Chicago DUI Defense Lawyer

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Driving under the influence (DUI) charges are extremely common in Illinois. People along the entire socio-economic spectrum enjoy drinking alcohol. Whether savoring wine at dinner or shooting hard liquor solely to get drunk, those charged with DUI face significant punishment. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at least 0.08, you are presumed intoxicated under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(1).

However, you can be charged with a DUI even if your BAC is below 0.08 under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2). Therefore, regardless of your BAC or the circumstances of your arrest, you need to enlist the representation of an aggressive Chicago criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

DUI Even Without Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol is the most common reason for DUI arrests – no surprise there. However, many people are surprised to learn that they can be charged with DUI even if they did not drink any alcohol. For example, under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(3) through (a)(5), you can be charged with DUI based on nothing other than the use of over-the-counter or prescription medicine.

Most shocking is that, under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(6), you can be charged with DUI if any degree of illegal drug metabolites are in your body, and you are in an accident that involves serious injury to another – even if the other driver caused the accident. This means that if you last consumed cannabis weeks ago, you can be charged with DUI if another driver crashes into you, and that driver is seriously injured in the crash that he or she caused. The only partial exception to this bizarre law is for those who have a medical marijuana card issued in Illinois.

Accordingly, if you are charged with DUI, speak with a defense attorney that will aggressively challenge the charges against you.

Illinois DUI Penalties

A first-time DUI charge in Illinois is a Class A misdemeanor and can include the following penalties:

  • 1 year in jail
  • $2,500 fine
  • $1,250 mandatory court costs
  • Suspended or revoked license
  • 1 year of BAIID: Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (that you pay for)
  • Alcohol-abuse treatment programs (that you pay for)
  • Auto-insurance rate increases
  • Permanent criminal record that cannot be removed
  • Restrictions on international travel

A DUI becomes a felony under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(d) in a handful of circumstances. Felony DUI charges in Illinois occur when:

  • You have two previous DUI cases; or
  • You caused an accident that resulted in great bodily harm; or
  • Your license was suspended or revoked from a previous DUI; or
  • You did not have a valid license; or
  • You did not have liability insurance

Illinois Statutory Summary Suspension

Driving is a privilege, not a right. Accordingly, a person charged with DUI in Illinois faces automatic suspension of his or her driving privileges by the Illinois Secretary of State. This automatic suspension is called a Statutory Summary Suspension (SSS). The good news is that your attorney will challenge this automatic suspension, where appropriate, by filing a petition to rescind the SSS. If the petition is granted, you can continue to drive while your attorney continues to fight your DUI case.

Contact Hallock Law if you need a skilled and committed DUI defense attorney in Chicago!

HELPFUL TIPS FROM ME TO YOU

HOW TO PROPERLY EXERCISE YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

What You Should Do

  • Be respectful at all times.
  • Calmly record the interaction.
  • Ask if you are free to leave. If you do not ask, the officer may think—and the judge may agree—that the interaction was consensual.
  • If you are free to leave, go! If you are not free to leave, respectfully but firmly ask to speak with your lawyer.

What You Should Not Do

  • Do not physically resist arrest.
  • Do not become aggressive or confrontational.
  • Do not consent to a search. The Constitution does not apply if you consent.
  • Do not answer questions without first speaking with your attorney. Police are allowed to hold you for 48 hours and they may lie to you the entire time.

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