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Recent Blog Posts

How Can I Get Out of a DUI in Illinois?

 Posted on July 09,2021 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:

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Can I Lose My CDL for Texting and Driving?

 Posted on June 29,2021 in Traffic Violations

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.

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What Are the Zero Tolerance/Underage Drinking Laws in Illinois?

 Posted on June 07,2021 in DUI

IL defense lawyerAs teenagers and young adults experience the freedom of having a driver’s license, many find themselves in situations that involve drinking and driving. For individuals under the age of 21, being convicted of a DUI can lead to very serious consequences, including criminal penalties and the loss of driving privileges. If you or your child find yourself in this situation, it is important to discuss your case with a skilled DUI defense lawyer. Fluent in English and Spanish, Attorney Patricia Magaña has over 15 years of legal experience helping clients minimize or eliminate the negative consequences of a DUI charge.

Zero Tolerance Law

In the state of Illinois, individuals of all ages may be charged with a DUI. If a driver under the age of 21 is found with alcohol in his or her system, he or she is subject to lose their right to operate a motor vehicle. Upon a police stop, if the officer has reason to believe that the motorist has any trace of alcohol in their system, that officer has the right to request a chemical test. After the test is administered, the officer must submit a sworn statement to the Secretary of State’s office, which will then lead to the suspension of the motorist’s license. If the motorist refuses to submit to testing, his or her driving privileges will be suspended.

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What Are the Financial Penalties for Overweight Trucks in Illinois?

 Posted on May 24,2021 in Traffic Violations

IL defense lawyerTrucking weight restrictions were established throughout the United States in order to preserve our roads and promote safety. Trucks and vehicles that are carrying excess amounts of weight can damage streets and highways, creating safety hazards for other motorists. In the state of Illinois, if a police officer has reason to believe that a truck is overweight, he or she can require the driver to stop the vehicle and submit to a weighing. If it is determined that your vehicle is in violation, serious financial penalties may result. If you are a CDL holder who has been cited for a weight restriction, Attorney Patricia Magaña is prepared to help. Fluent in English and Spanish, Attorney Magaña has more than 15 years of experience helping commercial drivers contest violations.

Financial Penalties for Trucking Weight Violations

In Illinois, a commercial truck driver may face weight restriction violations if:

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Can My Driver’s License be Suspended or Revoked in Illinois for Fraud?

 Posted on May 10,2021 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerBeing accused of identity fraud can be a very frightening experience. In the state of Illinois, individuals who are facing fraudulent ID charges may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of their case. Regardless if a conviction is made, however, the Secretary of State does have the authority to suspend or revoke your driver’s license. If you have lost your driving privileges due to ID fraud charges, it is important to discuss your legal needs with a skilled attorney as soon as possible.

Actions That Can Lead to a Suspended or Revoked License

In Illinois, the Secretary of State is eligible to suspend or revoke an individual’s driver’s license if her or she:

  • Has lent his or her driver’s license or identification card to another person for fraudulent purposes
  • Is in possession of and/or is attempting to use another person’s driver’s license or identification card

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What Is the Lookback Period for DUIs in Illinois?

 Posted on April 30,2021 in DUI

IL DUI lawyerIf you are convicted of driving under the influence in Illinois, a number of factors will determine the sentence you serve. One of the biggest factors the court will consider is your criminal history and whether you have previous DUIs on your record. If you do have previous DUI convictions on your records, the court may consider how long it has been between convictions.

Many states place a lookback period on DUI cases and that timeframe is typically five to ten years. If a conviction occurred before the lookback period, the courts cannot consider it. After being charged with a DUI, you may wonder if Illinois has a lookback period if you have prior convictions. Unfortunately, Illinois does not have such a law on the books.

Prior DUI Convictions Matter in Illinois

Due to the fact that Illinois does not have a lookback period for DUIs, any prior conviction of a DUI can be considered when a judge is determining a sentence for a subsequent offense. DUI convictions, like all traffic violation convictions, are also permanent, which means the prosecution can seek a harsher penalty for you even if your last DUI was over ten years ago.

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FAQs About CDL Violations

 Posted on April 16,2021 in Traffic Violations

IL CDL attorneyA commercial driver’s license (CDL) is not just your license to drive. It is a way to earn an income to support yourself and your family. As a commercial driver, you must follow all of the same traffic laws as other drivers, but you are also regulated by other state and federal laws. It is not surprising then, to have many questions when you are accused of violating these laws. If you carry a CDL, below are some of the most frequently asked questions about CDL violations and the answers to them.

Is Court Supervision Available for CDL Violations?

When non-commercial drivers face traffic violations, court supervision is often a better alternative than a conviction. However, CDL holders should never undergo court supervision. The Illinois Secretary of State treats court supervision for CDL drivers as though it was a conviction, so it will not help you avoid suspension of your CDL or disqualification. Even if you were in your own vehicle at the time of the offense, court supervision will still appear on your public driving record.

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How Traffic Tickets Can Lead to a Driver’s License Suspension in Illinois

 Posted on March 30,2021 in Traffic Violations

Il defense lawyerMotorists tend to associate driver’s license suspensions and revocations with drunk driving offenses, and it does seem logical that such a harsh penalty would result from a serious traffic violation. However, the Illinois Secretary of State (IL-SOS) provides for many other ways you might lose your driving privileges. Generally, when you get a traffic citation, points are added to your driving record. If you reach a certain level, IL-SOS will suspend your driver’s license for a number of months that corresponds to the total points you accumulated.

Still, this basic description overlooks some of the very important details involved when moving or non-moving violations impact your driving privileges. You can obtain these specifics by consulting with an Aurora, IL traffic tickets attorney, but it is worthwhile to be aware of how traffic tickets can lead to a driver’s license suspension.

Traffic Violations and Illinois’ Points System

To protect the public and discourage repeat traffic offenses, Illinois law provides for sanctions beyond the fine you might receive for a citation. Therefore, every time you are ticketed, a designated number of points is added to your driving record maintained by IL-SOS. The more serious the infraction, the higher the number of points. For example:

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Three Things You Did Not Know About a First-Time DUI Offense in Illinois

 Posted on March 15,2021 in DUI

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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Four Reasons to Hire a DUI Defense Lawyer for an Illinois Drunk Driving Case

 Posted on February 26,2021 in DUI

IL defense lawyerThe Illinois Secretary of State’s office recently released its 2021 DUI Fact Book and, though the figures from last year have yet to be tallied, there are some surprising statistics on drunk driving offenses in 2019. More than 26,200 people were arrested for DUI, 90 percent of whom lost their driving privileges as a result of an administrative suspension or revocation. Plus, many others were convicted for drunk driving through the criminal process. Though the details vary, penalties include a jail term of up to one year, fines, and others.

Another interesting statistic revealed by the Fact Book is that 86 percent of all individuals arrested for drunk driving are first-time offenders. Therefore, there is a good chance that you never had reason to retain legal counsel – and may not believe that it is even necessary. If you are on the fence about hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney, these four reasons should convince you.

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

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