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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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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_291286040.jpgThe state of Illinois is home to one of the most famous cities globally — Chicago. This vibrant city is full of exciting monuments to tour, high-rise buildings for business seminars, and gorgeous parks filled with acres of green space. Before you get too eager to roam the streets of Chicago, it is essential to remember all of the pedestrians and driving laws that are enforced throughout the city. 

What is Jaywalking?

Pedestrians, like drivers, must obey the laws of the road when exploring a city on foot. This means that walking on a busy street, running into merging traffic, or crossing a road with no crosswalk may be against the law. Jaywalking is a term primarily used in the United States that refers to pedestrians crossing the street in prohibited areas. Jaywalking comes in many shapes and sizes and can look like:

  • Running across a road with no crosswalk when traffic slows

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_216281644.jpgUnderage drinking is an offense taken very seriously in the state of Illinois. The state has set a no-tolerance policy that prohibits minors under the age of 21 from consuming alcohol to keep minors and the public safe. Underage drinking has many dangerous implications including damage to a minor's growth and mental health. It can lead to drinking and driving, DUIs, serious injury or death. Most underage drinking charges are considered misdemeanors and lead to fines, and even jail time. Minors who call 911 seeking medical or police assistance while under the influence will receive immunity from legal consequences.

Understanding Immunity

Under regular legal processes, consuming or purchasing alcohol as a minor under the age of 21 years old is a misdemeanor. This charge can lead to fines up to $500, license suspension for up to six months, or even jail time. If a minor is found drinking and driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.00, that minor can be charged with a DUI. The exception to this rule is minors acting in good faith. According to Illinois law, minors acting in good faith are those that willingly admit to consuming alcohol underage to request medical or police assistance. 

To qualify for immunity, the minor must have requested contact with an office and the following conditions were present:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1087933811.jpg Murder is commonly seen as the worst crime an individual can commit. The act of ending another person’s life is punishable by a lengthy prison sentence and other harsh penalties. Although rare, some unfortunate situations occur in individuals' lives that legally warrant killing another person. In the state of Illinois, the use of deadly force on another person may be justified if the person was directly threatening the defendant's life. 

Understanding Illinois Murder Charges 

Similar to other criminal charges, murder is calculated, charged, and sentenced by degree. The degree of the murder charge is based on a few factors, including the situation of the crime and the intent of both parties involved. Murder is charged in Illinois on two different counts:

  • First-Degree Murder — First-degree murder involves killing someone with the intent to kill or cause great bodily harm. This is the most serious homicide charge in Illinois. The consequences of a first-degree murder conviction include a minimum of 20 years in prison. Probation or early release is not permitted for this type of crime. The state of Illinois does not have the death penalty. 

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