A driving under the influence (DUI) charge can follow you for your entire life. If you are facing DUI charges, it is necessary to take action to avoid a conviction. The penalties associated with a DUI conviction in Illinois are severe and may include jail time and hefty fines. Do not hesitate to contact our firm as soon as possible for a free consultation. We have helped people all over Champaign and Illinois win dismissals or reduced penalties for their charges.
For over 35 years, Bruno Law Offices has been dedicated to defending the rights of people charged with a crime. Far too often, individuals are arrested when the police do not have a search warrant, pulled over when they did nothing wrong, and charged with crimes they did not commit. Criminal charges are serious and potentially damaging, but you can fight them with the help of a Champaign DUI attorney. Call us at (217) 328-6000 or fill out a contact form on our website to learn more about your legal options.
Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
A criminal defense attorney is an invaluable investment when facing serious criminal charges. A DUI conviction can touch every aspect of your life, including your family, financial stability, and ability to work. A qualified criminal defense attorney can help reduce or dismiss your charges. In addition, a DUI defense lawyer can aid in the following:
- Negotiations: We often hear about plea deals and alternative sentences in criminal defense cases. These are options that are best negotiated by a criminal defense lawyer. Even if you are convicted of your charges, a qualified lawyer can seek to lessen the blow of the consequences and help you get your life back on track.
- Building your case: The burden of proving your guilt falls on the prosecution, and a strong defense can make their job more difficult. A DUI lawyer will look through official police reports, arrest records, and other evidence to build a defense for you.
- Investigators and witnesses: Part of your defense could involve the testimonials of other people. Witnesses to crimes are often hesitant to speak without a lawyer present. A criminal defense attorney creates a comfortable environment for witness testimony. In addition, investigators can help corroborate or dispute witness testimony to boost your case.
- Legal knowledge: Some people figure they can defend themselves after being charged with a crime just by reading a book or studying the law themselves. In reality, the law is often more complicated than people can assume, and it is essential to have a professional who can interpret relevant statutes and ordinances for you.
- Objectivity: Your attorneys deal with individuals charged with crimes for a living so that they can offer an objective perspective about your case. Whether you are wondering how your future will look, the odds of your case being dismissed, or whether you could take a plea deal, a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer has answers to help you.
The choice to hire a criminal defense lawyer is ultimately a personal one, but the benefits of an advocate typically outweigh the associated costs. For more information about what a criminal defense lawyer can do for your case, contact (217) 328-6000.
Why Should I Choose Bruno Law Offices?
In Champaign and across Illinois, plenty of DUI defense lawyers would be willing to take your case. It can be difficult to choose which firm or lawyer will be the right fit for you and obtain the results you need in your case. With so much on the line, including your reputation, license, and relationships, you want to be sure you make a good decision about who should represent you. These are a few reasons we think Bruno Law Offices will be a good choice for you:
- Local resources: We have practiced law in the greater Champaign area for decades. As such, we know the system well and have access to resources at the local level that can help you when you need it most. Our firm is prepared to take on complex cases and mobilize our resources whenever necessary.
- Proven results: Our clients include individuals accused of many accidents and crimes. We have a proven history of settling such cases with reduced charges or completely dismissed. Scroll through our results page to learn more about our legal victories.
- “Never too busy”: Past clients describe our lawyers as communicative, fast to respond, and “never too busy.” Whether the case has severe consequences or is relatively small, we make sure to provide you with the answers and peace of mind necessary to move past any guilt, shame, or confusion you may be experiencing.
- Ready for Anything: We have handled cases from drug trafficking conspiracies to death-penalty murder cases. Our firm’s diverse range of work makes us well-equipped to deal with any level of DUI case, regardless of size or scope.
Our family is not interested in fame, recognition, or making a quick buck. Rather, we focus on the potential long-term consequences of a conviction and how drastically it can affect a good person’s life. We are interested in protecting innocent people and helping others to manage crisis situations whenever possible. If you have been charged with a DUI, do not panic. Contact our firm for a free consultation.
