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Illinois DUI defense lawyersMost people know that you can lose your driver’s license if you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) in Illinois. However, many people do not realize that there is a way you can get a statutory summary suspension of your driver’s license rescinded (canceled).

You Have the Right to a Court Hearing on the Suspension

If you fail or refuse chemical testing following a DUI arrest, the state of Illinois imposes an automatic suspension of your driver’s license, the statutory summary suspension. For most people, this suspension lasts six months if you failed testing (meaning you were over the legal limit) or 12 months if you refused to test.

But the law also grants you the right to a court hearing to challenge the suspension. At this hearing, your lawyer can question police officers and present arguments as to why your license should not have been suspended. If the judge is convinced, the statutory summary suspension will be lifted.

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DuPage County DUI defense lawyerIf you have at least one prior conviction for driving under the influence on your record, each new conviction has increasingly more serious consequences. The more DUIs you commit, the greater your chance of spending time in jail or even in state prison becomes.

You also need to be aware that, thanks to interstate data sharing agreements, DUI conviction in other states will count when an Illinois prosecutor or judge adds up the number of prior DUI convictions on your record. (A DUI arrest that resulted in a successfully completed court supervision will not be counted as a prior conviction.)

Likelihood of Spending Time in Jail for a Second DUI Conviction

Illinois classifies both a first DUI conviction and a second DUI conviction as Class A misdemeanors, punishable by a maximum of 364 days in county jail and/or a maximum fine of $2,500. A first DUI conviction has no mandatory minimum jail sentence, however, so a judge could conceivably let you off with supervised probation, a fine, and/or community service.

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DuPage County DUI defense attorneysWhen someone is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), one of their biggest fears is the possibility of spending time in jail. There are two ways you could spend time in jail. First, if you are arrested for a DUI and cannot make bail, or if you violate the conditions of your bail, you could be held in jail until your case is settled. Second, if you are convicted of DUI, part of your sentence could include jail time.

Fortunately, recent changes in Illinois law and the increased use of electronic monitoring devices have significantly reduced the likelihood that DUI offenders will have to spend time in jail.

Misdemeanor DUI Arrest: Usually No Jail, No Bail

When arrested for a misdemeanor DUI in Illinois, most people are processed and immediately released on their own recognizance without having to pay bail. This includes most first-time and second-time DUI arrestees charged with a misdemeanor offense.

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Illinois DUI defense lawyerImagine this scenario: You had a few drinks uptown, started driving home, and got into a car accident. Do you know the correct actions to take next? Do you understand what can happen if the police have reasonable cause to arrest you for driving under the influence (DUI)? It is important for every driver to know what to do in this type of situation, even if you just had one drink and were not legally intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Do You Have to Call the Police to an Accident Scene in Illinois?

If you have a single-car accident, you only need to call the police and file an accident report if there is over $1,500 worth of property damage.

If your car collides with another motor vehicle or person, Illinois law requires you to stop, render necessary aid, and exchange identification and insurance information. The police must be called to the scene if there is property damage over $1,500 or if anyone is injured or killed.

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IL defense lawyerImagine that you are driving down a suburban street at night, in a rush to get home. Flashing lights appear; you are being pulled over by the police for speeding. The officer stands at your window and asks for your license and registration. As you retrieve those items for inspection, the officer shines a flashlight into your car and spots a bottle of whiskey on the passenger seat. The officer is now wondering whether you are guilty of a more serious offense, such as driving under the influence (DUI).

This is when things get interesting. The officer casually asks, “You mind if I have a look in your car?”—intending to learn if that bottle is open and shows signs that you have been drinking out of it, which would help support a DUI charge. If you agree, you have just consented to a search of your entire car, and anything the police find can be used as evidence against you. Or you have the right to say, “No, I do not give consent for any searches.”

Let us assume that you do not give consent for a search. Can the police officer now legally search your car without your consent?

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IL defense lawyerWhen charged with driving under the influence, one of your first thoughts is likely to be, “How much is this going to cost?” The cost of hiring a defense attorney may be your most immediate concern. But that should not be your only concern. The total cost of a DUI conviction will be far higher than attorney fees alone. In the end, a strong DUI defense that keeps a drunk driving conviction off your record—and your wallet—will be worth far more than the attorney fees.

The Cost and Benefits of an Aggressive DUI Defense

For a first-time DUI offense, you can expect to pay several thousand dollars in legal fees. But you must weigh that against the total cost of a DUI conviction, estimated at over $15,000.

