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Will County DUI Defense Lawyers
Our Illinois DUI Attorneys Aggressively Defend You Against Driving Under the Influence Penalties
In the State of Illinois, once a driver has been pulled over and charged with Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs, the accused must speak to an attorney as quickly as possible to protect their rights and begin a solid legal defense. In the state of Illinois, if breath, blood, or urine tests show a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher or if the driver’s blood has narcotics such as marijuana or methamphetamine, they will be criminally charged with DUI. Driving under the influence is punished with stiff fines and time in jail. The fines and amount of jail time sentenced will depend on the facts of the offense. According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501, DUI offenses in Illinois start out as a Class A misdemeanor with a jail sentence of up to one year in jail plus a fine of $2,500. A criminal conviction can also prevent the defendant from obtaining or maintaining some professional licenses or obtaining good jobs. Protect your future today by talking with our experienced Chicago DUI Lawyer, David L. Freidberg.
Attorney David L. Freidberg is an experienced Chicago DUI Defense Attorney with over 25 years of experience and has obtained numerous victories for his clients. Mr. Freidberg will defend you or your loved one against driver’s license suspension, jail time, substantial fines, and social stigma. A DUI conviction on your record is devastating, and DUI Defense Attorney David L. Freidberg offers legal advice and works hard to achieve the best results in your case. Once retained, Attorney David L. Freidberg will challenge the initial stop by law enforcement, put into question the suspicion that resulted in a police officer demanding a breathalyzer test, and examine the calibration of the chemical test equipment used to generate a blood alcohol result.
What is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor DUI and a Felony DUI in Illinois?
In Illinois, a first and possibly second DUI offense is charged usually charged as a misdemeanor offense. Unless the driver causes property damage, injuries, or death or has been convicted of several DUIs will likely be charged with a felony DUI. The factors that elevate a misdemeanor DUI to a felony DUI include:
- The alleged drunk driver causes an accident resulting in injury or death;
- The alleged intoxicated driver failed to have a valid driver’s license at the moment of their arrest;
- The DUI defendant did not have auto insurance;
- The driver was driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol while driving a minor (under the age of 16), caused an accident, and the minor was injured;
- The alleged drunk driver was driving a school bus; or
- The defendant causes an accident with substantial property damage.
First-time DUI offenders can receive court supervision, which is an alternative to a criminal conviction. This means the first-time DUI offender has a chance to avoid serving jail time. Court supervision is not an option for second or subsequent DUI offenders or felony DUI charges.
When someone has been charged with a DUI in Will County or any other county in the state of Illinois, there are several good defenses that an experienced DUI Attorney may consider. The most aggressive and best DUI attorney in Will County will make a significant difference in the outcome of your DUI criminal case by working hard to find weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case against you. It is very important that you retain an attorney prior to your driver’s license administration hearing. Your attorney will be able to review all of the prosecution’s evidence against you prior to your criminal trial. This is very advantageous and will help your DUI defense attorney devise the best defense strategy for your criminal trial.
How Expensive is a DUI Conviction in Illinois?
A DUI is an expensive issue to resolve. However, there is hope that you have a better chance of avoiding severe punishments when you retain a private and experienced attorney. Also, there are special programs for DUI first-time offenders that your attorney can help you to qualify. The costs of a DUI charge are substantial. In addition to any attorney’s fees, there will be bail fees, nonrefundable court-imposed fees, vehicle impoundment fees, and other DUI-related costs. Also, a DUI conviction means alcohol and driving classes, counseling requirements, drug and alcohol testing, administrative license fees, ignition interlock devices fees, increased auto insurance rates, and several other costs. Moreover, some people find it challenging to secure a good job following a DUI conviction.
