUI offense, you can be facing serious penalties including jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, community service, forfeiture of your vehicle, suspension of your driver's license, and alcohol/substance abuse treatment. Additionally, a DUI can also impact your auto insurance rates, employment, admission into a graduate school, etc.
With such serious consequences, it is absolutely essential for you to have an Evanston DUI lawyer that understands the laws, the courts, and the judicial process. As a former Cook County Assistant State's Attorney who prosecuted hundreds of DUIs, Ms. Cohen not only brings you 20 years of experience, but also the care, skill and judgment to find any loopholes and beat your DUI charge.
Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, (625 ILCS 11-501), also referred to as DUI, is a common charge in Illinois. Many people believe they are capable to legally drive after consuming a drink or two or after ingesting marijuana. However, if a police officer pulls you over in Illinois after you consumed any alcohol or drugs, you are at risk for being charged with a DUI. It does not matter if you don’t feel buzzed, only had "two" drinks or if you barely smoked any weed - the police officer is able to make observations about your driving abilities, your behavior and demeanor, and your physical appearance in order to determine if you appear to be impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. A DUI can follow and haunt you for the rest of your life, so make sure you have the best Evanston DUI lawyer ready to defend your rights.
After an officer pulls you over for a DUI, the officer determines whether he or she will request that you perform what are known as field sobriety tests (FSTs) and/or a breathalyzer test. You have a right to refuse either or both tests, but you must understand that the officer can still arrest you for a DUI even if you refuse both tests. If you are arrested, do not make any admissions or comments. Ask to use your phone call to connect to Evanston DUI Attorney Debbie Cohen.
Following a DUI arrest, you will be released on a bond and given a court date for the criminal charge of DUI. You will also be given a form that notifies you that the Illinois Secretary of State will be suspending your driver’s license 46 days after your arrest. It is important to recognize that a DUI has these two separate components, one the criminal charge and one the license suspension, each with its own procedures. In regards to your license suspension, you will have 90 days to file what is called a “Petition to Rescind” (overrule) your driver’s license suspension. The State must be ready to conduct a hearing on your driver’s license privileges within 30 days of the filing of your Petition or on the first court date. If the State fails to conduct the hearing, your Petition will typically be granted and your driving privileges will be reinstated.
If you lose your driving privileges and are a first time DUI offender, you can apply for what's called a "Monitoring Device Driving Permit" (MDDP). This is a permit that allows you to drive while your license is suspended. If you are approved for a MDDP, a machine will be installed in your vehicle which requires you to randomly submit to breath tests while you are operating the vehicle. If the device measures any presence of alcohol on your breath, the device will notify the company monitoring your device and the car will ultimately be shut down.
Regarding the criminal charge of DUI, the State has the burden to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Illinois law is very strict when it comes to penalties for a DUI. A first DUI is typically a misdemeanor that carries up to one year in jail and up to $2,500.00 in fines. In addition, you may be responsible to participate in alcohol/substance abuse treatment, pay treatment and court fees, perform community service, and remain under the Court's jurisdiction for years. There are circumstances when a first DUI may be upgraded to a felony charge of DUI, such as if you are charged with a DUI while: transporting a child under the age of 16, driving without a valid driver's license, or charged with causing serious bodily injury or death. Illinois law does not look favorably on multiple DUI offenses and therefore, each time you are arrested for a DUI, the potential sentence increases. If you are charged with a third DUI or more, you will automatically be charged with a felony offense, which can result in a lengthy prison sentence.
You must speak to an experienced Illinois DUI attorney about your matter and any possible defenses to your case. As a former Assistant State's Attorney who prosecuted hundreds of DUIs, Ms. Cohen combines 20 years of experience with her unique care, skill and judgment to beat your DUI charge. Protect yourself and do not allow one mistake, one moment of bad judgment, one moment of drunken stupor or an unsubstantiated charge to haunt you for the rest of your life. Contact Evanston DUI attorney Debbie Cohen now so she can begin preparing your DUI defense and fight for you.
As a former Assistant State's Attorney who prosecuted hundreds of DUIs, Ms. Cohen not only brings you 20 years of experience, but also the care, skill and judgment in beating your driving under the influence charge. Protect yourself and do not allow one mistake, one moment of bad judgment, drunken stupor or an unsubstantiated charge to haunt you for the rest of your life. Speak to an experienced DUI attorney about your matter and any possible defenses to your case. Contact Evanston DUI lawyer Debbie Cohen now so she can begin preparing your DUI defense and fight for you.