Tag Archives: dui

criminal sexual abuse, driving under the influence of drugs, dui, eligible for expungement, expungement, Illinois Compiled Statute, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, Illinois law, Illinois probation, Illinois State Police, qualifying arrests, sealing criminal records, skilled criminal law attorneyThe story is common: you do something stupid and illegal in your younger years and you get caught. You go to court, you are convicted, and your criminal record has the horrible black mark from your younger indiscretions for the rest of time.

There does happen to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Illinois law provides options for getting that dreaded black mark off of your record. Illinois Compiled Statute 20 ILCS 2630/0.01 et seq. allows for qualifying arrests, supervision, and probation to be expunged.

However, there are a few exceptions under this Illinois law. The primary exception is if you have previously been convicted of a crime you are likely ineligible to have your record expunged, but you may still be eligible under the law for sealing criminal records, regardless of the outcome of the case. Nevertheless, it is important to note that only criminal records prosecuted and maintained by the state of Illinois are eligible for expungement or sealing; federal and out of state convictions cannot be sealed or expunged under the Illinois statute.

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DUI charges, DUI defense, lawyer, attorney, DUI penaltiesWe are all aware that drinking and driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal in all 50 United States, but not everybody is familiar with the specific consequences they will face if they have had a couple drinks before getting behind the wheel and spot those red and blue lights in the rearview mirror.

According to Illinois State Police, your first DUI conviction may result in a minimum of a one-year loss of full driving privileges, possible imprisonment for up to one year, and a maximum fine of $2,500. A first-offense DUI for a driver over 21 years of age is legally considered a Class A misdemeanor, unless bodily harm has occurred, in which case the offense may possibly become a felony. A second DUI conviction-for a driver over the age of 21-will result in much more serious consequences than the first conviction. If you are convicted a second time, you may face the following consequences:

  • Minimum five-year loss of full driving privileges;
  • Five days imprisonment or 240 hours of community service;
  • Possible imprisonment for up to one year;
  • Maximum fine of $2,500.

As you may imagine, consequences get progressively more severe as the number of convictions increases over time. Consequences can also be more severe in the event that a child under the age of 16 is present in the vehicle at the time of arrest, which can result in the addition of six months in jail and a $1,000 increase in fines (for first convictions).

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 DUI accident In early February three children and five adults “were injured in a two-car crash in the South Side’s Fuller Park community,” according to the Chicago Tribune. There was at least one car and one minivan involved in the crash, and 29-year-old Robin Sewell is being held in connection with the crash. She “was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor, driving without a license, driving without insurance, and disregarding a traffic control signal,” reports the Tribune. One of the children injured is seven years old; ages of other younger children have not yet been released. Sewell allegedly drove through a red light and crashed into a four-door sedan. Six ambulances were called to the scene to attend to the injured. Sewell was the only person in the van; “the other seven people injured were in the car,” according to the Tribune. In addition to the children, “a woman was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County in serious-to-critical condition, along with two men to the same hospital I the same condition,” reports the Tribune. Two other adults were listed in fair-to-serious condition. A University of Michigan report that analyzed traffic deaths by vehicle type found that “minivans and import luxury cars have the safest records.” While the average car is “safer than the average SUV,” the sedan that Sewell slammed into did not stand a chance against her minivan. The data could be skewed, however, perhaps “due in part to the fact that minivans tend to be driven with special care, often being used for transporting a family’s children,” a qualifier definitely not the case in the accident caused by Sewell. If you have been charged with a DUI accident such as this in the Chicago area, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Contact Donahue, Sowa, & Magna Attorneys at Law today.

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aggravated DUIIn the summer of 2012, Carly Rousso, a 19-year-old woman from Highland Park, allegedly huffed some chemicals and got behind the wheel. The result of her recklessness was the death of a 5-year-old girl, Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento. Rousso’s case has been widely publicized and contested because the chemical agent Rousso allegedly huffed isn’t technically categorized as an intoxicating substance, according to the Chicago Tribune. This technically is one reason that Rousso’s lawyers are asking prosecutors to dismiss the case against Rousso. Instead of Rousso having to face a charge of aggravated DUI resulting in death, her lawyer has stated that Rousso “would plead guilty to reckless homicide,” according to the Chicago Tribune. A Lake County judge pushed the next hearing back until mid-February in the case, “though both sides now say the case is unlikely to go to trial.” Rousso’s lawyer has said that he’s willing to negotiate a plea deal, but that “the state will not back off the aggravated DUI.” If the judge does end up dismissing the aggravated DUI charges, “the case heads directly to the state Supreme Court,” Lake County assistant state’s attorney Micahel Ori told the Tribune. On the other hand, if Rousso’s case does proceed to a jury trial and she were found guilty of all the many counts against her—“four counts of aggravated DUI and two counts of reckless homicide—she could be sentenced to three to 14 years in prison.” According to the Illinois State Police, any kind of aggravated DUI charge is a class 4 felony (following a crash that results in great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement). If convicted of an aggravated DUI, a person automatically receives a “minimum of one-year loss of full driving privileges,” the Illinois State Police reports. If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI in Naperville, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Contact Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC today.

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You’ve made the unfortunate mistake of choosing to get behind the wheel after having a few drinks, and now you spy flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror. Immediately gripped with terror, you can’t help but panic. However, staying calm and thinking rationally can make the situation much less overwhelming. DUI, criminal defense lawyer, Illinois crimeAn Illinois police officer can pull you over if they have reason to believe you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or if you have committed a traffic violation. Once you have been asked for your license, registration, and proof of insurance, the officer will observe whether or not you are, in fact, intoxicated. If the officer’s observations have led him or her to believe you are under the influence, you will be asked to get out of the vehicle and potentially asked to take a field sobriety test. If you have been arrested before taking any sort of test, you do not have the right to refuse taking a sobriety test. Illinois has an “implied consent” law. According to this law, if you are arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe you have been driving under the influence, you automatically consent to a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine in order to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). This test must be administered as closely as possible to when you were last driving a vehicle. If you refuse to take a sobriety test, your driver’s license will consequently be suspended. For a first-time refusal, the suspension will last for one year. If this is your second (or more) refusal, the suspension will likely last for three years. Your suspension will begin 46 days after you receive a notice of suspension. If have been charged with driving under the influence, do not face it alone. Be sure to contact an experienced Illinois DUI defense attorney to assist you in presenting your case.

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