Waukegan, Illinois, Criminal Law Blog

DUI Basics: How to Handle Your First Offense

If you’re facing DUI charges for the first time, you might be tempted to try and go it alone instead of paying someone to help represent you in court. You might even have searched online to see what other people have to say about this idea and found that many of them believe you can go ahead and just plead guilty yourself and move on. And while you could certainly do this, it is far from your best choice. In fact, opting for professional help can save you money and negative consequences in the long run.

Fight for Your Rights

There are few things that a novice in the legal field can miss – it’s just inevitable given the complexity of the industry. Let’s say that you made the decision to plead guilty and move forward with court supervision as recommended by the State’s Attorney. What happens when you need clarification about how to ensure your driving privileges remain intact? You might ask the State’s Attorney only to be told that there’s nothing they can do to help. An experienced attorney would understand that this is not the case, and that pressing the issue could benefit their client and make their life easier. If you unfamiliar with the legal system, however you’d be likely to just accept that response and attempt to move forward on your own, costing you a lot of time, effort, and money.

Keep in mind that when you represent yourself, you have no one aside from yourself willing to fight for your rights – and no one will go out of their way to help you and make your life easier. When you hire an attorney, on the other hand, you have someone who will demand that you be given every chance and advantage possible on your side.

Know the Consequences

Something else to keep in mind is that a DUI conviction can have serious consequences – and that includes the first charge. This charge will stay on your license forever, which means that if you should ever end up with a traffic issue again, it can be referenced to help prove your guilt. This includes even petty violations like speeding or running a stop sign. And if you ever wanted to drive for a living, you can probably forget that thought – the DUI is visible to prospective and current employers.

You should also note that just as no one will go out of their way to help you, no one will go out of their way to tell you that you don’t technically meet the definition of intoxication. An attorney who understands DUI law can look at the case and determine whether there is enough evidence to convict you of the charges you are facing, or if you should be facing a lesser charge (or have the charges dismissed entirely). Additionally, even your first DUI conviction can lead to you paying thousands of dollars in fines and spending 364 days behind bars in your local jail.

An experienced attorney can help give you the best chance possible of beating a DUI conviction. At Stone & Associates, we understand that our clients need high quality legal representation at an affordable price, and that’s what we strive to provide. Reach out to us today for a free initial consultation!