Alcohol Related Crimes
In the Unites States, it is legal for any adult over the age of 21 to consume alcohol, which understandably makes it the most commonly used drug in the country. While it is legal and even socially acceptable to drink in various settings, the effects of alcohol also include impaired judgment, diminished motor skills, and various health risks. As such, the state of Illinois has recognized the potential danger alcohol can have on society and classified some actions as alcohol-related crimes.
The penalties for an alcohol-related offense can vary considerably, depending on the circumstances and severity; however, any criminal conviction can negatively impact your life in a number of ways, from steep fines, possible jail time, and a lingering blemish on your criminal record. Drinking alcohol may be commonplace for a lot of people, and while everyone makes mistakes, it’s very important that you don’t take an alcohol-related offense lightly. These are serious situations that require the attention of an experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer.
If you are facing an alcohol-related charge in Chicago, call O’Meara Law, LLC at 312-909-0706 for a free and confidential consultation.
Alcohol Crimes in Illinois
There are several ways that alcohol can be a factor in other crimes. For instance, someone may have too much to drink and get into an altercation that they normally would have avoided, but due to their diminished capacity, this person can suddenly find themselves charged with an offense like assault. While consuming alcohol can play a role in almost any offense, there are also crimes directly related to alcohol, meant to deter dangerous behaviors and promote safety.
Some of the most common alcohol-related offenses in Illinois include:
- DUI – Driving under the influence is probably the most serious alcohol-related criminal charge in Illinois and carries very severe penalties. A Chicago DUI attorney can help explain what you are up against and how you can achieve the best possible outcome.
- Public Intoxication – While Illinois does not have a specific law against simply being intoxicated in public, if your actions can be considered disturbing or threatening to others, they can lead to other charges or unwanted police attention. If you’re facing charges for simply being inebriated, a Chicago criminal defense lawyer can help determine if your actions were lawful and how to effectively handle the situation.
- Open Container – These laws attempt to regulate openly consuming alcohol in public and in vehicles, largely to encourage safety and discourage drinking and driving. The penalties for an open container conviction can vary significantly based on the circumstances and your prior history. Learn how a skilled defense attorney can help reduce or eliminate the potential consequences.
- Underage Possession of Alcohol – While it can be tempting to try alcohol before you are legally allowed, it is still a crime for anyone under 21-years-old to consume or possess alcohol. While the possible ramifications will depend on the severity of your case, you’ll be best served by discussing the details of your situation with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer.
Find an Alternative with a Strong Defense
Being charged with any crime in Illinois is a scary prospect and since the laws and penalties for alcohol related crimes fluctuate so widely, it is important to know your rights and specifically what you are up against. Without a strong defense strategy, even a relatively minor offense can unnecessarily impact your reputation, career, education, and your life in general for a long time afterward.
If you’ve been charged with a crime where alcohol is a key component, you need to act fast because the sooner your lawyer starts working on your behalf, the better your chances of achieving a favorable result. Sometimes, by reviewing all of the available evidence, your attorney can work to exclude materials that were improperly collected or ensure that crucial and mitigating factors are also considered.
Additionally, for people struggling with alcohol addiction or their first offense, the state of Illinois offers the possibility of diversion programs and treatment options as popular alternatives to a conviction. By navigating the often complex criminal justice system, an experienced lawyer will aggressively present your case in the best possible way, so you can obtain the best possible outcome and move on with your life.
Call O’Meara Law Today
At O’Meara Law, LLC we know being charged with an alcohol-related offense is a difficult and confusing time. You probably don’t know where to turn or what options you have, but as a skilled Chicago criminal defense lawyer, Michael O’Meara is here to listen to your concerns and is dedicated to seeing you through the entire process with effective legal representation.
To discuss the details of your case and how attorney O’Meara can help, call 312-909-0706 today for a free and confidential consultation.