Just because you have been arrested for DUI in Illinois doesn't mean you are guilty. Our Chicago DUI Lawyers at Ktenas Law regularly take cases to trial and beat DUI's for our clients. The faster you take action, the better off you'll be. We are available 24 hours a day for our clients so that we can tell you exactly what to do after you have been arrested for DUI.
The Impact Of A Criminal DUI Conviction
Being convicted of driving under the influence, or pleading guilty to the offense, has serious consequences for both first-time and repeat offenders. Just the financial impact of a DUI conviction can be punishingly harsh. There are further complications that a conviction can bring, including difficulties in finding a job, driving a car, or moving.
The Financial Consequences Of A DUI Conviction
Most people have some vague understanding that DUI convictions are costly. Do you know just how expensive? On average, a first-time DUI conviction will cost the defendant over $10,000. The few of us who have that sort of money available don't want to spend it on resolving a DUI, and most of us don't even have the money in the first place meaning that a DUI conviction can rapidly turn into a serious debt problem.
The cost of a DUI conviction comes from many different sources. There are usually fines imposed by the court, of course, but a defendant may also have to pay legal fees, DMV fees, drug and alcohol education course fees, and higher insurance premiums. Our effective DUI lawyers can help you keep the cost of DUI conviction under control along with many other services.
The financial burden of a criminal DUI charge can extend even further. If you are convicted or plead “guilty” or “no contest” to alcohol or marijuana DUI, you may be throwing significant roadblocks into your professional career. You may be required to report the conviction to your current employer and any professional organization you're a part of. The conviction may make it more difficult or impossible for you to secure professional certifications (like a commercial driver's license) in the future. You may even have to report the conviction whenever you apply for future jobs.
Will My Driver's License be Suspended or Revoked?
Illinois law provides for an automatic driver's license suspension. This suspension is commonly referred to as a “statutory summary suspension.” This takes effect 46 days from the day you were arrested for DUI automatically. This suspension takes effect regardless of how your criminal case turns out. Drivers over the age of 21 who receive a License suspension lose their license for 6-12 months. The summary suspension lasts for 3-6 months for drivers under 21. A statutory summary suspension may still impact you even if you are driving on an out-of-state license.
The only way to avoid a statutory summary suspension is to request a hearing within 90 days of being arrested and win that hearing. The DUI attorneys on our team can help you do this.
Why Hire a Top DUI Attorney?
There are many advantages to obtaining assistance from an experienced attorney. For first time offenders and individuals with multiple DUI's (depending on the circumstances) can benefit from the following:
- Avoid jail time
- Fight any potential felony charges
- Keep your driving privileges
- Keep a clean record
- Maintain your job
Related: Is a DUI a Felony in Illinois?
First Time DUI offender
A first time DUI conviction or “guilty” plea typically comes with supervision unless the defendant is forced to serve jail time. While under supervision, you will have to maintain contact with a probation officer. Supervision can place many restrictions on your life, including limiting your ability to travel, move, or change jobs. You may even be barred from associating with certain people while you are under supervision. However, supervision will not count as a conviction on your record and will not revoke your driver's license.
These are just a few of the reasons we will fight as hard as we can to steer you clear of a conviction or a guilty plea if you hire our DUI defense law firm.
How much does a DUI lawyer cost in Illinois?
Any respectable DUI attorney should be charging a minimum of $2500 to $5000 for a DUI. Some attorneys advertise DUI cases for as low as $500-$1500 but what they aren't telling you is that they plan on just pleading you guilty right away.
The attorneys at Ktenas Law are all about transparency, we provide high-quality DUI representation at a fair price. Our DUI pricing starts as low as $2000 and we provide flexible payment plans for our clients!
At Ktenas law, we know that after a DUI arrest, the average person is very stressed out about the court process and what to expect. That is why we offer free confidential consultations. We want to make sure that you understand everything about what to expect from your case.
