You need an aggressive Chicago DUI Lawyer to fight your charges. Although numerous people are arrested for DUI in Chicago every year, a DUI charge is not always easy to beat. Individuals who are convicted of DUI may face serious consequences, including license suspension, jail time, and costly fines. Even a first-time offender may be subjected to the disastrous consequences of a DUI. The best way to beat a drunk driving charge is by obtaining the services of a skilled Chicago DUI lawyer. The Law Office of Goldman & Associates has successfully represented numerous clients plagued with the threat of a DUI conviction. We can help in any number of situations and advise you of your rights.
As experienced Chicago DUI Lawyers, we understand that DUI conviction can have life-altering consequences in the life of any individual. The severity of your DUI offense can play a significant role in the penalties you will receive. This is especially true if you are found guilty of vehicular homicide or had children in the car at the time the offense took place. However, even a first-time offender can suffer severe consequences as a result of driving under the influence. Because a DUI may still appear on your record even if you avoided jail time, it is important to have a Chicago DUI Lawyer who will fight for your rights.
Call a top-rated Chicago DUI Lawyer today at: 847.215.2600 or 773.484.3131.
In Illinois, your license can be suspended for a DUI-related arrest where you fail (or fail to complete) a sobriety test, or when you refuse to take the sobriety test. The length of the suspension varies depending on the number of times you have previously been arrested for a DUI. A suspension means that you cannot legally drive for the period of time the suspension is in place, unless you have permission from the Illinois Secretary of State.
Can you still drive during a suspension?
A first-time DUI offender who wishes to drive during the suspension period has to apply to the Secretary of State for a Monitoring Device Driver’s Permit (MDDP). A MDDP is a permit that allows a driver with a suspended license unlimited driving privileges despite the suspension. In order to qualify as a first-time DUI offender under the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-500), and therefore qualify for a MDDP, a driver must not have:
Received a previous statutory summary suspension in the five years preceding the driver’s current suspension;
Been convicted of DUI or assigned court supervision for DUI in Illinois; or
a DUI conviction from another state within 5 years.
A MDDP cannot be issued if the Secretary of State finds that:
The driver’s license is invalid;
Death or great bodily harm to another person resulted from the incident leading to arrest;
The driver has been previously convicted of reckless homicide or aggravated DUI involving death;
The driver is less than 18 years of age; or
The driver is a qualifying and licensed medical marijuana patient.
Once approved for a MDDP, the driver has to pay a monthly administration fee of up to $30. Furthermore, an approved driver has 14 days from the day the MDDP is issued to have an ignition interlock device installed by a qualified provider. An ignition interlock device, sometimes referred to as a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID), is a device that is attached to a car’s starter system. In order to start the car, a driver has to blow into the device and receive a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) reading. The device measures a driver’s BAC, and if the content is above a certain point, the driver cannot start the car and will be required to retest after a short time. The approved level below which the driver can start the car and drive is programmed into the device by the Secretary of State. Tampering with an ignition interlock device is considered a violation of the MDDP program, which means you’ll need a dui attorney to help you.
In some cases, if a driver needs to drive a different car in the course of his or her employment, he or she can get permission from the Secretary of State to drive that car without installing an ignition interlock device. However, there are certain employees, such as school bus drivers, who cannot receive this accommodation.
If you do not have an MDDP, driving while on a suspended license is a class 4 felony.
Contact a Chicago DUI Defense Lawyer
If you were stopped for suspected DUI, contact Chicago criminal defense attorney Steven Goldman for aggressive DUI defense, and representation in administrative hearings for license reinstatement after suspension.
DUI Defense in Chicago
When a driver is arrested or stopped by the police on suspicion of driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, he or she risks having his or her license suspended or revoked. Illinois is an implied consent state when it comes to taking sobriety tests. This means that by driving on Illinois roads and highways, a driver is consenting to be tested for the presence of drugs or alcohol that may cause a driver to be arrested for a DUI. The driver can always refuse to be tested, and depending on the circumstances, the refusal can lead to a statutory summary suspension, or in some cases, summary revocation.
Unlike a statutory summary suspension, which is a temporary taking away of a driver’s license or driving privileges under Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/1-204, a statutory summary revocation is a termination of a driver’s license or driving privileges under Illinois law 625 ILCS 5/1-197.6. Both suspension and revocations, as described here, are referred to as statutory and summary because they are immediate actions that happen automatically under the law. In most cases, there is no hearing before the suspension or the revocation, the hearings come after the suspension or revocation has already occurred.
