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Understanding License Suspensions and Revocations in Illinois In Illinois, a person can lose their driving privileges for a number of violations. In the majority of cases, a person will face a license suspension or revocation period when their actions endangered other travelers. Unfortunately, a license suspension can significantly impact a person’s livelihood, due to their inability to drive to and from work, their child’s school, and other necessary locations. Fortunately, a skilled attorney can work diligently to help you regain your driving privileges when facing a suspension. If you are facing a driver's license suspension, there are steps you need to take to regain your driving privileges. 

How You Can Lose Your Driving Privileges 

As mentioned above, there are a number of violations that can result in a license suspension or revocation. The most common violation leading to loss of driving privileges is a DUI. According to Illinois’ Secretary of State’s Office, more than 20,000 Illinoisans were arrested on DUI charges throughout 2018. Of those arrested, 90% of eligible drivers lost their driving privileges. During the court process, the defendant's license will be suspended. If convicted of DUI, the guilty party will face a one-year license revocation period. 

A person will face a one-year license suspension period if they refuse to submit to chemical testing when the acting officer has arrested them on suspicion of DUI. A person can also lose their driving privileges for receiving three traffic citations within one calendar year, as well as failing to pay traffic tickets or failure to appear in court. In some instances, an unrelated violation such as refusal to pay child support can result in a license suspension. 

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The Importance of Hiring a Skilled Attorney in Your DUI Case With more than 20,000 DUI arrests made throughout the state of Illinois each year, it is easy to say that law enforcement personnel are constantly looking for inebriated drivers. With the shocking number of DUI arrests made each year, it is important to understand that a DUI charge is not simply a minor traffic violation. A DUI conviction can compromise one’s ability to legally operate a vehicle, can lead to significant fines, and in some cases even lead to jail time. Below, we will examine some of the ways in which a knowledgeable attorney can assist you throughout your DUI case. If you or a loved one have been charged with a DUI, you need to hire an attorney that you can believe in. 

A Charge Does Not Have to Result in a Conviction 

When charged with driving under the influence, many people falsely believe that a conviction is inevitable. In reality, there are a number of defense strategies a quality attorney can utilize to avoid a conviction or diminish the charges that their client is facing. First and foremost, if you declined to take part in chemical testing, your attorney should have a good chance of developing a defense that will avoid a conviction altogether. If you did submit to chemical testing, there are cases in which police oversight or negligence can lead to charges being dropped. In other cases, false signs of inebriation such as allergies or medical conditions can lead to an incorrect diagnosis of intoxication. Speaking openly and honestly with your attorney can be immensely helpful throughout the legal process. 

Regaining Your Driving Privileges 

Even if a conviction is unavoidable, an attorney can continue to assist you through helping you regain your driving privileges. If convicted of a DUI, you will be facing a one-year license revocation period. Fortunately, you will likely be eligible to obtain a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). A compassionate attorney will walk you through the necessary steps you have to take to obtain an MDDP, such as equipping your vehicle with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) and taking part in rehabilitation courses. A truly dedicated attorney will stand by you through every step of your legal process. 

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Examining the Most Serious Traffic Violations in Illinois When most people think of the ramifications of a traffic violation, they envision a minimal ticket and at most a court date. In reality, some traffic violations can lead to serious criminal consequences. Among other things, a traffic violation that endangers other travelers can lead to significant fines, income loss, potential loss of driving privileges, a mark on your criminal record, and jail time. If you have been charged with a traffic violation, the most important step you can take is reaching out to a knowledgeable legal professional. Here are three examples of serious traffic violations:

  1. Reckless Driving: According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, reckless driving is the wanton disregard for the safety of others while using a motor vehicle. Because of the serious nature of reckless driving, an offender can face life-changing consequences. If an officer apprehends a driver for reckless driving, they have the legal right to take them into police custody, forcing the offender to either post bail or spend some time in jail. Additionally, the driver will have to go to court and fight against the conviction. If convicted of reckless driving, one will face up to one year in prison and fines up to $2,500.
  2. Aggravated Speeding: If a driver is clocked by a law enforcement official while traveling at 26 miles per hour or more over the legal speed limit, they may be facing aggravated speeding charges. An aggravated speeding charge constitutes a misdemeanor due to the fact that disregarding speed limits is a direct example of putting others at risk. If convicted, a person will face up to one year in prison and fines as high as $2,500. It should be noted that there are a number of defenses such as unmarked or difficult-to-see speed limit signs that can help a person avoid an aggravated speeding conviction. 
  3. Driving Under the Influence: In the state of Illinois, upwards of 20,000 people are charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol every year. Due to the sheer number of inebriated drivers, it should come as no surprise that police are constantly looking out for signs of intoxicated driving. If you have been charged with a DUI, it is critically important to seek out the assistance of an attorney. A DUI conviction can result in a Class A misdemeanor, a license revocation, and potential jail time. 