Our DUI Practice Areas
Whether you were arrested for underage drunk driving, aggravated DUI, or driving with drugs in your system, your situation can be nerve-wracking and hard to handle. Our Champaign DUI lawyers know how tough it is to face these charges alone. That is why we can help clients with the following:
If you are accused of drunk driving, you could face serious charges that are tough to fight on your own. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds the legal limit by a large margin, do not wait to get help for your case. Getting your charges reduced or dismissed before a conviction occurs is possible.
When a law enforcement officer pulls you over for suspected drunk driving, there are two cases in which you will be charged with DUI. If the officer determines that your BAC is above 0.05% and that you are physically incapable of safely operating the vehicle, then you will be charged with DUI. If your BAC is above the legal limit of 0.08%, then no matter how impaired you may behave, you will still be charged with DUI.
Defending a DUI charge is not easy. You will need strong and skilled legal support to protect you in court. Call the Champaign-Urbana drunk driving lawyers of Bruno Law Offices to learn more about how we can help you.
Underage Drunk Driving
Because car crashes are one of the leading causes of death among teens, Illinois supports a zero-tolerance policy with regard to underage drivers. This means that if a driver under the age of 21 is caught with any amount of alcohol in his or her system, he or she will suffer a license suspension. This law was adopted to reduce the number of teens killed on the roads each year.
Felony and Aggravated DUI
When you are convicted of multiple DUI charges, or face aggravated DUI charges, your DUI could be classified as a felony. The penalties for felony charges are steeper than those for the typical misdemeanor DUI charges. A felony DUI can result in up to six years of prison time or a fine of up to $10,000, so hire a strong defense.
Someone is considered to be charged with aggravated DUI in the state of Illinois when they have been charged with a felony DUI.
This crime is committed when offenders do one of the following:
- Receive a third DUI conviction
- Are involved in a DUI accident that results in the death of or significant injury to another person
- Commit DUI while driving a school bus with children onboard
- Receive a DUI after a previous aggravated DUI charge that caused a death
If you receive three or more DUI convictions in Illinois, you will receive a Category 4 felony.
The punishment for this crime includes the following measures:
- Six-year driver’s license suspension
- Imprisonment for up to 6 years
- A fine of up to $10,000
These penalties are much more significant than those for first- and second-time offenders, who face fines of up to $1,000 and imprisonment for up to one year. For this reason, seeking the legal guidance of a skilled attorney is essential, as these punishments can weigh heavily on your time, budget, and ability to enjoy life.
At Bruno Law Offices, we understand how overwhelming a DUI charge can feel. The legal process can be frustrating and stressful, especially if you have never faced criminal charges. Call our attorneys today for help handling your charges.
DUI Frequently Asked Questions
Are breathalyzers accurate?
Not always. Police officers often rely on breathalyzers and trust them to accurately read a driver’s blood alcohol concentration. However, breathalyzer inaccuracies happen more often than we think. Sadly, a breathalyzer inaccuracy can devastate a person’s life. A breathalyzer test is rarely questioned; the results are taken as fact, and if the machine determines that a person’s BAC is above the legal limit of .08%, then the individual can face severe consequences. If you were given a breathalyzer test that you believe provided law enforcement with incorrect results, be sure to contact a lawyer. An experienced DUI lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and determine your best legal options.
What are the penalties for a DUI?
The state of Illinois does not take DUI charges lightly, and offenders can face serious consequences. A first-time DUI offense is considered a class A misdemeanor, and offenders may face up to one year in prison. Additionally, a first-time DUI offender will likely have their driver’s license suspended for six months as an administrative penalty. A DUI conviction can also carry a fine between $500 and $2,5000. The penalties for a DUI will greatly increase for any repeat offenses. To make matters worse, a DUI conviction on your record can make it more difficult to find a job and place a strain on your relationships. The penalties increase if you are charged with multiple DUI offenses. If you are facing DUI charges, contact an attorney immediately for the best chances of reducing or dropping your charges.
What should I do if I’ve been charged with a DUI?
