If you’re facing a DUI charge in Joliet, you need an aggressive Joliet DUI lawyer to help you fight your charges. At Ktenas Law, we have successfully represented many clients facing the threat of a DUI conviction. We recognize that DUI convictions can have life-changing consequences in any person’s life. The seriousness of your DUI offense can significantly affect the penalties you receive. This is especially true if you had children in the car at the time the offense took place, or if you’re found guilty of vehicular homicide. Because even a first-time offender can face severe consequences, it’s crucial to have a Joliet DUI attorney who will fight for your rights.
Contact our top-rated Joliet DUI attorneys today at (312) 756-8600, or chat with us online for a free case review.
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How Much Does a DUI Offense Cost?
When considering the cost of a DUI conviction in Illinois, you may only consider the fine that you must pay. However, the true cost of a DUI offense is more than that and may include other charges.
You may have to pay the fine while also paying a DUI attorney, court fees, ignition interlock fees, and DUI Recovery Program costs. Although a DUI can happen to anyone who is at the wrong place at the wrong time; it’s certainly the most expensive mistake you can ever make in your life.
Here are the costs you may have to pay after a DUI charge in Illinois:
The cost of towing or impounding your car. When you’re arrested for DUI, most likely your vehicle will be impounded. It doesn’t matter who owns the vehicle, and to get it released you must pay an impound or tow fee. In most suburbs in Illinois, the fee is about $550, however, in the city of Chicago, the fee is $2,000. Also, if you don’t get your car within a certain time, you’ll be charged an additional fee for each day the car remains impounded.
Court fees. In Illinois, the mandatory court fees after a DUI charge total around $500.
DUI attorney fees. Most DUI attorneys charge $2,000 to $5,000 for a first-time DUI charge depending on the situation and the attorney.
Mandatory rehab or Drug Court programs costs. After a DUI, you have to go for a mandatory rehab that involves 30 to 90 days of inpatient or outpatient rehab treatment. The cost ranges from $500 to $2500 at the average facility.
DUI fines and potential jail time. In Illinois, every first-time DUI charge is likely to carry a $2,500 fine.
Bond/bail costs. Once you’re arrested for DUI, you may need to post a cash bond. This ensures you’ll appear in court on the required court date. First-time DUI offenders receive an i-bond, which doesn’t require them to post bail. However, if this isn’t your first time being arrested for DUI, you may need to post a bond ranging from $200 to $2,500.
Ignition interlock costs. In Illinois, ignition interlock devices are handled via a state program known as Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). This device can be installed in your car only after your first DUI. The costs of the device plus installation and maintenance can run up to $1500 per year.
License reinstatement costs. If your license is suspended, you may have to pay for a court hearing to have it reinstated. The cost of a new license and reinstatement is about $600.
Increased auto insurance payments.
Lost income during DUI proceedings.
The total money spent on a DUI charge ranges approximately from $7,000 to $16,000. Thus, DUIs are costly. However, you can’t measure the full cost of a DUI in just dollars and cents. In Illinois, a DUI conviction will cause a revocation of your driver’s license. A criminal conviction on your record can make you lose your job or be ineligible for future job interviews. The time spent going for court hearings is time not spent with your loved ones.
The costs and consequences of a DUI are disastrous. However, seeking legal representation from a skilled Joliet DUI law firm is a substantial investment.
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Illinois?
In Illinois, any alcohol or drug conviction, such as a DUI, will remain on your record for life. Also, as a first-time offender, if you’re convicted of a DUI, your driver’s license will be revoked for a minimum of one year.
Since a DUI conviction in Chicago will stay on your record forever; this means you can’t expunge or remove that conviction from your record. The DUI record is here to stay if you accept the charges. Unfortunately, this can severely affect your situation in the future. For instance, insurance companies will see your driving record, and even a DUI conviction from a decade ago can lead to high policy rates, or insurers may refuse to cover you at all.
Is a DUI in Illinois a Felony or Misdemeanor?
Typically, first and second-time DUI offenders are charged with a Class A misdemeanor. However, in some circumstances, a DUI in Illinois can be a felony. Felonies carry severe penalties, such as larger fines and longer jail sentences.
The following offenses can result in a felony DUI conviction:
Being caught driving while intoxicated for the third time;
Driving while drunk with a passenger under the age of 16 and that passenger is injured because of drinking and driving. Here, you may be charged with a Class 4 felony even though it’s your first time.
If you’re caught driving with a revoked license or driving without insurance. This will also result in a Class 4 felony charge.
If you cause serious bodily harm to another person, even on a first offense, you’ll be convicted with a Class 4 felony.
Accidentally causing another person’s death because of drunk driving is a Class 2 felony in Illinois.
Driving a school bus with children onboard while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
The above examples aren’t exhaustive, and there may be more special circumstances when a DUI charge may be increased to a felony DUI or an aggravated DUI charge.
How Bad Is a First Offense DUI Charge?
A first-time DUI is categorized as a misdemeanor in Illinois, a conviction can mean up to six months in jail. The sentence may be longer if there are aggravating circumstances. However, most first-time DUI offenders serve shorter jail terms and they spend the rest of the time on probation or doing community service. Also, first-time offenders may face fines of up to $1,800 depending on the state they committed the offense. Further, a first-time DUI arrest and conviction can cause your insurance rates to soar. The increase could be a few hundred dollars, sometimes it could even go up to thousands of dollars.
What Can a DUI Get Reduced To?
Usually, most DUI charges are resolved through plea bargaining. This means the defendant agrees to plead guilty or “no contest” to a criminal offense in exchange for leniency from the prosecutor. For example, a DUI plea bargain may entail a defendant pleading guilty to a DUI charge in exchange for the prosecutor offering fines and jail time that are below the allowable maximums However, there are ways that a DUI lawyer can help you beat your DUI charge.
In other circumstances, a plea bargain may involve the prosecutor dismissing the DUI charge and the defendant entering a plea for a less serious offense. During a plea bargain, the DUI charge might be reduced to an offense, such as reckless driving, also sometimes called “wet reckless.”
Typically, the prosecution is willing to offer a wet reckless only in cases with a weakness in evidence or significant mitigating factors. Mitigating factors may include things, such as :
Contact a Joliet DUI Lawyer Today for Legal Advice!
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, contact knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys today. With extensive experience defending clients charged with DUI, our attorneys at Ktenas Law use innovative methods in the courtroom. Call us today at (312) 756-8600, or chat with us online to schedule your initial free consultation.