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First-Time DUI Attorneys in Chicago, Illinois

If you've recently been arrested for a DUI for the first time, it might feel as though your world has come to a halt. The fear of the unknown, concerning legal procedures, and potential outcomes can be overwhelming. But if you're facing charges, the first thing to know is that you have rights, and you can trust in that. If you have been charged with a DUI, don't face your situation alone. Get in touch with a skilled criminal defense attorney for support. 

At Ciardelli, Cummings & Campagna LLC, our team possesses the knowledge and experience necessary to effectively defend first-time DUI offenders, striving for outcomes that have the least possible impact on their futures. If you've been charged in or around Chicago, Illinois, reach out to us.  

Immediate Steps to Take if Facing a DUI Charge

If you find yourself facing a DUI charge, it's wise to act deliberately and knowledgeably to protect your rights and future. Here are critical steps you should take: 

  1. Remain Calm and Compliant: During the arrest, it's paramount to stay calm and not resist officers. Compliance doesn't mean admitting guilt; it simply means cooperating with the process. 

  1. Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent: You have the right not to answer self-incriminating questions without an experienced DUI lawyer. Politely decline to discuss your case until you are able to speak with legal representation. 

  1. Understand Your Rights: Illinois operates under implied consent laws, meaning that by driving on Illinois roads, drivers have implicitly agreed to submit to chemical testing if suspected of DUI. Refusal to submit to such testing can result in automatic license suspension and other penalties, which can complicate the defense process. However, even though you are required to submit to chemical testing (such as a breathalyzer), you do not need to submit to field sobriety tests. 

  1. Document Everything: Write down everything you remember about the arrest process, including the time of the stop, the names and badge numbers of the officers involved, any field sobriety tests conducted, and statements made. 

  1. Seek Legal Representation Immediately: Contact an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you get a lawyer, the better they can prepare your defense. 

Facing a DUI charge can be scary to even the bravest among us, but by taking these steps, you are placing yourself in a better position to challenge the charge effectively.

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Understanding the Implications of a First-Time DUI

A first-time DUI in Illinois is typically classified as a Class A misdemeanor, carrying potential penalties that can significantly impact your day-to-day life. These consequences can include: 

  • Up to one year in jail 

  • Fines of up to $2,500 

  • Suspension of driving privileges for a minimum of 1 year for drivers over the age of 21 

  • Mandatory attendance at a DUI education program 

Given these severe penalties, you'll want to have an effective legal defense to potentially reduce or dismiss the charges against you. 

Can a First-Time DUI Become a Felony?

While a first-time DUI in Illinois is generally considered a Class A misdemeanor, certain circumstances can elevate it to a felony charge, also known as an Aggravated DUI. This can occur if the offense involves aggravating factors such as causing bodily harm or death, driving with a suspended or revoked license, or having a minor in the vehicle at the time of the DUI.

Even as a first-time offender, facing a felony DUI charge can greatly increase the severity of potential penalties, including longer prison sentences, higher fines, and more lasting effects on your personal and professional life. It's essential to have knowledgeable legal representation to advocate on your behalf for the most favorable outcome. 

Defending Against First-Time DUI Charges

At Ciardelli, Cummings & Campagna LLC, we employ a thorough and strategic approach to defending first-time DUI charges. Our defense strategies may include: 

  • Challenging the Traffic Stop: Arguing that the stop was made without probable cause

  • Disputing Sobriety Test Methods and Results: Questioning the administration and accuracy of field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests

  • Investigating Chain of Custody and Lab Errors: Identifying any potential mistakes in the handling or analysis of blood alcohol content (BAC) samples

  • Exploring Alternatives: Seeking alternative penalties to jail time, such as probation, community service, or DUI education programs

At Ciardelli, Cummings & Campagna LLC, our priority is to minimize the impact of DUI charges on your life, advocating fiercely for your rights and a positive outcome. 

How Our Firm Can Help

Facing a first-time DUI charge is a critical moment that can affect the rest of your life. At Ciardelli, Cummings & Campagna LLC, we understand the fear and uncertainty that come with these charges. Our dedication to our clients goes beyond just legal representation; we strive to provide guidance, support, and a personalized defense strategy tailored to the specifics of your case. We pledge to fight for the best possible result, helping to protect your future and minimize the impact of a DUI charge on your life. 

FAQs

Q: Is a first-time DUI considered a criminal offense in Illinois? 

A: Yes, a first-time DUI is typically classified as a Class A misdemeanor, which is a criminal offense. 

Q: What are the chances of getting a first-time DUI dismissed? 

A: The likelihood of getting a DUI charge dismissed depends on various factors, including the specifics of the case and the defense strategy employed. Our skilled attorneys work tirelessly to explore every avenue for a possible dismissal or reduction of charges. 

Q: Can I lose my driving privileges from a first-time DUI? 

A: Yes, a first-time DUI conviction can result in the suspension of your driving privileges for a significant amount of time.

First-Time DUI Attorneys in Chicago, Illinois 

A first-time DUI charge can significantly disrupt your life, but taking prompt and informed action can help to mitigate its impact. Ciardelli, Cummings & Campagna LLC offers experienced, compassionate legal representation to those facing their first DUI. Contact us today to learn how we can help you through this challenging time and work toward a favorable resolution. Located in Chicago, Illinois, we proudly serve clients throughout the greater Chicagoland area.