Contact an Oak Brook Traffic Violation Attorney

At McMahon Law Offices, we firmly believe that no person should face life-changing consequences due to one traffic violation. Whether you are facing DUI or reckless driving charges, you deserve an attorney that will work diligently to help you avoid a conviction. To schedule a free consultation with a DuPage County criminal defense attorney, call us today at 630-953-4400. 

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The Impact of a DUI Charge as a Minor In the state of Illinois, police officers are constantly on the lookout for inebriated drivers. As a result, more than 20,000 Illinoisans were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol throughout 2018 alone. The impact of a DUI can be staggering considering the potential loss of income, significant fines, rise in insurance rates, and mark on one’s criminal record. For a minor, the ramifications of a DUI conviction can be life-changing. If your child has been charged with driving under the influence, it is time to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney. 

Ramifications of a Criminal Charge

A DUI conviction is a Class A misdemeanor charge in Illinois. If aggravating factors are present during a crash or arrest, the offender could face felony charges. It should also be noted that a DUI conviction cannot be expunged from a person’s criminal record. If a minor is convicted of a charge of this magnitude, they can face increased difficulties securing advanced education and employment opportunities. The importance of ensuring that your child is represented by a skilled defense attorney cannot be overstated. 

Loss of Driving Privileges

Unsurprisingly, minors face tougher penalties after being convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Most notably, a minor will face a two-year license revocation if they are convicted of a DUI. Illinois’ Zero Tolerance Law states that if a minor is found with traces of alcohol in their system while driving, they will face a license suspension. If the driver refuses chemical testing during the traffic stop, they will face an automatic license suspension. It should be noted that a minor will not automatically regain their driving privileges at the conclusion of the suspension. If a person has their license suspended prior to the age of 21, they will be forced to enroll in a driver remedial education course prior to regaining their driving privileges. 

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Posted on in DUI Defense

Can I Still Drive After a DUI? After being arrested for driving under the influence, it is entirely common to ask a number of questions. Will I face jail time? Will a conviction impact my employment status? Will I still be able to drive after the arrest? Regaining your driving privileges after being charged with driving under the influence can be a complicated process, but it is entirely possible to continue to legally drive after the arrest and even after a conviction. There are steps you will need to take to get back on the road after a DUI arrest.

Losing Your Driving Privileges

According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, 90 percent of eligible drivers lost their driving privileges after being arrested on DUI charges. While many people think that they can only lose their driving privileges if they are convicted of a DUI, the arrested party will face a statutory summary suspension automatically after the arrest if they fail or refuse chemical testing. While a driver that refuses chemical testing will diminish the likelihood of a DUI conviction, they will face a one-year statutory summary suspension. If a driver is ultimately convicted of a DUI, their license will likely be revoked for one year. Fortunately, the duration of the suspension will count towards the revocation period. 

Regaining Your Ability to Drive 

In Illinois, a first-time DUI offender can request a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP), which will give them limited driving privileges. In order to gain an MDDP, a driver must equip their vehicle with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). The BAIID will be monitored and will restrict the vehicle from starting if traces of alcohol are present in the driver’s breath. While the driver will have to pay for installation and monitoring of the BAIID and also face rises in their insurance payments, they will be able to continue to drive. Driving is a critical part of a person’s quality of life. If you have any questions on how to regain your driving privileges when facing DUI charges, speak with your attorney. 

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Understanding Drug Charges with New Illinois LawsWhile the state of Illinois’ stance on recreational marijuana use drastically changed when Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act into law last January, the state still has some strong policies against the use of marijuana. In reality, a serious drug charge can compromise one’s ability to land a good job, secure housing, or seek education advancement opportunities. If you or a loved one have been charged with a drug-related crime in the state of Illinois, it is time to speak with a criminal defense attorney you can believe in. 

