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Posted on in DUI

arlington heights DUI defense lawyerA DUI may feel like an inescapable sentence. However, there are a variety of tried-and-true strategies that someone may use to successfully defend against a guilty DUI charge in the state of Illinois. When facing a potential DUI conviction, time is of the essence. Evidence may be piling up against you, and the first line of a good defense is strategizing with an experienced attorney. 

Understanding your DUI

DUI charges can range in severity and sentencing. Each individual's case will vary depending on the details and circumstances of their unique situation. A DUI charge in the state of Illinois is a serious crime, and those accused should take the charges very seriously. A first-time DUI offender may face up to one year in jail for a class A misdemeanor and potentially face fines up to $2,500.

Drunk Driving Defense Strategies in Arlington Heights

  • Contact an attorney — The first step to defend against a DUI charge is to hire an attorney who can represent you. By speaking to an attorney, you can review the unique facts of your case and craft a strong defense strategy.

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arlington heights dui lawyerHave you found yourself facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI)? Drunk driving is taken very seriously in Illinois and a conviction for DUI can result in life-changing penalties. Secondary and subsequent DUI convictions are penalized even more harshly than first-time DUIs. Aggravating factors, such as having a child in the vehicle can also increase the penalties associated with a drunk driving conviction. 

What is a DUI? 

With a DUI, the person being charged was found to be driving while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both. You might have also come across the terms DWI and OWI. DWI stands for driving while intoxicated or impaired, whereas OWI refers to operating while intoxicated. 

Now, some state governments differentiate between a DUI, a DWI, and an OWI. As such, in those parts of the country, there is a difference between a DUI charge vs a DWI charge or an OWI charge. 

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arlington heights dui defense lawyerGetting pulled over is hardly ever a pleasant experience. Most people experience some level of anxiety when getting stopped by the police even if they do not think they were doing anything wrong. If you have had a few drinks, being pulled over can be even more frightening. In this case, you run the risk of being arrested and being charged with a DUI, whether you feel drink or not. If this has happened to you, it is important that you speak with a well-qualified defense attorney as soon as possible. You may have defenses available that a lawyer can help spot. 

What Should I Expect if I Get Pulled Over After a Few Drinks? 

If the officer who pulled you over suspects that you have been drinking, he is likely to try a few tests that could later help him prove you were under the influence. Refusing these tests in Illinois will result in a license suspension and you could still get a DUI even if you do not cooperate with testing. If you get stopped by police after drinking, a sobriety assessment might include: 

  • Straight line - You may be asked to walk a straight line, placing one foot in front of the other. Stumbling or swaying could be interpreted as a sign of intoxication.

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Posted on in DUI

arlington heights dui defense lawyerBreath tests like breathalyzers are used by law enforcement to estimate a driver’s blood alcohol content. Refusing to submit to field sobriety or chemical testing when you are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) carries administrative consequences, including a one-year license suspension. Some people would be willing to lose their license for a year if it means getting out of a DUI. Unfortunately, however, you can still be charged with - and convicted of - DUI without ever going through any formal testing. Other forms of evidence can still be used to prove that you were intoxicated. If you have been accused of a DUI, you will need a strong legal defense even if you never submitted to testing. 

If I Refuse Testing, What Evidence Can Be Used Against Me?

There are many ways for the police - and later the prosecution - to prove that a person was intoxicated. Formal tests are helpful but not necessary for a DUI charge. You can probably tell when a person you are talking to or even observing is inebriated without asking them to close their eyes and touch their nose or drawing their blood. Police officers are trained to look for other signs of drug or alcohol intoxication during the stop that can later be used to prove impairment, including: 

  • Slurred speech - Even if you said nothing during the stop except to identify yourself and request a lawyer, an officer could later testify that your speech was slurred. 

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arlington heights dui defense lawyerYou complied with a breathalyzer test after being pulled over, and it showed that you were over .08. Now you are facing DUI charges and it feels as if you have no hope of avoiding a conviction. This situation may feel insurmountable, but it is not. Even if you failed a breathalyzer, there are still ways an experienced attorney can defend you. Successfully challenging the results of a breath test is not only possible, it is one of the most common DUI defense strategies. Like other medical testing equipment, breathalyzers are sensitive devices that must be used correctly to produce accurate results. If you are facing a potential DUI conviction, securing strong legal representation should be your top priority. 

How Can Breathalyzer Results be Challenged? 

Breathalyzer results are not infallible, although prosecutors sometimes act as if they are. These devices must be maintained, used, and calibrated correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions to produce accurate and reliable results. If the police department you were arrested by failed to do so, there is a strong possibility that your breath test results will be inadmissible. Common defects in breath test maintenance and procedures include: 

  • User error - Not all police officers are appropriately trained to administer breathalyzer tests. There are procedures that must be followed to avoid an inaccurate result, such as a mandatory observation period where the arrestee must be monitored to make sure they do not put anything in their mouth that could affect the test. The results could be invalid if any part of the tests device’s instructions for use were not followed. 

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