Do I Need a Lawyer for DUI in Illinois?

Allegations that a person has driven a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are perhaps the most common reasons for arrests in Illinois. However, this does not mean that a DUI case is not a serious matter. In every example, a DUI arrest can lead to a criminal case where convictions can require a person to spend time in jail, pay heavy fines, and lose their license for one year.

With these potential consequences in mind, many people wonder, “Do I need a lawyer for DUI in Illinois?” While no person ever needs to have a lawyer under state law, the fact is that the serious nature of DUI cases in the state makes having an attorney by one’s side a good idea. An attorney at Liberty Law, P.C. is ready to explain Illinois’ DUI laws and the potential penalties for a conviction. They then work to identify realistic goals and fight to make those goals a reality in court.

When is Having a Lawyer Necessary After a DUI Arrest?

Deciding whether to hire a lawyer after a DUI arrest is always a personal choice that people need to make with the utmost care. Factors that can have an influence on this decision include:

  • Whether this is a person’s first DUI case
  • If they are looking to take a plea deal or fight the charges at trial
  • The actions of the police officer that made the arrest

The law in Illinois never requires a person to hire an attorney following a DUI arrest. While rare, some people choose to represent themselves during DUI criminal cases. In other situations, an attorney from the Public Defender’s Office may be able to help.

However, hiring an attorney from Liberty Law, P.C. is a better option for most people. Their legal team has the time and resources needed to fully investigate the incident and prepare a powerful legal argument that helps protect a person’s present and future.

What Might the Potential Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Illinois Be?

Naturally, the main factor that people use when considering whether to hire an attorney to handle an Illinois DUI case is how a conviction might affect their life. The precise penalties for a DUI conviction will vary on a case-by-case basis. However, 625 ILCS 5/11-501 says that a first conviction for DUI with no aggravating factors can bring penalties that include:

  • A jail sentence of up to 364 days
  • A fine of up to $2,500
  • A loss of license for one year

It is crucial to remember that these are the minimum penalties. Aggravating factors include prior DUI convictions, being under the age of 21, or having a blood/alcohol content level of above .16 percent. Here, convictions can come with mandatory jail sentences and heavier fines.

Hiring an attorney to handle an Illinois DUI case could help minimize the chances of a conviction. They could also work to help people who are looking to take accountability to enter plea deals that aim to avoid many of the heavier penalties.

Let an Attorney at Liberty Law, P.C. Take the Lead in Your Illinois DUI Case

Many people wonder whether they will need to hire an attorney after an Illinois DUI arrest. While hiring a lawyer is never a requirement under the law, it does come with many potential advantages.

The legal team at Liberty Law, P.C. can explain the state’s DUI laws and what a conviction could mean for you. They then take the time needed to fully develop a defense that fits your needs and aims to create reasonable doubt in the prosecutor’s case. Contact them today to learn more.