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Arlington Heights Expungement LawyerBeing arrested and put in the back of a police car can be an overwhelming and confusing experience. Many people in this situation are unsure of what to expect after an arrest. They are unfamiliar with the bond hearing process or what it means to be formally “charged” with a crime. Likewise, many people charged with a crime do not understand the long-term consequences of the charge.  If the charges are eventually dismissed or they are found “not guilty”, they assume that there is no record of the charges.

Unfortunately, being arrested or charged with a crime can still be recorded on a person’s public criminal record even if he or she is ultimately acquitted of the charges.  

Criminal Records in Illinois

Not every arrest leads to formal criminal charges. Sometimes, the prosecution does not have enough evidence to actually charge someone with a crime. The suspect is released from police custody and free to go about living his or her life. It is also possible to be charged with a crime only for the prosecution to drop the charges or dismiss the case. Individuals in these types of situations are usually unaware that the arrest or criminal charges are documented on their criminal record. Fortunately, there is a way to erase or “expunge” your criminal record.

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Arlington Heights DUI Defense LawyerEveryone knows that drunk driving is against the law. What many people do not realize, is that you may face administrative consequences for a drunk driving arrest even if you are not convicted of driving under the influence (DUI).

In Illinois, failing a chemical blood alcohol content (BAC) test such as a breathalyzer or refusing to take a BAC test is punishable by a driver’s license suspension. Once your license is suspended, it is illegal to drive any motor vehicle. Fortunately, you may be able to regain your driving privileges by obtaining a Monitoring Device Driving Permit.

An MDDP May Give You Your Driving Rights Back

If you are pulled over and police suspect you of driving while intoxicated, they may ask you to blow into a breath-testing device often referred to as a breathalyzer. If the test shows 0.08 percent BAC or higher, you are considered intoxicated. You may be arrested and charged with DUI. Failing a breath test is penalized by a six-month driver’s license suspension if the driver does not have any other DUI offenses in the previous five years. Refusing to submit to a breath test is punishable by a one-year driver’s license suspension. If you get an MDDP, you may be able to drive legally before the suspension period is over.

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Arlington Heights Drug Offense LawyerWhether the charges are for drug possession, drug manufacturing, or drug distribution, being accused of a drug crime can dramatically alter your life. Depending on the type of substance and the amount of the substances allegedly in your possession, drug crimes can lead to profound consequences, including years behind bars.

If you or a loved one were arrested for a drug-related offense, contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer right away. Do not answer any questions from police and remain silent. Your lawyer will ensure your rights are not violated and help you form a strong defense strategy.

Drugs Were Discovered During an Illegal Search and Seizure

Police and other government officials are bound by the U.S. Constitution and other laws. They cannot search your home or property without just cause. To search a residence, police typically need a search warrant signed by a judge. Vehicle searches do not require a search warrant, however police do need probable cause to search a car, truck, or other vehicle without your consent. This means that the police must have a reasonable belief that a crime has taken place or there is illegal contraband in the vehicle.  If a police search is deemed unlawful, any evidence obtained in the search may be inadmissible during court. So, if police did not have a valid reason to search your property, any drugs or paraphernalia they found will not be usable in the prosecution’s case against you.

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arlington heights dui defense lawyerDriving under the influence or DUI is a serious crime. It is illegal to operate a car, motorcycle, or another motorized vehicle after consuming a certain amount of alcohol or using illicit drugs. DUI consequences increase if they are second, third, or subsequent offenses. However, different underlying factors can increase a DUI sentence regardless of a driver’s criminal history. 

Understanding Underlying Factors

With all crimes, underlying factors or exceptional circumstances can exacerbate the degree of the crime, leading to a longer, more severe sentence. For example, if you steal a shirt from a store, you may be facing misdemeanor shoplifting charges. However, if you stole that same shirt from the same store but were armed, you could face aggravated theft charges. The same is true for DUI charges. Some common aggravating factors that could increase a DUI sentence include:

  • Driving without a valid driver’s license 

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arlington heights dui defense lawyerDriving under the influence of drugs or alcohol comes with strict legal penalties and potentially life-changing consequences. A driver may have to pay hefty fines, serve jail time, or lose their driver's license if charged with a DUI. After being pulled over for suspected drunk driving, drivers may be reluctant to take a DUI breathalyzer test. However, is it illegal to refuse a DUI test during a traffic stop? Below, Illinois law indicates whether or not refusing a breath test during a traffic stop is legal and whether or not it is in the driver's best interest. 

Is it Illegal to Refuse a DUI Test?

Is it illegal to refuse a DUI breath test at a traffic stop? The short answer is no — it is not unlawful. However, the law is slightly complicated. The state of Illinois assumes that all drivers who are actively driving under Illinois law give their consent to follow traffic rules. This means drivers inherently consent to be tested for a DUI if an officer has probable cause to pull over their vehicle. However, this does not mean that a police officer is permitted to force a driver to be tested. A driver still has the right to revoke their consent to be breathalyzed after a traffic stop and at the police station. Drivers also have the right to refuse field sobriety tests

Is it Beneficial to Refuse a DUI Test?

To understand whether or not refusing a DUI test is beneficial, it is essential to understand what happens if you refuse a DUI breath test at a traffic stop or the police station following an arrest. If a driver refuses a DUI test, the police officer can file a motion to the judge to administer a warrant to take a blood test. If the warrant is approved, the individual has no fundamental right to refuse a blood test at a medical facility. Refusing a breath test is also penalized with an automatic driver’s license suspension. 

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