Chicago DUI Defense Lawyer
A DUI (Driving under Influence) charge occurs when you are alleged to be driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medication. Even if you have a valid prescription, you can still be charged with DUI if the arresting officer believes that the drugs impaired your ability to drive your car safely. A police officer is allowed to stop your vehicle and question you as long as there is a valid reason to stop your car. These reasons may be an accident, speeding, weaving (often called Improper Lane Usage), not using a turn signal, making a wide turn, driving the wrong way down a one way street, running a red light, or not moving at a green light. An officer can stop your car for something as small as not having a rear license plate light, having a missing headlight, throwing something out the window, or even based on the 911 call of another motorist. After the stop, if the arresting officer suspects that alcohol or drugs were consumed, he or she may ask you to perform field sobriety tests and possibly take a Portable Breath Test on the street.
If the officer believes that you are under the influence, he will place you under arrest and transport you to a location (usually the police station) for a breathalyzer test. Even if you blow under 0.08, you could still be charged with a DUI if the police officer believes that you are still intoxicated, even at a level under 0.08.
DUI Summary Suspension
If you have been arrested for DUI, it will immediately affect your driver’s license and could affect the rest of your life. Most people arrested for DUI are first offenders, have never been arrested before, and are unfamiliar with the legal system. However, with the right representation, many of the hardships from a DUI can be avoided completely.
The first thing to understand about a DUI arrest is that on the 46th day after your arrest, you will automatically receive a suspension of your driver’s license, which is called a “summary suspension.” Illinois law adopts a “shoot first, ask questions later” philosophy regarding these summary suspensions. Your driver’s license will be suspended if you:
- Blow 0.08 or have a blood sample that is 0.08 or greater
- Refuse the breathalyzer, urine test, and/or blood test
Depending on whether you have been arrested previously for a DUI within the last five years, you will be facing anywhere between a 6 month to a 3 year suspension of your driver’s license. If you have a CDL, you will face an automatic one year disqualification of your CDL regardless of whether you refuse the test or give a chemical results of 0.08 or greater.
In addition to the summary suspension, you will also face a criminal charge for DUI, which is generally classified as a class “A” misdemeanor. The good news is that many times these suspensions, criminal charges, and thousands of dollars in fines can be minimized or prevented entirely with the proper legal representation.
DUI’s are actually one of the most complicated charges to defend because a DUI combines many different aspects of the law. Here are the 7 basic legal components to a DUI case:
7 Parts of a DUI case
- The Traffic Code:
- Opinion Testimony:
- Evidentiary Law:
- Driver’s License:
Did police officer have a valid reason to stop your car?
Is what you did even considered a violation of the traffic code?
Was there a valid reason to break the traffic code?
Was the sign they alleged you did not follow in compliance with the US..
Did the Arresting Officer have reasonable grounds to believe that you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
Did the Arresting Officer follow his Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) training?
How did the Arresting Officer take into account your injuries when scoring you on the field sobriety tests?
Did the Arresting Officer even use a NHTSA approved test?
Did the Arresting Officer have the requisite training to form an opinion that you were under the influence of drugs?
Did the Arresting Officer assume that you were eyes were read from alcohol when it could have been from fatigue?
Was the breathalyzer certified accurate in the proper time frame?
Was the breathalyzer properly maintained?
Was the breathalyzer ever calibrated?
Could the breathalyzer result been inflated due to mouth alcohol?
Were the Illinois State rules regarding blood and urine tests followed?
Was the alcohol in the person’s body still being absorbed?
Or was the alcohol in the person’s body in the process of elimination?
How much alcohol would a person need to be over 0.08?
Did the person have acid reflux or GERD which inflated the breathalyzer number?
Did the person fail the HGN (eye test) because of an accident, trauma, or other neurological disorder?
Has the State introduced laid the necessary foundation to admit their evidence in a court?
When can hearsay be used if a witness claims you were swerving?
Did the State use the correct evidence at trial?
Was the Arrest Officer qualified to give an opinion?
Is the State complying with the rules of evidence regarding the admission of breath tickets?
How long will I lose my license if I blow or refuse the breathalyzer test?
Can I get a license to drive for work purposes?
Will pleading guilty to a DUI take away from driver’s license?
How long will a DUI conviction cause me to lose my license?
What events in your life led up to the DUI?
What type of help can you get to help minimize the consequences of the DUI charge?
Should I seek help at rehabilitation facility?
The consequences of a DUI arrest can create long lasting consequences on your driver’s license and your life. Contact DUI Defense attorney, Steve Klein, if you are facing any of the following DUI charges:
Misdemeanor DUI-First Offense
Misdemeanor DUI-Second Offense
Aggravated DUI (Felony) – 2nd Offense and Passenger under 17 years-old in car
Aggravated DUI (Felony) – 3rd Offense or more
Aggravated DUI (Felony) – Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
Aggravated DUI (Felony) – No valid driver’s license issued
Aggravated DUI (Felony) – Resulting in Death or Great Bodily Harm