At Ktenas Law P.C., our DUI criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to providing high-quality legal representation to clients charged with criminal offenses, drunken driving charges, traffic tickets, and other related legal issues. Our criminal defense law firm also focuses on the area of driver’s license law, representing those seeking the license reinstatement before the Illinois Secretary of State.
From misdemeanor offenses and felony DUI charges to the most complex license reinstatement hearings, we’re committed to offering superior legal services to our clients. To schedule a free case review, contact our Cicero DUI lawyers today at (312) 756-8600. With offices in Cicero, we serve communities in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Kane County, Will County, and Illinois.
How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost in Illinois?
If you've been arrested for drunk driving, you don't have a lot of time to hire a DUI criminal defense lawyer. But don’t just hire just any lawyer. Often, criminal defense attorneys are quite costly. A lengthy DUI court process could cost upwards of $10,000 in legal fees. And even an uncontested DUI plea can cost around $2,000.
Besides hiring a DUI attorney, DUI offenders also face court costs which average out to $3,600. This includes hefty fines of up to $2,500 for first-time DUI offenders, $250 in towing and law enforcement reimbursements, $750 in court fees, and $100 to a trauma center fund.
Typically, the cost of hiring a DUI lawyer ranges from $1,500 to 25,000 when fighting a first-time DUI charge in court. Several factors affect the average cost of DUI and DUI criminal defense attorneys in Illinois. The cost varies depending on the attorney’s experience, the criminal charges, and the circumstances of your DUI arrest.
Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer for a DUI?
Driving under the influence charges is usually a misdemeanor offense, and many criminal courts hand down a standard sentence. If you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and there’s sufficient evidence to back that up, including elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC), failed field sobriety tests, witnesses stating you were driving recklessly, etc. Some people often choose to plead guilty. Here, a DUI criminal defense attorney may not do much for you.
However, if there are any facts about your DUI case that might increase your criminal penalty, including an extremely high blood alcohol content, bodily harm, or a motor vehicle accident, or facts that might decrease your criminal penalties, including procedural issues during your DUI arrest, it’s in your best interest to hire a DUI lawyer.
If you’re unsure, an attorney can help recognize these aspects and help you come up with a defense strategy, including representing you at trial.
If there’s some doubt about your DUI case, you may accept a plea bargain. With a plea bargain, you plead guilty in exchange for lesser charges from the prosecutor.
Factors that can create doubt about your DUI arrest include:
Questions about the accuracy of your blood alcohol content; and
Procedural issues with your DUI arrest, like the arresting police officer not reading you your Miranda rights. In such cases, an attorney can get your charges thrown out or reduced.
Typically, local DUI lawyers know how the prosecutor works and what arguments are likely to win a reduced plea.
In some states, including Illinois, the prosecution can reduce the charges to a “wet reckless”. This is a reckless driving charge where alcohol was a factor. This charge results in a lesser sentence than an impaired driving charge.
You can win a plea bargain without a DUI attorney, especially if the facts in your case are strongly in your favor. However, if your case is complex, a DUI attorney will have a better chance of success.
Self-representation in a sense bargaining or plea bargaining is daunting; however, it's not impossible. However, if your DUI case goes to trial, consider hiring an experienced lawyer.
Trial procedures are more complex than plea bargaining procedures, and you’ll be expected to follow all procedures correctly. Criminal court judges won’t excuse you for not knowing the procedures. Thus, if you’re charged with a drunk driving charge, hire an experienced attorney to represent you as soon as possible.
Can You Beat a DUI with a Public Defender?
Typically, all defendants have the right to a lawyer. If you can’t afford to hire a private lawyer, the court will appoint one for you. Court-appointed attorneys are typically from the public defender’s office.
Public defenders handle many criminal cases, including lots of drunk driving cases. Thus, most public defenders are familiar with DUI defenses and DUI laws. Typically, public defenders are well acquainted with the judges and district attorneys and know their tendencies, this knowledge can be beneficial for plea bargaining. Also, public defenders have good trial skills because they take many cases to trial.
Being represented by a public defender has its cons. Public defenders handle many cases. Thus, some defendants often feel like they’re not getting enough attention. And you don’t get to select your public defender; you get who the court gives you. Further, public defender representation is limited to criminal charges.
A drunk driving arrest typically results in two separate proceedings: a criminal court case, and “administrative per se” proceedings with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Often, DUI offenders who have a public defender will have to handle the DMV proceedings on their own.
What Are the Penalties of DUI in Cicero, Illinois?
In Illinois, a DUI conviction carries severe consequences. A first-time DUI offense is subject to the following criminal penalties:
A jail time of up to a year;
A maximum fine of $2,500;
Mandatory drug and alcohol evaluation and treatment;
Hours of community service; and
The license suspension or revocation.