Marijuana and Drug Charges in Illinois

Due to the new state law, an Illinois resident can legally possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower (marijuana). It is important to recognize that this does not mean that marijuana is legal with no contingencies. Possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana still constitutes a misdemeanor charge and potentially up to one year in prison. Possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana with intent to sell constitutes a felony charge and can possibly result in up to five years of jail time if convicted. It should also be noted that it is still considered an offense to smoke or consume marijuana on public property. 

With the recent legalization of recreational marijuana, police officers statewide have been ramping up the search for high drivers. Law enforcement officials are trained to look for signs of intoxication such as the odor associated with marijuana, bloodshot eyes, and signs of cognitive impairment. If convicted, a marijuana DUI charge constitutes a Class A misdemeanor, fines up to $2,500, and a one-year license revocation period. 

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DuPage County DUI Defense LawyerIn the state of Illinois, over 20,000 drivers are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) on an annual basis. Despite the staggering numbers of DUI arrests, it is important to recognize the severity of a conviction. Not only will a DUI conviction lead to a misdemeanor charge on your criminal record, but it can also lead to loss of income, various other expenses, and even potential jail time. Below we will examine the true cost of a DUI conviction, and why you need to hire a skilled DUI defense attorney in the event of an arrest. 

Potential Loss of Income

First and foremost a DUI conviction can cost you your employment. For many employers, a misdemeanor charge and a public arrest are enough to warrant termination. If aggravating factors were present, and the conviction ultimately constitutes felony charges, the likelihood of termination is even higher. Even if you are able to keep your employment, community service hours and possible jail time will result in income loss.

The Cost of Regaining Your Driving Privileges 

After being convicted of a DUI, the convicted party will face a one-year license revocation period. In the vast majority of cases, a driver will be able to obtain a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) but only after installing a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, installation and monitoring expenses of a BAIID usually costs an offender upwards of $1,400 annually. At the conclusion of the revocation period, you will be able to reinstate your license, but this process will cost approximately $500 as well. 

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Oakbrook Terrace DUI defense lawyerEvery year, thousands of Illinois residents are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI). According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, over 26,000 people were charged with DUIs statewide in 2018 alone. According to Illinois state law, a DUI conviction constitutes class A misdemeanor charges, significant fines, and potential jail time. It should also be noted that a DUI conviction will likely result in a one-year license revocation period. Statistics compiled by the Secretary of State’s office reveal that 96% of eligible arrested drivers lost their driving privileges in 2018. While the consequences of a first-time DUI conviction are severe, the impact of multiple DUI convictions can be life-changing. 

Examining Subsequent DUI Convictions 

If you have been previously convicted of a DUI, a subsequent conviction can result in increasingly severe criminal punishment. While a second DUI conviction still only constitutes a misdemeanor charge, the convicted party will lose their driving privileges for a minimum of five years and face mandatory jail-time or 240 hours of community service. In many cases, time spent in jail or community service time will impact a person’s employment status, and subsequently, their income. If a person is charged for a third DUI, the legal ramifications are significantly intensified.

According to Illinois state law, a third DUI charge will automatically be elevated to an aggravated DUI which is considered a felony charge. In some cases the escalation to a felony can be due to other case factors, such as traveling with a minor or causing bodily harm to another party. A third DUI charge is elevated to an aggravated DUI due to the fact that the driver has displayed a disregard for state law and a willingness to continue to drive while impaired.

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Reckless Driving Is More Serious Than Typical Traffic ViolationsWhen people think of traffic violations, they usually think of petty fines or points against their license. The reality of the situation is that not all violations are created equal. In the state of Illinois, a reckless driving charge constitutes a Class A misdemeanor. According to Illinois state law, reckless driving is defined as the act of operating a motor vehicle in a dangerous manner that demonstrates a lack of consideration for the safety of others. If you have been charged with reckless driving, you need to speak with an experienced defense lawyer. 

The Ramifications of Reckless Driving 

A police officer has the legal authority to arrest a driver and take them into custody if there is probable cause that the driver has committed reckless driving. After the arrest, the driver will then have to post bail or go to jail. The driver will have to appear in court and could be sentenced to up to 364 days in prison and be forced to pay fines as high as $2,500. Outside of the fines, the driver may have to pay for the towing service after the arrest, various court costs, and significant rises in insurance rates. A misdemeanor offense can have serious implications on a person’s ability to secure employment, loans, or housing opportunities. It should be noted that much like a DUI charge, a reckless driving charge cannot be expunged or removed from a person’s criminal record. 

