Court Supervision and First-Time DUI Offenders

court supervision, Illinois law, Chicago criminal defense attorneyConsider a plausible scenario: you go out with friends for drinks after work one Friday afternoon. You stay for an hour or two, enjoy a few laughs and a couple beers, and then head home for a late dinner. While you are starting to feel the effects of the alcohol, you know you are going home to eat, and you did not have that much to drink. Two blocks from your house, you roll through a stop sign and get pulled over. The officer can smell beer on you and asks you to submit to a BAC test. You blow a 0.10 on the breathalyzer, and all of sudden, you have been arrested for driving under the influence. Such a situation could easily happen to anyone, and, fortunately, court supervision may offer individuals a way to recover from a relatively easy mistake.

While the Illinois Office of the Secretary of State handles the enforcement of administrative penalties, such as suspension of your driver’s license, you cannot be convicted without due process in criminal court. Depending on the severity of the case, including the circumstances of the DUI charge, injuries caused as a result, or serious property damage, many courts may opt to impose court supervision rather than full-fledged criminal penalties.

Court supervision is an alternative method for sentencing available for most misdemeanor crimes in Illinois. Once the accused individual has complied with all directives included in the supervision order, the charges against him or her are dropped with no conviction. The impacts of court supervision are frequently twofold: the criminal system, including prisons, is less burdened by individuals who have made a single error in judgment; and the negative effect on the accused person’s future is minimized.

In Illinois, court supervision is utilized in approximately 80 percent of first-time DUI offenses. A driver is only eligible for court supervision on a DUI-related charge once in his or her lifetime, so subsequent charges are much more likely to result in a conviction with more serious penalties. Court supervision may be possible for a second offense, if the driver was not placed under supervision for the first charge, but the likelihood is significantly lower.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence, court supervision may be available in your case. Contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney today for more information. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney, we have helped hundreds of clients facing DUI charges minimize the impact to their lives and move forward in a positive direction. Call today for a free consultation.

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