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The Dollar Value of a Skilled DUI Defense

Posted on in DUI Defense

IL defense lawyerWhen charged with driving under the influence, one of your first thoughts is likely to be, “How much is this going to cost?” The cost of hiring a defense attorney may be your most immediate concern. But that should not be your only concern. The total cost of a DUI conviction will be far higher than attorney fees alone. In the end, a strong DUI defense that keeps a drunk driving conviction off your record—and your wallet—will be worth far more than the attorney fees.

The Cost and Benefits of an Aggressive DUI Defense

For a first-time DUI offense, you can expect to pay several thousand dollars in legal fees. But you must weigh that against the total cost of a DUI conviction, estimated at over $15,000.

While it is true that most first-time DUI offenders are granted court supervision, an aggressive DUI defense attorney will study all the evidence in your case and make every effort to get the DUI charge reduced or dismissed entirely. The benefits of keeping even a court supervision for DUI off your record are substantial.

Keep in mind that Illinois allows just one court supervision for DUI in a driver’s lifetime. If you have already had one court supervision for DUI, and you are charged with a second or subsequent DUI, you will face all the penalties of a DUI conviction. These include up to one year in jail, fines up to $2,500, and revocation of your driver’s license for a minimum of one year. In this situation, the value of an aggressive defense is even higher.

Costs to Keep Driving During Statutory Summary Suspension

If you tested over the legal limit for alcohol (.08 or higher), marijuana, or other drugs at the time of your DUI arrest, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended by the Secretary of State’s office for a minimum of 6 months (12 months if you refused testing) for a first offense. This suspension of your driver’s license is separate from the criminal DUI charge and any sentence you receive for that.

If you want to keep driving during the suspension period, you must obtain a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) and pay to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed in your car. The cost of the BAIID, plus the fee to have your driver’s license reinstated at the end of your suspension period, will total over $1,000 for a six-month suspension.

One of the first things your attorney will do is file a petition to fight the suspension of your driver’s license. Avoiding the statutory suspension means big cost savings for you.

Higher Auto Insurance Costs Due to DUI

When your auto insurance company sees a statutory summary suspension on your driving record, they will most likely raise your insurance premiums or even cancel your policy.

A DUI criminal conviction on your record will be even more costly: High-risk auto insurance can cost you an extra $2,000 per year for a minimum of three years, or $6,000 total.

Fines and Other Costs for a First-Time DUI

Even if you receive court supervision, the court will still impose some penalties on you. For example, you will have to undergo a drug/alcohol evaluation and also have to attend some kind of drug/alcohol education course or treatment. You must pay for those, which will cost a minimum of $350 in DuPage County and more if the evaluation recommends more extensive treatment.

Jail time is rare for a first-time DUI offense unless there are aggravating circumstances, such as an accident causing the serious injury or death of another person. And court supervision sentences typically do not result in revocation of your driver’s license.

However, the court will likely sentence you to pay a fine of up to $2,500 and/or perform community service. You also have to consider the cost of lost earnings, because you will likely miss quite a few days of work to fulfill the requirements of your sentence.

Again, you can avoid all these costs if your attorney can get the DUI charge reduced or dismissed entirely. If that is not possible, your attorney will develop strong arguments for the prosecutor and court to be lenient in your sentencing rather than imposing the maximum penalties.

Build a Strong Defense with an Oak Brook Terrace DUI Defense Attorney

The total cost of a DUI is far higher than just the cost of legal fees. If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, seek help from an experienced DuPage County DUI defense lawyer without delay. The more time your attorney has to prepare your defense, the better. Call the attorneys at McMahon Law Offices at 630-953-4400 for a free consultation; we offer evening and weekend availability.





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