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Tag Archives: DUI defense

DuPage County criminal defense attorney felony DUI

All DUI charges are serious, and a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs can lead to the revocation of your driver’s license, the requirement to use an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, significant fines and legal fees, and even a prison sentence. However, you may face even more serious charges if you are accused of committing aggravated DUI, which is a felony offense.

Aggravating Factors in DUI Cases

In most cases, a first-time DUI or a second DUI will be charged as a misdemeanor. A third or subsequent DUI will be charged as a felony. A conviction will result in a 10-year driver’s license revocation for a third offense and a lifetime revocation for any subsequent offenses.

Felony DUI charges will also apply in cases involving aggravating factors such as:

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DuPage County criminal defense attorney DUI

If you have taken a driver’s education course in the state of Illinois, you have likely seen informational videos about the dangers of driving intoxicated. They often show graphic car accident scenes, emotional testimonies from family members who have lost loved ones, and a dramatic moment when the police officer asks the driver to blow into their gun-like device, commonly known as a breathalyzer. Rightfully so, these videos are meant to scare Illinois drivers into driving sober at all times. While it is never a good idea to drive after multiple drinks, many motorists will still get behind the wheel after a few too many. You may think that you will never find yourself in this situation, but it is important to be aware of the laws surrounding chemical testing if you are ever stopped by an officer.

Implied Consent in Illinois

As a teenager sitting in your driver’s ed class, you may not have been paying as close attention to every detail as you should have. Many Illinois drivers are unaware of the state’s implied consent law and find themselves in hot water as a result. According to Illinois law, anyone with a state driver’s license has given their consent for law enforcement to conduct chemical testing of breath, blood, and/or urine to determine your state of intoxication. Typically, an officer will ask drivers to submit to a breath test before moving ahead with any other blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing. If asked to blow into a breathalyzer for such testing, Illinois residents must comply or face an automatic license suspension. Your actual BAC has no weight on this suspension. In other words, if you are completely sober or know that you are well under the 0.08 percent BAC limit and refuse the test on principal, you will still face this license suspension.

Are Breathalyzers Always Accurate?

Even if you have submitted to a breath test and the results label your BAC as being 0.08 percent or higher, an experienced DUI defense lawyer can still defend your case. Breath tests are not the most accurate testing for BAC since there are a number of factors that can impact the results. Particular substances in the mouth can produce inaccurate results depending on the amount of alcohol vapor that they emit. Traces of alcohol found in mouthwashes, breath fresheners, and medication can skew the readings from the test. Like any form of technology, there is room for errors with the software, calibration, or device altogether. The officer should perform more than one breathalyzer test to ensure that the results are consistent. If only one test was performed, an attorney can use this to his or her advantage in formulating your defense. These are just two examples of possible errors that may occur during breathalyzer testing. If you are asked to blow into a breathalyzer, be sure to remember the exact details of the situation so you can provide your attorney with a detailed account if your BAC is found to be greater than 0.08 percent.

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DuPage County underage DUI lawyerIn the United States, drinking is a sort of rite of passage for many teenagers, though it is illegal. One of the worst things a teenager can do when they have been drinking is get behind the wheel of a car. Driving while you are under the influence of alcohol, or any other drug for that matter, is illegal for anyone, no matter your age. For those who are under the age of 21, drinking and driving is a much more serious offense, and young offenders face harsher penalties.

Zero Tolerance Laws

Most states have developed some form of zero tolerance laws for underage DUI offenders. These laws have helped underage DUI offenses become less common, but they still happen and they are still punished accordingly.

In Illinois, if a person under the age of 21 is pulled over on suspicion of intoxicated driving and their BAC is more than .00, he or she will face penalties in alignment with the zero tolerance laws. For a first offense, driving privileges will be suspended for three months for a BAC over .00. If the offender refuses to submit to a chemical test, driving privileges are suspended for six months.

Underage DUI Penalties

If a person under the age of 21 is convicted of DUI, they will receive all of the same penalties as someone who is over the age of 21. This means that for a first offense, underage DUI offenders face up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. Since they are under the age of 21, offenders will also face a minimum of two years of driver’s license revocation and will not be eligible for a restricted driving permit (RDP) until the second year of the revocation. In addition, a judge can also order an underage DUI offender to participate in the Youthful Intoxicated Driver’s Visitation Program.

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DuPage County DUI defense lawyerWhen one is arrested for their first DUI, they might assume that the charges will be minor. Unfortunately, this is not always true. In fact, under the right circumstances, even a first-offense DUI could become a felony. Learn more about the situations that may lead to such a charge, and discover how an experienced attorney can help you fight the charges.

First-Offense DUIs Typically Charged as Misdemeanors

In most instances, a first-offense DUI is considered a misdemeanor offense. If convicted, the consequences could include up to one year of jail time, fines, civil penalties, and a one-year suspension of your license. You may have an option for restoring your driving privileges, but you would be required to have a breathalyzer interlock device on all your vehicles. Because these consequences can have a significant impact on your life, it is advised that you seek legal assistance, even at this lower level of DUI consequence.

First Offense Aggravated DUI

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DUI, DUI defense, DUI bicycle, traffic violations, DuPage County DUI defense attorneyWith Summer at its start and the weather becoming nicer, more and more people will take to their bicycles for transportation. However, one of the least talked about safety issues is riding a bicycle while intoxicated.

Can I Get a DUI on a Bicycle?

Various states have provisions on their law books where one may be charged with a DUI for riding a bicycle drunk. However, in Illinois, unless certain other circumstances are met, you will likely not be charged with a DUI while riding a bike.

The reason why you usually cannot be charged with a DUI on a bike is because a bicycle is not legally defined as a vehicle. Therefore, operating a bicycle while intoxicated is not the same as operating a car or motorcycle in the eyes of the law.

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