If you have been arrested for a DUI in Lake County, you need an attorney who knows how to fight and win. Hiring an aggressive Lake County DUI attorney can truly make a difference in the outcome of your case. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious charge and Illinois has mandatory penalties that attach upon a finding of guilty. Our local Lake County criminal lawyers can help you fight your criminal charges.
Being pulled over by a police officer after consuming alcohol could make a routine situation into a more serious one. If you have consumed any amount of alcohol and are subsequently pulled over for any reason, you need to know your rights. During a DUI investigation, do not admit to consuming alcohol. Be very polite when declining the officers questions regarding consumption of alcohol. Advise the officer that you would rather not answer his questions without a lawyer being present. In addition, the officer cannot force you to perform field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests are not very reliable and most people, even without consuming any alcohol, cannot adequately perform these tests.
Provide all documents that the police officer asks for. This includes a driver’s license and insurance. If the officer asks you to exit your vehicle, you must comply. Remember, you should kindly tell the officer that you want your attorney present for any further questioning. Immediately call a Lake County DUI lawyer to advise you on how to proceed.
Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol
Field Sobriety Tests
When you are being investigated for a DUI in Lake County or the surrounding areas, an officer will usually request that you perform roadside field sobriety tests. These tests are commonly referred to as FST’s. They consist of “balance” tests and sometimes a portable breath test (PBT).
Most DUI attorney’s would advise their clients to refuse field sobriety tests. These balance tests a supposed to be an indicator of a motorist’s sobriety. However, there are numerous factors that could effect the reliability of these tests. It is for that reason that most attorneys believe that field sobriety tests should not be taken.
Even if you have taken the roadside sobriety tests, your Lake County DUI Attorney will carefully review all of the information that was documented and see if the conducted tests can even be considered as admissible evidence.
If you are arrested for DUI, the officer will most likely request that you take a breathalyzer or other chemical test. These other tests could include a urine or blood test. You cannot be forced to take a blood or urine test unless the officer obtains a search warrant from a judge first. Illinois has an implied consent statute which will suspend your driver’s license for a certain period of time.
After an arrest for DUI, you refuse to submit to a breath or other chemical test, your driving privileges will be suspended for a minimum of one (1) year. If you fail the breath or other chemical test, your license will be suspended for a minimum of six (6) months. If you are considered a second time DUI offender, the minimum suspension periods go up: Three (3) years for a refusal and one (1) year for a failure. This suspension occurs forty-six (46) days after the arrest. An experienced DUI lawyer can prevent this suspension happening!
It is important to hire a DUI attorney immediately so they can file the documents needed to fight your suspension. The document needed is called a “Petition to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension.” Illinois courts require this document to be filed within ninety (90) days of your DUI arrest.
Ways to Beat A DUI in Lake County
• Review of the police officers observations of your driving and how you reacted to being pulled over.
• Review of the reason that the police officer pulled you over in the first place.
• Review of the field sobriety tests – including kind of tests used and the reasoning behind the conclusion of the testing.
• Reviewing the training that the police officer received to give field sobriety tests and to interpret their results.
• Reviewing the chain of command of blood samples and the accuracy of results.
• Reviewing the accuracy of the breath testing device used.
• Reviewing the maintenance records of the field sobriety testing equipment.
• Review if the police officer adhered to the standard of giving a 20 minute resting period before pulling over someone and administering a breathalyzer test.
Your Lake County DUI attorney will also address the following areas of your case:
• Show that evidence being used against you is inadmissible or too weak to justify a DUI conviction.
• Show that you have a medical condition that could lead to the tests showing you were driving under the influence. Several conditions can affect balance, and dental work or GERD have been known to make breath tests register alcohol content, even if the person has not consumed alcohol.
• Your Lake County DUI attorney will also address witness credibility, including the credibility of the arresting officers.
What Is An Aggravated DUI?
Illinois has special circumstances that they consider an aggravated DUI. An aggravated DUI occurs when a person is arrested for DUI, and the following applies:
• The driver did not have a driver’s license or did not have vehicle insurance
• The driver was involved in an accident which caused death or great bodily harm to another.
• A person was injured in a school zone as a result of the DUI
• If you have had 3 previous DUI convictions
• If you are operating a school bus and an injury results to someone on the bus
As your Lake County DUI lawyer will explain, an aggravated DUI charge has serious penalties attached. Under the new stricter DUI laws, can go to prison if convicted
If you are facing aggravated DUI charges, it is in your best interest to hire a Lake County DUI lawyer s soon as possible after the arrest so that you can build a strong case and to protect your rights.
The High Rate Of Driving Under The Influence Arrests In Illinois
Illinois has a very high rate of arrests for driving under the influence charges. In the last available data from all police agencies in the state, there were over 15,000 arrests in one year just on the charge of driving under the influence.
Having a Lake County DUI attorney will give you an advantage over other individuals that have been charged with driving under the influence. Your Lake County DUI lawyer will be able to build a solid case on your behalf. Your attorney may be able to show that the arrest was invalid, that the level of influence may not have been as high as indicated by the police, or that you should not be charged with this crime at all.
How A DUI Conviction Will Impact Your Personal Life
As you already understand, a DUI conviction can result in serious fines and penalties. However, most people do not take into consideration the serious impact that a DUI conviction can have on their personal life as well.
Someone who is convicted of a DUI can experience financial problems as a result of the DUI conviction. They will lose their right to drive, so they will have to begin paying for transportation; they may find a conviction prevents them from doing their job, getting promoted, or finding new employment.
A conviction will guarantee that any future car insurance policies purchased will cost significantly more than before. Those who are convicted may also be required to carry a special rider on their policy to cover DUI events. Some people may find that other insurance policies are also harder to be approved for or will cost more because they now are considered to have a “high risk” lifestyle.
Lake County DUI Attorney
One of the most important things that your Lake County DUI attorney will explain to you during your initial consultation is that a DUI arrest is much different than a DUI conviction. An arrest simply means that you have been accused of a crime. A conviction is when you are found guilty.
Hiring a Lake County DUI lawyer is your best choice in building a strong case against your DUI charges. Your attorney cannot guarantee the outcome of your case, but they can guarantee that they will provide you with aggressive defense and help you secure the best possible outcome for the situation.
Your attorney will review every aspect of the case from just before the police stopped your vehicle to the time you were placed into custody. They will review testing procedures and accuracy. They will go as far as to review the police report itself to determine if it is filled out properly. Every aspect of the event will be closely reviewed.
Yes, you can represent yourself in court when you are charged with a DUI. But this may not be in your own best interest. The knowledge and experience of your Lake County DUI attorney will be very beneficial to your case. Your attorney knows the laws surrounding DUI, and they understand how a DUI arrest could have been a mistake. They know how to show this mistake to the court.
There is no reason that you should have to face such a life-changing criminal charges alone. When you have been arrested for DUI, contact a Lake County DUI lawyer as soon as possible after the arrest and start building a solid case today.