Statutory Summary Suspension and Summary Revocation
A statutory summary suspension occurs when a driver either refuses to take, fails to complete, or fails a sobriety test. A statutory summary revocation can occur if a driver, who is involved in a car accident in which another person is injured or dies, refuses to submit to or fails to complete sobriety testing following the accident and an arrest for DUI. This summary revocation would happen even if the driver is charged with reckless homicide for the accident, and then subsequently acquitted. A driver may be granted a hearing up to 90 days after the suspension or revocation, in order to fight the loss of their license.
The only way a driver can reinstate a license after revocation is through a long and often expensive process. First, the driver has to be approved for reinstatement after an administrative hearing with the Secretary of State. If approved for reinstatement, the driver has to complete any required drug or alcohol evaluations, show proof of financial responsibility, and pay a reinstatement fee. The driver must also submit an Alcohol/Drug Evaluation Report, completed after his or her most recent DUI arrest. The report must include the driver’s entire drug or alcohol history, and be prepared by an agency licensed by the Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA). There may also be additional requirements based on specifics of the individual case. In addition, the driver cannot have pending traffic tickets at the time of the hearing, unless any pending ticket is the only cause of the current revocation the hearing is to address. This is why it is essential to call a qualified Chicago DUI Attorney immediately.
Contact an Chicago DUI Attorney Today
Having an experienced and zealous DUI defense attorney can make the difference in whether or not you are successful at a hearing to reinstate your license after either suspension or revocation. Contact Chicago DUI attorney Steven Goldman for a consultation on your case.
Under Illinois law, driving under the influence (DUI) begins with a suspicion of impaired driving by an officer. This often occurs through observation of a traffic violation or when responding to an automobile accident. A suspicion of intoxication may occur when an officer observes a driver’s behavior, physical appearance and demeanor. Generally, if an officer suspects a DUI has occurred the suspect will be asked to submit to a series of sobriety tests. Many individuals do not know that these can be refused. These concerns can be answered by a Chicago DUI Lawyer.
If and when a driver is detained and charged with DUI, the accused is asked to take a breathalyzer test. This exam measures the blood alcohol content (BAC) and its results are admissible in a court of law. A person also has the right to refuse to take this examine. Should the BAC results be .08 or greater a DUI charge may proceed.
In general, a person detained for a DUI is released on bond and is given a court date. Additionally, notice is given that the accused’s driver’s license will be suspended within 46 days. If this is a first time DUI charge, the suspension will be for 6 months (if the BAC results were higher than the legal limit) or one year if the breathalyzer test was refused. If this is not a first time offense, the license suspension will be for one year (if the BAC results were above the legal limit) or three years if the breathalyzer test was refused. For these reasons, it is important to retain an aggressive Chicago DUI defense attorney if you or someone you know is facing these charges.
License Suspension Petition
Within 90 days of arrest a driver charged with DUI can petition the court to retract the license suspension. This hearing must occur within 30 days of the filing. Unlike the DUI charges, the suspension of a driver’s license is a civil matter and, as such, it is the driver’s burden to prove improper police procedure.
First time offenders may apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) in order to begin driving again. If the court grants the MDDP, a device is installed in the driver’s vehicle that measures the driver’s BAC. All costs for this are incurred by the driver.
If you or someone you know has been charged with driving under the influence or any other traffic offense, contact a knowledgeable Chicago DUI defense attorney today. With vast experience in defending individuals charged with DUI, attorney Steven Goldman has used innovative methods in the courtroom. Call (773) 484-3131 today to schedule your initial consultation.
DUI Defense in Chicago
A conviction for a misdemeanor or felony DUI can lead to varying penalties, and can include jail time as well as high fines. In order to ensure the best outcome in your case, you need a skilled and zealous DUI defense attorney fighting for you. With a good attorney, you may be able to beat the DUI charge by challenging the facts leading to your arrest, the credibility of the officer, and even the accuracy of the tests used. The following are a few ways in which you can beat a DUI in Illinois.
