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Illinois criminal defense lawyerWhile a DUI conviction can damage anyone’s reputation, livelihood, or financial situation, those that are licensed medical professionals are considered to be at an especially high risk for serious consequences. They can lose their license to practice, and, as evidenced in a recent DUI case involving an Illinois physician, their profession could actually be used against them. If you are a licensed medical professional who was recently arrested for a DUI, learn how you can best protect your future.

Using Your Duty to Protect Against You

As a healthcare professional, you have an implied, and in some cases, sworn duty to protect the public from harm. Driving under the influence of any substance, including alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, or other illicit substances, is in direct conflict with that duty. For this reason, the court may see your standing in the community as an aggravating factor in your DUI case, rather than a mitigating one. This is exactly what happened to a local orthopedic surgeon who was recently convicted of his seventh DUI and sentenced to six years in prison.

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Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyerOften, drivers who are arrested on a DUI assume that the evidence against them is irrefutable, and that they must simply accept the consequences of conviction. Nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, there are many defenses that may be used to raise suspicion in your case. Learn more about reasonable doubt, and how you may be able to use it as leverage in your defense.

Why Reasonable Doubt is So Important

Because the prosecution is burdened with proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, suspicion can, in some cases, be enough to have your charges dropped. This is a Constitutional right provided to all Americans, and it was enacted to ensure that innocent people were not wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit. Yet, raising that suspicion requires extensive knowledge in the legal field, and in the policies, procedures, and testing used to convict DUI offenders. This is why the assistance of an attorney is critical in the fight against your charges.

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Arlington DUI defense attorneyAnyone who is caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.8 or higher becomes subject to Illinois’ aggressive DUI program. Further, there are certain factors and considerations that can change that DUI charge to an aggravated DUI, which is considered a felony. If you or someone you love has recently been arrested for drinking and driving, know what these factors are, how they can impact a DUI case, and what can be done to pursue the most favorable outcome possible.

Factors and Considerations in an Aggravated DUI

To determine charges and sentencing in a DUI case, judges look at mitigating and aggravating factors and weigh them against the state’s minimum and maximum sentencing guidelines. When mitigating factors (those that may lessen the impact of a DUI) are present – such as having an otherwise clean driving record or being just over the legal limit – the judge may consider a sentence closer to the minimum guidelines. In contrast, aggravating factors (those that indicate severe recklessness) can negatively impact your case and result in a sentence closer to the maximum penalty under law. In particular, there are certain aggravating factors that can lead to an aggravated DUI, including:

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Arlington Heights, Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer, Arlington Heights drunk driving lawyer, drinking and driving, DUI, DUI arrest, DUI attorney, DUI charges, DUI lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, illinois dui attorney, refusing a chemical testReports indicate that approximately one-quarter of people pulled over in the U.S. refuse a breathalyzer test if asked. This can have serious consequences, even if you have not been drinking. Illinois driving laws include a clause that allows for a person’s license to be revoked purely on his or her refusal to submit to chemical testing when pulled over. In fact, a person can have his or her license suspended for a full year for refusing a breathalyzer test in Illinois. This is six months longer than if a person submits to a breathalyzer test and is found to have a blood alcohol content above the legal limit.

Recently, a Chicago guitarist was arrested for a drunk driving incident in which he allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian, and had a blood alcohol content that was twice the legal limit. However, when initially questioned, he refused to take a field sobriety test. He finally submitted to a breathalyzer nearly seven hours after the incident while he was in holding.

There are three types of chemical testing to determine sobriety employed by the state of Illinois—breath, urine and blood. According to DrivingUniversity.com, this is because in Illinois a statute of "implied consent" applies. By getting into your car and starting the ignition after you have been drinking, you automatically consent to a chemical test for alcohol in the event that you are asked. This is known as a "No Refusal" law. According to WGEM.com, there are currently nine states, Illinois included, that have No Refusal laws in place.

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Chicago DUI attorney, criminal offense, drinking and driving, drinking and riding, DUI, DUI attorney, Illinois DUI Lawyer, motorcycle accident, motorcycle accidents, motorcyclist DUI, Scott F. AndersoDrinking and driving is widely understood to be a dangerous and possibly life-ending activity. And throughout the past decades several national and statewide practices have been enacted with the aim of curbing drunk driving and fatalities caused by it. For motorcyclists, however, the message can often get lost in the context of the subculture of motorcycles, at least according to Motorcycle.com. Motorcycle.com notes how the subculture that surrounds riding often involves drinking, and the incentive to stop drinking and riding has "done anything but gone away."

Massive riding festivals encourage pit stops for drinking at local bars, and cyclist bar hopping is a common activity anywhere in the country. Some motorcycle clubs have, of course, stepped up and spoken against this practice, issuing rules that riders cannot drink until the bike is parked for the evening. Regardless, drinking and riding is a serious issue that continues to cost the lives of many cyclists. More than 45 percent of all riders killed in accidents, repots Motorcycle.com using statistics from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, "have alcohol in their system at the time of death."

But there is more. Cyclists killed in accidents are 2.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle drivers to have alcohol in their system—a fact that is indicative of the sometimes dangerously permissive air that surrounds motorcycle culture. Despite increased awareness of the problem, it does not seem to be getting better. While the number of drivers involved in a fatal crash with a BAC of .08 or higher decreased six percent in 2007, the number of motorcyclists with a BAC of .08 or higher actually increased by 10 percent.

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