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IL DUI lawyerIf you were arrested on drunk driving charges for the first time in Illinois, it is essential to get up to speed right away on what to expect through the proceedings. Initially, you should understand that state laws are quite expansive on when a person is considered to be driving under the influence: Illinois’ DUI statute covers situations when a driver is legally drunk, impaired by the consumption of drugs, or a combination of the two. In addition, now that marijuana is legal for recreational purposes, the law was recently updated to include motorists who test positive for THC within two hours of driving.

However, beyond these basic concepts, there is probably a lot you do not know about a first offense for drunk driving. You can trust the details to an experienced Naperville first DUI defense lawyer, but there are a few things you may not yet know about the situation you are facing.

Your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Is Not the Only Factor

As Illinois law applies to drunk driving, as separate from the presence of controlled substances, there are actually multiple ways you can be charged with DUI:

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IL defense lawyerDrivers whose licenses have been suspended due to multiple DUI convictions are required to attend a formal Secretary of State hearing before their license can be reinstated. Preparation is key to the outcome of these types of hearings, as petitioners will be required to comply with a host of complicated legal rules, so if your license was recently suspended after being arrested for a DUI, it is important to speak with an experienced Naperville driver’s license suspension lawyer who is well-versed in these rules and procedures and can give your claim the best possible chance of success.

Formal Secretary of State Hearings

The Secretary of State’s office conducts two types of hearings for those seeking reinstatement of their driving privileges after revocation or suspension arising from a DUI conviction: informal hearings and formal hearings. While some petitioners are able to resolve their cases through informal proceedings, most are required to go through the formal hearing process, especially if they have multiple DUI convictions on their record.

Formal hearings must be requested by petitioners, and once scheduled, are conducted by a hearing officer and a representative, both of whom act on behalf of the Secretary of State. These individuals are tasked with deciding whether a petitioner is a risk to the public, or whether he or she is suffering an undue hardship as a result of the loss of his or her driving privileges.

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Posted on in DUI

IL defense lawyerIllinois drivers whose licenses have been revoked are required to attend a Secretary of State (SOS) hearing before their driver’s licenses can be reinstated. The process of reinstating a license can be complicated, so if your own license has been revoked or you want to obtain a restricted driving permit, it is important to speak with an experienced Aurora driver’s license suspension lawyer who can improve your chances of success.

Informal Hearings

When an Illinois driver’s license is revoked because of a DUI charge, the motorist in question will be required to attend an informal hearing overseen by a hearing officer who will ask for a wide range of information, including:

  • Why the driver’s license was revoked
  • Details about the person’s driving and criminal records
  • Why the motorist needs his or her license back
  • What the petitioner has done to improve his or her behavior
  • Whether the petitioner has obtained treatment for drug or alcohol abuse

The petitioner should also be prepared to provide copies of related documentation, which could include everything from an Alcohol/Drug Evaluation Uniform Report to letters written and signed by family members and friends verifying the petitioner’s abstinence.

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IL DUI lawyerIn the state of Illinois, thousands of people are arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, each and every year. According to Illinois state law, a DUI conviction constitutes a Class A Misdemeanor charge. Unfortunately for those charged with driving under the influence, there are a number of factors that can lead to a DUI charge being elevated to a felony, these factors are known as aggravating factors. Below we will examine some of the reasons why you could be facing felony charges after driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

What Constitutes an Aggravated DUI

If a DUI charge is elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony, it is now categorized as an aggravated DUI. The most common reason for an aggravated DUI charge is that the defendant is facing their third or subsequent DUI charge. Other common aggravating factors include a DUI resulting in great bodily harm to another party, driving under the influence while your license is suspended or revoked due to previous DUI charges, and driving under the influence without a valid driver’s license. A new state law passed in January 2019 states that a driver can be charged with an aggravated DUI if they are apprehended while driving the wrong direction down a one-way street, while intoxicated.

The Impact of an Aggravated DUI

While any DUI charge should be taken seriously, an aggravated DUI can drastically impact a person’s life. First and foremost, having a felony charge on your criminal record can significantly diminish one’s ability to secure housing, employment, and even loans. Secondly, a mandatory prison sentence cannot be reduced or suspended when a person is facing felony DUI charges. For those that need to drive their vehicle in order to get to work or drop their children off at school, an aggravated DUI conviction will likely result in a 10-year license revocation. If you are facing felony DUI charges, it is critically important to speak with a knowledgeable legal professional.

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Posted on in DUI

IL DUI lawyerDriving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can seriously impact a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Because of this, the potential ramifications of a DUI conviction are significant. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it is important to act quickly. The most important step you can take when facing DUI charges is hiring an experienced legal professional that you can believe in.

The Legal Consequences

In the state of Illinois, a DUI conviction constitutes a Class A misdemeanor charge. If convicted, the guilty party may face up to one year in prison, as well as fines up to $2,500. A first-time DUI offender will likely have the choice of spending a mandatory ten days in jail or 30 days of community service hours. The offender will also face a one-year license revocation period. A conviction of this magnitude can result in job loss, depending on the party’s occupation.

The Cost of a Conviction

Outside of the legal ramifications of a DUI conviction, a DUI can cost a person financially.

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