A drunk driving arrest could lead to jail time, fines, insurance increases, and even loss of employment. You will also be looking at a license suspension if not a revocation. You may find yourself hit with high court costs, fees, and other penalties. Even if you don't lose your job, your future employability may be impacted by your criminal record. This article will outline 6 important steps you should take after a DUI in Wheaton.
A criminal defense attorney at Dohman law is available to walk you through your legal options throughout your case and your criminal trial. A drunk driving charge can get your driving privileges suspended or revoked. Contact us today for a free case consultation.
Some counties may allow you to be released immediately provided you have someone to pick you up and your bail is paid, while others may require you to stay overnight to sober up. In either case, the first thing you should focus on after being arrested for a DUI is finding a ride home. In Illinois, this can often be a simple matter, as the statutory summary suspension doesn't kick in until 46 days after your arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. Try to get a copy of the report filed by the police officer who arrested you, you will need this if you choose to fight your charges.
You'll receive a copy of your citation before leaving the jail. It usually contains some basic details such as the name of the arresting officer, the time and location where the arrest occurred, the charges, and your court date. Under no circumstances should you lose, forget, or ignore this court date. Make a note of the date and time of your DUI court appearance somewhere that you will remember it as soon as you get home. Immediately after you get home, record the date and time of your court appearance on your calendar. Remember to contact your work to let them know you will need that time off and make sure you clear your calendar of any conflicts on that day.
Most attorneys will tell you that 100% of DUI cases require an experienced DUI attorney to guide you through your hearing, but this is not quite true. Many DUI cases are straightforward, and the majority of judges will simply consider your blood alcohol content (BAC) as sufficient evidence to secure your conviction. On top of this, DUI laws are constantly changing and being updated to allow less wiggle room to avoid a conviction and the penalties that come with it.
There are, however, situations in which having a talented Wheaton DUI lawyer can be extremely beneficial. The first and clearest is if you intend to plead not guilty during your hearing. Having a professional with trial experience will always be a better plan than trying to represent yourself in court. Likewise, if you have reason to believe that the breathalyzer machine was not operated correctly, or if you failed a field sobriety test while you were sober, then you will need a lawyer to help you build your case and manage your defense options.
A lawyer may also help guide you through the steps we cover in this article, as well as others that are not addressed, to ensure that your case proceeds as smoothly as it can. Even if you decide to plead guilty and accept your DUI conviction, the guidance of a qualified attorney can help you to complete the steps you need to take sooner and with fewer mistakes. This will allow you to get your driving privileges back more quickly than you are able to manage on your own.
Think through your case and decide if hiring a DUI attorney is the right move for you, and keep in mind that if you decide a lawyer is the right way forward, you will want to add a qualified one to your trial team as soon as possible.
While your license will still be valid for 45 days after your arrest, the process of getting it restored can take considerably longer. With this in mind, you should begin making arrangements as soon as possible to figure out your transportation moving forward. If granted by the judge, sometimes a hardship license allows you to drive yourself to where you need to go, such as school or work, while your license is suspended. If you cannot get one you'll either need to find a ride somewhere, or figure out the local bus/train schedule yourself.
Your court appearance will obviously take different levels of preparation depending on what you intend to do. If you choose to plead guilty, you simply need to look presentable and bring the required paperwork to the courthouse with you. If you intend to plead not guilty, there will be much more work to do before your trial date, much of which should be handled by an experienced DUI lawyer. This can include recording your account of the arrest and the events leading up to it, testimonies from witnesses, investigating possible flaws with the breathalyzer device or chemical testing methods, or how the chain of evidence was handled by law enforcement officials.
If your driver’s license has been revoked or suspended for any reason, you should begin investigating SR-22 insurance. Reach out to our insurance agency to find out what to expect from your new insurance rates. You'll need to be prepared for an increase in your insurance premium, often by a significant amount, and for your rate to stay elevated for some time moving forward.
After your court appearance, there will be many more steps for you to take, and it is critical that you follow through with whatever classes, probationary periods, or other requirements are assigned to you at your hearing. You may want to contact an experienced DUI lawyer to assist you with these extras.
If you are facing a drunk driving charge you will find yourself dealing with a long list of issues and requirements that you must meet. Keep in mind that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can result in either a misdemeanor or felony charge, jail time, an automatic suspension of your driving privileges, and more. It may be in your best interest to hire an experienced Illinois DUI attorney to handle your case, ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible, and guide you through both the trial and license reinstatement processes.
At Dohman Law, our DuPage County DUI attorneys can help you manage your case and build an aggressive defense for your trial while working to reverse your license suspension. We will fight to protect your rights and get the best possible resolution for your case. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for