A charge of Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs is a complex matter with many issues that may have an impact on your life. There exists an entire area of law covering those many issues. Paul has been involved prosecuting or defending DUI charges for over 25 years, and is typically in courtrooms every day defending several clients charged with DUI offenses - both misdemeanor and felony - in DuPage and many surrounding counties. He has been involved as an attorney in thousands of DUI cases over the years. Accordingly, he is very adept at both educating you on all related issues, and vigorously defending you to ensure that the event has as little negative impact on your life as possible. It is our strong recommendation that you contact him as soon as possible for your free consultation and education in this regard.
The typical DUI education process takes approximately 1 hour, and, accordingly, we offer here only a brief summary of some issues related to your DUI charge. In the event that you have been charged with a DUI offense, it will be alleged as a violation of a state law prosecuted by a State's Attorney's Office of the applicable jurisdiction, or as a violation of a municipal ordinance prosecuted by a local prosecutor. It is likely that upon your arrest you were fingerprinted and photographed, and, accordingly, arrest and identification records regarding the incident have been generated and will be maintained by the Federal Bureau of Identification, the Illinois Bureau of Identification, and the arresting agency. It is also likely that you have since posted the applicable bond and been released from custody during the pendancy of the cause, or that you have been released on your own recognizance. Upon your release from custody, you were provided with important documentation from the arresting agency. In most cases, you were provided with a bail/bond agreement which places you on notice of the terms and conditions of your release from custody during the pendancy of the cause.
It is imperative that you comply with those terms and conditions, for if it is proven that you have violated any condition of your bail/bond agreement, your bond may be revoked and you may be held in custody until the conclusion of the cause. Rather, if you find a need to expand the conditions of your release, Paul will take the appropriate steps to move the court for the entry of an order to meet your needs in that regard. The bail/bond agreement will also often times set forth the first scheduled court date, time, courtroom, and court location for the cause. Using our links page, you may also make an inquiry regarding your case with the applicable Circuit Court Clerk.
You have likely been charged with Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol, Drugs (either prescription, non-prescription, legal or illegal), a Combination of Alcohol and Drugs, or with any amount of an unlawfully consumed drug in your breath, blood or urine. If you submitted to a blood, breath or urine analysis which revealed the presence of an alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more or an unlawfully consumed drug, then it is likely that you have been charged with a second count of DUI. It is also likely that you have also been charged with one or more companion traffic offenses. Among the important documentation you have received, the arresting agency may have also provided you with a copy of a Complaint and/or one or more Uniform Traffic Citations which are the formal charging instruments and which set forth the specific allegations against you, the date and time of the alleged offenses, and the statutory provisions which you are alleged to have violated. The statutes alleged to have been violated will dictate the class of the alleged offenses and whether the law provides for any mandatory minimum sentencing provisions. In most cases, the DUI charge will be alleged as a Class A Misdemeanor which carries a maximum sentence of up to 1 year of incarceration and up to $2,500 in fines plus mandatory costs and assessments. However, in some cases, if certain circumstances exist, a DUI charge may be enhanced for felony prosecution, or may be charged as a felony offense from inception. Paul will make sure that you are fully aware of your exposure based upon the nature of the offense charged and the circumstances that exist.
Unless you submitted to a breath analysis revealing a breath-alcohol concentration of under 0.08%, or you have submitted to a blood or urine analysis for which the results are still pending, then your arresting officer should have also provided you with an important document, thin and white in color, entitled Notice of Summary Suspension/Revocation. That document is related to the Illinois implied consent law found at 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1. The Notice of Summary Suspension/Revocation in most cases provides that, on the 46th day following the date on which the Notice was issued to you, a summary suspension will enter against your Illinois driver's license and/or driving privileges as a result of either your alleged refusal to submit to a blood, breath or urine analysis, or your alleged submission to such a test which revealed either an alcohol concentration of 0.08% or greater, or the presence of an unlawfully consumed drug. The suspension will enter for a 1 year term if you allegedly refused to submit to an analysis, or for a 6 month term if you allegedly submitted to a failing analysis. If you have had a prior DUI disposition or implied consent suspension within the previous 5 years, then the term of the summary suspension will be longer: a 3 year term if you allegedly refused to submit to an analysis, or a 1 year term if you allegedly submitted to a failing analysis. In either case you will be entitled to a pre or prompt post-deprivation due process judicial hearing to determine the propriety of the summary suspension.
It is important that a pleading requesting the hearing is filed with the court on your behalf as soon as possible because under current Illinois law you are entitled to such a hearing within 30 days of the filing of the pleading or on your first scheduled court date, whichever is later. If you prevail at hearing, the summary suspension will thereafter be rescinded. However, if you do not prevail at hearing, the suspension will enter and continue in effect.
If you are eligible, you may apply to the Secretary of State for the issuance of a Monitoring Device Driver's Permit which will help relieve the hardship caused by the suspension. The permit may be effective during the entire term of the suspension term, and may be used for any purpose, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, but is strictly conditioned upon the use of a vehicle equipped with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device.
The first scheduled court date in most cases is for the purpose of arraignment, potentially for a hearing regarding the impending summary suspension, but not for trial. At the arraignment you will be asked to enter your plea to the charge against you. In the vast majority of cases, you will enter your plea of not guilty, the matter will be continued for an interim court date, and the discovery process will begin.
Often times, some discovery material, typically police reports at a minimum, and often times a copy of audio and video evidence will be provided to Paul by the prosecution at that first court date. Paul will thereafter collect all discoverable evidence from the prosecution and will often times move the court to order supplemental discovery or issue subpoenas to preserve and produce all material he deems necessary for your defense. Once that material has been obtained, you and Paul will review it together, and you will be able to more intelligently discuss your alternatives toward a prompt resolution of your case.
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