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McHenry County DUI defense lawyerMost people know that you can lose your driver’s license if you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) in Illinois. However, many people do not realize that there might be a way to get the suspension of your driver’s license rescinded, but doing so generally requires the help of a qualified attorney.

You Have the Right to a Court Hearing Regarding Your Suspension

If you fail or refuse chemical testing following a DUI arrest, the state of Illinois imposes an automatic suspension of your driver’s license—known as a “statutory summary suspension.” For most people, this suspension lasts six months if you failed testing or 12 months if you refused testing. The law in Illinois, however, gives you the right to a court hearing to challenge the suspension. At this hearing, your lawyer can question police officers and present arguments as to why your license should not have been suspended.

If you hope to have your automatic suspension rescinded, you will need to prove one of the following:

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McHenry County first-time DUI attorneyEven if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is not at or beyond the legal limit of 0.08, you can be stopped by law enforcement if alcohol is suspected to be impacting your ability to drive. If this is your first time being pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI), it can be a frightening experience, but you are entitled to have an experienced attorney on your side to help guide you through the process. There are important things that you should be aware of if you have been charged with an Illinois DUI.

Administrative Penalties for Illinois DUI

Many people think that upon conviction for a DUI, they will immediately be jailed, lose their driver’s license, and essentially be labeled for life. In reality, a first-time DUI may result in administrative penalties and some criminal charges, but it is far more likely to be seen as a mistake, albeit a serious one, rather than an indication of any kind of long-term pattern of behavior. This is especially true if no one is injured or killed and no property damage occurs. State prosecutors are much more likely to work out a bargain with a first-time offender to give them a chance to not re-offend.

Administrative penalties are handed down by an administrative law judge or governmental agency, rather than through a criminal court. One example is a statutory summary suspension of your driver’s license for refusing a chemical test when law enforcement has probable cause to believe you are under the influence, which is a violation of Illinois’s implied consent law. A statutory summary suspension is issued by the Office of the Secretary of State instead of a criminal court judge.

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Crystal Lake IL DUI defense attorneyGood citizens are everywhere, and they are called that because they are generally “good.” Their behaviors mean no harm but only to help the community or someone in need. Some are inclined to notify law enforcement when they witness what they believe to be a crime, and anonymous tips from these individuals pour into police stations regularly. A significant portion of these tips is from drivers or passengers on the roadway reporting someone who appears to be driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs.

What Do the Police Do With This Information?

If a tipster calls 911 to report an emergency, such as a drunk driver on the road, the operator will immediately begin to attempt to get as much information out of the informant as possible. The 911 center keeps a record of the call and can call the number back to obtain more information. This information alone is enough for police to stop a vehicle or driver matching the tipster’s description so that the officer can ask questions and gather more information.

Can an Officer Make an Arrest?

According to the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, an officer must have probable cause before making an arrest. One source of probable cause is an officer or an informant witnessing the suspicious behavior firsthand. Anonymous tips alone are not always sufficient to establish probable cause, as it can be difficult to determine the credibility of the source. For example, an anonymous informant may have a personal vendetta against the suspect, motivating them to make a false accusation.

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Crystal Lake DUI defense attorneyAlcohol consumption is a common part of life for many people in the United States and throughout the world, used in everything from social gatherings to religious ceremonies. Responsible consumption is often relatively harmless, but excessive drinking can pose increasing risks for both drinkers and the people around them.

Those who drink alcohol have a legal responsibility to refrain from driving while inebriated. In Illinois, the legal limit for driving is a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08. If you are found to have a BAC of 0.08 or higher, you can face legal consequences in the form of charges for driving under the influence (DUI). However, alcohol can begin to affect one’s body even at BAC levels below 0.08, and the effects increase at higher concentrations. If you drink alcohol, you should familiarize yourself with these different stages.

Physiological Effects of Different BAC Levels

Every person handles alcohol differently, which means that one person with a certain BAC might feel different effects than another person with the same BAC. An individual’s metabolism, size, body weight, genetic and acquired tolerance, and many other factors could affect how your body processes alcohol.

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Out-of-State DUI Convictions Have Illinois ConsequencesWith the Fourth of July approaching, many people will extend their weekends in order to take mini-vacations. Wherever you choose to spend the holiday, the area police will be looking for people driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances. Holidays are often a time of increased recreational drinking, which may increase the number of intoxicated drivers on the road. You can expect to see DUI checkpoints and a greater police presence at high-traffic areas. DUI charges are a serious matter in every state, but being arrested in a state you are visiting makes the matter more complicated. You will need attorneys who understand the DUI laws in both the state you live in and the state you were charged in. An out-of-state DUI conviction can result in punishment from your home state.

Out-of-State DUI

If you are an Illinois resident who has been charged with DUI in another state, you are subject to that state's DUI laws and penalties if convicted. Some DUI laws are universal, such as an 0.08 blood alcohol content being the legal limit for drivers. All states also have implied consent laws that can punish you for refusing to take a BAC test. States' DUI laws may differ in:

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