If you or a loved one are facing a Driving Under the Influence charge, you may be wondering if you need a criminal defense lawyer and have numerous questions to ask them about your case. A DUI conviction can have serious negative effects on your future.
A criminal record can hurt your job opportunities, result in loss of driving privileges, damage your relationships with your family, and potentially harm your reputation. If you are concerned about the potential consequences a DUI conviction may have on your life, it is important to speak with an experienced defense attorney. Contact Ktenas Law to schedule a free initial consultation with a Chicago DUI attorney.
How Long Have They Been Practicing DUI Defense?
A greating starting point when speaking to a prospective attorney is to ask them about their defense strategies. They should be able to readily share aggressive defenses that have worked for their clients. Common DUI defenses include:
A Blood Alcohol Content test may be administered through a breathalyzer device by a law enforcement officer who suspects someone of driving under the influence of alcohol. Certain issues with these devices can lead to inaccurate results. Perhaps the device was not calibrated correctly.
Perhaps you consumed food or drink that the machine can mistake for alcohol content. Or maybe the presence of other environmental elements like blood or vomit can negatively affect the results of the test. Your lawyer can review the circumstances of your arrest to see if any of these are a possibility. If a mistake is found and the test was proven to be inaccurate, it can not be used as evidence in your case.
Deprivation of Right to Counsel
After any arrest, the person charged has a right to an attorney. If the arresting officer fails to provide you with the opportunity to access legal counsel, your statements following your arrest may be deemed inadmissible evidence. The same is true if the arresting officer fails to read you your Miranda Rights. It doesn't automatically get you out of the charge, but it can make parts of your arrest inadmissible in court.
Improper Field Sobriety Test
When a police officer chooses to administer a field sobriety test, there are many errors that can be made. They must follow the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's standards to maintain accuracy. There are a variety of other factors that could lead to inaccurate results.
Does the driver have an inner ear disability that could affect balance? Were the instructions given clearly during the test? Is the officer familiar with the types of tests they gave? Did they record the results properly? If mistakes are found in the way the field sobriety test was administered it may not be used in court and could severely reduce the evidence the prosecutor has against you.
Have They Handled Cases Similar to Yours?
If you want favorable results in your criminal charges case, you should hire a legal team that has previous experience with cases similar to yours. Ask a potential attorney if they have represented someone under similar circumstances. Ask about their track record of those cases.
A defense attorney who has many years of experience will be able to predict obstacles and know how to circumvent any tactics of the prosecution. A qualified lawyer will be open and honest with you about their relevant experience. They should be passionate about winning and helping you receive the best possible outcome.
Learn More: What Can a DUI Lawyer Do For Your Case?
What They Can Do to Defend You
When reviewing your case, including all evidence such as police camera footage, police reports, eye-witness accounts, or other surveillance videos, your lawyer will be looking for inaccuracies or errors in the process. The key to a good defense is in the details of what happens before and during the arrest. A strong DUI defense lawyer will know exactly what to look for and will work hard to have your charges reduced or, at best, get your case dismissed.
If there are no convincing errors in your arrest, an experienced DUI lawyer may advise you to take a plea agreement. A plea deal means you plead guilty to a lesser offense for a lesser punishment.
What Kind of Outcomes Can You Expect From Your Case?
This is a great question to ask, as it will help prepare you for all possible outcomes and will help you determine whether your prospective lawyer is realistic about your specific case. In Chicago, Illinois a DUI conviction is a Class A misdemeanor. It carries a penalty of up to one year of jail time and up to $2500 in fines. That is the worst-case scenario for a first offense.
After reviewing your specific drunk driving case, an attorney will have a better understanding of the consequences you may be facing. Which could include:
- Pre-trial Intervention Programs - Drug and Alcohol Education Programs
- Ignition Interlock Device
- Community Service
- Substance Abuse Counseling
- Higher Insurance Rates
- License suspension or License Revocation
- Loss of employment
This is a list of some of the penalties you could be facing with a conviction. Obviously, the main goal of a strong defense is to avoid a conviction altogether and have your DUI charges dismissed. When speaking with a criminal defense attorney to see if they are right for you, ask them what they think you could potentially be dealing with.
Review Your DUI Case With Our Firm Today
Facing a drunk driving charge can be a scary and stressful period of time. A DUI conviction is no light matter and can have serious effects on your life and your future. It's important to hire strong legal representation so you have the best chance at a favorable outcome. Don't be afraid to prepare a list of questions to ask your lawyer.
At Ktenas Law, we are dedicated to results at an affordable rate or through a payment plan. We are happy to answer any questions and help you understand the charges. Contact us today for your free case review with an experienced attorney!