Whenever someone is charged with a criminal offense, it is easy to wonder whether or not a lawyer is needed to represent them. This can be true with the offense of Driving while Under the Influence, or "DUI," in the State of Illinois. Many people have tried to represent themselves, only to find that what they agreed to resulted in the revocation of their license, them having to check in regularly with a probation officer, not to mention possibly them going to jail. Because of this and more, hiring a lawyer when charged with a DUI is always a good idea.
DUI's can be complex, and a lawyer can help beat the case. Even when someone believes that he or she is guilty of the DUI offense, it does not mean that they have to accept it. Frequently, police make mistakes when they conclude that a person is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and these mistakes can mean that a person is not technically guilty of the DUI, even when they submitted to testing of their breath and/or bodily fluids, such as blood or urine.
The problem for many people charged with DUI has precisely to deal with just how complex DUI's are. They are not as simple as whether or not a person's breath-alcohol content exceeded 0.08, for example. It is always possible that a breath machine could be off or malfunction. Determining whether the test was administered accurately, the machine was working accurately, and whether the results are legitimate is not the kind of thing someone should undertake on his or her own due to the complexities involved with them.
Another thing that make DUI's complex is what are called "Standardized Field Sobriety Tests," otherwise known as "SFST's," which were developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety administration, or "NHTSA" for short. These tests are ones that most people have heard of, such as balancing on one foot and walking in a straight line, and they were developed after significant research. Police administration of these tests often falls short of the required protocols, which means that a person's DUI offense can often be beaten at a trial. Identifying the problems with a person's DUI arrest and charge can often have consequences for the rest of that person's life, and doing so takes a skilled trial lawyer.
Too often, people assume that their only option is to plead guilty. This leads to what is probably the most important reason to hire a lawyer, and it is the consequences that a DUI can have on a person's life. Whenever anyone is charged with a DUI, they face conviction, and there is only a single disposition under Illinois law that would allow a person to avoid that conviction. Obtaining that disposition is not simple, and it is far too easy for prosecutors to simply convict people who are charged with DUI. After a conviction, a person will find his or her driver's license revoked, and may not be eligible to even apply until years later. Add to this the possibility of going to jail at some time in the future, and the decision as to whether or not to hire a lawyer makes itself.
The only way to prevent one of these consequences from happening is through a skilled lawyer, who knows what he or she is doing. At Johnson Law Group, we pride ourselves at staying on top of the law, making sure we put as many pairs of eyes on a DUI case as possible. It is through these efforts that we have been successful in getting so many DUI's dismissed or amended, and we are available 24 hours a day to help.
Copyright © 2017 by Brendan Bukalski
The information provided in this column is general in nature, and should not be relied upon as legal advice or interpreted as creating an attorney-client relationship. As a general rule, all specific legal problems should be handled by an individual's attorney. All rights reserved. Any copying, duplication, or commercial use of the information contained in this column is strictly prohibited without prior permission.