Many people are under the mistaken impression that a first offense of driving under the influence1 of alcohol or drugs (DUI) a minor legal matter. After all, you may have acquaintances or be aware of public figures who have a DUI and seemed to be able to handle the matter without significant problems or legal consequences. In reality, a DUI is serious criminal offense that puts offenders in jeopardy of equally serious legal consequences. While it is true that the penalties associated with subsequent DUIs increase significantly, even a first-offense DUI can result in probation, mandatory alcohol or drug counseling, fines, and even incarceration. It is extremely important, therefore, that people who are accused of DUI discuss their options with an experienced Chicago DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.
There are many ways that an attorney may be able to help. Below is some information about some of the most common:
Challenge the reason for the initial stop – In the United States, police are not allowed to stop anyone for any reason at any time. In order to validly detain you, they generally must have reasonable suspicion2 that a crime has been or is being committed. Driving late at night or in an area that is relatively far away from your home address is not sufficient justification for stopping a person. If an attorney can establish that the police stopped you for some legally impermissible reason, it is possible that the entire case against you may be thrown out of court.
Challenge the way in which any evidence against you was collected – Law enforcement are subject to constitutional limitations on how and when they search a person or a person’s vehicle. In the context of a DUI investigation, chemical testing of a person’s blood, breath, or urine is considered a search. Additionally, an attorney may be able to call into question the results of such testing based on improperly calibrated machines, laboratory errors, or medical conditions that may skew blood alcohol content (BAC) readings.
Negotiate a plea arrangement with the prosecutor – When a person retains legal counsel, the “deal” offered in exchange for a guilty plea is often more favorable than offered to unrepresented parties. In some cases, a skilled criminal defense lawyer may be able to have the crime of which you are accused reduced to a less serious offense.
Call a Chicago DUI defense attorney today to schedule a free consultation
The representation of a criminal defense attorney can often result in a much better outcome in a DUI case. To schedule a free consultation with Chicago criminal defense lawyer Nenye Uche, call our office today at (888) 251-4428.