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Oakbrook Terrace DUI Defense LawyerMost people are familiar with the “legal limit” for blood alcohol content (BAC). In 49 U.S. states, including Illinois, the legal limit is 0.08 percent. A driver with a BAC of 0.08 percent or more is intoxicated “per se,” or intoxicated as a matter of law. If you are pulled over by the police, given a breath test, and the results show a BAC over the legal limit, you will be arrested for drunk driving.

However, in some cases, it is possible for an individual to avoid conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) even if they blew over 0.08 percent. Read on to learn more.

Breathalyzer Test Results May Be Unreliable

The portable breathalyzers police carry around with them are used to establish probable cause for the DUI arrest. Once someone is arrested, they take a second breath test at the police station. The results of this evidentiary test are used as evidence in the DUI case.

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Most people take prescription medications from time to time. An individual recovering from surgery may take prescription pain medicine. Someone with an anxiety disorder may take anti-anxiety medication. When a doctor prescribes a medication to a patient, the doctor is essentially giving the patient authorization to take the medication. Many people are shocked to learn that they can face criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI) for taking medicine that was lawfully prescribed to them. DUI involving prescription medication can lead to driver’s license suspension or revocation, expensive fines, or even jail time.

Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Medication

The term “driving under the influence” is often used synonymously with drunk driving. However, alcohol is not the only substance that can lead to DUI charges.

Illinois law states that a person may be charged with DUI for driving under the influence of:

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IL defense lawyerSoaring gas prices, food shortages, inflation, and countless other issues have made the first half of 2022 very difficult for Americans. Many people are struggling to make ends meet and fulfill their financial obligations. As a result, more and more people are buying items outside of the typical retail stores. They may turn to Facebook Marketplace, eBay, eBid, Craigslist, and other websites to buy used items instead of shelling out money for brand new items at the store. Unfortunately, some of the items that are sold online are stolen, and buyers may find themselves facing criminal charges for receipt of stolen goods.

Stolen Goods Being Sold on Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces are great places to find deals on everything from home goods to vehicles. However, these websites have also become popular places for thieves to resell items that were shoplifted from the store or stolen from other parties. Facebook Marketplace seems to be the preferred website for these illegal transactions because there is little oversight or regulation. Unfortunately, some buyers think that they are buying legitimate items legally when they are actually purchasing solen goods. In Illinois, possession of stolen goods constitutes theft. Someone who purchases or receives a stolen item may face the same criminal penalties as if someone who physically stole the item from the store shelf.

What to Do If You Are Facing Theft Charges for Receipt of Stolen Items

If you or a loved one were charged with theft because you possessed stolen or shoplifted items, know that the consequences can be severe. Theft of items valued at less than $500 is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. However, if the stolen item was worth more than $500, the crime is a felony offense punishable by a maximum fine of $25,000 and three to seven years in prison. You or your loved one could be facing substantial jail time for buying stolen goods.

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IL defense lawyerIt is true that a first-time simple DUI is usually charged as a misdemeanor, both in Illinois and elsewhere. If the case is relatively simple and you did not cause any real harm, you might even get court supervision instead of jail time. However, there are some circumstances that render even a first-time DUI so serious that it will be treated as a felony. If you are facing felony DUI charges, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to put forth a strong defense in the hopes of having your charges at least reduced back to a misdemeanor.

What Circumstances Make a First DUI a Felony?

In Illinois, a felony DUI is considered an “aggravated DUI.” This means that there are circumstances present that make the offense more serious. A third DUI is automatically a Class 3 felony, but a first DUI is usually a misdemeanor. However, even a first DUI can be charged as a felony in these circumstances:

  • Children - Having a minor under 16 years old in your vehicle while driving intoxicated is a Class 4 felony.
  • Commercial activity - If you were driving for hire, such as through a ridesharing company like Uber, a DUI will be charged as a felony if you were carrying a paying passenger.
  • Bodily harm - Causing an accident and seriously injuring someone because you were driving drunk is a very serious crime, and could result in a felony conviction. DUI with injury will be charged as a Class 4 felony if anyone suffered great bodily harm, disfigurement, or permanent disability. If there were only minor injuries, a skilled attorney may be able to argue that a misdemeanor charge would be more appropriate.
  • Death - Killing someone in a DUI crash is the worst possible outcome of drunk driving. It is charged as at least a Class 2 felony and could land you in prison for three to seven years or more.
  • Insurance - Driving drunk while knowing that you do not have insurance to cover any damages you might cause is regarded as more serious and may result in felony charges.
  • License - If your license is suspended, revoked, or anything but valid and clear, you run the risk of getting a felony for driving intoxicated even if it is your first offense. Licenses are often suspended or revoked due to multiple moving violations - there will be little leeway on a DUI accusation if you were already not supposed to be on the road due to poor driving history.

Felony DUI charges are very serious and can have a major impact on the rest of your life. It is important that you follow the recommendations of your defense attorney to give you the best possible chances of avoiding a felony conviction.

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Oakbrook Terrace criminal defense attorney DUI

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs seriously endangers both the driver and other people on the road, and as such, it is treated as a serious offense under Illinois law. Depending on the circumstances, a first-time DUI offender may be fortunate to receive only a one-year driver’s license revocation and court supervision, but a misdemeanor conviction with fines and jail time is also possible. Additionally, certain aggravating factors can mean that even a first offense is charged as a felony. If you are facing charges of aggravated DUI, you need an attorney who can help you understand and protect your rights.

Illinois Aggravated DUI Offenses

In Illinois, a variety of actions can constitute an aggravated DUI offense, regardless of whether the offender has any prior DUI convictions. Some examples include:

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