Hiring a drunk driving attorney is the only way to avoid the severe DUI penalties in Oklahoma. In the criminal justice system, it is often the defendants who have to work the hardest to prove their innocence. While we have an "innocent until proven guilty" system, prosecutors' commitment to sentencing ensures that, in most cases, the accused is found guilty. This is especially the case if they don't have a lawyer.
A DUI attorney can protect you from the wrongs of the criminal justice system, representing your best interests and ensuring that your statutory rights are protected. At Hirsch Law Group, we have a team of attorneys who have previously worked as prosecutors in Illinois. We've seen the dirty tricks they use to get convictions, and we've seen the strategies they use to overthrow them.
Our law firm can assist you with your DUI case by advising you of your rights, conducting a thorough investigation of the case, developing a coherent defense strategy based on the facts of your case, negotiating with the prosecutor and aggressively fighting your name.
Our attorneys have received numerous awards and recognition for their commitment to protecting their clients' rights. We have the necessary skills and experience to ensure a successful outcome for your case.
Call our law firm today to schedule a free consultation.815-880-1134.
What Happens at a DUI Stop?
An Illinois police officer must have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop you and request a field sobriety test. This suspicion could be based on dangerous or reckless driving, a swerve in the road, driving too slow, or the officer pulling you over for another traffic violation and seeing drug or alcohol paraphernalia in your vehicle.
As soon as you are stopped at a traffic stop, you will be asked to take a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer test. Under Illinois implied consent laws, all persons with a driver's license automatically consent to taking a blood alcohol content (BAC) test if prevented by law enforcement. It is important that you take the BAC test as requested, as refusing the test results carries even more severe penalties, including automatic license suspension for one year.
On-site sobriety tests
Field sobriety tests assess a person's balance and mobility. These are usually performed by police officers in addition to a chemical test or blood test. This is because field sobriety test results are not completely accurate. Some examples of on-the-spot sobriety tests include saying the alphabet, walking in a straight line, and standing on one leg while counting.
Law enforcement officers should not rely solely on on-the-spot field sobriety tests to convict a person for a DUI, as the results are very inaccurate. A person can become unbalanced or have problems with agility for a variety of reasons, including a disability.
A breathalyzer test can be carried out at the scene of a traffic stop or at the police station. A breath test usually involves a handheld device where the person blows into the device to measure blood alcohol levels. Breathalyzers are also quite inaccurate tests and our attorneys have helped many cases to be dismissed due to inaccurate breathalyzer results.
Tests for blood, chemicals, or other bodily substances
A blood test, chemical test, or urine test must be performed by a physician, and authorities must have a search warrant to perform this test. This test must be performed at a police station and not at the crime scene. A blood test can detect alcohol in the bloodstream and any controlled substances like marijuana or cocaine.
Illinois Drunk Driving Laws
Illinois law states that the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08%. For commercial drivers, this limit is reduced to 0.04%. If you are a minor in Illinois, the law follows a no-tolerance policy. This means that if you are a minor and have any amount of alcohol in your blood, you can automatically get your license suspended.
DUI charges can also be brought against people with a controlled substance, including prescription drugs, in their system. Although Illinois has legalized the recreational use of marijuana, it is still illegal to drive with marijuana in its system. The legal limit for marijuana is 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood, or 10 nanograms of THC per milliliter of any other substance in the body.
Penalties Under Illinois DUI Laws
The penalties for a drunk driving conviction are stiff. Even a first drunk driving offense carries a criminal record, possible jail time, fines and license suspension. If you receive more than one DUI conviction in a five-year period, you could face higher penalties. A third DUI conviction can result in a Class 2 felony charge, which carries a sentence of three to seven years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.
The first DUI violation will result in a six month license suspension. If you refuse a breathalyzer test, you will automatically receive a one-year suspension period. The period of suspension will be extended based on the presence of aggravating circumstances and previous DUI convictions. Because driver license suspension is handled separately from criminal charges, you must request a hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State to reinstate your driver's license.
The law is extremely harsh on those who receive a drunk driving conviction. You will receive a criminal record that can only be erased under extremely limited circumstances. A criminal record does not allow you to work some jobs, such as educating children, not applying for public housing, struggling to get credit from banks, and suffering from social stigma.
