#1 Rated Chicago DUI Lawyer

man behind the wheel of car holding beer with police lights behind him

Choose a Chicago Criminal Defense Firm You Can Depend On

Have you recently been arrested by a police officer for driving under the influence of Alcohol (DUI) in Chicagoland? What you do next – and when you do it – is critical. After an arrest, you will be placed in a precarious legal situation where the prosecution has already started to gather evidence against you while you are still trying to figure out what to do next.

Remember: No matter what your charges are, you should never plead guilty without speaking to an experienced Chicago DUI attorney first.

At the Law Offices of Mitch Furman, I put an entire legal team of skilled and experienced lawyers in Chicago in your corner so you aren’t alone during this stressful time. Contact my office today at (312) 236-7078 to schedule your free consultation with a DUI defense lawyer.

What is a DUI?

A DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, is a criminal offense that occurs when an individual operates a vehicle after consuming an amount of alcohol or drugs that impair their ability to drive safely. The threshold for impairment is often measured by blood alcohol content (BAC), with a BAC of 0.08% or higher being illegal for the average driver over 21 years of age. However, lower limits may apply for commercial drivers (CDL) and young drivers under the legal drinking age.

Factors that lead to DUI charges can include erratic driving, involvement in an accident, or failing a field sobriety test administered by a police officer. Consequences for a DUI conviction vary and can include license suspensions, hefty fines, imprisonment, and the requirement of community service. For offenders, the impact extends beyond legal penalties as it may also involve the loss of employment opportunities, increased insurance premiums, and a permanent criminal record.

What Is Illinois Drunk Driving Law?

The Illinois Driving While Under the Influence Statute is codified under Section 625 ILCS 5/11-501. The statute provides that a person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this State while:

  1. the alcohol concentration in the person’s blood, other bodily substance, or breath is 0.08 
  2. under the influence of alcohol;
To violate the statute, a person does not even have to drive a vehicle to be guilty of the offense. Illinois courts have interpreted the language of “actual physical control.” to include someone who is sleeping in their motor vehicle while their blood alcohol content is over the legal limit of .08. 
drunk young girls sitting at the bare with neat whiskey drink in hand
man taking field sobriety tests next to a police officer
waiter carrying 2 martinis on a tray
man in a car holding beer, with flashing police lights behind him.
topped over beer glass and car keys on the table
brandy sniffter and car key on the table
cocktail hadcuffs and car keys on a table
dui-charge-lawyer
Woman with car key refusing glass of alcoholic beverage, on blurred background. Don't drink and drive concept
1 2

What You Need to Know After a DUI Arrest

After a DUI arrest, you have limited time to file a Petition for a Statutory Summary Suspension Rescission Hearing. If that is not done, the Illinois Secretary of State will suspend your driving privileges under 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1.

I, Attorney Mitch Furman, can act on your behalf at the hearing, contest the suspension, and provide you with powerful representation in court that is supported by my 20+ years of legal and trial experience. Be sure to read our blog for more info about what to do if you are pulled over for a DUI.

Financial Consequences of a DUI

Being convicted of a DUI can come with steep financial consequences that many people often don’t consider when they decide to get behind the wheel after drinking. The total cost of a first-time DUI conviction typically exceeds $10,000 and often even more, depending on each case. This amount consists of fines imposed by the court, legal fees, loss of driving privileges, license suspensions or revocations, Secretary of State fees, mandatory drug and alcohol education course fees, mandated community service, an alcohol ignition interlock device requirement, as well as higher insurance premiums and a criminal record that may be in effect for years to come.

Additionally, more serious criminal convictions may carry other hefty costs, such as jail time or suspended driving privileges, resulting in a loss of employment or overtime income. DUI-affected individuals need to seriously weigh the potential outcomes and financial damage versus alternative forms of transportation before getting behind the wheel while under the influence. Financial difficulty due to a DUI conviction is avoidable, but unfortunately, those suffering from this situation may require additional means to cope with a variety of monetary penalties.

