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DUI Charges Carry Very Stiff Penalties

03rd December 2009
By Nick Messe in Law
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It is an intimidating sight to see those flashing blue lights in one's rear view mirror for a minor traffic offense. Seeing those lights for a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge is a terrifying experience. A DUI arrest carries severe penalties and may affect a person's ability to gain employment for a long time. Many states have implemented plans in an effort to both prevent drunk driving and penalize those who do.

Some of these plans are subtle. For example, Illinois allows the families of those who have been killed by a drunk driver to put up roadside markers. We have all seen little crosses and flowers along some of the major roadways in North America. These somber markers will hopefully remind others of the severity of their actions, and thus, help prevent such tragedies.

A first time offender may find themselves facing a misdemeanor charge that carries penalties of suspension of license, possible jail time, and expensive fines. If there's an injury associated with the first offense, then a person may find themselves facing a felony. A felony conviction not only carries stiffer financial and jail time penalties, but can also result in the loss of voting privileges for the rest of a person's life. If the accused is under the age of twenty-one they may find themselves without their license for two years in addition to other penalties.

The legal limit of blood alcohol content is .08 percent. For drivers under the age of twenty-one the legal limit doesn't matter. Even a trace amount of alcohol can lead to a DUI conviction for those under the legal age limit. Repeat offenders find themselves facing even stiffer penalties with higher fines and longer sentences.

Due to these severe penalties, it's imperative for the accused to retain an experienced DUI lawyer. A skilled DUI attorney can negotiate charges and penalties. It is possible to gain a "hardship license", but that's almost impossible to do without a good criminal lawyer.

Prior to contacting a DUI lawyer, there are certain things a person can do to help their case. Always remember The Constitution grants citizens the right to remain silent. Cooperate with the police insofar as participating in a roadside sobriety test, but do not offer any additional information. Do not resist arrest and do not protest if the officer confiscates your license.

Do not do anything that may result in additional charges or make the situation worse. Even if one has not been drinking, let the DUI lawyer handle any misunderstandings. As soon as possible contact a criminal lawyer so that they may begin building your defense. Facing a DUI is horrifying, but those with proper representation do not have to face it alone.
Martin and Kent are tough, experienced Naperville criminal attorneys. They have a successful winning track record in DuPage and Naperville criminal trials ranging from DUI to Murder -
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