Illinois DUI Lawyers need three characteristics to really give you a great chance in any courtroom - experience in the court where your case will be heard, knowledge of the law, and the training and trial skills to take on the prosecution - just like the DUI attorneys at Fagan, Fagan & Davis.
Illinois DUI Lawyers - Decades of Experience
Fagan, Fagan & Davis have been DUI defense lawyers in Cook County, Lake County DUI Lawyers and DuPage County DUI Lawyers since 1980. We even teach other attorneys how to defend DUI, and are nationally recognized as leading attorneys. We've been around a long time, and if you'd dialed 635-8200 nearly 40 years ago, you'd have reached us then just like today.
DUI in Illinois, or drunk driving, means driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of any amount of alcohol which impairs the driver or a blood alcohol level above 0.08. In Illinois, DUI also includes impairment due to cannabis or marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, other illegal drugs and even sometime the combination of prescription drugs and alcohol. Impairment is often broadly defined by courts, and is often a point of contention for the skilled Illinois DUI lawyer. DUI penalties in Chicago are tough, and getting tougher every year.
DUI can also be charged if there is any amount of illegal controlled substance in the breath, blood or urine while driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. Current Illinois DUI cannabis law prohibits the presence of 5ng or more of THC in whole blood or 10 ng of other "bodily fluids" as measured within two hours of actual physical control of a motor vehicle.
DUI attorneys must know how to address not only general criminal defense issues, but specific forensic science and special procedures even involving civil procedures that are special to DUI defense in Chicago and the surrounding areas. Additionally, DUI almost always involves a Statutory Summary Suspension of your Illinois driver license. We know that addressing that suspension is almost always a primary concern for clients, and that speed is a paramount issue.
Illinois DUI Defense Overview
Our attorneys have the experience, knowledge and training necessary for effective defense of driving under the influence in Illinois, as well as extensive trial experience in Cook County, DuPage County and Lake County DUI courts including jury trials and trial by judge (bench trials). Here is more information related to DUI defense:
A breath test or breathalyzer is administered arrest for drunk driving. A police officer will instruct the driver to blow into an approved breath machine, which attempts to estimate blood alcohol levels. A more accurate means of measuring blood alcohol content (BAC) is through GC/MS chemical analysis using a blood sample. GC/MS stands for Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry.
Penalties for a misdemeanor DUI in Illinois are serious, with up to $2500 in fines and 364 days in jail with mandatory drug and alcohol classes and treatment costing hundreds of dollars and a permanent criminal record that cannot be expunged. Felony DUI can be even more serious, even with mandatory prison time and as much as 60 years with extended time. Collateral consequences of a DUI can go beyond the sentence and affect CDL license holders, professionals like nurses or lawyers, military servicemen and women, aircraft pilots and others.
Drunk driving is not the only way to find yourself facing an Illinois DUI. Driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle with illegal drugs in your blood or urine is also a DUI in Illinois. Drugged driving is becoming even more common, and may even include prescription medications and over-the-counter medication when mixed with alcohol that causes impairment. DUI drugs often involves extensive forensic evidence which your Illinois DUI lawyer must know how to address.
Standardized Field sobriety tests are essentially investigative tools used by police officers to assist in the determination of whether a motorist is impaired and may be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These tests include the walk and turn, the one leg stand, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Administration of these SFSTs involves several very specific requirements, from the instructions the officer is to give, to the way an officer evaluates your performance. Because your performance of these tests is then used in Court by prosecutors to prove your guilt, your DUI lawyer needs to know the NHTSA standards for the Field Sobriety Tests in and out, just like the attorneys at Fagan, Fagan & Davis.
If you refuse to submit to any breath, blood or urine test after being arrested for DUI, your driving privileges may be suspended for between one and three years. If you submit and the results are above a 0.08 or demonstrate the presence of an illegal drug like cannabis, heroin or ecstasy, you face a statutory summary suspension of your driver's license for between six months and one year. In some cases, a driving permit called an MDDP is available, but if you have committed a prior violation of DUI or a DUI suspension within the past five years, no driving permit is available under current Illinois law.
If you have been charged with DUI in Illinois, but are from another state, in addition to the penalties applied by Illinois, you face penalties from your home state. Illinois is a member of the Interstate Driver's License Compact, by which different States agree to share information regarding driving offenses, and DUI in particular. Handling out-of-state motorists requires special care, and our attorneys have a great deal of experience with addressing the problem.
You always have the choice whether to proceed to trial by judge or jury or to engage in a plea bargain negotiation. A plea bargain involves the defendant pleading guilty without a trial in exchange for reducing the risk and consequences you may face at trial. A knowledgeable Chicago DUI attorney from our firm can help you make an intelligent decision about your realistic options.
Trained Illinois DUI Trial Lawyers
Most people facing DUI simply decide to plead guilty from the start. Many don't even consult an experienced Illinois DUI attorney, mistakenly thinking their family attorney or business lawyer will understand the intricacies. They won't. They'll miss important issues, misunderstand the consequences and effects, miss negotiating opportunities and will be unable to effectively mount a defense at trial. Those mistakes will cost you. A well trained lawyer specifically focussing on DUI defense won't make those same mistakes.
There are many defense options available. Failing a chemical test or field sobriety test doesn't mean you are automatically guilty, or that the prosecution's evidence is irrefutable.
For instance, did the officer properly administer chemical tests and follow the regulations that are in place ensure reliability? Can the prosecution prove that the chain of custody for the sample was not broken and your sample was not mixed up with someone else's? What about the officer's compliance with standardized field sobriety test procedures? Our Illinois DUI lawyers can thoroughly examine the evidence brought against you and the circumstances of your arrest to create a strong and detailed defense. Give yourself the best chance of success with lawyers that know what to look for and address potentially harmful evidence.
At Fagan, Fagan & Davis, we've successfully defended countless clients against DUI charges throughout the Chicago area including Cook county, DuPage county and Lake county courts. We understand the defense strategies that are most effective in court, and how to challenge evidence offered by the prosecution.
Call us now for a no-cost session with an Illinois DUI lawyer to learn how we can help.