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Joliet DUI defense lawyerEverybody makes mistakes, but sometimes our mistakes have a major impact on our life. Getting caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Illinois carries serious consequences in Illinois, including the suspension of your driver’s license. However, living without a driver’s license makes working and running everyday errands complicated and difficult. If you have had your driver’s license suspended because of a DUI, you probably want to get your license reinstated so you can get your driving privileges back as soon as possible; fortunately, an experienced driver’s license reinstatement attorney can help. 

Attending a Hearing

You have done your community service, paid your fines, and maybe even spent some time in jail. You should be able to pay a small fee and get your license reinstated, right? Not so fast - thanks to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, which wants to ensure that giving your driving privileges back would not endanger public safety. First, you need to attend a special hearing to prove you would not be a threat to other drivers. Depending on the severity of your DUI charges, your hearing will either be “formal” or “informal.” 

Informal hearings can be done in select locations on a walk-in basis. This hearing is supervised by a hearing officer who can issue a restricted driving permit or fully reinstate your driving privileges, but you will not get your decision right away - it will come in the mail after the hearing officer submits the necessary documentation to the Springfield office. 

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Will My DUI Charge Be a Felony in Illinois?

Posted on in DUI

Joliet DUI defense lawyerDrinking and driving is a major cause of fatal car accidents, even when only one car is involved. The state of Illinois, therefore, takes people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol very seriously, and certain DUI charges may even be prosecuted as a felony DUI. Criminal DUI charges can impact your employment prospects, driving privileges, and relationships for long into the future; if you have recently been charged with a DUI in Will County, Illinois, you may be wondering what the likely consequences are. 

First and Second DUI Charges

If there are no other additional charges, such as property theft or vehicular homicide, a person’s first and second DUI charge will usually be a Class A misdemeanor. While a misdemeanor may sound less serious than a felony, Class A misdemeanors are the most serious type of misdemeanor charge and carry serious consequences, including up to a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. A judge can also order probation, court supervision, a breath alcohol ignition interlock device, and counseling for DUI charges. 

Felony DUI Charges

After two convictions for driving under the influence, subsequent DUIs can be charged as felonies. However, other behaviors can make even a first or second DUI a felony charge, including: 

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Will County DUI defense attorneyIt is the morning after a fun night with friends. You wake up, your head hurts, and then your stomach sinks as you remember - you were arrested last night for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This happens to about 35,000 people every year in Illinois and even though you may have never thought it would happen to you, now you have to deal with the consequences. 

Will I go to jail? Will I lose my license? All of these are questions we frequently hear from first-time DUI clients. While the specific punishments can depend on the case and your previous criminal record, it is important to take your first DUI seriously and hire an Illinois DUI defense lawyer so you can make the appropriate amends and avoid harsher sanctions in the future. 

What Are the Penalties for a First-Time DUI in Illinois? 

Someone’s first DUI offense is a Class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors are the most serious misdemeanor charges and one could land you in jail for up to a year, along with up to $2,500 in fines. For strictly first-time DUI offenses, it is rare to be hit with the harshest penalties available - more often, there will be a mandatory $500 minimum fine, probation, and possibly substance abuse counseling. 

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joliet drunk driving lawyerPenalties for driving under the influence (DUI) in Illinois often include the loss of the driver’s driving privileges. A driver’s license suspension or revocation can make it difficult to get to work and fulfill other important responsibilities. Fortunately, some drivers are able to regain their driving privileges and get back on the road safely. To do so, they may be required to install a blood alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID).

To start the car, they must register their blood alcohol content (BAC) using a breathalyzer attached to the BAIID. If their BAC is too high, the BAIID will prevent the car from turning on.

When Is a BAIID Required?

A license suspension usually follows a DUI. With most suspensions lasting a minimum of one year, courts understand that being unable to drive for such a lengthy period of time may cause some defendants undue hardship. For this reason, some defendants are granted the opportunity to apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP), which allows them to drive the duration of the revocation period.

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Joliet DUI defense attorneyIn general, getting pulled over can cause a great deal of tension and anxiety. It is not uncommon for drivers in these situations to be nervous and make mistakes or say the wrong thing as a result. Getting pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) should be taken very seriously, and drivers should be prepared for what is expected of them and how best to handle the situation. Even if you act with the utmost respect and rationale, you could face serious consequences, and it is in your best interest to connect with a lawyer who can approach your DUI defense vigorously.

What Should I Do If I am Pulled Over For DUI?

If you believe you are being pulled over due to an officer’s suspicion that you are driving under the influence, you should first and foremost find a safe place to pull over. Because the officer already suspects you of DUI, they are going to be hypervigilant of your behavior. Therefore, any odd or erratic behavior will only bolster their suspicion. On a similar note, it is important for drivers to understand that officers are trained to protect themselves and be incredibly cautious. Thus, it is essential that drivers do not make any sudden movements once parked.

It is also highly recommended to be polite to police officers. This has been shown to lower your chances of being arrested. Additionally, if you are rude to an officer, they are more likely to put more effort into ensuring your conviction.

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