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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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Why Am I Facing Felony Charges for a DUI? In the state of Illinois, more than 20,000 people are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol every year. Of those arrested, approximately 90% of eligible drivers lost their driving privileges. Along with the suspension, many drivers will be convicted of misdemeanor charges and face up to one year in prison. For other drivers, a DUI can be elevated to an aggravated DUI and potentially result in felony charges. Below, we will examine why you may be facing felony charges for driving under the influence

Aggravated DUI in Illinois 

According to Illinois state law, there are a number of aggravating factors that can lead to a DUI charge being elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony. The most common factor is simply the fact that the defendant has already been convicted for two prior DUIs. If you are charged with your third DUI offense, you will be facing Class 2 felony charges. A third DUI conviction will result in a three-to-seven-year prison sentence. In other instances in which a person has a previous alcohol-related conviction, such as an alcohol-related reckless homicide offense, a DUI will automatically be elevated to a Class 3 felony. 

Other common aggravating factors include when great bodily harm is caused to another party. If a person is killed by a driver charged with DUI, the driver will be charged with a Class 2 felony and face up to 14 years in prison. If bodily harm is caused to a passenger under the age of 16, the driver will be charged with a Class 4 felony, which includes a minimum one-year prison sentence. 

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How to Hire the Right Criminal Defense Attorney When you are facing criminal charges, whether they be drug-related or a violent crime, there will likely be a lot going through your mind. The blatant truth is that you could be facing serious legal ramifications if convicted of the charges. That being said, one of the most important steps you can take when facing criminal charges is hiring the right criminal defense attorney. Below we will walk you through some simple steps you should take prior to hiring a lawyer. If you are facing serious criminal charges, you deserve to work with a quality and compassionate legal professional. 

  1. Speak With the Attorney: Prior to hiring an attorney, it is critically important to ensure that your personality will work with theirs. You and your attorney will need to spend hours together going through your case and developing a comprehensive defense strategy. If your personality is simply not a good fit with theirs, you should probably look in a different direction. By speaking with an attorney, you can also gain a better understanding of their personability and rhetorical navigation, two skills that can be critical in the courtroom. 
  2. Look Into Their Track Record: The most important aspect of a relationship with an attorney is trust. You need to be able to trust your attorney to assist you in the entirety of the legal process and provide you with the best opportunity to see the charges be dropped. A great way to gain trust for an attorney is through exploring their previous track record. If you are facing DUI charges, look for information on their recent DUI cases. If they have failed to help previous clients have their charges dropped or diminished, they may not be the right attorney for you. Client testimonials can also provide you with an honest insight into what it is like to work with a specific attorney. 
  3. Ask Legal Questions: Personability is key in the courtroom, but it is not everything. In order to ensure that your case is handled with care, you need to know that your attorney is knowledgeable of your state’s laws. For instance, if you are fighting a DUI charge in the state of Illinois, does your attorney understand how a mishandled chemical test could lead to dropped charges? In order to gauge an attorney’s knowledge, it is important to ask them a number of legal questions that pertain to your case. A skilled legal professional will be more than willing to answer any and all of a prospective client’s questions. 

Contact a Lombard Criminal Law Attorney

At McMahon Law Offices, our attorneys are dedicated to providing our clients with a unique quality of care throughout the entirety of the legal process. We are prepared to do everything in our power to ensure that our clients have their charges dropped or significantly lessened in severity. Do not leave your future in the hands of an inexperienced attorney. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a DuPage County criminal defense attorney, call us today at 630-953-4400. 

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What Are the Most Effective Defenses Against a DUI Charge?In the state of Illinois alone, just under 30,000 DUI arrests were made throughout 2018. Reacting to an arrest and the fact that you are facing DUI charges can be difficult and frightening. While law enforcement officials and prosecutors will make you believe that fighting against a DUI charge is a virtual impossibility, there are a number of effective defense strategies in DUI cases. If you are facing DUI charges, you need the assistance of an attorney that will do everything in their power to help you avoid a conviction. 

Potential DUI Defense Strategies 

If convicted of a DUI, an offender can face Class A misdemeanor charges, significant fines, and even potential jail time. Recognizing the severity of a conviction, you need an attorney that will fight diligently to have the charges dropped. Below, we will explore a few of the most effective defense strategies used in DUI cases. 

  1. Improper Stop: An improper stop is one of the most common defenses used in DUI cases. Essentially, the law states that a police officer cannot pull over an individual unless they have reasonable suspicion to believe the individual has committed a crime. If you are the only driver on the road very late at night, an officer cannot pull you over due to a hunch that you may be inebriated. If your attorney can prove that you were not breaking any traffic laws, such as driving over the speed limit, swerving from lane to lane, or failing to use a turn signal, all evidence gained after the initial stop will be deemed inadmissible. 
  2. Police Oversight or Negligence: After a police officer pulls you over, their actions will in large part determine the outcome of the case. In some cases, police officers will act in a negligent or reckless manner and lead to the case being thrown out in court. First and foremost, if an officer fails to follow all testing procedures or uses disrespectful or intimidating language towards you, the evidence may be suppressed. Police oversight can also occur after you have been taken into custody. Improper storage or handling of blood alcohol samples can lead to the samples being tainted. It is also important to note that if an officer neglects to read you your Miranda warning after the arrest, any evidence gained after the fact cannot be used.  
  3. False Signs of Impairment: It is also possible for false signs of impairment to lead to an arrest and subsequent DUI charge. For instance, a person can be asked to take part in a field sobriety test in unstable footwear or in inclement weather and show false signs of inebriation. It is also possible for medical conditions to showcase symptoms that could be viewed as signs of impairment. For instance, a medical condition that causes slurred speech could lead to an officer believing you are impaired. In the aftermath of the arrest, speak with your attorney immediately and go over every step of the arrest process. 