In many cases, a judge will choose to put the offender on probation rather than sentencing them to jail. In these instances, the offender will likely be forced to take part in traffic safety courses and possibly community service. While a misdemeanor offense should be taken incredibly seriously, it is also important to understand that some reckless driving charges can be elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony. Most notably, if the defendant’s reckless driving resulted in great bodily harm to another party, they will face felony charges.  

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Should I Refuse Chemical Testing During a DUI Stop? In the state of Illinois, over 26,000 DUI arrests were made throughout 2018 alone. A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can come with serious legal ramifications, including a Class A misdemeanor charge on your criminal record, significant fines, and temporary loss of driving privileges. Once a driver submits to and fails chemical testing (a driver with a blood alcohol content over 0.08 percent will be deemed intoxicated), it can be incredibly difficult to fight against the charges. So is it wise to refuse chemical testing altogether? Below we will discuss the consequences of refusing chemical testing during the DUI arrest process

The Benefits of Refusing to Test 

The first thing to understand about refusing chemical testing is that it is not a criminal offense. While all licensed drivers in the state of Illinois agree to submit to chemical testing when they are awarded their license, you will not face a criminal charge for refusal. Refusal to submit to chemical testing, which is most commonly administered through a breath test, is an administrative offense that will result in a one-year driver’s license suspension for a first-time offender. While you will temporarily lose your driving privileges and likely be arrested for driving under the influence, you will significantly decrease the likelihood of a conviction. 

After refusing chemical testing, the officer will likely ask you to take part in field sobriety tests. It is important to note that you also have the right to refuse field sobriety testing. Without the evidence of a field sobriety or chemical test, a conviction will only be possible with strong testimony from the officer, surveillance footage, or witness testimony. A failed chemical test, on the other hand, will almost always result in a conviction barring police oversight or negligence. If you choose to refuse to submit to chemical testing, it is important for you to act in a responsible and polite manner. Your actions during the arrest process will become the most significant form of evidence for the prosecution. 

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Keeping Your Cool Helps During DUI StopEvery year, thousands of Illinoisans are arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A DUI conviction can come with serious legal ramifications including a misdemeanor charge on your criminal record and a one-year license revocation period. Recognizing the legal consequences of a DUI, many people panic when they are stopped by a police officer who suspects drunk or drugged driving. The reality of the situation is that your ability to remain calm and composed can make all the difference in avoiding a conviction. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it is time to speak with a knowledgeable defense attorney. 

Remaining Calm and Composed During a DUI Traffic Stop 

When you see police car lights behind your vehicle, it is entirely common to panic and experience anxiety. The first step you should take in this situation is to take a deep breath and find a safe area to pull over. If you pull over on a bridge or at an unsafe area of the road, the officer may immediately question your judgment. After pulling over safely, it is critically important to gather yourself and your composure. 

Many people make the mistake of answering too many questions during a traffic stop. There is a fine line between being cooperative and incriminating yourself. You have no legal obligation to answer any question from a police officer. You simply must provide them with your license and registration. Exercising your legal rights is not a form of disobedience. 

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Underage Drinking Has Strict Consequences in Illinois While parents do everything in their power to keep their children safe, many young teens make the reckless decision to engage in underage drinking. Underage drinking can come with serious health risks, in large part due to the fact that most teens do not have the maturity to safely consume alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 4,000 underage youth die each year as a result of underage drinking. Outside of the inherent health risks of underage drinking, the consumption of alcohol can result in serious legal consequences for a minor

Alcohol Laws for Minors in Illinois 

Recognizing the health risks associated with underage drinking, the legal consequences of drinking underage are severe in the state of Illinois. A minor that possesses, consumes, or purchases alcohol will face a six-month driver’s license suspension if convicted. A second conviction for a minor in possession will result in a one-year license suspension. The legal ramifications of drinking underage can be more severe if a minor uses a fake or fraudulent ID to obtain alcohol. Using someone else’s ID warrants a Class A misdemeanor charge and potentially up to one year in jail. If a minor is caught using a fraudulent ID (an ID manufactured by someone who is unaffiliated with the United States government) they could face a Class 4 felony charge. It is also important to understand the way in which an alcohol- or drug-related arrest can impact your child’s future. A serious conviction can impact their ability to get into prestigious universities and even impact their ability to secure employment. 