Most Frequent Asked Questions
What forms of payment do you accept?
At Ktenas Law we offer many payment options for our clients. In an increasingly digital environment, we know that everyone uses different forms of payments. To make it easier for our clients, we accept Apple Pay, Venmo, Zelle, quick pay, credit cards, check, cash, cash app, and of course we offer payment plans.
Should I hire a DUI lawyer In Chicago?
The short answer to whether you should hire a Chicago DUI lawyer is a resounding yes, but it's best if you understand why. You should have legal representation any time you have an interaction with the police regarding a criminal matter.
Let's look at the reasons it's essential to have a lawyer on your side when facing DUI charges.
Navigating the Court System
Have you ever heard the expression ‘lost in the system'?
The minute you get arrested on criminal charges, you have to deal with a judicial system that's designed by the same government entities that now want to prosecute you. The only way to navigate it is by having a representative with training and experience.
Alex Ktenas is a former trial lawyer, meaning that he understands how the system works from both sides. He knows how the prosecution thinks and what they can and can't do.
Going into a courtroom without an experienced lawyer could cost you your freedom. Thousands of people end up in jail because they don't know how to introduce evidence or examine the prosecutor's case. A DUI lawyer in Chicago, IL will handle all of the paperwork and motions for you, giving you the best outcome possible.
A Chicago DUI Lawyer Will Stop You From Incriminating Yourself
Due to the over-saturation of legal shows on television, everyone knows about their Miranda rights. If you say something before a police officer reads you your rights, it can't be held against you in court, right?
There are numerous exceptions to the Miranda rights. For example, if you volunteer information to the police during a traffic stop, they can use it against you. If a police officer pulls you over and casually asks ‘have you been drinking tonight' and you inform them that you've only had a couple of beers, they then have the right to use your statement against you since you weren't officially under arrest at the time.
Most people don't know this, but the police can also provide you with false information. They can tell you that you failed a breathalyzer in an attempt to get you to confess to drinking more than the legal limit.
An experienced lawyer knows these tricks and will stop you from falling for them. It's imperative to contact a lawyer immediately anytime you have an interaction with the police. The lawyers at Ktenas law will put the odds back into your favor.
Related: How to Beat a DUI? (Step by Step Guide)
Field Sobriety Tests Aren't As Strong As You May Think
Most people think that the minute you fail a field sobriety test, you're guilty. In reality, DUI lawyers know that these tests are often flawed.
The prosecution, however, will rely heavily on these tests because most people arrested for DUI charges won't have a lawyer. Don't make that same mistake.
Non-standardized tests, like the finger to the nose test or saying the alphabet backward isn't legally viable. Other tests, such as walking in a straight line, are problematic as well. Those tests assume that you're a healthy person. If you have a bad knee or are legally obese, standing on one leg to prove your innocence isn't a valid test.
When the police pull you over for swerving or driving erratically, there's a good chance that they assumed drugs or alcohol caused the behavior instead of considering other alternatives. This assumption on their part could sway their opinion and impact whether they applied the field sobriety tests effectively.
A lawyer can even challenge the breathalyzer test. Operators must have a license and the machine should be in proper working condition. An experienced lawyer will know how to challenge the results and determine whether a machine is faulty.
Each of these factors could impact your case. If you don't have a lawyer, your chances of a fair resolution decrease. With a lawyer that understands the court system, you have a better chance of getting off.
Couldn't I get a public defender?
There are a few misconceptions when it comes to public defenders vs. private attorneys.
Clients that come to us after trying a public defender often complain that the court-appointed lawyer doesn't spend enough time with them. Public defenders serve an essential role in the court system and deserve respect, but unfortunately, they are often spread thin. There's a shortage of public defenders and they can't spend a lot of time on one case when they have dozens of cases on their desk at one time.
At Ktenas Law, we're able to focus on your case and give it the time it deserves.
