Depending on the level of your offense, the penalties for DUI can range from an expensive and painful slap on the wrist to years in prison.
Unless you are found not guilty, many DUIs result in a conviction. Only a first time DUI is eligible for supervision. Supervision is an administrative warning. Unlike many other criminal offenses, however, a supervision for DUI cannot be expunged. In other words, you cannot petition to have it erased from your criminal record.
Other penalties for DUI include:
1) Community service: The number of hours may depend on the offense. If you are sentenced to the Sheriff Work Alternative Program (SWAP), you will be expected to perform a certain number of hours doing what is usually strenuous work. Often, you may be picking up trash off the highway. SWAP usually starts very early in the morning, and if you are even a minute late, you may be forced to come back another day. In limited cases, a judge might allow you to perform community service at a charity of your choice.
2) Fines: Class A Misdemeanors (most first offenses) can be fined up to $2,500. If your DUI is upgraded to a felony, the fines can range up to $25,000.
3) Classes – All DUIs are required to get a court-ordered evaluation. Depending on the level of severity indicated in the evaluation, you will be ordered to take alcohol treatment classes or possibly go to rehab. Some levels require inpatient care. These classes and treatment can be expensive.
4) Supervision fees – if you do get supervision, you are required to pay a monthly fee for the term of your supervision, around $50 a month, or $600 for a year.
5) License suspension – You will not be able to drive. The length of the suspension depends on a variety of factors: Did you take the field sobriety tests? Did you have prior DUI-related offenses? Was anybody injured? Unless an attorney can get your automatic suspension overturned, you could lose your license for 6 months to years on end.
6) Licensing fees. To get your license reinstated, you must pay a fee to the Secretary of State. More severe suspensions or revocation of your license can require you to petition the Secretary of State to get your license back. This can be expensive, result in legal fees, and there is no guarantee you will get your license back in the first few attempts. Some people never regain their driving privileges.
If you are charged with DUI or a related offense, contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for the best possible defense. Did the police have probable cause to stop you? Can the state prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were too impaired to drive? Even if the evidence is overwhelming, an attorney respected in the court house can often negotiate a better plea agreement than you could on your own.
If you have questions about this or another related criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)