The Revocation of Your Driver’s License After the DUI Arrest
In Illinois, a Statutory Summary Suspension (SSS) transpires once a person has been pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence and chemical testing shows the driver had a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater. In Illinois, if the driver has not had a DUI conviction or SSS in the past five years, the defendant’s driver’s license is automatically suspended for six months. The driver’s license suspension is effective 46 days following the date of the DUI arrest. At that time, the arresting law enforcement officer will file a sworn report to the Secretary of State. In Illinois, refusing to submit to an alcohol or drug chemical test automatically triggers a driver’s license suspension of twelve months. If the accused has had a DUI conviction or a SSS within the past five years, then the SSS is for twelve months should the driver take a chemical test and thirty-six months if the driver refuses to submit to a chemical test. Retaining a DUI attorney immediately after a drunk driving arrest is essential to file a Petition to Rescind the Statutory Summary Suspension. Should the petition be granted, you will retain your driving privileges prior to your DUI trial.
According to Illinois DUI Laws, a person who has been charged with DUI may request to have a hearing on the Statutory Summary Suspension. Once a driver has filed their petition to rescind the SSS, the Court has thirty days of the petition’s date to have the hearing. This hearing also gives your attorney a chance to challenge the DUI investigation and arrest.
In Illinois, a driver who was arrested for DUI may request a Monitoring Driving Device Permit (MDDP). A Monitoring Driving Device Permit allows the defendant to operate their vehicle with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). A Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device prevents the motor vehicle from starting if the driver blows into the machine and it detects alcohol. Only the Secretary of State can approve a Monitoring Driving Device Permit. If permitted, the driver has fourteen days to install the Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device.
DUI Tests: Field Sobriety Tests, Breathalyzers, and Blood Tests
When a police officer pulls over a vehicle for a traffic infraction, they will also look for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. Should the police officer become suspicious that the driver is impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, they will ask the driver to step out of the vehicle and submit to a field sobriety test. Most people do not realize that field sobriety tests are not “pass or fail” tests. These tests are purely subjective and are designed to create evidence against the driver. Under Illinois Compiled Statute Section 11-501.2(a-5) and Chapter 625, Part 5 (625 ILCS 5/11-501.2), law enforcement officers may use standardized field sobriety tests that have been approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) during their investigation of a potential DUI offense. These tests are voluntary, and drivers are allowed to refuse to perform field sobriety tests.
According to the Illinois State Bar Association, field sobriety tests developed by NHTSA and the Southern California Research Institute consist of three tests – the walk and turn, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test, and the one-leg stand test. These three tests are considered to be the most accurate and effective methods of determining alcohol impairment. However, studies have shown that these three tests were not absolutely conclusive and should only be considered with other evidence of intoxication.
Walk and Turn Test
The “Walk and Turn” test is a divided attention test that shows whether a person’s capabilities are at the same level of mental and physical abilities that a driver needs to operate a vehicle safely. The “Walk and Turn” test consists of the instruction stage and the walking stage. Police officers look to see if the driver can’t balance while receiving the test instructions, begins the test too soon, takes an incorrect number of steps, loses their balance or turns incorrectly, and other mistakes. If a driver makes two or more errors, as outlined by Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration, then that driver’s blood alcohol content is possibly over the legal limit. The NHTSA admits that the “Walk and Turn” test is only accurate 68 percent of the time.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) is a test that is designed to look for certain involuntary eye movements when the driver is looking to the side. The NHTSA says that an intoxicated driver’s eyes will begin jerking to the side once the blood alcohol concentration increases. The NHTSA acknowledges that the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test is only effective 77 percent of the time it is used.
One-Leg Stand Test
The One-Leg Stand Test consists of an instruction stage and a “balance and counting” stage. The NHTSA considers signs of impairment during this test to include hopping, swaying while balancing, putting a foot down during the test, and using arms to balance. If the officer observes two or more clues, that person’s blood alcohol content will likely be over .08%. The NHTSA acknowledges that the One-Leg Stand Test is only 65 percent accurate.
Illinois courts allow the admission of field sobriety test results as evidence in a DUI trial. However, the prosecution must prove that the police officer who administered the tests received special training and that the field sobriety tests were properly administered according to the established NHTSA protocols. Therefore, your attorney could challenge the validity of field sobriety tests by establishing that the police officer either failed to administer the tests in accordance with the NHTSA procedures and/or the officer who performed the field sobriety tests was not properly trained to conduct the tests.
Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 11-501.5, Chapter 625, Part 5 (625 ILCS 5/11-501.5) authorizes law enforcement officers to order a suspected drunk driver to submit to a preliminary breath screening test using a breathalyzer. The statute also allows drivers to refuse a chemical test. The reliability of breathalyzer test results is usually challenged because of misuse, mouthwash use, and inaccuracies.
Implied Consent for Blood, Breath, and Urine Chemical Testing
Under 11-501.1(a) of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 625, Part 5 (625 ILCS 5/11-501.1(a)), any driver who is in physical control of a motor vehicle on public roadways has already consented to chemical testing of blood, breath, or urine to determine the driver’s blood alcohol content. If a driver refuses to submit to chemical testing, they face an automatic driver’s license suspension. A first-time refusal becomes an automatic one-year driver’s license suspension. A second test refusal within five years of a first DUI conviction will result in a 3-year driver’s license suspension.
Illinois Zero-Tolerance Statute for Underage Drinking
Underage DUI Offenses in Will County and Illinois
Illinois has zero-tolerance statutes that prohibit drivers under the age of 21 from driving with any amount of alcohol in their system. All fifty states have these zero-tolerance laws that state how long an underage driver will lose their license and driving privileges without exemption. Section 11-501.8 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 625, Part 5 (625 ILCS 5/11-501.8) outlines Illinois’ zero-tolerance statute concerning underage alcohol consumption and driving while impaired. The law states that drivers who are under 21 years of age and are driving or are in actual physical control of a vehicle shall:
- Be considered to have already provided consent to blood, breath, or urine testing to determine their blood alcohol content, and if arrested by a law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe the underage driver has consumed any alcohol;
- Be warned by the police officer that refusal to submit to a chemical test, or test results of a blood alcohol concentration level above 0.00, can result in the driver losing their driving privileges and disqualifies them from operating a commercial vehicle;
- Admit, in writing, that they have received the warning as required by the statute, and if that admission is refused, the police officer will issue a written notation stating that the driver refused to sign the warning notice;
- If the underage driver declines to submit to a chemical test or they are tested and have a blood alcohol concentration of over 0.00, the police officer must submit a sworn report to the Illinois Secretary of State certifying the offense. After the Illinois Secretary of State receives the officer’s sworn report, the driver’s license will be suspended for the amount of time as stated in Section 6-208.1 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 625, Part 5 (625 ILCS 6/6-208.1).
An underage driver who has been found guilty of driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content over 0.00 faces a three-year driver’s license suspension for a first-time offense. A second offense is punished with a one-year driver’s license suspension. A first offense test refusal will result in a six-month driver’s license suspension. A second violation will result in a one-year suspension.
Individuals under the age of 21 years who are convicted of a DUI will receive a minimum 2-year driver’s license suspension. They may also receive up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. A second DUI conviction is punishable with a minimum 5-year driver’s license revocation and a mandatory minimum jail sentence of five days to one year and/or 240 hours of community service.
Reckless Homicide DUI Defense Attorney in Will County
Defending Against DUI Vehicular Homicide Related Charges in Will County
When an intoxicated driver of a motor vehicle collides with a pedestrian or another vehicle, causing death, the driver will face felony criminal charges and civil liability. Reckless homicide charges do not require proof that the driver intended to kill the victim. The prosecutor only needs to establish that the accused acted “recklessly,” which means they disregarded the safety of others.
The Penalties for Reckless Homicide in Illinois
If you or a loved one have been arrested and charged with Reckless Homicide, assert your right to remain silent and contact our law firm. Reckless homicide is a Class 3 Felony punished with a state prison term of two to five years. If some aggravating factors exist, the defendant could face a prison sentence of up to 28 years and thousands of dollars in fines.
David L. Freidberg Provides an Aggressive DUI Defense – Call 24/7 for Your Free Consultation
Criminal defense attorney David L. Freidberg is a Will County DUI Lawyer who has spent nearly two decades defending clients who have been charged with driving under the influence. To learn more about defending yourself or your family member, contact Attorney David L. Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100, or set up your free case review online.
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