Going To Court For DUI Without A Lawyer

Getting a professional at your side is essential if you are arrested for a DUI. Following your arrest by the police, the clock starts ticking. Certain rigid time limits fall into play at the moment of your arrest. For example, if you need to keep your driving privileges intact, you must file a petition to rescind your statutory summary suspension immediately. 

Under Illinois law, this petition has to be filed no later than 90 days from the arrest. Additionally, you have a right to have a hearing within 30 days to determine whether to suspend or reinstate your driving privileges. Should you fail to bring an experienced DUI attorney to court to assist you, your driver’s license suspension can stay in effect for up to three or more years.

Do not risk handling your case alone. Let my firm’s 20-plus years of legal experience handle this daunting process for you.

How Long Will You Lose Your License for Your First DUI in Illinois?

caricature of officer dangling handcuffs behing a police cruiser

In Illinois, you will have your driving privileges suspended for one year if you submitted to the breathalyzer test but were over the legal limit of .08. If you refused to take the breathalyzer test altogether. Your suspension will be six months. Additionally, DUI arrest will remain permanently on your driving record.

Some of the tactics that may apply to your case:

  • Roadside breath tests and field sobriety tests are notorious for being inaccurate. I may be able to challenge these types of evidence and get them dismissed from your case.
  • Blood and urine samples, when taken by poorly trained personnel, will often result in contaminated samples and inaccurate test results. As a result, challenging the blood test is often an effective defense for drunk driving cases.
  • Timing is another factor that may allow you to challenge the evidence of your drunk driving charge. If your blood, urine, or breath was tested several hours after arrest, your blood alcohol level (BAC) could be higher than it was at the time of arrest.
  • Individual BAC results may not be enough to warrant a conviction. My firm can fight to prove that a physical or medical condition—such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or even heartburn—caused you to register a.08 BAC or higher.

Guiding You Through the Criminal Process

After an arrest in Cook County for driving under the influence, you must make important decisions concerning your case and how you are going to go about defending yourself. Hasty or otherwise uninformed choices about hiring the right criminal defense attorney could limit your chances of a favorable outcome. Rather than rushing into things or stepping into a situation without the proper knowledge and preparation, let our Chicago DUI attorney look at your case ,determine the right course to develop a solid defense and advise you on the DUI process in Illinois.

gold scales of justice in a black circle

The Importance of Hiring a DUI Lawyer

Navigating the complexities of a DUI charge can be overwhelming and fraught with legal pitfalls. In such times, the expertise of a Chicago DUI lawyer becomes indispensable. The intricate nature of DUI laws, especially in Illinois’ Cook, Lake, and DuPage counties, demands knowledgeable legal counsel who can challenge the intricacies of the case, from the validity of a blood alcohol content (BAC) test to the conduct of the arresting police officer.

An experienced attorney is adept in casting reasonable doubt on the evidence presented and can identify any procedural errors or infringements of constitutional rights that could sway the case in favor of the defendant.

I, Mitch Furman, a seasoned Chicago DUI lawyer, operate within the judicial system daily and have established relationships with prosecutors and judges. These relationships can be crucial when negotiating plea bargains or advocating for lesser criminal charges. Furthermore, my concentrated legal representation is critical to preserving driving privileges and livelihoods for those with commercial driving licenses or who face a statutory summary suspension.

Hiring my law firm as your Chicago DUI lawyer can also profoundly impact mitigating long-term repercussions. A criminal conviction not only affects immediate concerns such as license suspensions but can also leave an indelible mark on one’s criminal record, impacting future job prospects and social standing. Therefore, investing in an experienced attorney can mean the difference between a temporary hindrance and a permanent stain on one’s life.

Benefits of Legal Representation

Facing a DUI charge without competent legal representation can exacerbate the situation, leading to harsher penalties and a lack of understanding of one’s rights. Conversely, enlisting the services of a Chicago criminal defense attorney, Law Offices of Mitch Furman, offers numerous advantages. Firstly, an experienced attorney who is well-versed in DUI law and can navigate the legal system effectively to secure the best possible outcome. Attorney Furman’s proficiency can lead to outcomes such as reduced criminal penalties, lighter sentences, or, in certain cases, complete dismissal of charges.

