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Homicide DUI Attorney in Illinois

Going out and having a drink and then getting behind the wheel can always lead to problems, but when you get behind the wheel after a drink and then allegedly cause a fatal car accident, your legal woes just doubled -- not to mention the stress and pain of it all. You can be charged with a Class 2 felony, and that carries a considerable number of years in prison and a large fine. If you are arrested for a DUI in Cook County or DuPage County, you want smart, strategic legal representation. This is even more important when you are facing upwards to 30 years behind bars. 

At Dolci & Weiland, we uphold our clients' constitutional right to defend themselves. We will go above and beyond to build a strong, viable case. We will investigate thoroughly and develop a comprehensive strategy to weaken the prosecutor's case against you. Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. And we will work to create the doubt necessary for a good outcome.

Contact our office to discuss your case and to learn more about our approach to criminal defense in Illinois. 

What is Homicide DUI in Illinois?

In Illinois, homicide DUI is really a case of reckless homicide falling under aggravated DUI. The prosecutor must show that:

  1. You were illegally intoxicated either by being impaired or having a blood alcohol content (BAC) level at or above 0.08% while operating your vehicle; and
  2. You unintentionally killed someone with a motor vehicle. 

So, not only must you have been driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but you must have also caused an accident that led to another person's death. In these cases, it is reckless homicide because -- though the accident was unintentional -- you were committing another unlawful act at the time of the accident, that is: driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

The State must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt or else a judge or jury cannot convict you. 

What are the Penalties of a Homicide DUI Conviction in Illinois?

The consequences of a Homicide DUI conviction in Illinois are severe. You face all the penalties associated with a Class 2 felony, like:

  • Three to 14 years in prison for the death of one person;
  • Six to 28 years in prison for the death of two or more persons;
  • Driver's license revocation of two years from the date of the release from prison;
  • A fine of up to $25,000.

In addition to these penalties, you also may be court-ordered to pay restitution. You will not, however, qualify for probation under these circumstances.

Apart from the penalties, you will receive upon a conviction, you will also have a permanent record. This record -- given the nature of the facts and circumstances, can lead to other serious consequences. And unlike other less serious crimes, regardless of how old you are, this conviction will not qualify for expungement or sealing of the record. In other words, you are stuck with the criminal record forever. The world will always and forevermore be able to access your criminal record and learn of this conviction. What that means is this:

  • You could potentially have difficulty finding a job, maintaining a job, keeping a professional license, or maintaining a security clearance.
  • If you have a commercial driver's license, it may be suspended or revoked.
  • If you have child custody or are trying to get child custody, your fitness as a parent could be challenged in court. 
  • If you are intending to attend a higher education institution, your application could be questioned.
  • If you need financial assistance or scholarships to attend college or a university, your application or offer could be questioned or revoked.
  • If you intend to travel outside the country to places like Canada, your entry may be denied. 
  • If you plan to seek housing, the lessor can deny your application -- many places only rent to persons without a criminal record. 
  • In some cases, a personal, mortgage, or auto loan could be denied after a background check uncovers your record.

There are many other consequences you could face, the least of which is the judgment of your family and friends. To some people, that can be the worst of it. The first thing to remember is we all make mistakes, but the second and maybe even more important thing to remember is that you can defend against this type of charge -- so the above consequences can be potentially avoided if the defense is successful.

Can You Defend Against Homicide DUI in Illinois?

Your DUI vehicular homicide case could be defended via two different prongs: 

  1. Proving you were not illegally intoxicated; and/or
  2. Proving you did not cause the accident that led to the fatality.

Though the State has the burden to prove the above two things, our attorneys at Dolci & Weiland will work to create doubt and highlight holes in the State's argument. Ways we can do this include:

  • Moving the court to dismiss evidence that is the result of constitutional violations;
  • Challenging any tests that were taken, including field sobriety testsbreath tests, or blood tests;
  • Challenging police testimony and other witness testimony brought by the State;
  • Admitting the defense's own evidence that you did not cause the accident -- e.g., providing a reconstruction accident report.

Your defense will be dependent on the specific facts and circumstances of your case. The most important thing is contacting a smart, aggressive DUI defense attorney immediately so that an investigation can begin promptly. The State has already started on its case against you, so you want to minimize any advantage the prosecutor may have due to that head start.

Contact an Aggressive, Smart DUI Criminal Defense Attorney in the Greater Chicago Metro Area

If you have been charged with a Homicide DUI charge in DuPage County or Cook County, contact Dolci & Weiland. We will review your case, advise you of your best options, and begin developing a strong, viable defense. We have the experience and the commitment to help you get the best outcome in your case. So, don't delay, contact us to get started today.