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IL DUI lawyerYou have probably seen news stories about people who have been arrested for driving under the influence 10 or 15 times, and wondered, “15 DUIs? I thought Illinois was super-strict on DUIs. How was that person not already in prison?” In reality, Illinois law is very tough on driving under the influence. The state simply prefers to keep non-violent offenders out of prison, so they can be working and supporting their families, rather than being a huge financial burden on their fellow tax-paying citizens. In addition, multiple offenders often have records dating back to years when DUI laws and judges were far less strict than they are today.

The Case of the Man with 15 DUI Convictions

One Illinois citizen has had 15 DUI convictions dating back to 1982. His driver’s license was revoked years ago, but he continued to drive without a license, in at least one case showing police a fake ID. He has been arrested in at least 10 Illinois counties, been involved in collisions and committed various traffic violations.

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IL DUI lawyerWhen a police officer suspects a driver of DUI, the officer has to gather sufficient evidence to support that suspicion. If the officer does not build a strong enough case, the driver cannot be charged with and eventually convicted of DUI.

What kind of evidence are we talking about? There are four kinds of evidence that can be used to support a DUI conviction. Specific rules apply to each type of evidence, including whether or not a driver can refuse to participate and what happens if the driver refuses.

1. Law Enforcement Observations

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Posted on in DUI Defense

Illinois DUI lawyerSocial media can connect you to friends, jobs, DIY project ideas, and both fake and real news. But can it get you arrested? For two men in the Chicago area, the answer was “yes.”

Social Media Distraction Contributes to Aggravated DUI Charge

A 23-year-old Berwyn man had a little too much going on as he drove through the Cook County suburb of Lyons during the evening rush hour on Monday, October 9, 2017. Speeding through an intersection, he crashed into a work van carrying two men in their 60s, killing both. The responding police officers found the deadly driver still sitting in his car with earphones plugged in and, on his lap, a cellphone opened to a social media app. While hospitalized for his crash-related injuries, the Berwyn man was found to have both marijuana and cocaine in his system. Do you think he posted about his arrest on charges of Aggravated DUI and Reckless Homicide? Perhaps he used his social media skills to find a good criminaldefense attorney. As of March, 2018, he is still in residence at the Cook County Jail, where a judge ordered him held without bail.

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Posted on in DUI Defense

Illinois defense attorneySpending an evening with family and friends is a great way to start a weekend. Shying away from the hectic schedule at work can prove to be mentally healing, and everyone needs some time to step away from work. At a social gathering, alcohol may be present, and it may be tempting to partake. Consuming alcohol is not bad, unless the person drinking decides to drive afterward. It is always a good idea to have a designated driver take you back home, in the event that you decide to drink. However, if no designated drivers are present, using a ride-share is the best practice, as to guarantee a safe ride home.

The Effects of Alcohol in Your System

Illinois is a Zero Tolerance state, meaning that any individual under the age of 21 years old may not present any trace of alcohol in his or her blood when driving. Otherwise, the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08 percent. However, even at a blood alcohol content level at 0.02 percent, the ability to make responsible decisions with driving can be impaired.

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Posted on in DUI Defense

Illinois defense attorneyOver the past few years, social media has been a main hub for all kinds of communication. Many social media platforms have had their privacy settings set to public so that anyone can see what the users have posted. During the massive evolution of social media, far too many users have abused these platforms and have gotten into serious trouble because of what was posted at that time. In the past, social media has often pinpointed dangerous drinking habits, including drinking and driving, underage drinking, and abusing alcohol overall.

Why Are College Students Displaying Dangerous Drinking Habits on Social Media?

College is a period of time where a young adult may go away to school to discover what life is really like outside of the home. When a student is feeling homesick, he or she may potentially engage in dangerous activities, including underage drinking, and driving while drunk. Oftentimes, college students may use references, such as “blacking out,” “getting wasted,” “getting smashed,” and “being drunk,” to name a few terms. There has been much evidence that many college students who reference dangerous drinking habits on social media are more likely to display drinking problems.

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Illinois DUI lawyerWeekends are often spent having a good time with family and friends. When people attend social gatherings, alcohol is often involved. Even though many people make the wise decision to choose a designated driver who will safely drive everyone home, there are several others whose decisions are not as wise. People may “pregame,” or drink before a social gathering or event, which may include drinking and driving, and therefore illegally carrying alcohol in the car.

Consequences of Illegally Carrying Alcohol in a Vehicle

In the state of Illinois, it is illegal to carry or possess alcohol in the passenger seat of a car. It must be in the original container and the seal unbroken during transport. If a driver is caught illegally transporting alcohol in his or her car, then there will be a maximum fine of $1,000 and a violation on that person’s record.

