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Posted on in DUI

Elgin, IL DUI Lawyer

Every year, more than a million Americans are arrested on DUI charges. According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, more than 27,000 Illinoisans were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in 2017. If you have been arrested on DUI charges, it is important to understand the potential ramifications of a conviction and contact a legal team you can believe in. 

DUI Conviction Consequences

According to Illinois law, a person can be convicted of a DUI for operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above .08, or with a marijuana tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of five nanograms or more. Even a first-time DUI conviction can come with serious legal consequences here in Illinois. A first DUI conviction is classified as a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois and can lead to as much as one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. 

While a second DUI conviction is also a Class A misdemeanor and comes with the same level of fines and potential jail time, a second conviction can result in license revocation. It is important to note that a second DUI conviction can be upgraded to a Class 4 felony if it involves a collision that causes severe injury to another traveler, if the driver has a previous reckless homicide charge, or if the driver did not have a valid driver’s license. If the driver was traveling with a minor, the charges could be upgraded to a Class 2 felony, and bring up to seven years in prison. 

Any subsequent DUI convictions are classified as aggravated DUI and a Class 2 felony. These convictions can lead to fines up to $25,000 and substantial jail time. Also, new Illinois state law declares if a DUI defendant was driving their vehicle the wrong way on a one-way street, the charges are automatically defined as aggravated DUI, regardless of the number of previous convictions. 

Contact a Kane County DUI Attorney

Here in Illinois, 86 percent of drivers arrested on DUI charges in 2017 were first-time offenders. At The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we will fight for you and your driving privileges. One mistake should not severely impact your ability to work and take care of your family. To schedule a free consultation with an Elgin, IL criminal defense attorney, call us today at 847-488-0889. 

Sources:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

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dui checkpointIllinois is one of nine states receiving federal funding to participate in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's "No Refusal" initiative. The initiative centers around police setting up so-called No Refusal checkpoints, which are named as such because the police there have access to a streamlined procedure for acquiring search warrants. This allows them to perform blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests over a driver's objection. However, some states have refused to implement these DUI checkpoints, citing concerns that they may be violating their citizen's Fourth Amendment rights, which protect them from unreasonable searches and seizures. What No Refusal Checkpoints Are

When a person refuses to consent to a BAC test, the police have the option of seeking a warrant from a judge to get the person's blood tested to determine the individual’s alcohol level. No refusal checkpoints are named that way because of a specialized procedure that the police have available to them to order blood tests for drivers who refuse to take a Breathalyzer test. The judges, who are ordinarily on call, are made aware that they will be participating in a No Refusal weekend so that they can prepare to provide police with speedy access to warrants.

Additionally, during the operation of these checkpoints, many police stations will have a nurse on staff so that the blood test can be performed at the station rather than requiring the police to bring the person to a hospital. However, this new initiative is not without its controversy. In fact, 21 other states have the ability to access this program because they allow their police to get warrants via a phone call, but many are refusing to participate, citing concerns about the program's constitutionality because of how easily it provides police access to warrants.

Fourth Amendment Concerns

The constitutional concern that many people express arises out of the Fourth Amendment. This portion of the Constitution protects citizens from "unreasonable searches and seizures." In practice, this means that police usually need to acquire a warrant before they search a person or their belongings, and the use of a BAC tests counts as a search.

Some people are concerned that this No Refusal initiative undermines the protections of the Fourth Amendment because the court's issuing of search warrants should be a careful decision that weighs the need to prevent crime against the individual's right to privacy. This issue is also complicated by the fact that Illinois is an implied consent jurisdiction, which means that there are certain penalties that go along with refusing a BAC test, such as a license suspension.

If you have recently been charged with a DUI or some other criminal offense, contact an experienced Elgin criminal attorney. The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola can help protect your rights and your interests in court.
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Posted on in Criminal Defense

DUI penaltyThe state of Illinois considers drunk driving to be a serious crime, and with good reason. According to statistics compiled by the Illinois Secretary of State, hundreds of people every year lose their lives in accidents related to drunk driving. With that in mind, the state imposes severe penalties like jail time, fines, and license suspensions for anyone caught driving under the influence. Even people who do not test positive for alcohol and instead simply refuse to take the breathalyzer test can still face serious penalties for doing so.

Penalties for Drunk Driving

In Illinois, drunk driving penalties start to occur once a person's blood alcohol content passes 0.08 percent, provided that they are over the age of 21. Underage drinkers trigger separate zero-tolerance penalties if they blow anything above a 0.00. Assuming the driver is of age, the severity of the DUI punishments depends on how many DUIs the person has had in the past. For a first offense, the person can find themselves in jail for up to a year, along with a possible fine of up to $2,500. Additionally, first-time DUI convictions result in a license suspension for at least one year. Furthermore, if the person's BAC is more than twice the legal limit, they face a mandatory minimum fine of $500, along with 100 hours of community service.

A second DUI sees very similar penalties with a few alterations. First, the person's driver's license is revoked for at least five years rather than just one. Also, the person would face a mandatory minimum sentence of either five days in jail, or 240 hours of community service. These penalties become even more severe after the third DUI conviction, with a person's license being revoked for at least a full decade. The third DUI also triggers a much harsher mandatory minimum prison sentence, with violators sentenced to between three and seven years in prison. Beyond these standard penalties, everyone convicted of even a single DUI must have an ignition interlock device placed in their car. These devices function like breathalyzers and prevent people from turning on the car if they cannot pass the sobriety test.

Penalties for Refusing the Test

Even refusing to take the sobriety test can trigger serious legal penalties. This is because Illinois has an "implied consent" law, which means that people agree to submit to alcohol testing as a condition of getting their driver's license. A failure to take this test when asked can result in a suspension of a person's license for at least one year, with multiple refusals increasing the time.

If you or a loved one is currently facing DUI charges, contact experienced Kane County criminal lawyer Brian J. Mirandola. A dedicated criminal defense attorney can help you avoid serious criminal penalties that can follow you for life.
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