Hiring a drunk driving attorney is the only way to prevent the severe penalties of a DUI in Oklahoma. In the criminal justice system, the accused often has to work the hardest to prove their innocence. Although we have an ‘innocent until proven guilty’ system, prosecutors’ dedication to securing convictions ensures that accused people are found guilty more often than not. This is particularly the case if they do not have legal representation.
A DUI lawyer can help protect you against the unfairness of the criminal legal system by representing your best interests and ensuring that your legal rights are protected. At Hirsch Law Group, we have a team of lawyers that have previously worked as prosecutors in Illinois. We have seen the dirty tricks they use to secure convictions, and we know the strategies that can defeat them.
Our law firm can help your DUI case by advising you on your rights, carrying out a thorough investigation of the case, building an airtight defense strategy based on the facts of your case, negotiating with the prosecutor, and fighting aggressively on your behalf.
Our lawyers have won several awards and recognitions for their dedication to protecting clients’ rights. We have the skills and experience necessary to secure a positive outcome for your case.
Call our law firm today to schedule a free consultation at 815-880-1134.
What Happens At a DUI Stop?
A police officer in Illinois must have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to pull you over and request a field sobriety test. This suspicion could be based on dangerous or reckless driving, swerving on the road, driving too slowly, or if the police officer pulls you over for another traffic violation and sees drug paraphernalia or alcohol in your vehicle.
Once you are pulled over at a traffic stop, they will request you to carry out a field sobriety test or a breath test. As per Illinois’ implied consent laws, all people with a driver’s license automatically consent to give a blood alcohol content (BAC) test if pulled over by law enforcement. It is important that you conduct the BAC test as requested, as refusing the test results in even harsher penalties, including automatic license suspension for one year.
Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests assess a person’s balance and agility. These are usually carried out by police officers in addition to a chemical test or blood test. This is because the results of field sobriety tests are not completely accurate. Some examples of field sobriety tests include reciting the alphabet, walking in a straight line, and standing on one foot while counting.
Police officers should not rely solely on field sobriety tests to convict a person of a DUI, as the results are too inaccurate. A person could be off balance or have agility problems for a wide range of different reasons, including having a disability.
A breath test can be carried out at the scene of a traffic stop or at the police station. A breath test usually involves a handheld device in which the individual blows into the device to get a blood alcohol content reading. Breathalyzer tests are also quite inaccurate tests and our lawyers have helped get many cases thrown out based on inaccurate breathalyzer results.
Blood, Chemical, or Other Bodily Substance Testing
A blood test, chemical test, or urine test must be carried out by a medical professional, and law enforcement must have a search warrant to conduct this test. This test should be carried out at a police station and not at the scene. A blood test can pick up alcohol in your bloodstream and any controlled substances, such as marijuana or cocaine.
Drunk Driving Laws in Illinois
Illinois drunk driving laws provide that the legal limit for alcohol in your blood system is 0.08%. For commercial drivers, this limit is lowered to 0.04%. If you are a minor in Illinois, the law adopts a no-tolerance policy. This means that if you are a minor with any amount of alcohol in your blood system, you can receive an automatic license suspension.
DUI charges can also be brought against individuals with a controlled substance, including prescription drugs, in their system. Although Illinois legalized the recreational use of marijuana, it is still illegal to drive with marijuana in your system. The marijuana legal limit is 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms of THC per milliliter of another bodily substance.
Penalties Under DUI Laws in Illinois
The penalties for a drunk driving conviction are severe. Even a first drunk driving offense will lead to a criminal record, potential jail time, fines, and driver’s license suspension. If you receive more than one DUI conviction within a five-year period, you will face increased penalties. A third DUI conviction can cause a class 2 felony charge, which has a jail sentence of three to seven years, and fines of up to $25,000.
A first offense of DUI will lead to license suspension for six months. If you refuse a breath test, you will receive an automatic suspension period of one year. The suspension period increases depending on whether there were aggravating factors and previous DUI convictions. Because license suspension is dealt with separately from criminal charges, you will need to apply for a hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State to get your driver’s license reinstated.
The law is extremely tough on those who receive a drunk driving conviction. You will receive a criminal record that can never be expunged unless under extremely limited circumstances. With a criminal record, you cannot work in some jobs, such as teaching children, cannot apply for public housing, will face difficulties getting loans from banks, and will face social stigmatization.
