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Recent Study Highlights the Importance of Lawyers in DUI Cases

Posted on in Traffic Offenses

DUI, DUI arrests, DUI case, DUI charges, mandatory license loss, McHenry County criminal defense lawyer, reduce criminal chargesDUI charges are often considered some of the most severe traffic offenses encountered. Illinois law takes these offenses particularly seriously, and reading the statute related to DUI charges can give the impression that many of the DUI penalties are automatic and are not subject to the discretion of the judge or the state's prosecutor.

However, a recent study by the Chicago Tribune highlighted the fact that this is not always the case. The study demonstrated how effective defense attorneys can help those facing DUI charges to avoid the mark on their record and the mandatory license loss, in some circumstances, by helping inject discretion and leniency back into a draconian system.

The Study's Results

The Tribune's study illustrated how many DUI arrests did not result in the loss of a license. Statistics were broken down by county, and the results for McHenry County and DuPage County were especially surprising. In McHenry County, as many as 21 percent of people arrested for DUIs avoided losing their license. The numbers in DuPage County were even higher, with the range going up to 25 percent of those arrested for DUIs. The particular strategy or plea deal that was used worked because of the unique way in which DUIs are prosecuted and the effective representation on the part of defense attorneys.

How This Happens

The way that the state prosecutes DUIs provides two separate ways for people to lose their licenses. One of these ways is an “administrative” route, meaning that the suspension occurs under the authority of the Secretary of State. The other is the ordinary judicial route in which the court suspends the person's license as part of a DUI punishment.

The administrative route is supposed to provide an automatic suspension within 46 days of the arrest as long as the person either refused an alcohol test or tested over the legal limit. Then, the separate criminal case can trigger a license revocation, which makes the license more difficult to recover, regardless of how the administrative route is functioning. However, a defense attorney may be able to work with the prosecutors in this system to avoid such suspensions.

The administrative route allows for a challenge to the automatic suspension if the police mishandled the arrest. A plea deal with the prosecution may prevent them from arguing that point, while simultaneously reducing the criminal charges from a DUI to something lesser like improper lane usage. This allows the municipality to collect a fine and still generate revenue, while still letting the defendant avoid some of the more rigid punishments that are particular to DUIs.

Contact an Experienced McHenry County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have recently been charged with a DUI or other criminal offense and, are concerned about the penalties you may now face, please seek help from a McHenry County criminal defense attorney. Our dedicated team of professionals can help work with you to make the process as painless as possible. Call 800-338-3833 today.

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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