Lake County DUI Defense Attorney

DUI and Drug Use Defense Lawyer Serving Skokie, Barrington and Mundelein

Being arrested for driving under the influence of drugs is an anxiety-ridden experience. Due to the serious repercussions a conviction for this crime could bring, it is crucial that you speak to a skilled Lake County DUI attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. Matthew R. Gebhardt has been representing criminal defendants for over 15 years, with a goal of always protecting his client’s rights and achieving the best outcome possible.

What is Considered Driving Under the Influence of Drugs?

In addition to prohibiting driving under the influence of alcohol, the state of Illinois prohibits driving while under the influence of drugs—or a combination of drugs and alcohol. These types of charges are being seen more and more throughout Illinois. A driver may be charged with either:

  • Driving under the influence to the degree he or she is unable to safely operate the vehicle; or
  • Driving with illegal drugs in the system.

The difference, under Illinois law, is that for the charge of driving with illegal drugs in the system, the prosecution must only prove the presence of illegal drugs in the driver’s system. This may be proven through a confession from the driver, a blood or urine test or the recovery of the drugs. It can be much more difficult for the state to prove a person is under the influence of drugs. Almost all police officers can testify to the signs of alcohol intoxication however few officers have the necessary skills and experience to competently testify whether a person is under the influence of drugs. In this particular situation, whether the drugs are legally prescribed is not a defense when a person is charged with being unable to safely operate a vehicle.

Illinois Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs—like those for driving under the influence of alcohol—can be severe, and it is important you take the charges seriously.

  • For a first offense, you could lose your license for a year, face a potential one year jail term and be required to pay fines as high as $2,500.
  • A second offense could result in your losing your license for a minimum of five years, face a potential one year jail term, and be subject to a mandatory substance evaluation and treatment and 30 days of community service if your second offense was within five years of the first.
  • A third or subsequent offense for driving under the influence of drugs could result in the loss of your driver’s license for six years, a potential prison sentence of up to three years, fines as high as $10,000 and participation in a mandatory drug and alcohol treatment program.

Enhanced penalties apply if you had a passenger under the age of 16 in the vehicle with you, were stopped in a school zone, caused bodily harm to another, or were aware your vehicle was not covered by liability insurance.

Potential Skokie Defenses to Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Your specific defense will depend on the circumstances surrounding your arrest for driving under the influence of drugs however the prosecution must be able to prove you were under the influence of drugs, and this is not as easy as you might think. Any testing done must fully comply with all Illinois rules and regulations—if it does not, your attorney may be able to have the evidence dismissed.

How a Seasoned Skokie DUI Attorney Can Help

At the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C., we have experience from both sides—Attorney Gebhardt was a Cook County Prosecutor prior to becoming a criminal defense attorney. This experience allows him to see your case from a more global view, ensuring you receive a comprehensive, aggressive defense. For a skilled North Suburban DUI attorney, contact Matthew R. Gebhardt at 773-898-8745 or 847-239-4703.