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Posted on in DUI

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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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 defense lawyerMotorists who commit certain traffic offenses face serious penalties, including hefty fines and restrictions on their driving privileges. Those who have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), for example, could end up with their driver’s license suspended or revoked indefinitely. Fortunately, it is possible to have your license reinstated, although the process of doing so can be complicated, so if your own license was recently suspended or revoked, you should speak with an experienced Naperville driver's license suspension lawyer who can walk you through the process of reinstatement.

Summary Suspension

Drivers who are arrested for driving under the influence and are found to have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or who are under the influence of a controlled substance will have their driver’s license suspended for between six to twelve months. This is known as a statutory summary suspension and will only terminate once the period of suspension has elapsed and the driver has paid the necessary $250 reinstatement fee. Fortunately, first-time offenders could also be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit, which allows motorists to drive during their period of suspension as long as their car is equipped with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID).

Driver’s License Revocation

Drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence will have their licenses revoked for at least a year, even for a first offense. Second offenses, on the other hand, come with a five year revocation period, while third offenses are punishable by a ten-year revocation. Drivers must also satisfy a number of requirements before they can seek reinstatement of their license, including:

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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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