Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
DUI Defense 101 in Illinois
Our goal is to provide accurate, useful and accessible information about Illinois law. However, we know we’re not perfect and no matter how hard we try to put the law into simple terms, it can be overwhelming.
If you want a straight, honest answer, give us a call. You can ask one of our attorneys anything that you want to ask at no charge and in confidence. If you prefer, you can read up on your issue on our website. We have several pages about getting a DUI in Illinois. If you’re looking for some quick tips, this page is for you.
- If you are pulled over while driving, you do not have to answer a police officer’s questions about whether you were drinking or where you’ve been or where you’re going.
- You can decline a request to take field sobriety tests, like taking a portable breath test.
- Driving under the influence most commonly involves alcohol, but you can get a DUI for driving under the influence of drugs or medication as well.
- If you are arrested and taken to the police station, you will probably be asked to take a chemical test (breath, blood or urine). If you fail, your license will be suspended for six months (first offense). You have the right to decline the chemical test, but your license will be automatically suspended for a year (the first time) if you do. Saying no may still be your best bet, however.
- Remember that you have the right to remain silent, and you should.
- Illinois law classifies driving under the influence as a misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail. Your license can be revoked for a year (two years if you’re under 21).
- The consequences can be greater if your BAC was above .16, if there was a child in the car and they were injured, or if it’s not your first DUI. In some cases, a DUI is a felony (called an aggravated DUI).
- You may be able to avoid jail time and license revocation and get court supervision. You can only get court supervision for a DUI once in your life.
- If you get court supervision for your DUI, it is considered a conviction in Illinois. You cannot seal or expunge a DUI, or DUI supervision, from your record.
- If you want to drive after a DUI conviction in Illinois, you may be eligible for a breath testing device that will be installed in your car. The device only allows the engine to start if you’re sober.
- Driving on a suspended license is a serious driving offense, punishable by jail time and fines.
- The goal of many defense attorneys is to get a DUI charge dismissed or at least reduced. It is nearly impossible to achieve this result without an attorney.
- You should look for a criminal defense attorney who has years of experience defending drivers against DUI charges. Ask about their experience, their track record of success, and where they practice.
- Hire an attorney who appears often in the courtroom where your case is being heard. If they know the judges and their tendencies, and have a good reputation with the prosecutors, it can help.
These are just the basics of DUI law in Illinois. If you have further questions, please contact us. Our goal is to explain the law in a way that makes sense. We try to be straightforward in answering your questions and honest about whether you need an attorney. If you have been arrested or charged with a DUI, we will help you find the best attorney for your situation. We only recommend lawyers we know, trust and have a proven track record of success.
Findgreatlawyers.com is a free service to help you if you need to hire an attorney, or obtain legal guidance on any Illinois legal matter, including Illinois DUI matters. Since 2001 we have been helping to answer legal questions and provide attorney referrals when needed. All inquiries are kept strictly confidential. We are based out of Chicago, but we have vast network of criminal defense attorneys that can help you throughout Illinois. Please call us at (312) 346-5320 or (800) 517-1614, or you can fill out our contact us form and we will contact you.