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Posted on in DUI Defense

DuPage County DUI defense lawyerIf you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Illinois, you may think that your life is over, given the myriad consequences that can come with a DUI conviction. However, all is not immediately lost, especially if you are a first offender. It is possible to plead a DUI charge down, and the most common offense charged under a plea bargain is reckless driving. That said, that course of action is not without its potential hazards, and having an experienced DUI attorney on your side is crucial. 

Why Bother To Plead? 

A DUI is treated as a very serious charge, even for a first offender, because of the potential dangers it poses to so many different people. The court may be reluctant to accept a plea agreement for this exact reason, as it is seen as critical that those who drive under the influence are held accountable for their actions. However, if a plea bargain might be possible, reckless driving is a charge that many prosecutors will accept. 

It may seem counterintuitive or even pointless to try and plead a DUI down to a reckless driving charge, because both offenses are Class A misdemeanors, punishable by fines up to $2,500 and up to 364 days in jail. However, if you are in a position where a plea bargain is possible, pleading to a charge of reckless driving has decided advantages to being convicted for DUI. 

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What You Should Know About Chemical Testing During a DUI StopWhen a law enforcement official pulls you over, they are professionally trained to look for signs of inebriation. As they ask for your driver’s license and vehicle registration, they will be listening for slurred speech, smelling for traces of alcohol, and looking for other signs of intoxication. If the officer suspects that you may be under the influence, they will likely request for you to take part in field sobriety testing. If your field sobriety testing indicates likely inebriation, you will be placed under arrest for driving under the influence. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. 

Can I Refuse Chemical Testing? 

After being placed under arrest, you will be placed into police custody and asked to submit to chemical testing. It is critically important to understand that regardless of what the acting officers say to you, you are not legally required to submit to chemical testing. In short, refusal to submit to chemical testing is not a criminal offense. It is an administrative offense that violates the agreement you made when acquiring your driver’s license. Due to the violation, you will face a license suspension for refusing chemical testing. A first-time refusal will result in a 12-month statutory summary suspension. A second refusal within a five-year period will result in a three-year suspension. It should be noted that a first-time offender will likely be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP), which means they will be able to drive vehicles that are equipped with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). 

Submitting to Chemical Testing 

If you are not inebriated and a police officer has incorrectly identified signs of intoxication, it may turn out okay if you take part in chemical testing, though there are still risks. If you have a blood alcohol content of less than .05, the charges will likely be dropped. If you test between .05 and .08, you will not face a statutory suspension but may still have a DUI charge that goes to court. Regardless of what your alcohol content is, it is important to share information regarding the testing with your attorney. If the officer incorrectly administered the test or forced you to submit to chemical testing against your will, the results may be deemed inadmissible in court. If you believe that the results are incorrect, it is within your legal right to take part in additional testing at your own expense. 

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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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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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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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