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Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyerIn Illinois, drivers arrested on DUI charges face an automatic suspension on their license. Otherwise known as a statutory summary suspension, this remains in effect until the suspension period has ended (one year for a first-offense), until the driver obtains driving relief through a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP), or unless the charges are mitigated or dismissed. Ideally, the final option is the one you should pursue. The following covers the why and how of fighting a DUI charge, and explains where you can find experienced assistance.

Taking a Look at the Bigger Picture

If you know you were driving intoxicated - perhaps because of a temporary lapse in judgement or because you suffer from a chronic illness (i.e. alcoholism) that makes it difficult for you to make sound decisions while intoxicated - you may be tempted to just live with the consequences of your charges. After all, it does seem like the responsible thing to do. Unfortunately, when you look at it this way, you may not be looking at the bigger picture.

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Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyerDriving on a suspended license is a punishable offense in the state of Illinois. Unfortunately, determining the severity of that punishment is not always a straightforward process. There may be extenuating circumstances that may have led to the suspension that can work as aggravating factors. Further, if someone is injured or killed by someone driving on a suspended license, the consequences could change. Learn what you need to know about the potential consequences of driving on a suspended license in Illinois, and how you may be able to avoid them.

Minimum Consequences for Driving on a Suspended License

In the state of Illinois, driving on a suspended license is considered, at minimum, a Class A misdemeanor offense. This is the most serious form of misdemeanor, and it can lead to incarceration of up to one year. Convicted offenders may also face monetary fines, a longer suspension period, community service, extra points added to their record, and other possible consequences. Keep in mind, however, this is just the minimum consequence. Any aggravating factors can increase your penalties.

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Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyersThe holidays are just around the corner. There will be turkey and stuffing, family and friends, spiked eggnog and wine. To keep everyone safe, there will also be DUI checkpoints. Able to put you or someone you love in jail when you should be spending time together, these calculated stops to check for intoxicated drivers are the thorn of the holiday season. The following information can help you avoid this frightening and unfortunate fate this year.

Are DUI Checkpoints Constitutional?

One of the most common questions asked about DUI checkpoints is whether they are considered Constitutional or not. After all, at first glance, it appears that they directly violate the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled otherwise. DUI checkpoint stops remain Constitutional if they are conducted legally and not done arbitrarily, or for purposes other than those pertaining to government (i.e. keeping the roads safe). It is also important to note that they may not violate any other rights of citizens.

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Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyerWhen you are arrested on a DUI (driving under the influence), your license is automatically suspended unless you choose to fight back. Would you really fight, though, if you know that you did drink, got behind the wheel, and tests showed you to be over the legal limit? Maybe not. In fact, many drivers in the same situation simply accept their “punishment.” Yet some of these drivers may not have ever been over the legal limit. The test may have simply been inaccurate. Sounds crazy, right? It is actually more common that you might think.

Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests have long been the standard test for establishing reasonable suspicion of intoxication while driving. What officers will not tell you is that this test is not easy to complete, even when you are sober. In fact, a couple of years ago, NBC asked some people walking around the mall to do the field sobriety test. All of them failed in one area or another. Some were just not very balanced people. Others were just too tired to focus enough mental energy on the verbal aspects of the test. Add in nervousness and a late-night stop into the mix, it is no wonder so many people fail this test.

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Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyerAll DUI charges are serious matters, but those that involve the death or injury of another can result in heightened penalties. Just how serious can these consequences be? It depends on the situation. However, there are general guidelines, laws, and statutes that can help explain what you may be up against in a DUI that has caused death or bodily harm.

Death and Injury in a DUI Accident

If, while intoxicated, you are in a crash that causes bodily harm, death, or disfigurement to another person, it is generally considered an aggravating factor in your case. The weight that it will be given may vary, depending on the level of harm that was caused. Further, it is important to understand that each death or injury is considered a separate count, and that even an unborn fetus may be considered a separate count. More weight may also be given to the death or injury if you are on a subsequent DUI, rather than a first-offense DUI.

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