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Recent blog posts

Naperville DUI and traffic violation defense lawyerWhen a driver is pulled over by the police, the first thing the officer is likely to say is, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” A good answer to that is, “I’m not sure. Why?” 

The police officer may have stopped you for a simple traffic violation, such as speeding or running a stop sign. But depending on your behavior and conversation, a police officer could begin to suspect that you are guilty of something more. You do not want to give the officer any reason to start looking for additional violations.

For example, the police might suspect that you were driving under the influence of alcohol, violating the “open container” law, or even using illegal drugs. The officer might then want to search your car, looking for evidence of suspected illegal activity. It is important to know your legal rights in this situation. 

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Aurora DUI breathalyzer test defense lawyerEvery so often, when people are hanging out and drinking a few beers, the topic of drunk driving will come up. Such conversations may be filled with misinformation about Illinois laws on driving under the influence. One of the most common debates involves breathalyzer tests--whether or not you can refuse to take them, and what happens if you refuse. This article seeks to clear up some of these questions surrounding breathalyzer tests.

The Roadside Breathalyzer vs. the Police Station Test

Many people are surprised to learn that there are two different types of breathalyzer tests:

  • The preliminary breath test, which is conducted with a portable breath-analysis device at during a traffic stop at roadside.
  • The evidentiary breath test, which is conducted with a stationary machine at a police station.

Note that a person’s blood-alcohol concentration can also be measured by a blood test, but this article will focus strictly on breath testing, since it is the most common method.

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Joliet marijuana DUI defense lawyerIllinois residents who legally use medical cannabis may be justifiably concerned about their risk of being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) after using marijuana. 

While only around 30,000 people are currently registered as medical marijuana users in Illinois, this number could expand dramatically once the governor signs a new law passed by the legislature in May 2018. This law, SB 336, would modify the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (410 ILCS 130), allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana as an alternative to opioid pain medications and eliminating the criminal background check requirement for patients.

Marijuana DUI Law for Regular Citizens

THC is the intoxicating element in marijuana, and this is what Illinois law enforcement officers will measure to determine if you are guilty of driving under the influence of marijuana. The legal limit for THC in Illinois is five nanograms or more per milliliter of whole blood or 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of any other bodily substance (e.g., saliva). If you test at or above that level, you will be subject to the statutory summary suspension of your driver’s license and a DUI charge.  

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DuPage County driver's license reinstatement attorneyIf your Illinois driver’s license has been revoked for driving under the influence, you anxiously await the day when you are free to drive again with no restrictions. However, Illinois does not make it easy to get your license reinstated after a DUI conviction. 

If you live in Illinois, you will have to appear in person before a Secretary of State hearing officer, who will consider your request for reinstatement, and they may choose to deny your request for any number of reasons. Good preparation is key to success at these hearings. Here are a few of the important steps you must complete before you can even have that hearing:

Determine if You Are Eligible to Apply Yet 

You cannot apply for reinstatement of your driver’s license until your revocation period is up. For example, let us assume that you received the usual six-month statutory summary suspension of your driver’s license for testing over the legal limit for drugs or alcohol at the time of your DUI arrest. Then, at your sentencing, your license was revoked for a minimum of one year. On that date, you had already served three months of your suspension. Those three months will be credited toward your minimum period of revocation, leaving you with nine more months of revocation to serve. At the end of that nine months, you can apply for reinstatement.

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DuPage County criminal defense attorneyWhen approached by a police officer, it is natural for your heart to start racing and for the primitive “fight or flight” instinct to kick in. However, resisting a police officer is a serious crime. So what should you do?

It is important for you to know your rights, and the rights of law enforcement, in the event that you are ever arrested and charged with a crime. Here are some tips to remember if you are being arrested:

  1. Remain calm and obey the directions of the officer. You do not have the right to resist the arrest, even if you are innocent of any wrongdoing.
  2. You must give police officers your real name, address, age, and date of birth. You do not need to say anything else, and anything you do say could be used against you later. You can simply state that you wish you remain silent, and then do not respond to any questions. 
  3. When an officer tells you that you are under arrest, he has the right to do a “pat down” search over your clothing to ensure that you are not carrying any weapons. He can also search any bags you are carrying and the area immediately around you. 
  4. You have the right to be treated humanely and provided with food, shelter, and medical treatment if needed. If you require prescription medication, you should make the police aware of that when you are booked. If you have your medication with you, the police will have to confiscate it, but they can record all the information on the prescription bottle. If you do not have your medication with you, have someone bring it to you in the original prescription bottle with your name on it. You can also insist that you be taken to the nearest emergency room for treatment.  
  5. After you are arrested, the police must read you the four Miranda warnings before you are questioned:
    • You have the right to remain silent. 
    • Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
    • You have the right to a lawyer. 
    • If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you. 
  6. After your rights have been read to you, state that you want to speak to an attorney. If the police keep asking questions, repeat that you wish to remain silent until you speak to a criminal defense attorney. You cannot be forced or threatened to talk. Any information obtained by force cannot be used against you in court.  
  7. Be aware that the police are allowed to lie to you. They can lie about evidence they have against you. They can lie and tell you that they will not arrest you if you provide them with certain information.  
  8. You have the right to make a reasonable number of telephone calls to contact a family member and an attorney. If you are transferred from one place of custody to another, such as from a police station to a county jail, you have the right to make additional phone calls to let your family and lawyer know where you are now.
  9. The police may put you in a lineup for a witness identification. You do not have the right to refuse to be placed in a lineup.  
  10. The police must make a detailed list of whatever personal property, including cash, is taken from you at the time of your arrest, and they should give you an itemized receipt.

Hire an Aurora Attorney Who Will Have Your Back

If you or a loved one have been arrested in DuPage County or Will County, you need a lawyer who is fully knowledgeable in Illinois criminal law and the local court system. Retain the services of an experienced Naperville criminal defense attorney to ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way. As soon as you become aware that the police wish to speak to you about a crime, talk to a lawyer BEFORE speaking to the police. Contact the Law Office of Patricia Magaña at 630-448-2001 for a free consultation. Se Habla Español.

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Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC

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

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