Should I Challenge My DUI Charge?

Published: Feb 10, 2017, by admin in Criminal Defense, DUI, Legal Blog

Being arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is no laughing matter. DUI charges that result in a conviction can mean serious, life-changing consequences. The penalties can be severe and may include lengthy terms of imprisonment, hefty fines, driver’s license suspension or even revocation, and others. Additionally, a conviction on a person’s record that impacts future employment and other aspects of life. Depending on the circumstances, a person charged with a DUI may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.

Because of the potential impact on your immediate and long-term future, challenging a DUI charge to try to avoid a conviction may be worth the effort. To do so, you need the help of an experienced Chicago DUI lawyer. This is especially the case if you are facing a felony DUI charge which carries the potential for more severe punishment, but it should be considered even for misdemeanor DUI charges.

If you or someone you love has been charged with a DUI in the Chicago area, you need a Chicago DUI attorney who will be an aggressive advocate for your rights and who can empower you to make the best decisions possible for your case. Call O’Meara Law today at 312-909-0706 to find out how we can help you.

Supervision for First-Time Offenders

If you are facing your first DUI charge, you may have the option of court supervision. According to Illinois statute, supervision is the process in which a court continues to supervise your case without entering any judgment on the record whatsoever. It is considered a deferred dismissal, and it may be a viable option rather than getting a conviction. However, supervision requires that you plead guilty to the DUI charges.

Once under supervision, you will be required to comply with a set of conditions for the length of supervision, which is usually one year. These conditions may include:

  • At least 30 hours of community service
  • Reporting to the court or to another social service agency as directed
  • Payment of a fine and the costs of supervision
  • Attendance at a Victim Impact panel
  • Drug and alcohol evaluation, counseling, and treatment for alcohol abuse
  • Refraining from possessing a dangerous weapon
  • Restitution in the amount of the loss or damage caused
  • Other conditions deemed appropriate by the court

The statute imposes a mandatory driver’s license revocation for a DUI conviction. However, if a defendant is placed under court supervision, you may avoid revocation and only face a suspension. A driver’s license suspension ends automatically upon completion of supervision. However, if your license is revoked, you have to appear at a hearing in order to get your license reinstated. Supervision can only be granted once. If you’ve been granted supervision in the past, the court will not place you in the program again.

Defenses and Proceeding to Trial

Even if supervision is an option, it requires the entry of a guilty plea. If you, in consultation with your attorney, believe you have strong defenses to a DUI charge, you may decide to fight the charges in court. These defenses often involve identifying complex procedural flaws in how law enforcement arrested you or conducted sobriety tests. They may also involve pointing out serious flaws in laboratory testing of samples that are being used as evidence against you. Finally, the police may have violated your constitutional rights during the arrest and the subsequent detention. If these defenses exist, it may be worth it to challenge the DUI charges.

DUI Defense in Chicago

O’Meara Law is a criminal defense practice in Chicago, and attorney Michael O’Meara has extensive experience in fighting DUI charges. He has over 20 years of criminal defense experience and has helped people make informed decisions regarding their DUI cases and the range of options available to them. He will take the time to determine the best defense strategy to reach a favorable result in your case.

Contact O’Meara Law today at 312-909-0706 for a case evaluation.