Another important factor to remember is that your DUI case will lead to two different proceedings. A court-appointed attorney will handle the criminal case, but you'll also have an administrative hearing about the suspension of your license. Only a private attorney will handle both for you.
In short, a private attorney is your best bet. Ktenas Law will dedicate the time to your case that you deserve and handle all aspects of your DUI.
Do you need a DUI lawyer in court?
You've had a great Friday night. You're on your way after a work party and ready for a long weekend. You're thinking about everything you plan on doing: some yard work on Saturday, watching the Bulls on Sunday, and catching the Bears on Monday Night Football.
Suddenly, those plans go out the window, because before you pull into your neighborhood, you see the one thing that every driver hates: red and blue flashing lights.
You know that you didn't have too much to drink, but you spilled some wine on your shirt, and now the police officer smells alcohol. Before you know it, you're spending the night in jail on DUI charges You know that in the next few months, your life will be a challenge. Court appearances, explaining what happened to family and friends, and losing your license hangs over you like an albatross.
Before you go to court, you need to decide if you need a Chicago DUI lawyer. Read on for the information you need to make an informed decision.
Is it illegal to drink alcoholic beverages and drive in Illinois?
In Illinois, it is not illegal to drink alcohol and then drive. It is illegal to have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater and to get behind a wheel. It is illegal to be drunk and drive a vehicle, but simply having a drink and then driving is not necessarily illegal.
Related: Blood Alcohol Levels & Blood Alcohol Content Explained
Will my license be suspended because of my DUI arrest?
If you are stopped by a police officer for DUI and you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, your license will be suspended for a period of 12 months. If you are stopped by a police officer for DUI and you submit to a breathalyzer test and register a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater, your license will be suspended for six months. Furthermore, if you receive a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol, the Secretary of State will revoke your driver's license and you will have to have a hearing to receive your license back.
How can I get my license back after it has been suspended for DUI?
There are several ways to get your license back if you have lost your license because you were arrested for DUI. The first way is to petition the court to have a hearing. This hearing is commonly referred to as a petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension and requires an evidentiary hearing in front of a judge. If your license is revoked you must have a hearing with the secretary of state in order to get your license back.
If I register over .08 on the Breathalyzer test, am I automatically guilty of DUI?
Under Illinois law, it is illegal to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle if you have registered a .08 or above on a breathalyzer test However, the prosecutor still must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in order to be convicted of DUI. A good defense attorney will be able to make sure that all the evidence was properly gathered and whether the prosecutor can prove that you were driving drunk.
Do I have to take the field sobriety tests?
In Illinois, a police officer cannot force you to take field sobriety tests.
It is your right to refuse to take any tests that you do not wish to take. A refusal of tests, however, can still lead to your arrest and to your license being suspended.
Do I have to take the breathalyzer test?
In Illinois, a police officer cannot force you to take a breathalyzer test. It is your right to refuse to take any tests that you do not wish to take. A refusal of tests, however, can still lead to your arrest and to your license being suspended.
Do I have the right to remain silent when I am stopped or investigated for DUI?
In Illinois, when you are stopped or investigated for a DUI you must give the police officer your driver's license, proof of insurance, and proof of registration if the officer requests those documents. You are not required to answer any further questions from the police officers or submit to any further tests that the officer may ask you to perform.
If I am stopped for DUI, am I being video and audio recorded?
In Illinois, police officers are not required to video and/or audio record your investigation. Some police departments have video and audio recording devices. If however, your arrest is being recorded, the police officers and prosecution are required to give you a copy of the recording.
Hire a Top Chicago DUI Lawyer Today
We work hard for you to put your mind at ease so that you can go about your normal everyday life and put these problems behind you. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys serve the Chicago area, Will, DUPage, and Cook County.
We have law offices conveniently located in Chicago, Orland Park, and Tinley Park. Reach out to us today to set up a free no-obligation consultation - available 24/7.