Challenge the Initial Stop
In order for the police to pull you over and therefore administer a DUI test, they must either have probable cause, or at the very least reasonable suspicion. This means that they must have a valid reason that they can point to for stopping you; usually, this reason is a traffic offense such as weaving in traffic. If the officer who pulls you over cannot state a reason for the stop, or provides an inadequate reason, then there is no probable cause and any evidence from the stop cannot be used against you. Note that weaving inside your own lane of traffic is not illegal and the officer cannot use this as a basis for the stop.
Police Failure to Tell You Your Rights
If the arresting officer does not advise you of your Miranda rights after arresting you, any incriminating statements you make cannot be used against you in court.
Challenge the Accuracy of the Sobriety Testing
In some cases, certain medical conditions can interfere with the Breathalyzer test used to check the blood alcohol content (BAC). Conditions such as hypoglycemia, which can cause acetone in the driver’s breath, can cause falsely high BAC readings. A person suffering from hypoglycemia may exhibit other symptoms such as dizziness or confusion that can cause an officer to think they are intoxicated.
If you have dentures or other dental work that may trap alcohol, the results of your Breathalyzer test may be affected. As would be the case if you belched and the officer did not give you another test after waiting for some time. Additionally, the Breathalyzer used to conduct the test may have been faulty and incorrectly calibrated, or used incorrectly by the officer administering the test, leading to false results.
Rising Blood Alcohol
You can argue that since blood alcohol levels keep rising after your initial consumption of alcohol, your BAC levels were higher at the time you took the test than at the time you were actually driving. This argument works better if the police do not immediately test you upon being pulled over on suspicion of DUI.
Location of the Arrest
You could argue that the area where you were pulled over affected how you were driving, for example if the terrain was rough, or there was a bend in the road. Similarly, you can challenge the weather conditions at the time of the stop.
Police Officer’s Inconsistent Testimony
If the officer who pulled you over is inconsistent in his testimony, saying something at trial that is different from what he said before regarding the initial stop, you can challenge his testimony. In addition, if the officer has any prior disciplinary problems, you may be able to use those to challenge his credibility.
If you have been arrested on DUI charges, you should contact DUI defense attorney Steven Goldman immediately for a consultation on your case. Do not plead guilty without speaking to an attorney first. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you may be able to successfully beat the charges.
What Factors Affect the Length of the Alcohol Program as a Result of My Chicago DUI Case?
If you have been convicted of DUI in the state of Illinois, the judge can hand down a sentence that includes participating in mandatory DUI classes. Many drivers who are in court fighting their DUI case wonder what factors affect the length of the alcohol program as a result of the Chicago DUI case.
These are a few of the factors that could alter the amount of time, curriculum, and cost, of the alcohol program.
The Severity of the Driving Offense The length of the alcohol program that was ordered by the judge presiding over your case could be impacted by the severity of the DUI arrest. The judge is going to look very carefully at all the evidence presented by the prosecution, looking to see how the driver responded to the directions of the officer, how erratic the driving, and if anyone was injured as a result of the intoxicated driver. The judge will not rule favorably if the driver was cooperative or combative with the arresting officer, looking closely to see if the driver was apologetic for what was happening or resistant to being arrested.
The judge has extensive experience with determining which cases deserve which penalties. Your DUI attorney may present evidence that shows that the judge might consider lessening the time of the alcohol program due to hardship or other determining factors.
Blood Alcohol Level Results One of the determining factors when the judge has to determine how long to mandate an alcohol program to a DUI suspect is how high over the legal limit was the driver’s blood alcohol level. The legal limit in the state of Illinois is 0.08 blood alcohol level, so depending on how high above that number, the judge has the discretion to make the defendant appear at the alcohol program. When the number is slightly above the legal number, the judge might feel this was an isolated incident and reduce the time of the program, but by the same token, the judge might want to make an example of the driver and ensure they realizes the impact that driving drunk could have had on an innocent driver in the future and demand they go to a lengthy program.
Your DUI attorney will present evidence to show that you have remorse, you won’t let this happen again, and that family and friends will support you and help you to keep this from happening again.
Prior Record of Criminal Activity Once the judge has all the evidence in their hands, they can look to see if this was a one-time incident or if the driver has a history and several other DUI arrests. The driver who has a clean driving record could receive be mandated to attend an alcohol program that is in line with the regulations of the state. There are other factors however that could determine if the length of the program will be extended. If the judge sees that the driver truly has remorse and wants to get better, then the minimum program length usually will suffice.
