Illinois DUI Overview
One of the most serious types of traffic offenses is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI). People who violate drunk driving laws will be subject to criminal charges and could even risk being sent to jail for their offense. If you have been charged with DUI in Chicago, you will need representation from a traffic violation lawyer at our firm. At Fagan Fagan & Davis, we have a team of exceptional lawyers who focus on DUI defense and traffic violations, and they have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide you with comprehensive and superior representation.
When a person operates a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, with any amount of illegal narcotic in their system or with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher, they can be charged with DUI. People convicted of drunk driving risk some very harsh and life-altering penalties, including jail time, large fines, community service, alcohol rehabilitation or counseling, probation, and driver's license revocation. Individuals facing DUI charges almost always have their licenses suspended, and if convicted, face lengthy periods of license revocation which can be extremely inconvenient and may make it difficult to travel to work, school, run errands and provide transportation to others in your life.
About Steven H. Fagan
Steve Fagan graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign with a degree in political science. He earned his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law. Before being admitted to the bar, Steve prosecuted for the village of Arlington Heights, Illinois under a special certificate from the Supreme Court of Illinois. He is also the proud father of partner Joseph M. Fagan's three grandchildren.
Steve began his college career as a Music Performance major, thinking of a career as a Jazz Trombone Soloist. Reality dictated that fulfillment of his aspirations towards performance art would be found elsewhere, leading Steve to a career as a trial attorney. After becoming an attorney and giving up his position as the CEO, owner and operator of “The Computer King”, a custom-order computer sales company. Steve experimented with multiple practice areas, including Real Estate law and civil litigation. Ultimately, Steve limited his practice to felony and misdemeanor Criminal, DUI and traffic trial defense.
Steve practices law with a single-minded devotion to one thing – the needs and desires of the client. Steve is a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the DuPage County Bar Association, and has taught other attorneys in Continuing Legal Education classes regarding criminal and DUI defense. In 2013, Steven was also invited to join the National Trial Lawyers Association: Top 100 Trial Lawyers, and is a founding member of the DUI Defense Lawyers Association. Steve also regularly teaches at continuing legal education courses.
Do You Need a DUI Lawyer?
Every state has some sort of "drunk driving" statute. The term "drunk driving" is in quotes because none of these laws require that you be "drunk" or "intoxicated" to be guilty. All that is required is that your ability to operate a vehicle has been impaired to any extent at all or that your Blood alcohol level exceeds the state limit (which is now .08% in all states). Some states call it DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), but it refers to the same offense. The consequences of DUI differ drastically from state to state and are influenced by your age, blood alcohol limit (BAC), whether you have been arrested for DUI in the past, and whether you caused injury or death during the DUI.
A DUI Lawyer can help...
Assess your legal situation
An experienced DUI Defense lawyer can help you understand what you are up against and the fines you may be required to pay. A DUI lawyer mostly deals with DUI matters and knows the process inside and out – including options that a public defender may not tell you.
Explain the consequences
The consequences of a DUI vary greatly from state to state and a DUI lawyer will be able to explain how those consequences in your state apply to you such as (1) harsher punishments for those arrested with BAC limits over .08, (2) special laws for underage drivers arrested for DUI, (3) possible community service or plea bargaining, (4) overlapping jurisdiction of Courts and your state's motor vehicle licensing department to suspend or revoke your license, and (5) contingent license programs that allow you to use your vehicle to get to and from work.
Manage the process
Dealing with the motor vehicle department can be frustrating and time consuming. A DUI Lawyer can manage the process for you by completing the required forms; making phone calls; scheduling and/or representing you at a Motor Vehicle Department suspension hearing, and making other necessary arrangements.
Represent you in court
An experienced DUI Lawyer knows the ins and outs of the courtroom and may be able to obtain a lesser sentence for you if your situation and state law allows for it.
Don't know if a DUI Lawyer is right for you? Here are some general guidelines:
Definitely hire a DUI Lawyer if you already have several DUI's and receive another; or if your DUI arrest was the result of an accident or if anyone was injured; or if you are a professional driver whose livelihood depends on keeping your license.
Seriously consider hiring a DUI Lawyer if you've been arrested for a second DUI (in the same or another state) or were arrested with a BAC limit over double the legal limit as harsher penalties may apply.
You might want to hire a DUI Lawyer if you don't understand your rights or DUI laws, what you need to do, or the consequences you face. You also might want legal representation if you are in a profession (or plan to be) that requires bonding or in which any criminal conviction might prevent you from getting or keeping a professional license. If you don't know the requirements, then you need expert advice before handling the case yourself.