CHICAGO DUI ATTORNEYS
Chicago Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer
If you or your loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of both – contact our law offices right away. In conjuction with nearly every DUI arrest there are really two cases that require the immediate attention of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Obviously we need to defend against the criminal prosecution which can permanently effect your criminal record and your freedom. There is also a civil case against your driver’s license which is often over looked and may in many cases be more of a problem than the criminal case itself. Whether it be for a refusal to submit to a chemical test or for a failure to pass that test something called a statutory summary suspension accompanies nearly every DUI arrest. The civil suspension of your driver’s license is unrelated to the outcome of your criminal case and it automatically takes effect on the forty-sixth day following your arrest. This clock started running the minute you were processed in the police department. Contact the Law Office of Robert Kerr for a free consultation and turn the tables on the prosecution. Whether it be your first, or your fourth arrest – felony or misdemeanor we take immediate action and use proven tactics to protect your driver’s license and to provide the best defense possible to beat your DUI.
At the Law Office of Robert Kerr, LLC, our attorneys defend clients accused of DUI. We believe in providing the strongest defense possible with the goal of defeating the charge or minimizing the consequences for our clients. To learn about your best options for a positive outcome following a drunk driving arrest in Chicago or the collar counties, contact us for a free consultation.
Success in DUI Cases: Protect Your Record, License and Freedom
Even a first offense for misdemeanor DUI is punishable by up to a year in jail and a suspension of your driving privileges for six months or longer. If you have a commercial driver’s license, the potential consequences are often more severe. Our experience finding the right defense strategies can help protect your rights and driving privileges.
We handle such Illinois DUI charges as:
- First-offense DUI
- Repeat DUI charges, including felonies based on prior DWI convictions from other states
- Vehicular homicide or assault charges related to drunk driving accidents
- Driver’s license suspension, revocation and reinstatement hearings
- DUI charges based on field sobriety test results
- DUI charges based on unreliable blood or breath test evidence
ILLINOIS FIRST DEFENSE DUI DEFENSE ATTORNEYS
Dealing With a First-Time DUI Arrest in Chicago
Even first-time DUI arrests will result in suspended driver’s licenses. We may petition the court to rescind the Statutory Summary Suspension, or in the alternative, issue a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). First time DUI Offenders may be eligible for an MDDP, that would — in conjunction with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) — provide driving relief during Statutory Summary Suspensions.
Our first line of defense in any drunk driving case will be to review the circumstances of your traffic stop and your arrest to see whether there are grounds to argue for the dismissal of your case. Not all traffic stops and subsequent drunk driving arrests are legitimate. The police do not always follow proper procedures. We review every aspect of your case to ensure that your constitutional rights are protected. If we can convince the prosecution or the judge that the arresting officer had no legitimate reason to pull you over or place you under arrest, we might be able to make the entire case against you go away.
If there are no aggravated circumstances like a motor vehicle accident involving personal injury and/or death, lack of insurance, or fleeing and eluding, many first-time DUI defendants will be eligible for supervision, even if the facts of the traffic stop will not support dismissal. A final disposition of supervision is not the same as a conviction, and you will have the opportunity to maintain your driving privileges as the Secretary of State will not receive notice of a DUI conviction. First offenders may also be eligible for relief from mandatory periods of driver’s license suspension.
Although the outcome of supervision represents a good way to avoid the criminal consequences of a first DUI arrest, it will still count as a prior DUI if you are charged again with drunk driving. Supervision is not an option available for resolving a repeat DUI case, and the jail time, driver’s license revocation, and fines are all more severe for repeat offenders than they are on a first DUI conviction.
CHICAGO FELONY DUI DEFENSE LAWYER
Sound Defense Strategies for Repeat or Felony DUI Charges in Illinois
The attorneys at the Law Office of Robert Kerr, LLC, have significant experience in cases involving multiple DUIs, aggravated drunk driving offenses, and other felonies. We often focus on pretrial motions as a way to restrict the state’s ability to utilize certain evidence, with an overriding goal of avoiding incarceration.
There are several ways that a drunk driving case can be charged as a felony instead of a misdemeanor. A DUI arrest with two prior DUI violations — including those from other states — will usually be charged as a felony, which exposes the defendant to the risk of prison, heavy fines and driver’s license revocation. If the arrest took place while the driver had no valid license or auto insurance, even a first DUI arrest can be charged as a felony.
If you need advice about your defense options as a DUI repeat offender, contact the Law Office of Robert Kerr, LLC, in Chicago. With a practice focused exclusively on criminal defense, our attorneys can let you know about the best ways to protect yourself from a felony conviction.
For any drunk driving arrest after the first one, you won’t have access to disposition alternatives like supervision. You’ll have to try to beat the charge through suppression of the evidence, a reduction in charges, or on the merits at trial.
Recent changes in Illinois DUI laws have lengthened the suspension periods for even first offenders in drunk driving cases, and we can review the full range of your defense options to protect your record, avoid punishment and keep your license to drive.
Understanding the Illinois Drunk Driving Laws
Up through 2008, first-time Illinois DUI offenders had the opportunity to apply for a Judicial Driving Permit (JDP) to allow work-related or other essential driving despite the mandatory suspension that followed a drunk driving condition.
The JDP for restricted driving was abolished as part of legislation that went into effect on January 1, 2009. Since that time, the only way to protect your right to drive during a DUI suspension period, other than prevailing in a hearing on our Petition to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension, is to apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). This requires installation and use of a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) that won’t allow you to start your car without first passing a breath test.
Intended to reduce drunk driving, the MDDP system requires drivers themselves to pay the costs of renting and installing the breath alcohol ignition interlock device, or BAIID. This expense is in addition to the other fines and court costs associated with your DUI case, and will typically run an average of more than $100 each month during the permit period. Failure to drive with a BAIID when required is a felony offense with a minimum punishment of 30 days in jail upon conviction.
The DUI laws also call for longer license suspensions upon conviction of a first drunk driving offense. Under the old laws, a first-time DUI defendant faced a 3-month suspension, while refusal to provide a breath or blood test resulted in a 6-month suspension. The current law doubled the length of these suspensions, so that a first offender convicted of DUI can expect to use the BAIID for 6 months.
Possible grounds for a successful DUI defense include lack of probable cause to stop your vehicle and detain you, improper administration of the Breathalyzer and field sobriety tests, biochemical factors, and others. Whenever advisable, we will seek to suppress damaging evidence and witness testimony through the use of pretrial motions.
Chicago DUI Defense Lawyers for Misdemeanor or Felony Charges
Whether you’re concerned about the best ways to protect your license through a petition to rescind a statutory summary suspension order, or you’re facing more serious problems concerning an aggravated DUI or a felony DUI, we can advise you and develop the right defense strategy.
At the Law Office of Robert Kerr, our lawyers evaluate each client’s case to find the weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence and the facts that will favor the defense. Our attention to detail in looking behind the police statements and formal charges can often point the way toward the solution to a difficult defense problem. For example, if the circumstances of your traffic stop indicate that the officer had no reasonable basis for suspecting drunk driving until after you were pulled over, we might have the chance to move for dismissal of the entire case.
For additional information about our DUI defense practice, contact a lawyer at the Law Office of Robert Kerr, LLC, in Chicago.