When the judge sees that the driver is combative, aggravated, and not willing to accept responsibility, they may be required a more lengthy program time to try and help them to see what the consequences of their actions could have on innocent drivers. Your DUI attorney is in the best position to get the alcohol program time shortened.
Consequences of Being a Repeat Offender When the judge sees the defendant for a second, third, or fourth time, it is obvious that the alcohol program is not working. Perhaps the driver did not take the program serious, the length of the program was too short, or the driver didn’t make an effort to learn from the program. In this instance, the judge will not give up on the program because it does work, they will simply extend the length and require the driver be more accountable.
If the driver is given a length of time to complete the program, they may have community service added to the sentence to drive the point home. The judge might order the driver to complete the program in a satisfactory manner or take it again, serve jail time, or permanently take away the driver license in an effort to get the driver to understand the severity of the situation. The DUI lawyer can negotiate the terms with the court so all parties benefit.
These are only some of the factors that affect the length of the alcohol program as a result of a Chicago DUI case. The judge in each case is different, and they may put more weight on certain aspects of the offense than others. It is always good to have a skilled DUI attorney who might be able to negotiate a more favorable outcome in the court.
The Consequences of Impaired Driving
In the State of Illinois, it is illegal for a person to operate a vehicle while impaired. This is any type of vehicle including truck, car, motorcycle, commercial vehicle and more. If the impairment is suspected to be the result of alcohol or drugs, a driver will be requested to take a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. Should they refuse to submit to such a test, a driver could lose their driving privileges for twelve months.
Considerations Law enforcement will consider a driver’s ability to safely operate any type of vehicle when they suspect the driver is impaired. The impairment could be from illegal drugs, alcohol, prescribed painkillers as well as different medications purchased over-the-counter, fatigue and more.
Signs Of Impaired Driving When law enforcement witness certain type of impaired driving behavior, they are obligated to investigate for possible DUI. This includes a driver’s failure to turn on their vehicle’s headlights at night, responding very slowly to traffic signals as well as making sudden or illegal turns. Other things include making very wide turns, driving in the middle of the road or with the left tire consistently on the center line, almost hitting cars or objects, tailgating, braking that is erratic or sudden as well as drifting or weaving and swerving. A driver will seem impaired if they drive much slower than the posted speed limit, drive with their face close to the windshield as well as drinking alcohol in the vehicle and more.
Definition Of DUI In Illinois A person in Illinois is considered to have committed DUI if testing shows their BAC to be 0.08 percent or higher. At this level, a person is determined to be legally intoxicated and can’t lawfully operate a vehicle. Should a person have a BAC between 0.05 percent and 0.08 percent, they may still be cited for DUI. This will be based on driving behavior that shows they are impaired. It is up to law enforcement to determine if this is necessary.
Statutory Summary Suspension Should a member of law enforcement pull someone over for a moving violation, and determine the driver is impaired by alcohol, they will request the driver take a field sobriety test. Should a driver refuse to engage in such testing, a law enforcement officer can immediately suspend a person’s driver’s license. At this time, the driver will be issued a receipt. This will make it possible for them to continue to drive for 45 days. This will happen after they’ve been arrested, given time to become sober, arranged for bail and more. The 45 day period will give a driver time to argue their arrest and suspension in court as well as with the DMV. At the end of the 45 day period, if no decision has been made to dismiss the charges, a person’s driver license suspension goes into effect. A driver who fails a chemical test could have their license suspended for six months. A driver who refuses to submit to a chemical test could receive a twelve-month suspension.
Administrative Revocation Of A Driver’s License The Secretary of State (SOS) in Illinois will take action against a person’s license if they are charged with DUI or another offense involving impaired driving. The action taken by the Illinois SOS will be determined using information obtained from the state’s attorney. A person’s license may be revoked, and remain revoked until a decision has been reached concerning the charges made against them by law enforcement. A person who has their license revoked is responsible for meeting all of a courts requirements, as well as those set forth by the SOS before their license can be reactivated. This could include paying a driver’s license reinstatement fees, providing proof of financial responsibility, paying the fee for a new driver’s license, drug or alcohol evaluation, completing a drug or alcohol program and more.
