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Decatur, Illinois DUI Lawyer

For many Decatur residents, a drunk driving arrest is their first–and hopefully only–interaction with the Illinois criminal justice system. While you might think a DUI charge is “common” and not really a big deal, the truth is that a conviction can have serious ramifications for you and your family. So it is important to treat the matter as you would any criminal charge.

The first thing you need to do is speak with a qualified Decatur, Illinois DUI lawyer. At Patel Law, PC, we have helped many people like you who are faced with a first or subsequent DUI charge. We can advise you of the consequences of your DUI case and help you either fight in court or attempt to negotiate a more favorable plea deal with the State’s Attorney. In the end, we understand that you need to do what is right for you and your family.

What You Need to Know About a First-Time DUI Charge in Illinois

Illinois law defines a DUI as driving or being in “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating substance. Most people associate DUI with having a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent. While this is one standard used to prove DUI in Illinois, it is not an exclusive one. Here are just a few ways that you can be charged, tried, and convicted of DUI:

  • Even if your BAC is below 0.08 percent, there is evidence that you were driving in a reckless or unsafe manner with a lower BAC.

  • You were driving under the influence of marijuana, another controlled substance banned by law, or even a legally held prescription medication.

  • You were found by a police officer slumped behind the wheel of your parked car while intoxicated; the fact you were not actually driving at that moment does not prevent a DUI conviction.

A first-time DUI conviction in Illinois carries a possible jail term of 364 days–one day short of one year-and a maximum fine of $2,500. You also face a one-year suspension of your driver’s license. (For drivers under the age of 21, that suspension is for two years). You can still apply for a restricted driving permit during this suspension period so you can still drive to work, school, and medical appointments.

Illinois also follows an “implied consent” rule when it comes to testing drivers suspected of DUI. Basically, if the police have probable cause to arrest you, they can ask you to take a chemical test to establish your BAC. If you refuse this request, your driver’s license faces an automatic suspension–one year in the case of a first offense–regardless of the outcome of your criminal case.

Contact Attorney Baku N. Patel Today

A DUI arrest is often a scary experience for people who have never found themselves in trouble with the law before. But you do not need to go through this process alone. Decatur, Illinois DUI lawyer Baku N. Patel is here to help. Contact his team at Patel Law, PC, today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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