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Will County DUI Defense LawyerIn Illinois and most other states, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers is 0.08. Though it is possible to be charged with a DUI with a lower BAC if there is other evidence of intoxication, it becomes more difficult to fight a charge when chemical test results show a BAC of 0.08 or above. However, you may be wondering what happens if you are charged with DUI and your BAC registered at much higher than 0.08.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a driver’s abilities can become significantly more impaired as their BAC increases. At a BAC of 0.15, a driver can experience vomiting and major loss of muscle control and balance, which can make a serious accident much more likely. Illinois aims to curb highly-intoxicated driving behavior by enforcing stricter penalties for drivers who are convicted of DUI with a BAC of at least twice the legal limit, or 0.16.

Increased Penalties for Excessive BAC

In many Illinois DUI cases, the court has some discretion in the sentencing of an offender, allowing a judge to enforce fines, imprisonment, and other consequences according to the specific circumstances. However, when chemical test results indicate a BAC of at least 0.16, mandatory minimum sentencing requirements apply. The specific consequences depend on how many prior DUI convictions the offender has. For example:

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DuPage County DUI LawyerYou may be aware that if you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Illinois, your driver’s license will be revoked for at least a year. However, it is also possible to lose your driving privileges for a time even before your criminal case is resolved. Illinois drivers who are arrested and charged with DUI can be issued an automatic statutory summary suspension of their license if they fail or refuse a chemical test designed to detect the presence of alcohol and other controlled substances. If you have been arrested, here are some important things to understand about a statutory summary suspension.

Refusing a Test Results in a Longer Suspension Than Failing a Test

Illinois has an implied consent law that requires drivers who are arrested for DUI to submit to a chemical test. If you refuse the test, you face a statutory summary suspension of 12 months for a first offense. On the other hand, if you submit to the test and fail, meaning you are found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08, a THC concentration of at least 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood, or any amount of illegal drugs in your system, you will face a suspension of only six months for a first offense.

You Have the Right to Challenge a Suspension

Once you have been notified of a pending statutory summary suspension, you have 45 days before the suspension takes effect. However, within 90 days of your notice date, you can request a judicial hearing to contest the suspension. An attorney can represent you at this hearing to help you make the case that the suspension should be dismissed, perhaps because of impropriety in your arrest or the administration of the chemical test.

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IL DUI lawyerA vast amount of people in the United States require their own form of transportation to maintain their livelihood and continue their daily routine. Driving, however, is a privilege and that privilege can get taken away under certain circumstances. Fortunately, this privilege can also be reinstated if you take the right steps. If your driver’s license has been revoked due to an offense involving multiple DUI charges or a fatality, you will need to attend a formal hearing with the Secretary of State (SOS) to reinstate your license.

What to Expect Prior to the Formal Hearing

To have a successful administrative hearing, there are several steps you must take before the hearing takes place. First, a written request must be mailed in, including a $50 filing fee. Any emailed or faxed requests will not be acknowledged. The request must include various personal information, including the petitioner’s full name, current address, and social security number. These requests are accepted 90 days after the most recent hearing. Once the request and fee are received, the hearing will be scheduled.

The petitioner may now take the time to adequately prepare for the hearing. If the petitioner does not feel entirely prepared, it is recommended that you notify the SOS’s office in writing at least five days before to withdraw your request. This will allow you to forgo the required 90 day wait period in between hearings.

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How Can I Get Out of a DUI in Illinois?

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IL defense lawyerIn Illinois, being arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol can lead to a range of criminal consequences and administrative penalties. Most first-time DUIs are punishable by fines up to $2,500, community service, a six-month driver’s license suspension, and mandatory alcohol education classes. Second and subsequent DUIs or DUIs involving aggravating circumstances are punished more harshly. Some DUI offenses can even lead to lengthy jail sentences. If you have been charged with drunk driving in Illinois, it is crucial that you work with a skilled DUI defense lawyer.

Possible Defenses Against DUI Charges

If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, you are facing serious penalties and a permanent criminal record. However, it is important to remember that being charged with DUI is not the same thing as being convicted of DUI. In Illinois, criminal charges including drunk driving charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. There are many different defenses that may be used to weaken the prosecution’s case against you, including:

  • Lack of probable cause for the traffic stop – Police cannot simply pull someone over for no reason. To initiate a traffic stop, police must have “probable cause.” There must be sufficient evidence to suggest that the driver is committing some type of crime or traffic violation. Speeding, running a red light, drifting between lanes, and erratic driving may all constitute probable cause. However, if police cannot prove that they had a good reason to pull you over, any evidence gathered during the police stop may be inadmissible in your DUI proceedings.
  • Problems with field sobriety tests - Horizontal gaze nystagmus tests, walk and turn tests, and other field sobriety tests are often used by police to evaluate a driver for signs of intoxication. However, many factors cause causes these tests to be inaccurate. Injuries, medical conditions, and even nerves can cause a sober person to fail these tests.
  • Inaccurate BAC readings – Breath alcohol tests such as breathalyzer tests are designed to measure a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, if the test is not properly maintained, cleaned, and calibrated, it will yield an inaccurate result. Even things like using mouthwash prior to the test or belching can lead to inaccurate results.

Contact a Naperville DUI Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one were charged with driving under the influence, contact Aurora defense attorney Patricia Magaña for help building a robust defense against the charges. Call the Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC at 630-448-2001 for a free, confidential consultation.

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IL defense lawyerOver the last several years, there has been a growing number of serious car accidents caused by distracted driving due to texting and other handheld cell phone use. In response to this problem, Illinois and many other states have begun to implement laws restricting the use of electronic devices while driving, including for drivers of commercial motor vehicles. If you are accused of texting while driving, you could face serious consequences, including the suspension of your commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Penalties for Handheld Cell Phone Use

According to Illinois law, drivers of commercial vehicles are prohibited from texting or using a handheld mobile phone while operating their vehicles, including while the vehicle is in motion and while it is stopped in traffic or at a traffic signal. When a driver who holds a CDL is convicted of violating these laws, the violation becomes part of their driving record. If the offense constitutes a second serious traffic violation within three years, the driver can lose their CDL for up to two months. If the offense constitutes a third violation within three years, suspension of the CDL can extend up to four months. The State of Illinois can also assess fines and driver’s license points for a texting or handheld cell phone use violation, which may impact even the driver’s personal driving privileges.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also has regulations prohibiting handheld cell phone use. A driver who violates the prohibition for the first time can be fined up to $2,750, and the FMCSA will suspend a driver’s privileges for repeat offenses.

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Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC

1555 Bond Street, Suite 103A, Naperville, IL 60563

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