What Are the Consequences of a DUI Conviction?

In the State of Illinois, if you are convicted of DUI (driving under the influence), the penalties for a conviction can be harsh. If you are facing a DUI charge, you’ll need the advice and services that a Chicago DUI lawyer offers, and you’ll need to get in touch with that lawyer immediately.

More than 20,000 motorists in this state were arrested for Driving Under the Influence in 2021. Many were innocent. But no matter the facts of your case, it is important to hire a Chicago DUI attorney who will fight aggressively and effectively to get your best outcome.

How will a conviction for DUI affect your employment and your future? Drivers in Illinois should understand that a driving under the influence conviction entails both legal penalties and “extra-legal” consequences.

What Are the Legal Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Illinois?

If there are no aggravating circumstances, a first driving under the influence offense is charged as a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. A first DUI conviction may be penalized with up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and a driver’s license revocation for at least one year. For this reason, it is important to build a strong defense with an experienced DUI-focused attorney to avoid conviction.

One possible outcome for first-time DUI offenders in Illinois is to be placed under court supervision for twelve to twenty-four months (with the possibility of avoiding a conviction). Court supervision is a favorable outcome for many people because it avoids jail time. But another huge benefit is that your driver’s license does not get revoked. This allows you to continue to drive to work, provide for your family, or whatever your needs may be.

A second driving under the influence offense in this state may be penalized on conviction with up to a year in jail (with a mandatory five days in jail or 240 hours of community service) and a five-year driver’s license revocation.

The penalties for a DUI conviction are increasingly harsher with each subsequent offense. For example, a third driving under the influence conviction is a Class Two felony conviction that may be penalized with three to seven years in prison and a ten-year driver’s license revocation.

What Are the Extra-Legal Consequences of a DUI Conviction?

The legal penalties for a driving under the influence conviction in Illinois can be severe, but the extra-legal consequences of a DUI conviction are also quite costly. For example, those who are injured by intoxicated drivers may bring a personal injury lawsuit in this state’s civil courts.

A driving under the influence conviction is usually considered persuasive evidence in a personal injury proceeding. In some cases, a convicted DUI offender may have to pay thousands of dollars in compensation – that automobile insurance may not cover – to an injured accident victim.

That is only one of the potential negative consequences of a DUI conviction. What’s certain is that your auto insurance rates will skyrocket. A DUI conviction will substantially boost the cost of an auto insurance policy, and some companies will automatically cancel your coverage.

How Will a Conviction for DUI Affect Your Ability to Make a Living?

Another extra-legal consequence of a driving under the influence conviction is the cost of transportation. While your driver’s license is revoked or suspended, you will have to find – and pay for – alternative transportation.

If your occupation is driving – if you are a truck, bus, taxi, or delivery driver, for example – or if your job requires driving, without the right help from a DUI focused attorney you may be forced to find another line of work, and you may have difficulty finding it.

A driving under the influence conviction creates a criminal record. Background checks are common in the hiring process, and many employers are reticent to hire someone with a recent criminal conviction, even if the conviction is for DUI and the job does not require any driving.

Will a DUI Conviction Affect Your Professional License?

If you hold a professional license, you will also face consequences after a DUI conviction. If you hold a medical license, for example, the Illinois Medical Board may investigate you to determine if alcohol has affected your performance at work. If it has, your license will be suspended.

If you are an attorney in Illinois and you are charged with driving under the influence, the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission will investigate you. Depending on the details of your DUI case, the Commission may or may not take disciplinary action.

If you are a teacher, a pilot, or a law enforcement officer, after a DUI conviction, you may expect disciplinary action that will affect your professional license or certification, and in some cases, your license or certification could be suspended temporarily or revoked permanently.

If you are applying for a professional license for the first time, a prior DUI conviction doesn’t necessarily disqualify you. The details of your case and the specific rules of the licensing board will determine if your conviction disqualifies you for a professional license.

What Else Should You Know?

If you hold a commercial driver’s license, that license will be disqualified for one year after a DUI conviction, even if you were driving your private vehicle. However, if you were transporting hazardous materials while intoxicated, your commercial license will be disqualified for three years.

If you are not a citizen of the United States, and if your driving under the influence conviction comes to the attention of immigration authorities, your conviction may trigger a deportation proceeding.

Whoever you are, you want to avoid a DUI conviction. If you are charged with driving under the influence in or near the Chicago area, hire a DUI focused lawyer to get the best possible outcome on your case.

Why Should You Take Your Case to Driver Defense Team?

At Driver Defense team we will evaluate and review your case without any cost or obligation, and our team of Chicago DUI attorneys will work together and fight on your behalf.

A DUI conviction can wreck your finances, hurt your family, and in some cases, take away your freedom. When you become our client at Driver Defense Team, you will be putting your case in the hands of DUI lawyers that bring over 100 years of experience to the table. We will bring the matter to its best possible resolution.

Our law offices are located throughout the Chicago area, and we represent clients in Cook, Kane, Lake, and DuPage County, Illinois. To learn more – or to get legal help right now if you have been charged with DUI – contact Driver Defense Team.

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