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Joliet DUI defense attorneysCommercial drivers are a crucial part of the American economy, especially in a world where Covid and other challenges prevent easy or regular access to stores. More people than ever are doing the majority of their shopping online, and the significant supply disruptions that occur when truckers are overworked or unavailable attest to the importance of these jobs. 

Although commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders are essential to helping our daily lives continue normally, they are human just like everyone else and sometimes make serious mistakes like drinking or taking drugs before driving. A DUI on a commercial driver’s license can have serious consequences, to say nothing of what can happen when a big rig driver loses control of his truck because he is not thinking clearly. If you are facing DUI charges on your CDL, get help from an aggressive criminal defense attorney right away. 

The Legal Alcohol Limit Is Lower for CDL Drivers

While the legal alcohol limit is .08 for standard drivers and even for Uber and Lyft drivers, CDL drivers are restricted to a blood alcohol limit of just .04. For drivers, especially female drivers, this can be as few as two drinks. This means that even if a driver does not feel drunk, he or she may still be over the legal limit for CDL drivers. 

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Joliet drugged driving defense lawyerWhile Illinois has legalized recreational marijuana, there are still boundaries around when and where it can be safely used. Like alcohol, marijuana is an intoxicant that muddles the body and brain’s typical responses to stimuli. Although many people feel as though they can safely drive after ingesting cannabis, research shows that a high driver’s chances of getting into a car accident increase dramatically. However, unlike alcohol, getting a ticket for driving with cannabis in a driver’s bloodstream is complicated because THC can remain in your system for many days after the last time it is used. If you have been pulled over and charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, here are three things you should know before you call an Illinois DUI defense attorney who can help you fight the charges.

Even If an Officer Smells Marijuana, They Cannot Search You Without a Warrant

Previously, Illinois used the so-called “plain smell” rule that allowed officers to search a vehicle without a warrant if he or she claimed to smell marijuana. But after a 2021 circuit court ruling, the smell of marijuana is no longer a probable cause for a warrantless vehicle search. If a police officer says he smells marijuana, you do not need to let him search your car. You also do not need to consent to chemical testing, although refusing a chemical test still might lead to your immediate arrest.

You Can Fail a Drug Test Even If You Are Not High

Because frequent users of cannabis can test positive for THC in their system long after they last used it, chemical tests can suggest a driver was high even if he or she was not. More than 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood can result in a DUI conviction unless the driver is a medical marijuana user, and it can be difficult to fight the prosecutor’s case by claiming you were not high at the time of arrest. 

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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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