Felony DUI Defense Lawyer in Chicago, Illinois

Sandra L. Byrd in Chicago, Illinois, believes that no matter what you are going through, you deserve affordable, competent representation from a top-rated attorney. Drawing on 17 years of experience with criminal and DUI law, Attorney Sandra L. Byrd creates winning defense strategies for felony and multiple DUI matters. If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI, your defense strategy begins the moment you are stopped. Protect your rights by contacting Ms. Byrd as soon as possible.

Understanding your Rights at Traffic Stops

When you are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), you should be aware of your rights. There are three standard field sobriety tests recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but in Illinois you are not obligated to take the tests. The tests include:

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus
  • Walk and turn
  • One-leg stand

In Illinois, anyone who drives upon public roadways is subject to the implied consent law. Blood, urine and breath tests determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or the presence of other intoxicating compounds. Such tests may be conducted before or after a DUI arrest. If you refuse testing, you risk an automatic summary suspension of your privilege to drive that may not go away even without a conviction or a finding of not guilty following a trial. The complexity of DUI laws requires an attorney that is highly knowledgeable about navigating challenging DUI penalties while protecting your rights. In many felony DUI cases, Attorney Sandra L. Byrd has obtained verdicts of not guilty. She has also been able to negotiate lesser charges and alternative sentencing for her clients.

What is a Felony DUI?

In general, first and second-time DUI offenders are charged with misdemeanors, but the circumstances of each case determine the classification of the offense. Third and subsequent DUI violations are felonies and consequences include, but are not limited to:

  • Up to $25,000 in fines
  • Sentences from one year up to 30 years in prison
  • Possible extended prison term (up to 60 years)
  • License revocation
  • Community service

Under Illinois law, felony classifications are as follows:

  • Third and fourth violations are considered a Class 2 felony
  • A fifth violation is a Class 1 felony
  • A sixth or subsequent violation is a Class X felony

A felony DUI has harsher penalties than a misdemeanor DUI. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, those convicted of multiple DUIs may have to comply with alcohol monitoring devices. The Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) and the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM) are two common devices for measuring BAC.

Regardless of test results and statements you may make during an arrest, you need to discuss your case thoroughly with Ms. Byrd. Her legal background in public defense and private practice gives her a well-rounded view of all possible strategies. Every DUI case is unique and there may be several options available to seek lesser charges and even dismissal.

If you are dealing with a DUI matter, contact Sandra L. Byrd today for a free initial consultation. She is up to date on the most recent developments in DUI law and will fight for the best possible outcome for your situation. From her Chicago, Illinois office, she serves clients in Cook County, Chicagoland and beyond. Call (312) 928-1000 today.

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