What Happens After a DUI Arrest?
Once you are pulled over for a DUI stop and you test positive in a field sobriety or breath test, you will be brought into the police station for further police questioning. If you refuse to conduct a test, you will be brought into the station where the police officers may get a warrant to conduct blood or chemical testing. Either the police officer or a registered towing company will tow or impound your motor vehicle from the road.
The police officers will draw up the police report, noting the results of the initial testing and any subsequent tests conducted at the station. If you are hostile or aggressive with the officers, this will be noted in the police report as well. It is important to exercise your right to silence and not give away too much information to police officers.
You may have to post a bond to be released from jail. It is important to contact legal counsel as fast as possible if the police pull you over and take you in. An experienced DUI lawyer can help ensure that your legal rights are protected at all costs and that you do not further incriminate yourself for a DUI charge.
At a police arrest, the officer will take your driver’s license and may give you a temporary driving permit. You will need to apply separately to get your license reinstated, as this is not dealt with under criminal law.
Do I Need a Lawyer If I Was Arrested While Driving Under The Influence in Illinois?
If you were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Illinois, it is vital that you contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. DUI is a serious crime in Illinois and a conviction can lead to serious consequences. Those convicted could lose their driving privileges, face jail time, huge fines, and get a criminal record.
A drunk driving lawyer can help you by ensuring that your legal rights are protected at all times, from the moment you are arrested until you are cleared of all charges. They can investigate your case thoroughly, speak with witnesses to the scene, examine the police reports, and assess whether all legal procedures were followed.
Most people believe that if they test positive for driving under the influence, it is a clear-cut guilty case. However, there are many defense strategies that can be used to get charges dropped or reduced substantially, including:
- Inaccurate breathalyzer or field sobriety test results
- Faulty testing machine
- Failed to read you your Miranda rights
- An illegal search warrant of your vehicle
- Lack of probable cause
- Improper procedure by law enforcement officers
Without a defense strategy, the probability of being found guilty of DUI and facing severe penalties is high. An experienced attorney can help prevent a guilty verdict by building a powerful defense based on the evidence in your case. They will then use this to negotiate with the prosecutor. If the prosecutor is tough and will not reduce your charges, a lawyer will fight on your behalf in court with a strong defense strategy.
Mitigation Packets by Hirsch Law Group
Having worked as former prosecutors, the lawyers at Hirsch Law Group understand prosecutors rarely take the time to learn more about a defendant. For most prosecutors, their priority is securing a conviction and moving your case through the system as fast as possible. However, when they cannot see who you are as a person, they are less likely to offer a lenient sentence.
Because of this, our law firm offers mitigation packets to all DUI clients. A mitigation packet is a bundle of information about the defendant, including their personal lives, employment, education, community activity, and references from employers or people in their lives. We also include evidence of a clean criminal history, where applicable, which can encourage the prosecutor to reduce your charges to a traffic offense.
Our lawyers submit a mitigation packet to the prosecutor in each criminal defense case. From our experience, this has proven extremely successful and has helped us get charges reduced substantially. Without a criminal defense attorney, you cannot show the prosecutor who you truly are. Therefore, it is very important to hire an attorney to ensure that the prosecutor sees the full picture and is more willing to negotiate.
Contact an Experienced Drunk Driving Attorney At Hirsch Law Group!
If you have been arrested while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Illinois, it is vital that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. Because of the number of accidents caused each year by drunk driving, law enforcement officers and prosecutors are extremely tough on those accused of DUI. Even a first-time offense could cause a permanent criminal record that can never be expunged.
The only way to prevent the severe penalties of a DUI conviction is to hire an attorney that has significant experience and skills. The lawyers at Hirsch Law Group have what it takes to defend your case to the highest standard possible. Our law firm offers comprehensive criminal defense services, by taking the time to learn about you and doing everything in our power to prevent a conviction.
A DUI attorney from our law firm will fight aggressively to protect your future by building a vigorous defense on your behalf, creating a Mitigation Packet to present to the prosecutor on your behalf, and negotiating to get your charges dropped. We understand how difficult it is to face severe drunk driving charges, and we want to protect you as best as we can.
Call our law office today for a free consultation at 815-880-1134.