Attorney Mitch Furman’s negotiation skills are invaluable in securing plea bargains that could eliminate the need for a trial, reduce charges to a lesser criminal offense, or minimize the consequences of a DUI conviction. Additionally, his legal representation ensures that due process is followed, protecting the defendant from potential miscarriages of justice.

Constructing a Proper Defense

You should not be left hanging and feeling helpless after being arrested for a DUI in Chicago. At my firm, I am confident that as a skilled criminal defense attorney, I can come to your assistance and find a way to help you. If I need to burn the midnight oil and go the extra mile for my clients, I am happy to do so. It all comes down to finding a way to get you the best resolution possible.

Some ways I can challenge your arrest and charges include:

  • Questioning the accuracy of breath and field sobriety tests
  • Contending that your stop was unlawful
  • Reanalyzing the results of your chemical tests

The importance of a unique and well-developed defense in drunk driving cases cannot be stressed enough. Choosing an experienced criminal defense lawyer who routinely handles DUI cases is of utmost importance. Even if you are a first-time DUI offender and not hit with jail time and high fines after sentencing, you will likely lose your license for quite some time. For most of us, that would mean unnecessary stress in our lives and a loss of freedom of mobility. For many others, it could also mean a loss of employment as you are unable to make it to work without a car. The law firm of Mitch Furman is a top-rated DUI charge firm handling DUI cases in Chicago, Illinois. For a free, confidential evaluation, call us today.

Don’t leave things up to chance! Contact my firm for a free initial consultation and to start working with an experienced Chicago DUI attorney.

DUI Attorney Chicago

The Consequences of a DUI Conviction

A DUI conviction in the Chicagoland area can carry severe ramifications. Promptly following a conviction, an individual may encounter license suspensions or even revocation, hindering their independence and mobility. Monetary fines and potential imprisonment are immediate penalties that can severely disrupt personal and professional lives. Additionally, convicted individuals may be subject to mandatory community service, which can be lengthy and exacting.

Over time, the consequences of a DUI conviction continue to unfold. The stigma of a criminal record can narrow employment prospects, particularly in industries that require clean driving records or security clearances. Increased insurance premiums add a financial burden that can last for years. Furthermore, depending on the severity of the incident, especially if it involves bodily harm or reckless homicide, the individual could face felony charges with even more grave repercussions.

Understanding the DUI Process in Chicago

When you're arrested for a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in Chicago, you're thrust into a legal process that involves both administrative and criminal components. Initially, your driving privileges can be affected, and you may need to attend a hearing at the Illinois Secretary of State office. Subsequent to the arrest, you will be expected to appear in court, where you'll face criminal charges related to DUI. It's critical to understand this process as each step can vastly impact the outcome and the consequences you may face.

Administrative Hearings

An administrative hearing is a key step in the DUI process and is separate from your court case. After a DUI arrest, your driver's license is subject to suspension, and an administrative hearing with the court determines the future of your driving privileges. This is called a "statutory summary suspension" and typically begins on the 46th day following the arrest. At the hearing, you can contest the suspension by examining evidence, questioning the arresting officer, and presenting your own case. However, time is of the essence; you have a limited window from the date of your arrest to request a hearing, making it imperative to act swiftly.

Statutory Summary Suspension

Illinois law enforces a statutory summary suspension for drivers who either fail chemical testing, indicating a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) above the legal limit, or refuse to undergo such testing. This immediate administrative action is separate from criminal DUI charges and automatically suspends driving privileges. For a first-time offender, a failed BAC test results in a license suspension for six months, while refusal to submit to BAC testing can lead to a suspension for one year. Repeat offenders face even longer suspension periods. It's crucial to note that statutory summary suspension is an automatic process, but you do have the right to challenge it at an administrative hearing.

Chemical Testing

Chemical testing, which includes tests of breath, blood, or urine, is employed to determine a driver's BAC and is a linchpin in the DUI arrest process. The implied consent law in Illinois dictates that by driving on Illinois roads, drivers have consented to submit to these tests if suspected of DUI. A failure of these tests, which for adults means having a Bac of .08% or higher, typically leads to an arrest and can be used as evidence in court against the driver. Refusing to submit to chemical testing triggers an automatic statutory summary suspension, and though this may seem like a way to avoid incriminating evidence, the ramifications on your driving privileges are significantly harsher.

