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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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Posted on in DUI

IL DUI lawyerIn the state of Illinois, more than 26,000 drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, throughout 2018. While a standard DUI conviction will constitute a Class A misdemeanor charge, some circumstances can result in felony charges. When a DUI is elevated to a felony, it is legally referred to as an aggravated DUI. Below we will examine some of the most common aggravated DUIs, and the potential legal ramifications of a charge of such magnitude. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it is time to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

The Most Common Aggravated DUIs

In the vast majority of cases, a DUI will be elevated to an aggravated DUI due to increased level of negligence. It is important to note though, that a third or subsequent DUI charge will automatically be elevated to an aggravated DUI. A driver that is charged with their third DUI will face Class 2 felony charges. A DUI resulting in great bodily harm to another party will also result in felony charges, even if the charge is the driver’s first alcohol-related traffic violation. It should be noted that a person charged with a DUI resulting in injury will face a minimum two-year license revocation period.

In other cases, a person can face felony DUI charges for failing to comply with Illinois state law prior to getting behind the wheel. If a driver is charged with driving under the influence and fails to present a valid driver’s license or permit, or lacks proper vehicle liability insurance, they will face Class 4 felony charges.

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Posted on in DUI

IL DUI lawyerHere in the state of Illinois, law enforcement officials are constantly on the lookout for impaired drivers. Recognizing the fact that drunk drivers cause approximately 30% of all nationwide traffic fatalities, and over 10,000 each year, it should come as no surprise that police officers do everything in their power to prevent inebriated driving. According to the Secretary of State’s office, more than 29,000 people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, throughout 2018 alone. While the sheer number of DUI arrests could indicate that a DUI conviction comes with limited legal ramifications, this could not be further from the truth. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it is time to speak with a lawyer.

The Legal Consequences of a DUI

The first thing to understand about the consequences of a DUI conviction is that the charge will go on your permanent record and cannot be expunged. In other words, the conviction will impact your ability to secure employment, loan opportunities, and housing for the rest of your life. A first-time DUI offender will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if convicted. Along with having a misdemeanor charge on their permanent record, the offender can also face up to one year in prison, and fines as high as $2,500.

It is important to understand that this is the minimum penalty a person will face for a first-time DUI. In the state of Illinois, there are a number of aggravating factors, such as driving without a valid driver’s license or causing serious bodily harm to another party, which can result in your DUI charge being classified as an aggravated DUI. An aggravated classification will result in the charges being elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony and lead to harsher criminal punishments.

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IL defense lawyerIn the state of Illinois, a DUI conviction can come with serious legal consequences. Even a first-time DUI offender will face Class A misdemeanor charges and a minimum revocation of driving privileges for one year. While it is always wise to comply with the requests of the officer and remain composed, it is also important to understand that refusing a breathalyzer test is not a criminal offense. Below we will discuss some of the reasons why you could consider refusing testing during a DUI traffic stop. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, seek out the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney.

The Consequences

While refusing to take part in a breathalyzer test is not a criminal offense, it is an administrative offense. In other words, because driving is a privilege and not a right, you provide implied consent to submit to a breathalyzer test if requested by law enforcement officials, the moment you become a licensed driver in the state of Illinois. Because of this, refusal to submit to testing will result in a 12-month suspension of driving privileges. A driver that refuses testing will likely be eligible to continue driving with a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). A second refusal will result in another suspension, this time for a three year period. A two-time offender will be deemed ineligible for an MDDP.

The Potential Benefits of Refusal

Refusing a breathalyzer test can be the right decision during a DUI traffic stop. First and foremost, a refusal can result in administrative offense rather than a criminal offense on your permanent record. It should be noted that a refusal to submit to a breathalyzer does not always mean the case will be dismissed. A prosecutor will face more challenges proving the DUI charges in court, without the evidence of a blood alcohol content result. The prosecution will rely on the officer’s statement, video recordings, any field sobriety testing that took place, and witness testimony. Without the evidence from a breathalyzer test, your attorney will have a better chance of ensuring that charges are dropped.

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