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Arlington Heights, IL criminal defense attorney DUI

It is very scary to see the lights of a police car and hear the siren any time you are on the road. When the officer approaches your window and starts asking questions, it is natural to be nervous. Law enforcement officers are often overzealous when they are trying to make an arrest, and they may say you are legally obligated to perform certain tasks. One of these might be submitting to a breathalyzer test. So, can you refuse the breathalyzer test? You can, but there are consequences you may face. Regardless of the choice that you make at the stop, an experienced DUI lawyer can help with your case.

Implied Consent Laws in the State

The law in Illinois states that all motorists have given implied consent to blood alcohol content (BAC) testing every time they get behind the wheel. However, this law only applies when you have been arrested for a DUI. This means that until the officer arrests you on suspicion of a DUI, you are under no obligation to submit to a breathalyzer test. Regardless of what the police officer says, they cannot force you to take the test unless you have been arrested. Even then, no one can physically force you to take the test, but there are consequences if you refuse.

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IL defense lawyerDriving is a privilege - not a right. There is nothing in any law or constitution that says you must have the right to drive. Being able to legally drive is a privilege that can be easily taken away if you have violated certain rules or regulations. Two of the ways your driving privileges can be taken away in Illinois is through a driver’s license revocation or suspension. Both are very similar but differ in the length of time your privileges are gone.

Driver’s License Revocations

In certain situations, your driving privileges can be revoked, meaning they are withdrawn for an indefinite amount of time. The Illinois Secretary of State will revoke your driving privileges if you are a repeat traffic offender or if you were convicted of causing a crash that resulted in the death of another person. Other situations that could lead to a driver’s license revocation include:

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Illinois license reinstatement lawyerBeing convicted of a DUI is not just stressful and embarrassing; it can seriously impact your life. No longer can you simply jump in your car and drive to work or the store. Instead, you must walk, deal with public transit, or ask a friend or family member for a ride. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to try and restore driving privileges after a DUI conviction.

License Suspension versus Revocation

There are two ways your driving privileges can be removed: suspension and revocation. The process of restoring privileges is different for each. As such, it is important that you understand the difference between a suspension and a revocation. A suspension is a temporary loss of your license, and it typically has an expiration period. On the other hand, a revocation is a complete cancellation of your license. You can have it restored, but the process is highly complex.

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driver's license reinstatement lawyerIf you have lost driving privileges as part of a criminal charge in Illinois, you need to speak with an attorney about the process of getting your license reinstated. Don’t attempt to drive when your license is suspended, because the consequences go beyond typical traffic violations.

At the bare minimum, being caught driving under a suspended license is a Class A misdemeanor with a possible fine of $2,500 and as many as 364 days spent in jail. Depending on your record, the penalties can get stiffer: you can spend up to seven years in prison with fines of up to $25,000.

You might be eligible to receive a restricted driving permit or reinstatement. You can only get your driving privileges reinstated on or after your eligibility date. If you haven’t reached your eligibility date yet, you could get a restricted driving permit. You would need to provide evidence of "undue hardship" as a result of lost driving privileges. Examples of undue hardship include medical care or daycare for children or elderly individuals, or court ordered community service or employment. You’d need to contact a hearing officer in order to start the ball rolling on this process.

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