Category Archives: DUI

Naperville DUI Lawyers

With a DUI, most people immediately think of drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. While alcohol is the most commonly used intoxicant, it is not the only substance that it is illegal to be under the influence of while operating a motor vehicle. According to Illinois law, it is unlawful for any driver to be under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both while operating a motor vehicle. With medical marijuana legal in Illinois and recreational legalization perhaps on the horizon, driving under the influence of marijuana charges are increasingly common.

Marijuana and Illinois DUI Laws

In 2014, medical marijuana became legal for Illinois residents, as long as they have a valid prescription and I.D. card issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Cardholders are permitted to have up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in the car with them, as long as it is kept in a secure and sealed container. Cardholders are not permitted to be under the influence of marijuana while driving, even if it is medically prescribed.

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St. Charles DUI Lawyer

In the state of Illinois, a DUI arrest is enough for the Secretary of State’s office to automatically suspend your driver’s license. If you fail a blood-alcohol chemical test, your license can be suspended for at least six months. If you refuse to take a blood-alcohol concentration test, your license may be suspended for at least one year. This suspension is called a statutory summary suspension and is separate from any suspensions or revocations that may result from a criminal trial.

Losing your driving privileges can be difficult, especially when you rely on your driver’s license to get to and from work or school, or to simply complete everyday tasks. Thankfully, Illinois has a few options for people who have had their driver’s license suspended or revoked. Both types of driving permits require the use and installation of a breath-alcohol ignition interlock device or BAIID.

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St. Charles

If you are convicted of a DUI, you can face severe penalties - expensive fines, jail time, and the loss of your driving privileges. In Illinois, you do not have to be convicted of DUI for the state to suspend your driver’s license. If you fail or refuse to submit to a breath or blood test of your blood-alcohol content, your driver’s license may automatically be suspended for at least six months. If you are a convicted first-time DUI offender, there is a minimum driver’s license revocation of one year. 

Getting your driver’s license back can be complicated, in part because you are required to attend a Secretary of State hearing before your privileges will be reinstated. There are two types of Secretary of State hearings: informal and formal. The hearing you are asked to attend depends on the circumstances surrounding your DUI. It is critical to know what hearing you must attend, as the requirements for both hearings are different.

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Illinois DUI Lawyer

Most of the time in Illinois, a DUI is charged as a misdemeanor. If you are a first-time DUI offender and you are convicted, it is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. Depending on your specific situation, a misdemeanor DUI charge could bump to a felony charge, which carries harsher penalties. Any DUI that is classified as a felony is called an aggravated DUI and can range from a Class 4 felony to a Class X felony.

Class 4 Felonies

While these are the lowest felony offenses, they are still serious charges. If you are convicted of a Class 4 felony, you can face one to three years in prison. Examples of Class 4 felonies as they pertain to DUI include:

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St. Charles DUI charges attorneyIn 2017, there were 330 people killed in alcohol-related car crashes in the state of Illinois. Those 330 people represented about 30 percent of all car crash fatalities in Illinois in 2017. It is not unusual for a simple DUI case to turn deadly, which is why Illinois police take drunk driving cases so seriously. In 2017, there were 27,046 DUI arrests recorded throughout the state by the Secretary of State’s office. Though DUI arrests are common, many people do not know what to expect when they are arrested for driving under the influence. Here is a breakdown the of the process that a DUI case goes through when you are arrested in Illinois: 

Before the Arrest

Before you can be arrested for a DUI, an officer must have had a reason to pull you over. This can be called reasonable suspicion or unusual operation. For them to pull you over, you would have had to been driving erratically or given the officer another reason to suspect you were under the influence.

Once the officer has pulled you over, you will probably be asked to submit to field sobriety tests, which will give the officer probable cause to arrest you if you fail them. 

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