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Exploring Common DUI Defenses If you are charged with driving under the influence, it is important to understand the legal ramifications of a conviction. In Illinois, over 26,000 DUI arrests were made throughout 2018, and the consequences of a DUI can be significant. A first conviction constitutes a Class A misdemeanor, which includes a one-year license revocation period. It should be noted that there are a number of aggravating factors that can result in an increase in the severity of the charges. Fortunately, there are several ways in which a skilled attorney can fight against a DUI charge

Common DUI Defenses

After you have been arrested on DUI charges, it is important to act quickly. The most important step you can take is hiring an attorney with experience in handling DUI cases. Once your attorney is hired, the two of you should review the events that lead up to the arrest process. One of the strongest defenses an attorney can use is an improper stop defense, which essentially argues that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to warrant a traffic stop. For instance, if an officer pulled you over simply due to the fact that it was late at night, an improper stop defense would likely be utilized. 

In other instances, an attorney will pursue a defense based on a field sobriety test or Breathalyzer test. A field sobriety test could indicate that a sober person is intoxicated if the person has medical conditions related to their balance or motor skills. A horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which looks at the eyes for signs of inebriation, could be inaccurate if the person has a medical condition related to eye function or appearance. In cases in which a breath test is used, it is possible that the Breathalyzer could have malfunctioned, leading to an inaccurate test. 

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Three Common Strategies for DUI DefendantsWhen a person is arrested on DUI charges, it is common to feel helpless. The arrest process can be frightening, and the thought of fighting a DUI charge can seem nearly impossible. However, there are a number of ways in which a skilled criminal defense attorney can craft a defense strategy that could help their client avoid a conviction and subsequent mark on their criminal record. Recognizing that even a first-time DUI conviction results in a Class A misdemeanor, temporary license revocation, and a significant fine, an experienced defense lawyer will do everything in their power to see the charges dropped. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, speak with an attorney as soon as possible.  

How to Fight a DUI Charge 

When you initially meet with your attorney, the first step you should take is telling them everything you remember about the arrest. The initial conversation will allow your attorney to examine avenues they may take to develop a comprehensive and compelling defense strategy. 

  1. Lack of Reasonable Suspicion: In order for a law enforcement official to stop your vehicle, they must have a reasonable suspicion that you are breaking the law. Common reasons for a traffic stop can include speeding to swerving from lane to lane. If you are stopped without reasonable suspicion, all evidence obtained after the initial stop will be inadmissible in court. In order for you to be arrested on DUI charges, the officer must have probable cause to believe that you are in violation of state DUI laws. 
  2. Challenging Officer Testimony: In most DUI cases, the officer will believe that the person in question is inebriated due to the presence of common symptoms. In some cases, though, those symptoms may not be indicative of inebriation. For instance, a person may have bloodshot eyes due to allergies or sickness. A person may be suffering from slurred speech or irregular movement due to a medical condition rather than being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 
  3. Lack of Miranda Warning: While Miranda warnings are usually not a key aspect of DUI cases, they can play a role if a person is taken into police custody. If an officer does not recite the Miranda warning and a suspect says something incriminating while in police custody, the incriminating statement and any other statements will be inadmissible in court. Recalling the arrest process in its entirety can be critical to your attorney’s ability to craft a compelling defense case. 

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Lawyer

At McMahon Law Offices, we fully understand the manner in which a DUI conviction can drastically impact a person’s livelihood. Understanding the ramifications of a conviction, we are prepared to do everything in our power to fight a conviction. If a conviction is unavoidable, we are prepared to guide you through the processes of regaining your driving privileges. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a knowledgeable Oak Brook, Illinois, criminal defense attorney, contact us today at 630-953-4400. 

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Examining the Most Probable Causes for a DUI Traffic Stop When a police officer is patrolling the streets at night, they are on the lookout for all types of criminal activity. While surveying other drivers, they are most cautious of inebriated drivers. While a police officer may presume that almost every driver on the road at 2 a.m. is possibly under the influence, they are not able to pull over a driver for a traffic stop without a legitimate reason. Below, we examine the most common reasons why people are pulled over for DUI traffic stops.  

Likely Reasons for a DUI Stop

Once a police officer has pulled you over, it is likely that they will be looking for signs of inebriation. While you are not legally obligated to engage in conversation with the officer (simply offer them the necessary documents they need to process your driving information), the officer will be able to gather further information regarding your potential levels of intoxication, simply based on coming into contact with you. For instance, an officer will immediately look at a person’s eyes, smell their clothes and breath, and listen for signs of slurred speech. Because this process of gaining evidence can be critical in a DUI arrest, it is important to understand that a police officer is not legally allowed to pull you over unless you are violating traffic laws.  

The most common reasons people are pulled over in DUI traffic stops include:

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What Are Common DUI Defense Strategies?When a person is convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, the legal implications of the conviction can be significant. If convicted, a first-time DUI offender could face up to one year in prison, fines as high as $2,500, and a license revocation of one full year. Recognizing the potential life-changing ramifications of a conviction, it is critically important to seek out legal assistance if you are facing drunk driving charges. Through a number of defense strategies, a quality attorney may be able to help you avoid a conviction. Below, we will examine some of the most common and effective DUI defenses. 

Police Misconduct 

When a police officer pulls you over and arrests you on suspicion of DUI, they must follow a specified protocol throughout the arrest proceedings. Failure to adhere to this protocol could be grounds to have evidence thrown out. According to state and federal law:

  • if you are suspected of driving under the influence and are taken into police custody, police are required to give you Miranda Warnings prior to questioning; and
  • Prior to administering a chemical test, an officer is required to warn you that refusal to submit to testing or failing the test may result in loss of driving privileges.

Testing results and incriminating statements may be inadmissible in court if the officer fails to follow these procedures.

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IL DUI lawyer“I got a ticket for DUI last night. Is there any way to get out of this?

“If I lose my driver’s license, I could lose my job. I have to be able to drive.”

“I admitted I had been drinking and I blew .08 on the breathalyzer. Is there anything you can do to help me?”

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