Driving Under the Influence 

In Illinois, the Zero Tolerance Policy will result in an automatic suspension of driving privileges, if the minor’s blood alcohol content is over 0.00. In other words, even if a minor would be under the legal limit for an adult, they can still face legal consequences for driving after consuming alcohol. A first-time offender will face a mandatory three-month suspension. If your child is convicted of a DUI, they will face Class A misdemeanor charges, up to one year in prison, and fines as high as $2,500. A convicted minor will also face a license revocation period of two years and will not be eligible for driving relief in the first year. 

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Taking a Deeper Look at Possible DUI Defense Strategies When a person is charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is not uncommon for them to feel as though their life will be changed forever. The ramifications of a DUI conviction can be significant, but just because someone has been charged with a DUI does not mean they will necessarily be convicted. Many people assume that fighting against a DUI charge is incredibly difficult when in all reality there are a number of effective defense strategies that can be used when a client is facing DUI charges. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it is time to speak with an attorney you can believe in. 

An Improper Stop

A police officer must have just cause for pulling you over on suspicion of driving under the influence. In other words, an officer cannot simply pull a person over because of their instincts telling them that the driver may have been drinking. If your attorney can prove that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion for pulling you over, the traffic stop could be defined as an illegal search and seizure, making all evidence gained after the initial stop inadmissible. Your attorney may rely on witness testimony and surveillance footage to prove that the officer improperly stopped you. For instance, if a police officer states that you were recklessly swerving and surveillance footage can prove that you were driving responsibly, the charges could be dropped. 

Inappropriate Police Behavior

Some of the most common DUI defense strategies are centered around police missteps. Being a police officer comes with an incredible amount of responsibility, but that authority does not give them the right to act as though they are above the law. If a police officer attempts to intimidate or scare you into chemical testing, they are acting illegally. If an officer states that not participating in chemical testing is a criminal offense, they are making a false statement regarding Illinois state law and acting negligently. If an officer does not read you your Miranda warning in a timely fashion, all statements made in response to questions after your arrest will be inadmissible. When it comes to chemical testing, law enforcement officials have to follow a strict protocol, and failure to adhere to that protocol can result in an inadmissible test. 

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The Ramifications of a DUI Resulting in Harm Illinois law enforcement officials are constantly searching for signs of drunk drivers. The concern over drinking and driving is warranted, considering the thousands of Americans that lose their lives each year due to inebriated driving. If you have been arrested on DUI charges, it is important to understand the way in which a conviction can impact your life. In DUI cases in which a person suffers significant injuries, the legal consequences can be incredibly severe. Below we will discuss the ramifications of a DUI resulting in injury

The Legal Consequences 

In Illinois, all felony DUI charges are classified as aggravated DUIs. If a person is injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, the inebriated driver will face felony charges. According to Illinois state law, a DUI resulting in great bodily harm to another party constitutes a Class 4 felony charge. If the defendant is sentenced to prison, they will face a minimum one-year sentence and up to 12 years in prison. If a person is charged with a standard DUI after previously being convicted of a DUI resulting in harm, the charges will be elevated from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class 3 felony. 

If a person is charged with a DUI resulting in the death of another person, they will face Class 2 felony charges. If the incident resulted in the death of one person, the defendant will face three to 14 years in prison. If multiple people were killed in the accident, the defendant could spend up to 28 years in prison. 

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Regaining Your Driving Privileges After a DUI After being charged with a DUI, the vast majority of offenders will lose their driving privileges. According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, 90% of eligible drivers arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol throughout 2018 lost their driving privileges. Regaining your driving privileges after being convicted of a DUI can be a complicated process. Below we will discuss how you can regain your driving privileges in a limited capacity while your license is suspended or revoked and how you can regain your driving privileges in full at the conclusion of the suspension or revocation period. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it is time to speak with a qualified legal professional. 

Applying for an MDDP or RDP 

When a driver fails chemical testing, they will likely be arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. After being charged with a DUI, the offender’s driving privileges will immediately be suspended. While facing a statutory summary suspension, the driver will likely be eligible to apply for Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). In order to receive an MDDP, the driver must agree to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed in their vehicle by the Secretary of State’s Office. A driver with an MDDP will be afforded the right to drive to and from any location with a registered vehicle equipped with a BAIID. It should be noted that drivers that refuse chemical testing will face a statutory summary suspension and are eligible for an MDDP. 

