DUI Is Serious, But Can Be Fought
Charges of driving under the influence (DUI) are serious. However, they can be fought. With the help of an experienced attorney, it is possible to get the charges dismissed, or to get reduced charges or penalties. There is no reason to give up and plead guilty.
At Hammel Law Offices P.C. in Joliet, we have more than 25 years of experience fighting charges of DUI, also referred to as DWI (driving while intoxicated). When you come to our law firm, we will conduct a thorough assessment and inform you about the reality of your case. We believe in the old saying that knowledge is power, so we will empower you with knowledge of your rights. We will educate you about the potential outcomes of your case. Furthermore, we will give you a list of items that you can do on your own that can help you gain an advantage, while we attack the DUI charges. We are in this together, and we will get you through it.
Our lawyers represent first-time drunk driving offenders, repeat offenders, adults, commercial drivers with CDLs and anyone else accused of this criminal offense.
Misdemeanor DUI Vs. Aggravated Felony DUI
Misdemeanor DUI charges come with severe penalties. Even a first offender could face up to a year in jail, up to $2,500 in fines and driver’s license suspension and possible revocation.
In Illinois, there are a variety of factors that can elevate DUI charges to the level of aggravated felony DUI, also referred to as felony DUI. Some of those factors are:
- Being charged with DUI for a third or subsequent time
- Being charged with DUI while driving without a license
- Being charged with DUI while driving without liability insurance
- Being charged with DUI in a car accident that led to serious bodily injury or death
Aggravated felony DUI charges come with extensive penalties, making it all the more critical that you act quickly and retain an attorney to defend you.
In both misdemeanor and aggravated felony DUI charges, it is important to be aware of the full extent of the penalties. In addition to license suspension and/or revocation, fines and potential jail time, there are also repercussions that are often overlooked, such as installation of an ignition interlock device, which can be costly, as well as increased insurance rates. We will discuss the possible penalties with you and create a DUI defense strategy to fight them.
Attacking Field Sobriety And Breath Test Evidence
Successfully defending against drunk driving offenses requires an understanding of police procedures. Our founding lawyer, Ted Hammel, became qualified to administer field sobriety tests in 2002. In fact, his knowledge of the process has led to him testifying as an expert witness in many DUI cases regarding the administration of field sobriety tests. We know what police are supposed to do during a DUI traffic stop, which means we are able to identify when they fail to follow the requirements or improperly administer field sobriety or breath tests.
This is critical. People often assume that blowing .08 means they have no chance of fighting DUI charges. In reality, the test result is only accurate if it was administered correctly and if the machine was properly calibrated and in working order. When appropriate, we will obtain and review maintenance records and investigate how the test was administered. If we determine that a mistake was made at any point, we will request that evidence be thrown out, which could ultimately lead to the drunk driving charges being dismissed.
Even when evidence proves to be strong, there may still be options. Our goal is to get you through this with your driving privileges intact and with minimal or no penalties. Count on us to work hard to achieve that goal.