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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 defense lawyerImagine that you have been pulled over by a police officer for some relatively minor traffic violation. The officer approaches you in a friendly manner as if he is just making conversation. He asks about where you have been, where you are going, whether you have had any drinks today, and so on. He gets you to admit that you were at a bar and that, yes, you had a drink or two.

Did You Just Say Too Much?

Many people believe — incorrectly — that they are required to answer each and every question that a police officer asks. Their natural instinct is to be cooperative. They may even hope that the officer will let them off with just a warning because they were so polite.

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