DUI Conviction Effects

A DUI charge can have a serious impact on all areas of your life—from the financial to the professional to the personal. Besides losing your driver’s license and needing to pay a higher premium for car insurance in the future, you may also face jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, hundreds of hours of community service, and possibly even felony charges. In order to overcome an Illinois DUI charge, having the right Chicago DUI defense lawyer by your side may be in your best interest.

Knowing how to handle a DUI charge so that you experience minimum consequences is possible with the support of a Chicago defense attorney. O’Meara Law LLC can help you through this process — and fight to get your charge dismissed so that you avoid the consequences of a guilty finding altogether.

The Cost of an Illinois DUI

If you’ve been charged with DUI, you might think you can go to court and work it out with the prosecutor on your own to save money on attorney fees. However, the costs of a DUI may far outweigh the money you save by representing yourself.

The average cost of a DUI charge in Illinois in 2015 was $16,580, according to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, including expenses such as attorney fees, court costs, and fees to reinstate your driver’s license. That’s before accounting for potential medical treatment, compensatory damages if you injured someone or damaged their property, or in-patient substance abuse programs.

A DUI will also cost you time. This is time that could be spent at work, with friends, and with family:

  • 100 hours — the number of mandatory community service hours one faces if found guilty of a first-time DUI with a BAC of .16 or greater
  • 240 hours — the number of mandatory community service hours one faces if found guilty of a second DUI
  • 24 days — the number of days of community service in a program benefitting children one faces if transporting a child under the age of 16 when charged with a DUI

A DUI can result in jail or prison time, fines, a permanent criminal record that can’t be expunged, and time away from work and family. But a Chicago DUI defense attorney can help you to avoid the worst of these penalties. O’Meara Law LLC will work to minimize the consequences of a DUI offense —and fight to save you time and money in the long-run

Unexpected Consequences of a DUI Charge

You likely know that a DUI offense can result in a jail or prison sentence, expensive fines, and possible loss of your driver’s license. These penalties are all written into Illinois laws and are a real possibility if you’re found guilty.

However, the effects of a DUI offense don’t stop there. There are many ways that a DUI may affect your life for years to come. Just a few of the consequences you might experience include:

Higher Car Insurance Rates

You’ll be required to pay for high-risk auto insurance for 3 years following your conviction. High-risk insurance tends to be more expensive. However, even when you complete that requirement, you may find that your insurance rates remain high because of the DUI on your driving record. An insurance company may continue to view you as someone who is a risk to insurance and charge you more accordingly.

Permanent Criminal Record

A DUI is a crime in Illinois. In many instances, DUI is a misdemeanor, but it also can be a serious felony under some circumstances. Either way, if you are found guilty of a DUI offense, even if you receive court supervision and don’t have to spend time in jail, you will have a permanent criminal record. This can have a detrimental impact on your future.

Many employers conduct criminal background checks before hiring someone, which means you could have trouble getting a job once a potential employer sees that you have a DUI — especially if the job involves driving in any way.

It’s important to understand that if you are found guilty of a DUI, it is permanent in Illinois and cannot be expunged. If you are found guilty of DUI, it’s on your record for life.

Civil Liability

If your DUI involved a car accident that caused someone else injury or damaged their property, you may be liable to compensate them. If a civil lawsuit is filed against you, your DUI can be used as evidence that you were negligent in causing their injuries or other losses and may give them a stronger case against you.

You could end up owing thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the extent of the injuries caused. Further, a judgment against you in a civil lawsuit for personal injuries caused by a DUI accident can’t be discharged in a bankruptcy.

Your best chance at avoiding this type of liability is to avoid a guilty finding — and that requires the help of a skilled Illinois DUI defense lawyer.

Other Consequences of an Illinois DUI

Further effects of a DUI offense can include:

  • Being required to complete an alcohol/drug evaluation and attend a substance abuse treatment program
  • Having to serve mandatory community service
  • Having a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed in your vehicle as a condition of driving
  • Losing time from family and work
  • Having to pay thousands of dollars in bail, fines, court-ordered assessments, and remedial education or treatment programs

How a Chicago DUI Defense Lawyer Can Help

A DUI offense can cost you time, your driver’s license, your career, and significant amounts of money you may not be able to afford to pay. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You may have options for fighting your DUI charge and avoiding the many consequences of a guilty finding if you seek the help of the right Chicago DUI defense lawyer.

Attorney Michael O’Meara is a savvy and experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled thousands of DUI cases in and around Chicago. He has more than two decades of legal experience that includes several years prosecuting criminal cases as an assistant Cook County state’s attorney and more than a decade in criminal defense practice.

To learn how O’Meara can put his extensive experience and proven legal skills to work to defend you, call O’Meara Law LLC at to schedule a free consultation today.