In the past few decades, the enforcement and penalties associated with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) have grown significantly more aggressive across the country. In addition, the legal limit as to what constitutes “under the influence” has dropped in Illinois, from a 1.5 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in the 1950s to 1.0 in the late 60s, and finally to the present-day limit of 0.08, which was established in 1997. All DUI offenses are serious matters, and have the potential to result in legal and collateral consequences. In some cases, a DUI could even land you in jail or keep you from getting a job. As a result, all DUI cases should be defended by an aggressive and experienced Chicago DUI defense attorney.
While all DUIs are serious, sometimes there are additional facts that make a DUI case more serious than it would have been in their absence. Referred to as “aggravating factors” or “aggravating circumstances,” these additional facts have been deemed by the Illinois state legislature to make a particular DUI offense particularly egregious. When they are present in conjunction with a driver driving under the influence of alcohol, they allow the state to bring a more serious case against the offender, potentially resulting in more serious consequences. Among the issues that can allow an aggravated DUI case to be brought include:
- A third or subsequent DUI offense;
- DUI while driving a school bus with passengers under the age of 18 on board;
- DUI in which the DUI caused great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another person;
- A second DUI in which the offender has earlier conviction for another offense involving alcohol-related reckless homicide or a similar offense in another state;
- Driving under the influence without a driver’s license, whether suspended, revoked, or if the driver never had a valid license;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol in a school zone and being involved in an accident that caused bodily harm to another person;
- Driving under the influence when you knew or should have known that the vehicle was not covered by an insurance policy; or
- Driving under the influence and causing bodily harm to a person under 16 years old.
Anyone who is facing an aggravated DUI case in the Chicago area should discuss their case with an attorney immediately. Depending on the nature of your case, you may be facing serious fines, probation, the loss of your driver’s license, and even the possibility of jail time. Fortunately, there are many potential legal defenses that an experienced lawyer may be able to raise in an aggravated DUI case. While the exact defenses used will be specific to your case, among the most common include:
- Challenging the results of any chemical testing that may have been performed;
- Impeaching the credibility of the law enforcement officer who stopped you;
- Challenging the reason for the initial stop; and
- Attempting to suppress evidence based on any 4th Amendment violations that may have occurred.
Contact a Chicago Aggravated DUI Defense Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
At the Goldman & Associates, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of people accused of DUI in the Chicago area. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at (773) 484-3131 or (847) 215-2600.