Remember, throughout each of these stages, having a knowledgeable Chicago DUI lawyer, Law Offices of Mitch Furman, can be instrumental in navigating the complexities of the process to protect your rights and potentially mitigate the consequences.

Choosing the Right DUI Lawyer

Choosing the right Chicago DUI lawyer is one of the most crucial steps you can take after being charged with DUI. It is not just about finding a lawyer but finding one who understands the complexities of DUI laws in Cook County, Will County, and DuPage County. An experienced attorney will guide you through the maze of criminal defense proceedings and fight to protect your rights.

Your choice should be someone with a history of successful case outcomes for DUI charges, ranging from first-time offenders to those facing more severe felony charges. A lawyer skilled in negotiation might secure a favorable plea bargain or argue for reduced criminal penalties. Equally important, your lawyer should have a thorough knowledge of the procedures involved with license suspensions, chemical testing laws, and statutory summary suspensions to offer competent legal representation. Experienced DUI Lawyer Mitch Furman, should be your obvious choice.

Experience and Track Record

When researching Chicago DUI lawyers, prioritize those who showcase a strong experience in handling DUI cases with positive outcomes. An attorney with a proven track record can navigate the nuances of DUI offenses, including:

  • Challenging the evidence presented by a police officer
  • Understanding the consequences of different levels of blood alcohol content
  • Arguing for the retention or restoration of driving privileges
  • Avoiding or minimizing a criminal conviction that could lead to a criminal record

The expertise of a lawyer in these areas can mean the difference between facing criminal charges with long-term repercussions and receiving a less severe verdict. Experienced lawyer Mitch Furman has helped thousands of clients regain their lives. Contact his firm if you are arrested for a DUI.

Areas of Expertise

A competent DUI lawyer should be well-versed in various areas relevant to your case. These areas can include:

  • Defense against felony charges and potential bodily harm allegations
  • Guiding commercial drivers through their unique legal challenges
  • Advising clients on potential criminal penalties and navigating around them

Attorney Mitch Furman has specific knowledge relating to DUI law, enabling his clients to offer focused legal representation tailored to your case.

Client Testimonials

Client testimonials can provide insight into what it’s like to work with a particular DUI lawyer. Previous clients’ experiences can highlight a lawyer’s ability to create reasonable doubt, their success in securing community service in place of harsher penalties, or their dedication to their clients’ cases. Take a look at Attorney Mitch Furman past client’s testimonials, and find out why they trust his skills, such as:

  • Responsiveness and communication skills
  • Compassion and understanding of their client's circumstances
  • Aggressiveness in defense and negotiation skills
  • Overall satisfaction with the legal outcome of the case

Defenses for DUI Charges

When facing DUI charges in Chicago, various defenses can be employed by a skilled criminal defense attorney to diminish the impact of the allegations or even result in a dismissal. Key defense strategies include challenging the integrity of breathalyzer results, questioning the administration and accuracy of field sobriety tests, and arguing the lack of probable cause for the initial traffic stop. These legal maneuvers require a deep understanding of both technical and procedural aspects of DUI law and rely heavily on an attorney's ability to cast doubt on the evidence presented by the prosecution.

Potential Penalties for DUI in Chicago

Driving under the influence (DUI) in Chicago can have wide-ranging repercussions that impact not just your driving privileges but also your criminal record and personal life. Being convicted of a DUI in Cook County, Lake County, or DuPage County can lead to severe criminal penalties that scale with the severity of the offense.

Penalties for a DUI can include, but are not limited to, license suspensions, steep fines, mandatory participation in alcohol education programs, community service, and in some instances, incarceration. Moreover, even with a first offense, individuals may face a statutory summary suspension of their driving privileges. Felony charges, which carry even heavier punishments, can be levied if certain aggravating factors are present, such as causing bodily harm or having a high blood alcohol content (BAC) level. An experienced attorney may help mitigate these penalties or negotiate plea bargain terms to avoid the harshest outcomes.

