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Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

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Mount Prospect DUI Defense Attorneys

It is against the law in Illinois to drive when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or above but it is also illegal to drive when your ability to drive is impaired, regardless of how much you drank. If you face a driving under the influence charge, you could receive jail time, fines, community service, and more. The Mount Prospect DUI defense attorneys at Villadonga & Villadonga are experienced with DUI charges and can help to protect your rights and mount the best defense to such serious charges.

What Are Driving Under The Influence Penalties?

Driving under the influence is deadly and taken seriously in Illinois. If you are convicted, you face these penalties:

  • Up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • For a second conviction within five years of the last conviction, you must spend at least five days in prison or do at least 240 hours of community service.
  • For a third or four violations within five years of the last conviction, you will be convicted of aggravated driving, a Class 2 felony. This may be punished by three to seven years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine. However, punishments are enhanced if your BAC was .16% or higher.
  • Being convicted of a fifth DUI is a Class 1 felony, and you can receive between four and 15 years in state prison and up to a $25,000 fine.
  • Being convicted of a sixth DUI is the most severe felony – Class X – and you may get between six and 30 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
  • If you drive under the influence when a child under 16 is in the vehicle, there is a $1,000 fine and 140 more hours of community service, plus two more days in jail.
  • Any convicted of DUI in Illinois will have their driver’s license revoked. You will lose your license for a first offense, but you must apply for reinstatement to drive again. If your BAC was .16% or higher, you must wait at least two years to request reinstatement.

DUI Resulting In Death

In a driving under the influence case where you accidentally kill someone, and the DUI was a proximate cause of the death, it is a Class 2 felony. This is punishable by three to 14 years in state prison. There must be extraordinary conditions for you to receive probation in this case. If more than two people died, you could receive between six and 28 years.

DUI resulting in death is a grave charge, and you should hire a skilled defense attorney immediately. However, the prosecutor must prove that you were legally drunk and that fact was the proximate cause of death, which can be challenging. But because there was a fatality, the chances of significant jail time rise dramatically, so a strong defense is essential.

Driving Under The Influence For Minors

If you are under 21 and convicted of DUI, your driver’s license will be suspended for a year. You also might have to participate in the Youthful Intoxicated Drivers’ Visitation Program, which means attending rehabilitation and going to a morgue to see the deceased victims of drunk drivers.

Possible Driving Under The Influence Defenses

DUI offenses are serious, but many potential defenses are available for an experienced attorney. The county prosecutor has the burden of proof and must show that you were drunk over the legal limit (or were too impaired to drive), and that you were driving at the time.

The defense might argue a strategy to damage one or both of these claims. For example, if your SUV was parked and the keys were not in the ignition, there is a strong argument that you were not driving. Likewise, being drunk and asleep in your car is not a crime.

Another possibility is that the police did not have probable cause to stop you. This can work as a defense if you remain level-headed when pulled over. On the other hand, you might have been driving flawlessly when pulled over, so there may not have been probable cause for the stop.

Experienced DUI attorneys have seen people who can drive perfectly and successfully take sobriety tests even when they are over .08%. However, others struggle to drive and pass sobriety tests when their BAC is only .01%. If you behave soberly when you are stopped and passed the sobriety tests, it can be more difficult for the police to justify arresting you.

What About Driving Under The Influence Of Cannabis?

Driving under the influence of cannabis is a bit different in Illinois. First, the prosecutor must prove that you were under the influence of marijuana or had a specific level of THC in your blood when the arrest occurred. It is against the law in Illinois to drive when your THC is 5+ nanograms in the blood, or 10+ nanograms in urine or saliva. Either of these must be measured within two hours of driving your car.

However, in this state, laws that ban driving with too much THC in the blood do not apply if you possess a medical marijuana card and have been registered as a medical user. So, as long as you are registered with the state to use medical marijuana, you may only be charged by the police based on their observations.

Refusing A Breath Test

You can refuse a breath test or field sobriety test if pulled over for driving under the influence. But your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for a year if you do that. Driving under a suspended license is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 10 days in jail.

Contact Our Mount Prospect DUI Attorneys Today

If you were charged with DUI in the Mount Prospect area, you could have severe fines, jail time, and a criminal record. If there was a death, you face years in prison. To avoid these outcomes, Villadonga & Villadonga are ready to fight for your rights to prevent these outcomes. Please contact our Mount Prospect DUI attorneys today at 847-298-5740.

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