What happens after a DUI arrest?
Once you are pulled over for a DUI stop and test positive on a sobriety test or breath test, you will be taken to the police station for further police questioning. If you refuse to be tested, you will be taken to the police station where officers can obtain a search warrant to perform blood or chemical tests. The law enforcement officer or a licensed towing company will pull your vehicle off the road or impound it.
Officers prepare the police report and record the results of the initial investigation and any subsequent investigations at the station. If you are hostile or aggressive towards the officers, this will also be noted in the police report. It is important that you exercise your right to remain silent and not give the officers too much information.
You may have to pay bail to get out of prison. It is important that if you are stopped and arrested by the police, you get legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced DUI attorney can help you ensure that your legal rights are protected at all costs and that you are no longer burdened by a DUI charge.
If you are arrested by the police, the officer will take your driver's license and issue you a temporary driver's license. You must apply separately to retrieve your driver's license as this is not regulated by criminal law.
Do I need a lawyer if I am arrested while driving under the influence of Illinois?
If you have been arrested in Illinois for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is important to contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. DUI is a crime in Illinois and a conviction can have serious consequences. Convicts can lose their driver's license, face jail time, hefty fines and a criminal record.
A drunk driving lawyer can help you by ensuring that your legal rights are protected at all times, from the moment you are arrested until you are acquitted of all charges. They can thoroughly investigate your case, speaking with witnesses on the scene, reviewing police reports and assessing that all legal steps have been taken.
Most people believe that a positive drinking and driving test is a clear case of guilt. However, there are many defense strategies that can be used to lower or significantly lower rates, including:
- Inaccurate breathalyzer or sobriety test results
- faulty test machine
- Your Miranda rights could not be read to you
- An illegal search warrant for your vehicle
- lack of probable cause
- Improper actions by law enforcement officials
Without a defense strategy, the likelihood of being found guilty of a DUI and facing severe penalties is high. An experienced attorney can help you avoid a guilty verdict by building a strong defense based on the evidence in your case. They will then use this to negotiate with the public prosecutor. If the prosecutor is tough and doesn't reduce your charges, a lawyer with a strong defense strategy will fight for you in court.
Hirsch Law Group Mitigation Packages
Hirsch Law Group attorneys who have worked as former prosecutors understand that prosecutors rarely take the time to learn more about an accused person. For most prosecutors, the top priority is getting a conviction and getting your case through the system as quickly as possible. However, if they cannot see who you are as a person, they are less likely to issue a light sentence.
For this reason, our law firm offers mitigation packages to all DUI clients. A harm reduction package is a package of information about the defendant, including his personal life, employment, education, community activities, and references from employers or people in his life. Where applicable, we also include evidence of a clean criminal record that may encourage the prosecutor to narrow your charges down to a traffic violation.
Our attorneys present a harm reduction package to the prosecutor in all criminal defense cases. In our experience, this has proven to be extremely successful and has helped us to reduce fees significantly. Without a criminal defense attorney, you can't show prosecutors who you really are. Therefore, hiring a lawyer is very important to ensure that the prosecutor has an overview and is more willing to negotiate.
Contact an experienced drunk driving attorney at Hirsch Law Group!
If you have been arrested while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Illinois, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. Due to the number of crashes caused by drunk driving each year, law enforcement officers and prosecutors are extremely harsh on DUI defendants. Even a first-time offense can result in a permanent criminal record that can never be erased.
The only way to avoid the severe penalties of a DUI conviction is to hire an attorney with significant experience and skill. Hirsch Law Group attorneys have what it takes to defend your case at the highest level. Our law firm provides comprehensive criminal defense services, taking the time to get to know you and doing everything in our power to avoid a conviction.
A DUI attorney from our law firm will aggressively fight to protect your future by building a vigorous defense on your behalf, creating a harm reduction package to present to the prosecutor on your behalf, and negotiating to have your charges dropped. We understand how difficult it is to face serious DUI charges, and we want to protect you as best we can.
Call our office today for a free consultation.815-880-1134.