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In Illinois, a DUI is a serious criminal offense. If you’re convicted, you risk harsh penalties, such as driver’s license suspension, heavy fine payments, and a tarnished driving record. To deal with a DUI charge in Lake County, you need the help of an experienced Waukegan criminal lawyer who can help you determine your legal options while protecting your rights and interests.

The Waukegan DUI lawyers at Dohman Law Group have extensive experience handling various criminal offenses and traffic offenses, including DUI charges. From our Law office in Waukegan, we represent clients throughout and around Lake County, DuPage County, Kane County, Will County, Cook County, and throughout Illinois. We have a strong understanding of Illinois’s DUI laws. We know the probable consequences are daunting, and we are ready to help you preserve your driving freedom as much as possible. To learn more about how our Waukegan DUI criminal defense attorneys can help you, schedule a confidential consultation with us. To secure an appointment, call our criminal defense firm today at (847) 616-9993, or complete our contact form.

Can a Lawyer Help with DUI?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offense in every state. Thus, drunk driving charges are handled in criminal courts. You can choose to represent yourself in a criminal court. But most people hire private DUI lawyers or are represented by a public defender appointed by the court. 

It’s challenging for someone with no legal training or expertise to establish the strengths and weaknesses of a DUI case. DUI law is complex and constantly changing, and the facts of every DUI case are unique. Therefore, getting the opinion of an experienced criminal defense lawyer can be helpful.

Most DUI criminal defense lawyers give potential clients a free consultation. But even though you have to pay a small fee, it’s money well spent. Bring your case documents, such as police reports and medical records, you have to the consultation to make the best use of your time. Also, bring a list of questions you want to be answered, this may be valuable too. 

You don’t have to hire the DUI attorney you consult with. But the face-to-face meeting is a good way to gauge whether things will work out with the lawyer you’re thinking of hiring.

Experienced attorneys who specialize in DUI cases often have a thorough understanding of DUI law and defenses other attorneys might not have. Often, this experience can result in more satisfactory results, including a better plea deal or dismissal of your charges altogether.

Also, having an experienced DUI lawyer by your side can minimize the tie you have to spend in court. With private counsel, you won’t have to appear in court during routine court appearances. As a busy professional, not having to miss work to go to court is a significant perk.

Waukegan DUI charges

Can Police Drop DUI Charges?

Only the criminal court or the prosecutor can drop your DUI criminal charges. The arresting police officer doesn’t have the authority to drop DUI charges once they have been filed. If you’ve been arrested, you’ll be processed, and your case will go before court. Once an arrest is made and criminal charges have been filed with the prosecution, police officers have no jurisdiction over how your case will be processed.

The presiding judge may dismiss your DUI charges based on a mishandling or lack of sufficient evidence against you. Also, the prosecutor may dismiss criminal charges against you based on similar reasons. 

Can a DUI be Reduced?

Often, DUI cases are resolved through plea deals. This is where the defendant agrees to plead guilty or "no contest" to a criminal offense in exchange for leniency from the prosecutor. For example, a DUI plea deal may involve you pleading guilty to a DUI charge in exchange for the prosecutor agreeing to fines and jail time below the allowable maximums. Other times, a plea deal involves the prosecutor dropping the DUI charges and the defendant entering a plea to a less serious charge. If such a deal is for reckless driving, it’s often called a “wet reckless.”

Often, reckless driving involves instances of observably treacherous driving, including weaving through traffic, street racing, or driving at high speeds in areas where there are pedestrians. However, a driver’s intoxication alone is enough to qualify as reckless driving. 

Typically, the prosecution will offer a wet reckless only in cases with substantial mitigating factors or insufficient evidence. Mitigating factors include:

DUI laws vary from state to state, and the facts in each DUI case are unique. Thus, if you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence in Waukegan, contact a qualified Waukegan DUI lawyer in your area. A qualified attorney will explain how the law applies in your case and help you decide how best to proceed with your case to get a favorable outcome.

Is a DUI Going to Ruin My Life?

Being charged with driving under the influence is a big deal, and it can seem like your life is truly over. From the fines, the possible driver’s license suspension or revocation, and the risk of jail time, drunk driving charges can weigh heavily on an individual. However, will a DUI ruin your life? Is your life over after you’ve been charged with drunk driving?

It depends.

While this may come as a surprise, a DUI isn’t always a felony. Often, a first-time DUI offense is only a misdemeanor. Felony charges may apply if you injure or kill someone while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Having a minor in the vehicle while driving under the influence can also lead to a stronger sentence.

Misdemeanors carry less weight on your permanent record than felony offenses. Also, you don’t have to declare misdemeanor offenses on job applications, whereas with felony offenses, you have to.

The fines for drunk driving charges vary from state to state. And dealing with DMV won’t be cheap. These will substantially skyrocket. Thus, to answer whether a DUI will ruin your life, consider if you can afford thousands of dollars in fines and fees at a moment’s notice.

Waukegan DUI arrest

When working with an experienced Waukegan DUI attorney, your fines might be reduced, thus bare this in mind. However, if you aren’t facing DUI charges, ask yourself whether a DUI is worth it.

When you get pulled over by police officers under suspicion of drunk driving, they’ll ask you to take a breathalyzer test. If you blow over 0.08 BAC or refuse to take the test, they’ll take your driver’s license. Then you’ll be given a paper license, which is valid for 45 days. Once the 45 days lapse, your driver’s license will be suspended. You’ll need to schedule a hearing with the MVA within 10 days of your arrest to ensure your license isn’t suspended. How this affects your life depends on how essential driving is to you. For most people, driving is quite essential in maintaining the quality of life and employment. 

The Waukegan criminal defense attorneys at The Dohman Law Group serve clients through Lake County, Illinois on cases including traffic tickets, DUI, and other types of criminal offenses. We defend clients regularly at the main Waukegan Courthouse Lake County and throughout Illinois. If you’re seeking effective legal representation in Waukegan, we look forward to hearing from you. Our criminal law firm offers free initial consultation. Feel free to contact our Waukegan courthouse attorneys today at (847) 616-9993, or chat with us online to discuss your case.

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