Every single year thousands of drivers in the state of Illinois are charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. With so many annual arrests, many people assume that a DUI conviction is a fairly minor charge. In all reality, a DUI conviction can impact your life in a significant and long-term way. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it is time to speak with a qualified legal professional.
In the state of Illinois, a DUI conviction constitutes a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, an offender can face fines up to $2,500 as well as a one-year license suspension. It should be noted that there are a number of factors that can lead to a DUI being classified as an aggravated DUI charge. If your DUI is considered aggravated, the charges will be elevated to a felony. An aggravated DUI conviction can result in fines as high as $25,000 and the potential of jail time, depending on the aggravating factor. For instance, if a driver causes great bodily harm to someone while driving under the influence, they can face up to 12 years in prison, and a minimum one-year prison sentence.
For the most part, a DUI conviction will leave a Class A misdemeanor on your permanent record, and cost you your driving privileges for a year. The financial impact of a DUI conviction can be significant. The Secretary of State’s office calculates that the average DUI costs a person upwards of $10,000 when you consider court fees, rises in insurance rates, loss of work hours, potential vehicular damages, and other costs. If convicted, the driver can regain their driving privileges through obtaining a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). In order to drive with an MDDP, one must equip their vehicle with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID), as well as a camera that will allow law enforcement officers to get a visual of the driver. The offender must pay for the installation of the BAIID and the camera.
Outside of the clearcut legal ramifications of a DUI, a conviction of this magnitude on your permanent record can impact your ability to secure housing opportunities, employment, and loans. If you are in the process of divorcing a spouse, a DUI conviction can impact a court’s decision on issues such as child custody.
At J. Aldrich Law, P.C., we firmly believe that no person’s life should be significantly impacted by one bad decision. With that in mind, our firm is dedicated to helping our clients throughout the legal process after a criminal charge. We will do everything in our power to develop a comprehensive defense strategy designed to avoid a conviction or lessen criminal charges. To schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Will County criminal defense attorney, contact us today at 630-953-3000.