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Attorney 

At McMahon Law Offices, we understand how drastically a DUI conviction can change a person’s life. Because of this, we will do everything in our power to fight against a conviction. After walking through the events that lead to your arrest, we will develop a comprehensive defense strategy. Facing a DUI charge can be frightening, but do not face it alone. To schedule a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable DuPage County DUI defense lawyer, call us today at 630-953-4400. 

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Concerns with Underage Drinking and Underage DUIEvery parent worries about their child, so discussing drinking and driving from a parental perspective can be a difficult topic. While the dangers of drinking and driving cannot be understated, the legal ramifications of a drinking and driving conviction can be monumental. There are a number of ways in which a minor can face legal trouble as it pertains to alcohol. Below, we will look at Illinois’ laws on underage drinking, transportation of alcohol, and drinking and driving. If your child has been charged with an underage DUI, it is time to seek out legal assistance. 

Underage Drinking Laws in Illinois 

In the state of Illinois, there are a number of laws in place to discourage minors from consuming alcohol. While it is highly unlikely that a minor will face jail time for an alcohol possession charge, they will face the consequences of:

  • Having a Class A misdemeanor on their record
  • Fines as high as $2,500
  • Suspended driving privileges

Minors can face much more severe criminal charges if they are caught using a fake id. If a minor is apprehended while using another person’s driver’s license or identification card, they will face a Class A misdemeanor charge. If a minor is caught in possession of a falsified Illinois state driver’s license or identification card, they will face felony charges and possible jail time. 

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Why You Should Fight Against a Reckless Driving Charge In Illinois, a reckless driving charge has serious legal ramifications and criminal punishment. Reckless driving is defined as the act of driving with a willful disregard for the safety of yourself and others, and a conviction constitutes a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, you can face up to one year in prison and fines as high as $2,500. If another party suffers injuries in a collision caused by reckless driving, the charges can be elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony. Understanding the possible consequences of a reckless driving conviction, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable defense attorney and aggressively fight against the charges. 

Possible Defenses for a Reckless Driving Charge 

While a reckless driving conviction can result in life-changing consequences, there are a number of defensive strategies that can be effective in a reckless driving case. The first step you should take after being charged with reckless driving is hiring an attorney you can trust. After securing a qualified lawyer, you and your attorney will examine the events that lead to your arrest and the arrest procedures taken. Challenging the evidence in a reckless driving case is a common defense. Your attorney will inspect the evidence collected in the case, which usually consists of radar gun readings, video evidence, and witness reports, and determine if an argument can be built on the notion that the evidence was inconclusive. These defenses can center around a witness misremembering the incident, or a radar gun that was improperly calibrated. 

In other instances, your attorney can argue that you were not intending to operate your vehicle in a reckless manner. For instance, a person can be charged with reckless driving for driving upwards of 35 miles per hour over the speed limit. If the arrest took place in an area in which the speed limit dropped rapidly such as a school zone, but speed limit signs were difficult to see, the charges may be dropped. Your attorney can also argue that your intent was not reckless, but negligent, resulting in a petty violation rather than a conviction and a mark on your criminal record. 

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Can I Still Face Legal Trouble for Possession or Ingestion of Marijuana? Since the start of the new year, recreational marijuana use has been legal in the state of Illinois. When Governor JB Pritzker signed House Bill 1438, also known as the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana use and changed the landscape of marijuana distribution statewide. The law took effect on Jan. 1, 2020, and also made thousands of prior marijuana convictions eligible for expungement. All that being said, there are still a number of marijuana-related violations that can result in serious drug charges and legal ramifications. 

Possession and Use 

While it is now legal for people in the state of Illinois to possess marijuana, you must comply with the state guidelines. Adults over the age of 21 are legally allowed to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana, edible products totaling no more than 500 milligrams of THC, and up to five grams of cannabis concentrate products. If you are a non-resident visiting Illinois, those possession limits are cut in half. Possessing more than 30 grams of marijuana can result in a Class A misdemeanor charge and up to one year in prison. It is also important to note that only licensed dispensaries are allowed to distribute marijuana. The illegal sale of marijuana can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges. One can also face fines for using marijuana in public areas, motor vehicles, or in the presence of minors. 

Marijuana and Motor Vehicle Operation 

With recreational marijuana use now legal in the state, law enforcement officials are now increasingly on the lookout for drugged driving. If you are tested with a THC blood concentration upwards of five nanograms per milliliter of blood, you will face a charge for driving under the influence of marijuana. Law enforcement officials have the right to request chemical testing if they have probable cause to believe you may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Signs of marijuana use can include drug paraphernalia, smell, and visible symptoms such as eye discoloration. A first-time DUI offender can face Class A misdemeanor charges and significant fines. 

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