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Category Archives: DUI

DuPage County criminal defense attorneyBeing pulled over by the police is a very sobering experience after a night out on the town. In that instant, all of the laughter and fun are swept away as the dread of what currently unfolds washes over you. Anxiety courses through your mind as you mentally debate your level of intoxication. After convincing yourself that you are safe to drive, it comes as a complete shock when not only are you being charged with a DUI but they are also seizing your vehicle.

Can They Do That?

The short answer is yes, under the right circumstances police can seize your vehicle. In fact, an officer can also take a vehicle that is not even registered to the drunken driver. Additionally, the authority encompasses all forms of transportation, including watercraft. Furthermore, Article 36 of the Illinois Criminal Code explains that in addition to a seizure to impound, law enforcement also reserves the right to sell the vehicle at auction. The intent to sell the property is often unknown and is humiliatingly discovered at the police station, in front of at least one friend or family member that provided the transportation to the station expecting to drive away in separate cars.

What Offenses Place You at Risk?

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DuPage County DUI defense lawyer, refuse the breathalyzerIt is popularly suggested that drivers suspected of driving under the influence submit to field sobriety testing in order to avoid a DUI charge. While there may be several reasons why one should avoid these tests in many other states, the state of Illinois has enacted steps to “persuade” drivers to do so. In most cases, refusal would not be in one's favor. However, with the most commonly used form of sobriety tests, the breathalyzer, it is important to understand that the technology has many downfalls. 

Laws to Prevent Refusal 

The state of Illinois is an “implied consent” state. This ultimately means that in return for driving permissions, if you are arrested for DUI and the arresting officer had probable cause for the arrest, then you are consenting to a chemical test of your blood alcohol content (BAC). This can be in the form of blood, breath or urine.

The law goes on to explain that you also consent to a preliminary test, which in most cases use a breathalyzer test. The results of the preliminary test will be used to establish probable cause, which may result in an arrest. After the arrest is made, then you are required to submit to chemical testing. However, if you refuse to take the chemical test, then you will be subject to penalties, which the officer is required to tell you at the time of refusal. Penalties for refusal include: 

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DuPage County criminal defense lawyer, first DUI

If you are charged with a first-time DUI offense, you may be unsure as to how you should respond when speaking with an officer. For example, should you be cooperative and do everything an officer asks? Or, should you refuse to do anything? The answer lies somewhere in between the two.

First and foremost, an officer's job is to keep citizens safe. Yet, just like every human being, an officer may be experiencing a bad day, therefore resulting in a short temper and little patience. When responding to an officer's questions, do not become antagonistic in your responses; however, do not admit guilt. Admission adds evidence against you and is hard to come back from defensively. An officer cannot make an arrest without just cause.

Also, keep in mind that police are not required to tell the truth. Officers are legally allowed to lie to convince you to cooperate. Still, answer an officer's questions politely but do not offer any other information such as how many beverages you consumed. Moreover, do not discuss your driving that night. In sum, it is best to keep your mouth shut as much as possible. Anything that is communicated during that time is allowable in a court of law.

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Wheaton DUI defense lawyer, Illinois DUI chargeIllinois laws are designed to be tough on people who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Still, sometimes law enforcement makes mistakes. While every case is unique, there are often good defenses to DUI charges. You have a right to a vigorous defense against criminal charges.

Common Defenses to DUI

Prosecutors and law enforcement often present their cases as being based on careful, trained observation and scientific evidence. However, there are often several defenses to DUI charges that demonstrate the real weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Common DUI defenses include the following:

  • Challenging the initial stop;
  • Challenging the accuracy of the field sobriety tests;
  • Challenging the accuracy of the Breathalyzer machine and operation; and
  • Alternate explanations for watery and bloodshot eyes, flushed skin, and slurred speech. 

If you can show that the initial stop by the police officer was illegal, then all the evidence gathered as a result of the illegal stop has to be thrown out of court.

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consequences for dui in illinois, DuPage County DUI lawyerOne of the most common ways for people to get tangled up in the criminal justice system is by being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). The consequences for a DUI depend many different factors, but can include jail or prison time and large fines. There are also consequences for your driving privileges that may last even if you are not convicted of a crime.

What DUI Means in Illinois 

Under Illinois law if you are under 18 and you have any alcohol in your blood you will be charged with DUI. If you are operating a commercial vehicle with a Commercial Driver’s License, you will be charged with DUI if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04 or higher. Drivers over age 21 will be charged with DUI if their BAC is .08 or higher.

You can be charged even if your BAC is lower than .08, if a police office determines that you are too impaired to drive. If your blood has any traces of illegal drugs like marijuana or methamphetamine you will be charged with DUI. If you have prescription drugs in your system and a police officer judges you to be too impaired to drive, you will be charged with DUI.

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