First-Time DUI Offenders

For those facing their first DUI offense, the experience can be daunting and the consequences serious. First-time DUI offenders often face a Class A misdemeanor charge. This can lead to a maximum of one year in jail and fines up to $2,500. The actual outcomes frequently vary and may include probation and loss of driving privileges for a period - typically a suspension of at least six months. Additionally, there may be a requirement to undergo an alcohol evaluation and complete an education program or treatment plan, depending on the results.

Having legal representation is essential since an experienced attorney might secure lesser penalties or advocate for court supervision, which could ultimately result in no criminal conviction on the offender's record if they comply with certain conditions.

Repeat Offenders

Repeat DUI offenders in Chicago are met with progressively strict penalties. A second DUI conviction is still classified as a misdemeanor but comes with mandatory minimum imprisonment or community service if within 20 years of the first. A third offense escalates the charge to a Class 2 felony, which could mean a revocation of driving privileges for up to 10 years and possible imprisonment.

As the number of offenses increases, so does the severity of the punishment, including longer jail sentences, heavier fines, and extended or permanent loss of driving privileges. The legal system in Illinois is designed to impose harsher sanctions on repeat offenders to discourage recidivism and enhance road safety.

Aggravating Factors

Certain factors can aggravate a DUI charge, leading to more severe penalties. These include operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol with a minor under the age of 16 in the car, which can result in additional child endangerment charges. Additional aggravating circumstances may include causing an accident that leads to bodily harm, substantial property damage, or, in the worst cases, vehicular manslaughter.

Driving with a BAC significantly above the legal limit of 0.08%, being a commercial driver, or driving with a license that has already been suspended or revoked due to prior DUIs will also elevate the penalties. Criminal charges might be enhanced to a higher class of misdemeanor or felony, leading to longer sentences, increased fines, and longer periods of license suspension or revocation. It can't be overstated how critical expert legal representation is in these situations to navigate the complexities of aggravated DUI cases and potentially mitigate the severe outcomes associated with these charges.

Importance of Acting Quickly

When facing a DUI charge in Chicago, the importance of acting swiftly cannot be overstated. Quick action can significantly impact the handling of your case, potential license suspensions, and overall legal outcome. In Illinois, especially within Cook, Will, and DuPage Counties, the laws dictate that a delay can result in an automatic statutory summary suspension of your driving privileges. Responding immediately can help preserve evidence that may be critical in contesting the blood alcohol content (BAC) results or testimony of the police officer involved.

Engaging an experienced DUI lawyer right after being charged is crucial. My firm can navigate the complexities of criminal charges—from first-time offenses to felony charges involving bodily harm or reckless homicide and understand the nuances of creating reasonable doubt to defend your rights effectively. An experienced attorney, Mitch Furman, may also be instrumental in negotiating a plea bargain, which could lessen the severity of the criminal penalties, including avoiding a damaging criminal conviction or permanent criminal record, and may help in reducing fines or community service requirements.

A prompt response ensures that you have strong legal representation ready to safeguard your driving privileges and mount a robust defense against the DUI allegations you face.

Court houses we often appear at are located at:

Cook County

  • George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building 2600 S, California Avenue, Chicago, IL. 
  • Skokie Courthouse, 2nd District Cook County. Located at 5600 Old Orchard Rd., Skokie, IL. 
  • Rolling Meadows Courthouse, 3rd District, Cook County. Located at 2121 Euclid Ave., Rolling Meadows, IL. 
  • Maywood Courthouse, 4th District, Cook County. Located at 1311 Maybrook Dr, Maywood, IL. 
  • Bridgeview Courthouse, 5th District, Cook County. Located at 10220 S 76th Ave., Bridgeview, IL. 
  • Markham Courthouse, 6th District, Cook County. Located at 16501 Kedzie Ave, Markham, IL.

DuPage County

Will County

Contact Chicago Premier Criminal Defense Lawyer today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Read More Read Less

Contact Our Firm

Our Posts

Law Offices of Mitch Furman

77 West Wacker Drive

Suite 4500

Chicago, IL 60601

312-236-7078 Office – 312-498-8421 Direct