If the driver is ultimately convicted of a DUI, a first-time offender will face a one-year license revocation period. While their license is revoked, the driver can apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP). In order to obtain an RDP, the majority of offenders have to prove that a hardship exists. This hardship could be as simple as needing to drive to and from work or needing to drop their children off at school. The driver will also need to provide an alcohol/drug evaluation and in some cases provide proof that they are attending substance treatment courses of some kind. An RDP will enable the driver to drive to and from certain locations at certain times of the day. 

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How a DUI Conviction Can Change Your Life In the state of Illinois, thousands of drivers are charged each year with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Despite the fact that even a first time DUI offense constitutes a Class A misdemeanor charge, many drivers make the reckless decision to drive while inebriated. In legal terms, a DUI conviction can lead to significant fines, loss of driving privileges, and even potential jail time. As it pertains to other aspects of your life, the impact of a DUI conviction can go much further. Below we will discuss the true impact of a DUI conviction. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, you need strong legal representation. 

  1. Jeopardizing Your Financial Future: A first-time DUI offender can face fines as high as $2,500, but the financial implications of a DUI conviction are more severe. First and foremost, a conviction of this magnitude can lead to loss of employment, especially in heavily scrutinized careers such as teaching or the medical field. A person can also be forced to pay higher insurance rates due to the fact that they were charged. Lastly, if a person who has been charged with DUI hopes to continue to drive, they will need to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). What most people do not know is that they themselves will be forced to pay for the monitoring and installation of the BAIID. 
  2. Impacting Your Personal Life: Being charged with a DUI can drastically change the way a person is viewed by their peers, friends, and family. If you have been charged with a DUI, your name (and possibly your mugshot) will be in the paper and easily accessible through an online search. As mentioned above, a conviction can impact your employment status but also your personal relationships. If you are navigating the divorce process when you are charged with a DUI, you could jeopardize your chances of securing significant parental responsibilities. 
  3. A DUI WIll Follow You: Once you have been convicted of a DUI, the charge will follow you. In the state of Illinois, it is not possible to expunge a DUI conviction, meaning the charges will remain on your criminal record. If you are charged with a second DUI conviction, the criminal ramifications will be drastically more severe. It is also worth noting that a DUI conviction can impact your ability to travel out of the country. If you have been convicted of a DUI, it is time to recognize that your life will be changed forever. 

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Attorney 

Recognizing the life-changing consequences of a DUI conviction, the importance of a quality defense attorney cannot be understated. At McMahon Law Offices, we are dedicated to defending our clients with vigor and technical legal precision. We understand the way in which a conviction can change a person’s life and will do everything we can to avoid one. To schedule a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable DuPage County criminal defense attorney, call us today at 630-953-4400. 

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Fighting a Marijuana-Related DUI Charge With the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois, law enforcement officials throughout the state have increased concern over drugged driving. According to a study conducted by the American Automobile Association, approximately 14 million Americans admitted to driving while under the influence of marijuana in the past month. The concern from law enforcement is based on the fact that marijuana use can decrease reaction time and doubles the likelihood of a collision. Recognizing this concern, Illinois established a DUI Cannabis Task Force to take a deeper dive into drugged driving throughout the state. Still, the testing for marijuana use is somewhat controversial as it pertains to DUI charges. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it is time to speak with an attorney. 

The Arrest Process and Chemical Testing 

In order for a DUI traffic stop to be warranted, a police officer must witness the driver violate Illinois traffic laws in some form or fashion. When the police officer begins speaking with the driver, they will immediately look for signs of inebriation. Signs of inebriation related to marijuana use include bloodshot eyes, drowsiness, and delayed reaction time. If the officer smells marijuana or believes that the driver is under the influence of marijuana, the officer will likely ask the driver to take part in field sobriety testing. If through testing the officer concludes that the driver is likely impaired, they will arrest the driver and bring them to the local police station. 

Once at the police station, the driver will be asked to submit to chemical testing. The most common forms of chemical testing in marijuana cases include blood, breath, and urine tests. While the refusal to take part in chemical testing is an administrative offense that will result in an automatic one-year license revocation period, the refusal does not constitute a criminal offense. A person will fail chemical testing if the test comes back positive for more than 5 milligrams of THC per milliliter of blood. 