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Posted on in DUI Defense

Illinois DUI attorneyWe live in a society where we often believe that drinking and driving is glamorous. Many movies and TV shows try to portray driving drunk as a part of everyday life. Unfortunately, reality is nothing like the movies. If a person is caught drinking and driving, he or she may be charged with a DUI, likely causing the driver to pay heavy fines, spend time behind bars, and even lose driving privileges.

If a person has made plans to drink, then he or she should plan ahead as to get home safely. Getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks can cause so many unthinkable risks that could drastically impact quality of life.

Why Do People Drink and Drive?

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Posted on in DUI Defense

Illinois DUI lawyerA nice evening on the weekend is perfect for any social gathering, whether for a birthday, wedding, or just an evening with family and friends. If alcohol is involved, it should not a problem if people partake in drinking. Where the act of drinking becomes a problem is when a person has had a little too much to drink and then attempts to drive back home. If anyone drives home after drinking, that person needs to know what the consequences may be if pulled over by law enforcement.

DUI and Penalties

A difference between a DUI charge and an aggravated DUI charge lies in the number of DUI charges the offender has committed, if the offender transported anyone 16 years old or under, and the offender’s BAC level.

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Illinois DUI attorneyAmericans often resort to alcohol and other means of relaxing after a long and hard week filled with responsibilities. Although many people drink responsibly and take into account the potential consequences of drinking and driving, unfortunately, not everyone considers those outcomes. Anyone who is found driving after consuming any amount of alcohol could face very serious consequences that might impact their everyday lives and activities.

Conviction Variables of DUI in Illinois

The first conviction of a DUI is a Class A misdemeanor, with at least one year of revoked driving privileges.

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DuPage County DUI defense attorney, driving with a hangover, DUI charges, DUI laws, Illinois DUI defenseThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that between 2003-2012, 3,866 people will killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Illinois. Additionally, 2.2 percent of Illinois drivers reported driving after drinking too much, as compared to the national average of 1.9 percent in 2012.

These statistics clearly show that driving while intoxicated is dangerous and deadly. But what about driving with a hangover?

Esurance, an Allstate Company, provides answers to this question and they are quite disturbing. In agreement with the CDC as to the hazards of driving under the influence, Esurance warns that studies indicate how driving with a hangover is just as dangerous.

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DuPage County DUI defense attorney, DUI charges, drunk driving, alcohol and brain function, DUI chargeEach person reacts to alcohol differently, and some of the differences have to do with the tolerance level built up within a person's system. For example, a person who has never had an alcoholic beverage before is not encouraged to drink a 12-pack of beer. His or her body is not adjusted and will not know how to react.

Other factors that influence a person's tolerance to alcohol include how much the person ate during the day, his or her stress level, and body weight. However, despite tolerance levels, alcohol does have a physiological impact on the various systems of the body, which inevitably causes impairment and can result in a DUI charge.

Emotional Impact

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teenage drunk driving, DUI, DUI defense, DUI charges, DuPage County DUI defense attorneySchool is out for the summer, and this free time encourages teenagers to find methods to fill the gaps. Unfortunately, idle hands can breed mischief. One go-to time-consumer for many teens is socializing, and alcohol consumption is often incorporated. However, alcohol and teens do not mix well, under any circumstances. Moreover, underage drinking and driving can result in a deadly outcome. If fortunate enough to be stopped by a police officer before an accident occurs, the consequences may still be life-altering.

Illinois Zero Tolerance Policy

In Illinois, it is illegal to be under the age of 21 and operate a motor vehicle with any trace of alcohol in the bloodstream. This policy is is known as a Zero Tolerance Policy for Underage Drinking. Even transporting alcohol in the passenger seat of a car is illegal, regardless of ownership.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_DUI-for-sleeping-in-the-car-Oak-Brook.jpgConsider the following scenario: You went out with friends and drank too much. You knew you were not safe to drive. Rather than wait for a taxi to pick you up and take you home, or ride home with one of your intoxicated friends, you decided to sleep off your intoxication in the car. However, your decision came under question when an officer knocked on your window and began demanding sobriety tests. Now, you are facing DUI charges and you were not even driving. How did this happen?

Not As Uncommon As You Might Think

DUI sleeping in a car is possible and relatively common. The Illinois criminal code broadly states that an individual may not be in actual or physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated. If you are sleeping, are you in real control of the vehicle? The following factors provide guidelines for these cases:

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