One important step you can take after a DUI arrest is to gather information. The more notes you take about the events leading up to and following your arrest, the easier it will be for your attorney to to create an effective defense strategy for you. Next, you will need to hire an experienced attorney. A tough DUI attorney will be able to walk you through the daunting legal process and provide you with all your best options. To speak with a knowledgeable attorney, contact our offices today by calling (217) 328-6000.
What if someone was hurt as a result of my DUI?
If your aggravated DUI involved injury to another person, then you may face imprisonment for up to 12 years. If it involved the death of another person, then you will face a Class 2 felony charge and imprisonment for up to 14 years.
Illinois DUI Statistics
We constantly hear how toxic drunk driving is for our society. The message comes from the media, ad campaigns, government agencies, and our family and friends. As a result, DUI charges are extremely stigmatized and can be shameful to talk about. The DUI defense lawyers at Bruno Law Offices recognize that everyone makes mistakes, and we want to help you recover from your charges. Consider the following statistics published by the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State:
- 330 people died from drunk driving crashes in 2021, accounting for about 25 percent of all traffic deaths that year
- Police made 21,735 total DUI arrests statewide in 2021
- 207 drivers under age 21 lost their licenses due to drunk driving arrests
- At a rate of about 7 arrests for every 1,000 licensed drivers, males ages 25-24 had the highest DUI arrest rate in 2021
- 91% of eligible drivers arrested for DUI lost driving privileges
- 86% of those arrested for DUI are first-time offenders
When we look at the numbers surrounding DUI arrests in Illinois, a concerning picture emerges. Many of the people arrested are young and first offenders. Although our firm does not condone drunk driving, we know that even upstanding citizens can make haunting mistakes. Do not allow a DUI conviction to follow you for the rest of your life. Hire a criminal defense lawyer to fight for the reduction or dismissal of your charges.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 11,654 people died in motor vehicle crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers in 2020, accounting for 30 percent of all traffic-related deaths nationwide. This was a 14.3 percent increase from 2019. The National Institute on Drug Abuse adds that 43.6 percent of fatally injured drivers in one recent year tested positive for drugs, and over half of those drivers were positive for two or more drugs.. There are serious repercussions for a felony DUI conviction. As a felon, firearms cannot be purchased or owned. Car insurance rates are greatly increased for felons. A criminal record can make it especially difficult to “find employment or rent property.” The National Conference for State Legislatures reported that in Illinois, felons lose their right to vote while incarcerated but qualify for “automatic restoration” after they are released from prison.
According to the latest Illinois Secretary of State DUI Illinois Fact Book, the first offense for failing a chemical test is suspending driving privileges for six months. The second or following offense within five years results in suspension of driving privileges for one year. Those who refuse to submit to chemical testing on the first offense are suspended from driving privileges for 12 months. The second or following offense within five years results in suspension of driving privileges for three years. A third conviction of aggravated DUI is considered a Class 2 felony, resulting in revocation of driving privileges for a minimum of 10 years and suspension of your vehicle registration. The Secretary of State reported the following for third convictions:
“If committed with a BAC of .16 or more — In addition to any other criminal or administrative sanctions, mandatory imprisonment of 90 days and a minimum fine of $2,500.
If committed while transporting a child under age 16 — In addition to any other criminal or administrative sanctions, a mandatory fine of $25,000 and 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children.”
In Illinois, the total average cost of a DUI is $18,130. Additional charges for costs like medical treatment can reach up to $100,000 or more. Meanwhile, damages for crash survivors can cost more than $10,000, and abuse programs can cost upwards of $3,500. In Champaign County alone, police made 263 DUI arrests in 2021.
Contact a Champaign DUI Defense Lawyer
The lawyers at Bruno Law Offices are all too familiar with the devastating effects of a drunk driving conviction. DUI convictions often come with expensive fines, jail time, and a suspension of privileges. We aim to get you back on your feet and moving in the right direction as soon as possible. Do not let a DUI charge turn into a life-altering conviction when there is still time to take action. Contact our Champaign offices by calling (217) 328-6000 or filling out a contact information sheet on our website today.