Most DUIs get resolved in one of two ways: either go to trial or you plead guilty to a lesser charge from the prosecution.
An experienced lawyer may pursue both options simultaneously. This maximizes the chance to achieve the best possible outcome.
Even in complicated DUI cases, a DUI criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid many of the harsher criminal penalties. One way of avoiding a DUI conviction on your criminal record is court supervision. Depending on the circumstances of your case, this is a good outcome for a first-time offender charged with a misdemeanor DUI. However, the circumstances of the incident and the person’s background determine if you’re eligible for court-ordered supervision.
With a DUI conviction, criminal penalties aren't the end of the story. In Illinois, being convicted of drunk driving can cause several additional problems, including:
Increased car insurance rates;
Difficulty in finding or keeping a job—especially if driving is required;
Potential immigration consequences; and
Revocation of driving privileges;
Thus, it’s essential that you hire a skilled DUI criminal defense attorney to represent you after a DUI arrest. Don’t assume that you’ll be convicted of drunk driving. Our experienced Cook County drunk driving defense team can help you explore every available legal option to fight your case, beat the charges, or get you the best probable outcome.
After a DUI conviction, you also have to deal with Statutory Summary Suspension. While this isn’t a criminal issue, it’s a civil matter with the Illinois Secretary of State. Under Illinois law, after a DUI arrest, you’re also subject to automatic license suspension, even before you have your day in court.
You’re subject to the loss of driving privilege if your level of alcohol is over the legal limit or if you refuse breath, blood, or urine testing. The automatic license suspension goes into effect on the 46th day after you receive a notice of the summary suspension.
The length of the summary suspension depends on whether you submitted to chemical testing for alcohol or other intoxicating substances.
If you refused to submit to chemical testing, your driver's license will be suspended for at least one year;
If you submitted to chemical testing, and it showed a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least six months;
If you submitted to chemical testing, and it has 5 nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol in your blood or 10 nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol in your urine, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least six months;
If you submitted to the chemical test and the test showed you had any amount of a drug, substance, or compound resulting from the unlawful use of a controlled substance and/or an intoxicating compound, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least six months.
The license suspension happens regardless of the outcome of your case. Once the period of license suspension is over, you must pay a license reinstatement fee to the Secretary of State to get your license reinstated.
After watching the arrest videos and reviewing the police reports, an experienced license reinstatement attorney may identify ways to challenge the summary suspension. Thus, it’s beneficial you speak with a DUI attorney shortly after your DUI arrest. To challenge a statutory summary suspension, you must request a court hearing within 90 days of the DUI arrest. Our Cook County license reinstatement attorneys can help you take legal action to preserve your driver’s license.
How Can I Beat A DUI Charge in Illinois?
A drunk driving charge carries a significant risk of long-lasting consequences. So, don’t go up against law enforcement and prosecutors on your own. At Ktenas Law, our Cicero DUI criminal defense attorneys have vast experience representing DUI offenders throughout Illinois, and we can help you beat your DUI charges.
With backgrounds in public defense, prosecutions, and judicial clerkships, our drunk driving defense team knows the ins and outs of DUI cases. We’re ready to take action to help you fight and beat your DUI charges in Illinois. When you hire our top-rated Chicago DUI defense team, you will get:
An experienced DUI criminal defense attorney who will review your DUI case and find the best possible defense strategy to beat the charges against you;
Legal help in preparing for your DUI evaluation;
Complete and transparent communication at every stage of court proceedings;
A chance to review the evidence the prosecution will use against you in court;
A skilled DUI attorney with you at every court appearance; and
An experienced DUI attorney fighting aggressively to protect your rights in the criminal case and the license suspension case.
We know every DUI case is unique. You deserve attentive, customized legal representation from a team of criminal defense lawyers who are prepared to put in the time and energy to understand the unique nature of your DUI case and to build an effective defense strategy that will help keep a clean driving record.
Call Our Cicero DUI Criminal Defense Lawyers Today for Legal Advice!
Being charged with a DUI or facing a hearing for a traffic violation is a stressful experience. Most people rely on their vehicles to get to and from school and work. The Illinois Secretary of State may suspend or revoke driving privileges for several reasons, including accumulating too many traffic violations, not paying child support, and not paying a traffic ticket. Also, you can face a license revocation or suspension after a DUI conviction.
A driver’s license suspension has a set end date, where you get your driving privileges back. However, with a driver’s license revocation, you lose your driving privileges permanently. Our Orland Park license reinstatement attorneys have built a reputation for offering outstanding legal representation in matters related to driver’s license hearing, traffic law, and DUI charges throughout Illinois. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our criminal defense law firm today at (312) 756-8600, or chat with us online to learn how we can help.