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Examining the Consequences of Traffic Violations in IllinoisEvery single day, hundreds of Illinoisans are cited for violating the state’s traffic laws in one fashion or another. While the vast majority of traffic violations are considered petty offenses, there are a number of violations that can lead to serious legal ramifications for the driver. Below, we will discuss some of the consequences of violating Illinois’ traffic laws and the need for you to hire a knowledgeable attorney if you are facing charges related to a traffic violation

Misdemeanor Offenses 

In the state of Illinois, the overwhelming majority of traffic violations fall under two categories: petty violations and misdemeanors. A misdemeanor charge can vary in severity from Class A to Class C, with a Class A misdemeanor coming with the most serious potential legal consequences. Class C misdemeanors tend to be fairly harmless crimes that are considered more reckless than a petty offense. Class C misdemeanors can include violations such as stealing or destroying a traffic sign and are only punishable by up to 30 days in prison. It should be noted that a person can still be fined up to $1,000 for a Class C misdemeanor. Class B misdemeanors come with more serious consequences. They include violations such as speeding anywhere from 26 to 35 miles per hour over the legal speed limit. If convicted, a Class B misdemeanor can result in a six-month prison sentence. 

The most serious misdemeanor offenses are classified as Class A misdemeanors. The most common traffic violation leading to a Class A misdemeanor is a first-time DUI offense. Other common Class A misdemeanors include reckless driving charges, driving with a suspended license, or traveling at speeds over 35 miles per hour over the legal speed limit. A Class A misdemeanor can lead to up to one year in prison and fines as high as $2,500. It is worth noting that a Class A misdemeanor can also impact a person’s ability to land future employment, loans, and housing opportunities. 

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Identifying Police Missteps During a DUI Stop According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, over 26,000 people were charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol throughout 2018. With law enforcement officials constantly on the lookout for inebriated drivers, it is fair to say that anyone can be pulled over for a DUI traffic stop. One of the most important steps you can take in preparing for the possibility of a DUI stop is understanding your rights throughout the entirety of the process. Unfortunately, it is common for law enforcement officials to overstep their legal parameters in the hopes of making an arrest. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it is time to seek out the help of an attorney. 

Law Enforcement Negligence 

When a police officer pulls you over, it is important to begin identifying their behavioral patterns, from the beginning of the interaction. If the police officer is behaving in an aggressive or agitated manner, this information could be critical to your attorney’s defense strategy. If the acting officer demands that you take part in chemical testing and refuses to take no for an answer, they are violating Illinois state law. Although you will face an automatic 12-month driving suspension for refusing to take part in chemical testing, you are not legally obligated to do so. 

If you do take part in any form of chemical testing, most commonly a Breathalyzer test, it is still possible that the officer has acted in a negligent manner. If the officer fails to film the testing, the evidence gained from the test will likely be deemed inadmissible in court. The officer is also obligated to ask you to clear your mouth of any gum or other substance that could lead to an inaccurate test. Failure to inform you to clear your mouth could also result in an inadmissible test result. 

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The Impact of Driving With a Suspended License In the state of Illinois, thousands of drivers lose their driving privileges each and every year. While driving your car is a necessary part of life for the vast majority of Americans, making the decision to operate your vehicle while your license is suspended or revoked can come with serious legal consequences. Below we will discuss the violations that can constitute a license suspension in Illinois, the consequences of disregarding the suspension, and how a skilled attorney can assist you in regaining your driving privileges. 

How You Can Lose Your License 

According to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State, one can lose their driving privileges for a number of traffic violations and other offenses. The most common violation leading to a suspension is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If convicted, a person that failed chemical testing will receive a six-month suspension. If a driver in the state of Illinois receives three traffic citations within 12 months, they will also face a suspension. A person who receives 10 or more parking citations and fails to pay the tickets will receive a parking suspension. Under the state’s Failure to Pay and Failure to Appear policies, failure to pay for tickets or failure to appear in court can also allow a license suspension. It should be noted that a person can receive a license suspension for a non-traffic violation. Illinois’ Family Financial Responsibility Law states that a person can receive a license suspension for failing to pay court-ordered child support. 

The Consequences of Driving With a Suspended License 

According to Illinois state law, driving with a suspended license constitutes a Class A misdemeanor, fines of up to $2,500, and up to one year in prison. In other instances, a person can face felony charges for driving with a suspended license. For instance, if a person with a suspended license for a prior DUI conviction is apprehended while driving under the influence, they will face a Class 4 felony charge. 

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