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Arlington Heights Felony DUI AttorneyDriving under the influence of alcohol is one of the most common offenses for which Illinois residents face charges. Any criminal charge related to drunk driving can lead to substantial penalties and should be taken seriously. However, first-time DUIs are penalized less harshly than second, third, or subsequent DUI convictions. The consequences a person faces for DUI also depend on whether anyone was hurt or killed in an accident while the driver was under the influence.

Drunk driving is considered a felony offense if there are aggravating circumstances. Felony DUI is penalized severely, and someone convicted of felony DUI could face several years in prison. If you or a loved one were charged with felony DUI, read on to learn about your legal rights and options.

Assert Your Rights as a Criminal Defendant

The U.S. Constitution affords you rights as a criminal defendant. However, it is up to you to take advantage of those rights. One of the best things you can do if you were accused of a crime is to avoid incriminating yourself by answering a police officer’s questions. You have the right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination and it is important you do so. You also have the right to consult with an attorney and to have an attorney present during questioning.

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Arlington Heights Criminal Defense LawyerCriminal defense attorneys have a variety of tools at their disposal when defending a client charged with a criminal offense. For the prosecution to obtain a guilty verdict and convict a defendant of a crime, the prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Usually, the prosecution uses a combination of evidence and testimony to argue that the defendant is guilty. However, the evidence must meet certain criteria to be used in a criminal case.

If you or a loved one were charged with a crime, it is important to understand how a motion to suppress evidence may be used to defend against the charges.   

Evidence and Statements Acquired Through Illegal Means

Fortunately, Americans have rights protected by the Constitution and other legislation. If the evidence in a criminal case is obtained in violation of these rights, it may be suppressed. This means that the evidence is inadmissible in court and may not be used during the trial.

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Arlington Heights Sexual Assault Defense LawyerAny criminal conviction has the potential to radically change the offender’s life. However, sexually-based offenses are often punished especially harshly. If convicted of a sex crime, you may face significant jail time as well as mandatory registration on the public sex offender list. Conviction for a sex crime such as sexual assault can virtually destroy your personal and professional reputation. If you or a loved one have been accused of sexual assault, rape, sex abuse, or another sex-based offense, securing skilled legal counsel should be your first priority.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Criminal accusations must be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is the highest burden of proof that exists in American law. As a criminal defendant accused of sexual assault, you need to cast doubt on your guilt. Your lawyer may do so on your behalf using many different defense strategies. Unfounded accusations of sexual assault may be easily disproven if there is not enough evidence against the defendant. The defendant may also be able to use an alibi to avoid conviction. For example, if a man is accused of raping a woman but employment records show that he was out of town for work that night, he may avoid conviction.

The defendant may also be able to deny culpability by asserting that the sexual encounter was consensual. However, this often becomes a he-said, she-said situation.  A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help a defendant accused of sexual assault gather evidence and build a strong defense strategy.

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Arlington Heights Expungement LawyerBeing arrested and put in the back of a police car can be an overwhelming and confusing experience. Many people in this situation are unsure of what to expect after an arrest. They are unfamiliar with the bond hearing process or what it means to be formally “charged” with a crime. Likewise, many people charged with a crime do not understand the long-term consequences of the charge.  If the charges are eventually dismissed or they are found “not guilty”, they assume that there is no record of the charges.

Unfortunately, being arrested or charged with a crime can still be recorded on a person’s public criminal record even if he or she is ultimately acquitted of the charges.  

Criminal Records in Illinois

Not every arrest leads to formal criminal charges. Sometimes, the prosecution does not have enough evidence to actually charge someone with a crime. The suspect is released from police custody and free to go about living his or her life. It is also possible to be charged with a crime only for the prosecution to drop the charges or dismiss the case. Individuals in these types of situations are usually unaware that the arrest or criminal charges are documented on their criminal record. Fortunately, there is a way to erase or “expunge” your criminal record.

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Arlington Heights DUI Defense LawyerEveryone knows that drunk driving is against the law. What many people do not realize, is that you may face administrative consequences for a drunk driving arrest even if you are not convicted of driving under the influence (DUI).

In Illinois, failing a chemical blood alcohol content (BAC) test such as a breathalyzer or refusing to take a BAC test is punishable by a driver’s license suspension. Once your license is suspended, it is illegal to drive any motor vehicle. Fortunately, you may be able to regain your driving privileges by obtaining a Monitoring Device Driving Permit.

An MDDP May Give You Your Driving Rights Back

If you are pulled over and police suspect you of driving while intoxicated, they may ask you to blow into a breath-testing device often referred to as a breathalyzer. If the test shows 0.08 percent BAC or higher, you are considered intoxicated. You may be arrested and charged with DUI. Failing a breath test is penalized by a six-month driver’s license suspension if the driver does not have any other DUI offenses in the previous five years. Refusing to submit to a breath test is punishable by a one-year driver’s license suspension. If you get an MDDP, you may be able to drive legally before the suspension period is over.

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