Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious criminal offense in Illinois and every other state of the US, and each state has unique laws pertaining to DUI offenses and the penalties for conviction. Therefore, if you have been arrested for DUI in Carlinville or the surrounding area of Illinois, you will need criminal defense representation you can trust to confidently navigate your case.
Illinois assigns various penalties for a first-time DUI offense, and repeat offenders who commit more than one DUI offense within a short time face significantly increased penalties in response to their repeat offenses. Therefore, if you are charged with DUI, it is crucial to speak with an Illinois DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Your situation may seem desperate and hopeless, but you could have more defenses available to you than you initially realize.
Illinois state law uses the term “DUI” to apply to any form of illegal driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) measurement system is used to determine whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol. The legal BAC limit for most Carlinville, Illinois drivers is .08%. Anything equal to or over this amount qualifies as DUI. However, commercial vehicle drivers face a .04% BAC limit and serious professional penalties if they are arrested for DUI while operating a work vehicle. Illinois enforces a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21 who are not legally allowed to consume alcohol. Any detectable BAC will likely result in an automatic DUI for an underage driver.
Testing for illicit drugs is more complex, and various substances that can impair driving ability have a wide range of possible effects, and these drugs metabolize at different rates inside of the body. For example, if a person consumes one substance, the intoxicating effects may last less than an hour. However, consuming another substance could lead to intoxication for several hours. Police can use blood and urine tests to confirm whether an arrested driver is under the influence of an illicit drug, but they must follow carefully outlined procedures and statutes in doing this.
DUI can potentially result in a misdemeanor or felony charge for the defendant, and they may also face civil liabilities if they injured anyone while under the influence. Again, Brandenburg & Rees, LLP, can provide the guidance and support you need to better understand your situation and reach the best possible outcome.
Like most other states, Illinois enforces a tiered penalty system for DUI cases that considers the offense’s severity and the number of prior DUI offenses. For a first offense, the defendant likely faces a driver’s license suspension period of at least one year, fines between $500 and $2,500, and up to one year in county jail.
It’s important to remember that the police must establish probable cause using legal methods to lawfully conduct an arrest for DUI. If the police violate a suspect’s civil or constitutional rights in any way, fail to accurately establish probable cause for an arrest, or mishandle the arrest and booking procedures in any way, these actions could constitute grounds for the defense to seek a dismissal.
Judges handling sentencing in DUI cases typically have broad discretionary power to modify a defendant’s sentence as they see fit, and the standard penalties outlined in Illinois law are often used as a starting point to determine an appropriate sentence for a defendant convicted of DUI. Along with driver’s license suspension, fines, and jail time, the defendant may also be compelled to perform a certain number of hours of community service. They may also be required to attend victim impact panels that confront them with the surviving family members of victims of fatal drunk driving accidents. When a defendant has clear signs of an advanced substance abuse disorder, the judge may order them to complete a rehabilitation program in lieu of jail time.
There are many ways sentencing may go, but avoiding conviction entirely should be every defendant’s goal in a DUI case. Beyond the penalties assigned by the court, anyone convicted of DUI in Carlinville, Illinois could also face various professional and personal consequences. For example, some may lose their professional licenses, or their fitness for child custody rights could be called into question. Others could lose their jobs and face difficulties finding future work due to their criminal record. Therefore, it is always best to find defense representation you can trust no matter what charges you face for the best chance of avoiding these long-term consequences.
It’s important to remember that Illinois police must establish probable cause of suspected DUI before requiring a driver to submit to chemical testing for DUI. All Illinois drivers provide their implied consent to chemical testing for suspected DUI, but the police may only conduct such tests when they have established probable cause. It’s possible to call the handling of a chemical test for DUI into question, or the defense may challenge the reliability of the testing lab’s results.
Your Carlinville, Illinois DUI defense attorney will be invaluable for determining the best approach to your case. Successfully avoiding conviction may require proving the prosecution mishandled procedural aspects of their case, highlighting failures of the police to follow the rules of due process, or exposing any problems with the chemical test used to ascertain the defendant’s impairment level.
Ultimately, every DUI case is unique, and every defendant will face different challenges and opportunities as they face their criminal court proceedings. The team at Brandenburg & Rees, LLP, has the professional resources and experience you need on your side to approach your DUI case with greater confidence and peace of mind. If you are ready to discuss your defense with an experienced lawyer that you can trust, contact us today and schedule your consultation with an Carlinville, Illinois DUI defense attorney.