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arlington heights dui lawyerPeople driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol cause a disproportionate percentage of road accidents every year. Although many of these car crashes involve only the intoxicated driver and their vehicle, sometimes other drivers and passengers are injured or killed as well. When an intoxicated driver hurts or kills another person, the charges for driving under the influence are increased and a conviction can result in severe consequences that could impact the driver for the rest of his or her life. 

This article examines the likely consequences of various types of harm caused by an intoxicated driver in Illinois. If you were involved in a DUI accident, seek legal representation immediately. 

DUI Accidents Resulting in Serious Injuries, Disfigurement, or Disability 

DUI accidents that result in serious bodily injury, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability can result in an aggravated felony DUI charge. Aggravated felony DUIs charges range from a Class 4 felony to a Class X felony, depending on the circumstances. Class 4 felonies, the least serious type of felony charge, still carry penalties of one to four years in prison, a driver’s license revocation of at least two years, and up to $25,000 in fines. Class X felonies, the most serious type of felony charge, allow for a sentence of up to 30 years in prison and as much as $25,000 in fines. 

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IL defense lawyerIf you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), the prosecuting attorney may offer you a plea deal. A plea deal involves pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for lighter penalties. For example, you may be able to plead guilty to reckless driving and avoid a drunk driving conviction. A conviction for DUI carries penalties that you may be able to avoid by pleading guilty to a lesser criminal offense, however, it is ultimately up to the prosecutor’s discretion to offer a plea deal or plea bargain. An experienced DUI defense attorney can help you understand all of your legal options and choose the course of action that is most likely to reduce the penalties you face.

Things to Think About Before Taking a Plea Deal

If you have been accused of drinking and driving, you may be tempted to accept the prosecutor’s plea deal to resolve your case as quickly as possible and get on with your life. However, it is important to remember that:

  • Your auto insurance company may raise your premiums. If you accept a plea bargain for a DUI, there is still a good chance your insurance company may increase your car insurance payments. Having a reckless driving conviction on your record can cause your payments to increase significantly.
  • If you failed a breathalyzer, your license will still be suspended even if you avoid conviction. Illinois imposes automatic administrative penalties when a driver fails a chemical blood alcohol test such as a breathalyzer. So, you may lose your license even if you avoid conviction for DUI. Losing your driving privileges can make it nearly impossible to get to work and fulfill other important responsibilities. You may have to depend on your family members and friends to drive you places until your license suspension ends.
  • You may still have a conviction on your record. Even if a prosecutor allows you to plead down to a lesser charge, a criminal conviction may still show up on background checks. This can make it more difficult to get a job or secure housing in the future.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL DUI Attorney

If you are facing a DUI charge, consider speaking to a Rolling Meadows, IL DUI lawyer for legal guidance. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law has extensive experience handling DUI cases and may review your case and advise you on the best way to proceed. To schedule a free consultation, call 847-253-3400.

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IL DUI lawyerBeing charged with a DUI in Illinois comes with various consequences. A DUI is a criminal charge that can carry serious jail time, a driver’s license revocation or suspension, and extensive fines. After a DUI arrest, one of the first things that must happen before anything else can happen is a drug and alcohol evaluation. This evaluation is intended to determine whether or not a person has a drug and/or alcohol dependency issue and must be completed before sentencing can occur or before you can be granted driving relief during your period of suspension or revocation. If you have been arrested or charged with DUI, you should speak to an Illinois DUI defense attorney.

Evaluation Results and Additional Requirements

The evaluation will include a history of the person’s relationship with drugs/alcohol, their driving record, and a corroboration of the information from a family member or spouse. All of this information will be used to determine whether or not the person’s drug and/or alcohol abuse is a current and/or future risk to the safety of others. The information will also be used to classify the person’s relationship with drugs and/or alcohol and determine what further requirements must be met.

  • Minimal risk: Those who are found to only be a minimal risk to society are required to complete at least 10 hours of DUI risk education.
  • Moderate risk: If a person is found to be at moderate risk, they must also complete DUI risk education, but in addition, they must complete at least 12 hours of an early intervention program and successfully complete a substance abuse program at the recommendation of a licensed evaluator.
  • Significant risk: If a person is found to be at significant risk, they will be required to complete DUI risk education, in addition to at least 20 hours of substance abuse treatment and adherence to the treatment plan.
  • High risk: Anyone who is found to be high risk will have to attend at least 75 hours of substance abuse treatment and continued participation in the program after discharge. They may also have to provide proof of abstinence from drugs and/or alcohol.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL DUI Defense Attorney

Getting charged with DUI can be a scary experience. If you have been accused of DUI, you should speak with a skilled Rolling Meadows, IL DUI defense attorney. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law is here to help you through any criminal case you may be facing, including DUI charges. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 847-253-3400.

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IL DUI defense lawyerWhen you are accused of driving under the influence (DUI), there are various ways the charge could affect your life. One of the most significant ways a DUI charge can affect you is by limiting your ability to legally drive. When you are arrested for suspicion of DUI, your driver’s license can be suspended simply for failing a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). If you refuse to submit to a chemical test, penalties can become more severe and the license suspension can become even longer. In addition, any person who is convicted of DUI faces even more time on their license suspension, with the possibility of it being revoked. Not being able to drive or get you or your family from place to place can put a lot of strain on your daily life. Fortunately, there are things you can do to get your driving privileges back after a DUI arrest and/or conviction.

Driving Permits During Suspension

As previously mentioned, if you are arrested for failing or refusing to take a chemical test to determine BAC, you face an administrative driver’s license suspension. For failing a chemical test, the suspension is only six months, however, if you refuse to take the test, the suspension lasts for up to one year. In addition, you can also request a driving permit under some circumstances during the suspension period.

Two driving permits are available for those who have lost their license because of DUI-related reasons: a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP) or a restricted driving permit (RDP). The type of permit you can receive depends on the circumstances surrounding your case. Typically, a first-time DUI offender can apply to receive an MDDP, while other offenders will have to apply for an RDP. Either way, both permits require the installation of a breath-alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) on any vehicle you drive while you have the permit.

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IL DUI lawyerOne of the tools that the state of Illinois uses to find and deter those who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is by conducting sobriety checkpoints. The Supreme Court of the United States has held that sobriety checkpoints do not inherently violate any constitutional rights, as long as they are conducted in a legal manner. In Illinois, this means the time, date and location of the sobriety checkpoint should be announced to the public prior to it taking place and signs and/or lights should be used to designate the checkpoints. Being pulled over for DUI can have a significant impact on your life, which is why it is important to understand that you do have rights when you are stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in Illinois.

You Have the Right to Turn Around and Avoid the Checkpoint

The first thing you should understand is that you are not required to go through the sobriety checkpoint. Police officers are required to clearly mark DUI checkpoints and make them visible to drivers. If you see a DUI checkpoint coming up and you do not wish to go through it, you are legally permitted to avoid the checkpoint, as long as you can do so safely without breaking any laws. However, you should be aware that nearby officers may be watching for drivers who avoid the checkpoint and may pull you over for doing so.

You Have the Right to Avoid Answering Questions

One of the first things an officer does after pulling you over is try to gather probable cause for an arrest. Just like any other traffic stop, you have the right to remain silent. The only information and documents you are legally required to furnish when asked is your driver’s license, your vehicle registration and your proof of insurance. Probable cause can also be established by sight or smell, so you can choose to keep your windows rolled up and refuse to speak with the officer, however, you must also understand that if the officer requests that you step out of the vehicle, you must adhere to the order.

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