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A DWI or DUI usually means arrest, being taken to the station, and being subjected to "tests" that can generate embarrassing media and harm your career.
Drunk Driving charges often have a disastrous effect on your life, and they can result in huge career consequences. These charges can leave you with a criminal record, even when you did not intend harm or even to break the law, and a DUI or DWI can even lead to jail time. Depending upon the severity of your case, other elevated charges are possible along with a DUI - including charges involving the death or serious injury of a victim.
At the least, most people facing DUI/DWI charges can be at risk of losing their driver’s license. The law considers this a reasonable punishment, but it is also true that you still have to earn a living and feed your family. For many people in Southern Illinois and Southeastern Missouri, their ability to drive is their livelihood.
If you are a CDL holder facing the loss of your license, call (8:30 AM - 5:00 PM M-F) or text NOW: 618-210-0464.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, you need a DUI lawyer that understands the related criminal statutes, penalties, and ramifications of drunk driving laws, how to help you fight your DUI charges, and protect your driving privileges by quickly challenging the Statutory Summary Suspension.
Mr. Barton clerked for a well-known Southern Illinois DUI practice for nearly 3 years, and had the opportunity to work with skilled and highly experienced counsel to help scores of clients beat, reduce, or otherwise mitigate their DUI charges. He also has worked in the area known as Dram Shop Law, bringing an understanding of potential civil penalties and liabilities to the table as well, and of particular value for bar and club owners who may face complex situations resulting from their own or another's DUI/DWI. And Bill has worked for both public defenders and prosecutors as a jury consultant, as well as working as an assistant State's Attorney.
Mr. Barton also provided mental health and addiction counseling services before becoming an attorney, and has direct experience with and extensive knowledge of the remedial and rehabilitative aspects of the justice system - including running DUI Inpatient and Outpatient Groups. This means that if you are facing court-ordered treatment, you have counsel with intimate knowledge of how that process works, what you can expect, and the steps you will be required to take.
If you are fighting to protect your license and livelihood because of a bad decision, competent legal representation can help. You need counsel that has experience fighting DUIs, and that practices across Southern Illinois and Southeastern Missouri, where tens of thousands of people commute every day, and where trucking and hauling are a big part of the regional business.
This means that CDL holders who make just one bad decision can be particularly at risk, but a DUI can have devastating career impact for other types of professionals, too -- including lawyers, doctors, teachers, clergy, and many others.
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It depends. But lawyers don't tell you that for no reason -- every case is different, and that means different costs.
The truth is that prices vary on a case by case basis, depending on several factors:
How complex a matter is it?
How many charges are you facing?
How many DUI/DWIs have you had before?
Do you have other criminal charges on your record?
Have you been diagnosed with or treated for a substance abuse issue?
Are you on medications related to the circumstances of the arrest?
How severe are the consequences you are facing?
How strong or weak is the evidence?
Of key importance in that analysis is this -- Is this your first DUI or, have you had multiple offenses?
That means no unspoken or hidden costs or fees. You will know up front exactly how much it will cost to handle your case.
Question: They arrested me for DUI - am I going to have to go to jail or prison?
A DUI arrest does not automatically mean you’re going to spend time behind bars. Illinois DUI is a class A misdemeanor on the first offense. In Missouri, a first DWI is a Class B Misdemeanor.
Under Missouri law, that means the minimum jail time for someone with 0.15-0.2% BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is 48 hours, and for a BAC of greater than 0.2% is 5 days. The maximum jail sentence for a Class B misdemeanor is 6 months and can come with a fine of up to $500.
Generally speaking, an Illinois misdemeanor charge can result in up to a year in county jail. However, experienced counsel will fight to keep you out of jail and continuing to support yourself and fulfill your other obligations. It is critically important for many of our clients that they be able to go back to work and earn a living - something jail or the loss of a CDL license can destroy.
Many times, it is possible for DUI clients to keep from having a conviction on their record, get their DUI charge reduced, or even get their DUI completely dismissed.
Question: Am I going to lose my driver’s license?
After you’ve been arrested for a DUI, in Illinois, you will receive notice in the mail from the Illinois Secretary of State informing you that your driver’s license is going to be suspended 46 days after your arrest.
This suspension is called a Statutory Summary Suspension. Attorney William Barton fights this Suspension to keep you driving, because of the overwhelming need most people have to maintain their jobs, homes, families, and professional relationships. The law identifies driving as a privilege, regardless of how clear it is that in the modern day, driving is almost essential to live a normal life.
It is imperative for most clients to keep their license and stay on the road.
In many cases, especially for first offenders, competent counsel is able to help those charged with a DUI keep their driver’s license.
Question: How does a DUI attorney fight for me?
There are many strategies that an experienced DUI lawyer uses in fighting a DUI.
During the arrest for a DUI the police often use three tests -- standardized field sobriety tests:
These tests sound reasonable as a general matter, but how do they apply to defendants who may be exhausted, disabled, on medications, or suffering from an illness?
A good DUI defense attorney often will attack the ways in which these tests were conducted, and it is sometimes the case that the person accused of DUI/DWI was not actually impaired or intoxicated. In any human process, there is the potential for human error -- even in today's era of body and dashboard cameras for officers. In fact, that evidence can sometimes be used to demonstrate a lack of probable cause, or some other motivating factor that is not proper foundation for a stop.
If the field sobriety tests were administered incorrectly by LEO, it may be that the DUI/DWI is unfounded. It is possible in many cases to challenge whether the stop made by the police was lawful in the first place. And a good DUI defense should also focus on ensuring that the breathalyzer unit used by the Police was calibrated correctly, properly serviced, and in working order.
We will fight to help you protect your future! Contact Bill Today to Discuss Your Options!
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