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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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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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