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Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyer One of the most common criminal charges in the United States is a DUI. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have shown that 11,000 deaths resulting from traffic accidents also involved an alcohol-impaired driver. In Illinois alone, more than 400 deaths occur each year from drunk driving. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous, and the punishment for doing so can be severe. Most DUI situations involve misdemeanor charges, but those charges can quickly escalate to felony charges under certain circumstances.

First-Offense DUI Penalties

Under Illinois law, a first offense for a DUI is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, the highest classification for a misdemeanor. If a person is convicted of DUI and has no prior DUI charges, he or she will still face up to one year in jail, up to $2,500 in fines and up to two years of probation. Additionally, a first-time DUI offender may also be subject to mandatory minimum penalties and community service.

Aggravated DUI

In Illinois, any DUI charge that is classified as a felony charge is referred to as an aggravated DUI. With an aggravated DUI charge, any mandatory minimum prison sentence or community service cannot be suspended or reduced. If a person is sentenced to probation or conditional discharge, they also must serve at least 480 hours of community service, or they must agree to be imprisoned for ten days.

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Rolling Meadows, IL License Suspension Lawyer

In the state of Illinois, DUI charges are taken very seriously. Prosecutors and law enforcement typically punish offenders to the fullest extent of the law due to the risk drunk drivers pose to the public. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 10,874 deaths resulting from car crashes involving drivers with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher in 2017. This means 29 percent of all fatal traffic accidents were caused by drivers who were under the influence of alcohol. 

Repeat offenders are punished even more harshly, which does not bode well for an Illinois man who is accused of committing his third DUI and his 12th offense of driving with a suspended driver’s license.

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Rolling Meadows aggravated DUI defense attorneyIt does not matter what situation you are in when you are charged with a DUI - they are all serious charges. However, if you are found to be driving while intoxicated when a child is present in the vehicle, your punishments will be much more strict. In Illinois, penalties for DUI increase if a child under the age of 16 years old is riding in the vehicle - but it does not stop there. In addition to DUI charges, you can also face other criminal violations, such as child endangerment. You could also be charged with more serious crimes if the child suffered an injury because of you. 

DUI With a Minor in the Vehicle

According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, a first conviction for DUI is a Class A misdemeanor, which comes with a loss of driving privileges for one year, a possible sentence of up to one year in jail, and a maximum fine of $2,500. If you had a child in your vehicle while you were driving under the influence, that sentence is a mandatory minimum of six months in jail, a mandatory minimum $1,000 fine, regardless of your ability to pay, and 25 days of community service in a program that benefits children.

If you were convicted of DUI, and there was a minor under the age of 16 in the vehicle who suffered bodily injury because of an accident you caused, the penalties increase. Even a first offense is considered a Class 4 felony aggravated DUI. This means that in addition to any other criminal or administrative punishments, a mandatory $2,500 fine is imposed, and 25 days of community service in a program that benefits children is required.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_575161597.jpgBeing charged with driving under the influence, or a DUI, can affect many different areas of a person’s life. A person may find that their entire livelihood could be impacted by a DUI charge, including many potentially negative impacts on employment. Some factors that can affect employment are: 

  1. Transportation. If a person is convicted of a DUI, they will face driving restrictions that can make it difficult to get to work. A first-time DUI conviction in Illinois carries a revocation of driving privileges for at least one year and a period in which their vehicle registration is suspended. Further convictions or more serious offenses can result in longer suspensions or the seizure of the driver’s vehicle.  
  2. Time. Being charged with a DUI can lead to a person spending time in court that could have otherwise been spent working as they try to fight their charge. A DUI conviction can result in further lost time, as the person may be required to participate in community service or counseling, or they may need to serve time in jail.   
  3. Job Requirements. When an individual is convicted of a DUI, it remains on their driving record permanently. Illinois is an at-will employment state, which means that an employee can be terminated for any reason at any time, so long as it is not due to a discriminatory factor such as race, sex, or religion. If a person’s job involves driving in some capacity, and they receive a DUI, their employer may decide that they are unfit for the job.
  4. Policy Violations. Some jobs come with the expectation that an individual will maintain a clean criminal record. A company may have a policy that if an employee is convicted of any crime while working there, they can be terminated. You may be required to notify an employer immediately after an arrest occurs, and they will determine what actions they want to take.
  5. Effect on Future Jobs. Not only can a DUI affect a person’s current job status, it can also create an obstacle in attaining future employment. Some professions may require that an applicant disclose any prior convictions when applying to a job, and the prospective employee may be denied employment due to their criminal history. A DUI could also present a problem in obtaining licensing necessary for certain career fields, such as medicine or law.

Contact Our Arlington Heights DUI Defense Lawyers

DUI charges can present significant challenges for a person’s career. An Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyer can aid you in the complicated legal process and will work towards getting your charges reduced or even dropped altogether. Call Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, at 847-253-3400 to schedule a free consultation today.

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Posted on in DUI

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_540796327.jpgWith greater availability of legalized medical marijuana and increased abuse of opioids and other illegal substances, law enforcement encounters with impaired drivers have taken on a new dynamic. In an attempt to better identified those driving vehicles while under the influence and make Illinois roadways safer, police are employing a new type of roadside sobriety test.

Swabbing Starts This Month

The tell-tale sign of alcohol on the breath or slurred speech was usually enough for police to reasonably suspect a driver was impaired. However, determining whether or not a driver is high on drugs presents new challenges, ones for which a newly employed roadside test is expected to help overcome. One west suburban Illinois police department is beginning to use a test that reveals the chemicals in a person’s system 

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