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Posted on in DUI Defense

Reacting to a DUI Traffic StopEvery year, more than 20,000 people in Illinois are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. In a significant percentage of those cases, the party arrested is ultimately convicted of driving under the influence. While many people assume that a conviction is inevitable after they have been pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving, that is factually incorrect. In reality, your actions while and after being pulled over can dramatically impact the likelihood of a conviction. Below we will examine how you should react to a DUI traffic stop. 

Steps You Should Take During a Traffic Stop

Seeing red and blue lights behind your vehicle is no enjoyable experience, but your ability to have some emotional fortitude can be the ultimate difference between potential jail-time and no criminal charges at all. Here are a few steps you should take during the arrest process. 

  1. Pull Over Safely: The worst thing you can do as you are getting pulled over is to make the situation worse by pulling over in an unsafe manner. Pulling over at high speeds can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and potentially lead to an accident. Pulling over on a blind turn or on a bridge can make it more difficult for other vehicles to avoid you and the officer. If you pull over in an unsafe manner, not only are you putting yourself in danger, but you are likely prompting more suspicion from the officer. 
  2. Do Not Panic: Remaining calm is one of the most important things you can do during a traffic stop. Panicking will likely lead to perspiration or tremors, which can lead to suspicions of illegal activity from the officer. Most importantly, though, panic can lead to erratic or aggressive behavior, limiting your ability to fight against a charge in court. Keep your emotions in check and let your attorney do the rest. 
  3. Understand Your Rights: If an officer asks for you to take a breath test, you have the right to decline. If an officer tells you that you would be breaking the law by not taking the test, they are either deceiving you or unaware of the laws in Illinois. While declining a breath test will result in loss of driving privileges for one year, it is not a criminal offense. Understanding your rights can be the most important step you take during a DUI traffic stop. 
  4. Try to Remember the Events: If you are in fact arrested by an officer, it is important to be able to analyze the arrest process with your attorney. If the officer forced you to give a breath sample, was verbally or physically abusive, or failed to read you your Miranda rights prior to questioning in police custody, your attorney will have a strong defense case in court. 

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Attorney

At McMahon Law Offices, we understand just how traumatic a DUI stop can be. Whether you have been mistreated or charged with a DUI, it is time to seek out quality legal assistance. Our attorneys are dedicated to building a quality defense case for all of our clients, in the hopes of avoiding a conviction. If a conviction is ultimately unavoidable, we will do everything in our power to lessen the charges and help you regain your driving privileges as soon as possible. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a skilled DuPage County criminal defense attorney, call us today at 630-953-4400. 

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How to Safely React to a DUI Traffic Stop It is common to panic when you are pulled over on the suspicion that you may be driving under the influence of alcohol. Seeing those red and blue lights behind your vehicle can spark a wide array of emotions. As you prepare to pull over and speak with the law enforcement official, it is important to remain calm and operate your vehicle in a safe manner. If you are charged with a DUI, you still have a number of options at your disposal. Speaking with a qualified defense attorney can help you in finding the best course of action, moving forward. 

Remain Calm, Stay Safe

According to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State, the vast majority of DUI arrests occur between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m., on weekends. When officers are patrolling at night, they are likely prone to take increased precautions due to the amount of night-time criminal activity and their lack of visibility. Below are three tips you should follow if you are pulled over:

  1. Find a Safe Place to Stop: Once the officer turns on their lights, indicating that they have noticed unusual or negligent vehicle operation, it is important for you to find a safe place to pull over. While you should try to pull over in a timely fashion, safety is the top priority. Avoid pulling over at a curve in the road or in a place with a limited shoulder. If necessary, safely pull into a parking lot. Recognize the fact that other vehicles may not be aware of the traffic stop, and avoid the temptation to come to a sudden stop.
  2. Remain Calm and Respectful: As the officer approaches your vehicle, you need to remain composed. Do not leave the vehicle, and make sure that both your hands are visibly resting on the steering wheel. Avoid making sudden movements, and only remove your hands when the officer requests your driver’s license or insurance information. The manner in which you speak to the officer can go a long way in your case. By remaining calm and speaking to the officer in a respectful manner, you are ensuring that the situation will not escalate, and your cooperation may be useful in a courtroom setting.
  3. Know Your Options: While it is important to be respectful, it is also important to know your rights. If the officer asks you to take part in chemical testing, it is not mandatory for you to comply. Refusing to take part in chemical testing is not a criminal offense. While you will face an automatic one-year license suspension, you may avoid a DUI charge on your permanent record. If you have any questions regarding your options in the event of a traffic stop, we would be happy to answer them. 

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Lawyer

In the event of a charge, the first step you should take is hiring a defense attorney that you can believe in. Even if you refuse chemical testing and are simply cited for a statutory summary suspension, a quality lawyer can ensure that you secure a restricted driving permit (RDP). In the event of a DUI charge, it is important to take the charges incredibly seriously. Even a first-time DUI conviction can result in substantial fines, a mark on your driving record, and difficulty securing housing and employment opportunities. 

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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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Posted on in DUI Defense

DuPage County, Illinois DUI defense attorney, DUI traffic stopAfter a night out involving a couple of adult beverages, the last thing anyone wants to see is police lights in his or her rear view mirror. The realization is a quick “buzz kill,” even if the “buzz” emanates from the feel-good time of a joyful night out rather than any alcohol. Rest assured that a DUI stop does not immediately mean the end of the world.

Like those before you, you will have your day in court to defend yourself. With a credible case, you may see that your charges are dismissed or reduced. However, there are steps you can take, both during and immediately following a traffic stop, that can help make the situation easier on you later.

Probable Cause 

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