Contesting Administrative Revocation When a person has an administrative revocation of their driver’s license, they can request a hearing to contest it. This type of request needs to be done within 90 of being charged. An Illinois Secretary of State hearing officer will be the one who conducts this hearing. A person with their first DUI charge will have an informal hearing. They will need to prove that if their license is reinstated, they will not be any type of a threat to public safety and more. When a person is a multiple DUI offender, they will be required to have a formal hearing.
A driver in the state of Illinois who is charged with DUI is facing the payment of substantial penalties. If not handled correctly, the results of an arrest and conviction of DUI are severe. A first time DUI conviction can cost a driver over $18,000. This will be for bonds, court-ordered assessments, insurance premiums, treatment programs and more. Most people facing this situation obtain the best possible outcome with the help of an experienced attorney. They will know the process and how to help someone facing a charge of DUI in Illinois.
Can I Get Arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana?
With federal law still treating cannabis as an illegal substance, the rules around marijuana use are murkier than ever. Several states have now legalized marijuana for recreational use, giving residents the opportunity to partake while staying on the right side of the law. However, driving while under the influence remains illegal in all 50 states. What does this mean when it comes to cannabis use? There’s no simple answer. If you’re concerned about being charged with a DUI for marijuana, read on to find out everything you need to know.
What Happens if I’m Pulled Over?
Many drivers are familiar with law enforcement’s reaction to suspected drunk driving. Upon observing a car driving erratically, an officer may pull over the driver and conduct tests to asses whether they are fit to operate the vehicle. An officer witnessing suspected marijuana impairment will react in much the same way. After pulling over the vehicle, the cop will look for such physical symptoms as bloodshot eyes, lack of coordination and a drowsy appearance. The officer will also be on alert for any visible paraphernalia or a strong smell emanating from the vehicle. If noticed, these factors give law enforcement the right to conduct multiple tests.
Field Sobriety Tests
Like alcohol impairment tests, field sobriety tests for marijuana use involve a series of physical and mental exercises designed to determine a driver’s level of impairment. Tests used vary by state, but California, where both medical and recreational marijuana use are legal, instructs law officers to use three standard tests. The horizontal gaze nystagmus test measures an involuntary jerking of the eye as an officer moves their finger in a side-to-side motion in front of the driver’s face. The walk and turn test involves the driver simply walking in a straight line while the officer watches for missteps. Finally, the one-leg test has the driver raise one foot and remain balanced as the officer counts.
THC Blood Tests
Since impairment can be difficult to assess visually, law enforcement personnel will often opt to use a more accurate method. This is available in the form of a THC blood test. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana. It is also responsible for the drug’s intoxicating effects. In states such as Colorado and Washington, where recreational marijuana use is legal, a driver can lawfully have up to five nanograms of THC in their system while operating a motor vehicle. The current test requires a 7ml sample of blood and must be performed in a lab.
How Likely am I to Fail the Blood Test?
Because of the wide range of THC that can be found in the body after consuming marijuana, it is extremely difficult to guess how much of the chemical will be present in a driver’s blood at the time of the test. Additionally, while five nanograms can result in noticeable impairment for an occasional smoker, daily users may be able to operate a vehicle safely with over twice the legal limit in their system. Colorado acknowledges this with a permissible inference caveat, which means the five nanogram limit is a presumption but not a confirmation of driving under the influence. Those using marijuana on a regular basis, especially for medical reasons, have a strong argument for their ability to drive safely with a much higher concentration of THC in their bodies.
Unpredictable Testing Methods
Whether you’re given a field sobriety test or a THC blood test, positive results are by no means a sure sign of impaired driving. While drunk drivers are assured a time range within which their blood-alcohol content will be measured, states have not yet set a time period for measuring THC levels. This can lead to widely inaccurate results, since a user’s THC levels can drop from 100 nanograms to five nanograms in as little as five hours. Another significant problem with testing cannabis levels arises in the many ways in which people consume the drug. Smoking, vaporizing and ingesting edibles are common methods which vary greatly in the rates at which they produce impairment. Still, both blood and field tests are unable to detect how marijuana is consumed.
A Changing Field
State marijuana laws are constantly in flux, and the federal government is likely to follow suit. However, until different testing methods are developed, drivers who use cannabis must continue to be subjected to unreliable and unpredictable tests. Both medical and recreational users must be aware of the possibility of receiving a DUI any time they are on the road. For your best chance at staying on the right side of the law, carefully review your state laws regarding driving while under the influence of marijuana.