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Understanding the overall cost of a DUI conviction in Illinois

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2022 | Drunk Driving Defense |

When a person is arrested for driving under the influence in Illinois, they are likely to immediately consider the legal consequences and the financial costs associated with a potential conviction. There is no doubt that the prospect of incarceration, a driver’s license suspension and fines will be daunting.

However, there are other costs associated with a DUI conviction that are frequently ignored, but can be as—if not more—expensive than those linked to the penalties themselves. A common mistake people make is believing the evidence is unassailable and that there is little room for them to try and reach a positive result in the case. Knowing the value of an aggressive defense can be essential to avoiding the worst penalties, including the hefty financial costs that accompany being convicted.

Drivers accused of DUI should know how it can damage them financially

Illinois is serious about preventing DUIs and punishing drivers who are convicted. For example, if it is a first conviction for a driver who is older than 21 and the blood alcohol concentration is above 0.08%, they can be incarcerated for one year and fined as much as $2,500. The penalties will worsen if there are added factors in the case. If there is a BAC of 0.16% or higher, there is a minimum fine of $500 and 100 hours of community service. Transporting a person under 16 at the time will have a minimum fine of $1,000 and 25 days of community service to benefit children. These worsen with subsequent convictions.

The financial aspect of the DUI is not limited to these fines. When there is a driver’s license suspension, the person will need to pay $250 for the reinstatement. Insurance rates are going to rise. Those who must have an ignition interlock device placed on their vehicle so they can legally drive are obligated to pay for its installation and maintenance. This is before calculating the lost income from being incarcerated or performing community service. Many people need their vehicles to commute back and forth to work and are in jeopardy of losing their jobs entirely because of the conviction. This should all be factored in when planning the defense.

Comprehensive help can be a key factor in fighting DUI charges

Having the right type of legal assistance can make a major difference in the outcome of the case. A former prosecutor who knows the local and state courts is familiar with the strategies prosecutors use, is cognizant of how to call evidence into question and who knows the vulnerable areas of witness testimony could find flaws in the case and secure an acquittal.

This familiarity and experience can also be helpful when trying to find alternative solutions to the worst penalties that can result from a court case. Perhaps treatment could be an option or the charges could be reduced.

People’s lives can be upended by a DUI conviction. It will exact a cost financially as well as personally and professionally. People who are young and just starting out in life will not want the negative mark on their record that comes from a DUI. Those established in the Springfield community and its surrounding areas who might have a business and reputation to protect will also need help with their case. This is true for anyone, whether they are stay-at-home parents, blue collar workers and are in the public sector or private sector.

For help with knowing the financial ramifications of a DUI conviction and in crafting a strategy to defend against the charges, it is imperative to consult with qualified and experienced people who are well-versed in all areas of drunk driving defense. This can be crucial in achieving a good result and moving on without the negative impact of a DUI charge continually posing a problem.