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Breathalyzers: What Every Illinois Resident Should Understand About Breath Tests During DUI Stops

 Posted on November 08, 2022 in DUI

Wheaton DUI defense lawyerMost people are familiar with the handheld alcohol breath tests used by police officers to check for drunk driving. However, many people do not fully understand how, when, and why these devices may be used. Whether you or a loved one are facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI), or you simply want to be well-informed of your rights, understanding breathalyzers is crucial.

Portable Breath Tests Are Not the Same as Evidentiary Breath Tests

Illinois police officers carry portable breath testing devices in their patrol vehicles. These are called “preliminary tests” because they occur before an individual is charged with DUI. The purpose of a preliminary breath alcohol test is to provide justification for a drunk driving arrest. A police officer may ask a driver to breathe into the machine if the driver is slurring his or her words or smells like alcohol. The preliminary test will show a result. If the result is 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration or greater, the driver is arrested for drunk driving.

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What Are the Penalties for Online Solicitation of a Minor in Illinois?

 Posted on October 10, 2022 in Sex Crimes

Wheaton Sex Crime LawyerSexual offenses involving children are taken very seriously in Illinois and elsewhere. In some cases, a person could face criminal charges even if they have no face-to-face contact with their alleged victim. This may be the case if a person is charged with online solicitation of a minor. Communicating with a child in an online chat room, sending emails or text messages, requesting sexually explicit photos, or other similar actions could result in an arrest and a criminal charge, and a person could be looking at multiple years in prison, heavy fines, and other consequences if they are convicted. Understanding the exact definition of this charge and the potential penalties is important for anyone who could be accused of this offense.

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UPDATE: What Are Illinois’ Underage Drinking Laws?

 Posted on September 12, 2022 in Juvenile Offenders

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_324467150-min.jpgOriginally published: August 4, 2021 -- Updated: September 12, 2022

Update: In addition to the potential criminal charges that may apply for minors who possess or drink alcohol, it is also important to understand that people under the age of 21 who drink and drive may be arrested for DUI. Charges related to drunk driving can have a long-lasting effect on a person's criminal record and their driver's license. For a minor who is facing charges for DUI, it is important to understand the specific laws in Illinois and how they may apply to a particular case. Illinois has a "zero tolerance" law that applies to underage drinking and driving. A person under the age of 21 may face consequences if they are found to have any alcohol in their system while driving. While the legal blood alcohol content limit of .08 percent will still apply, minors who are arrested for DUI may face a license suspension if a chemical test shows that they have any alcohol in their system. A BAC reading above .00 percent will result in a driver's license suspension of three months for a first offense and one year for a second offense. If an underage driver refuses to take a chemical BAC test after being arrested, their license will be suspended for six months for a first offense and two years for a second offense.

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When is a DUI a Felony Offense in DuPage County?

 Posted on August 11, 2022 in DUI

Wheaton DUI Defense LawyerDrunk driving charges are some of the most common criminal offenses for which people are arrested in Illinois. Usually, driving under the influence (DUI) is a misdemeanor offense in Illinois. People charged with a first or second DUI are often able to avoid jail. They still face driver’s license revocation, steep fines, and other penalties if convicted, but they may be able to regain driving privileges through a special permit. The consequences of a misdemeanor DUI are nothing to scoff at. However, felony DUI charges are much worse.

Felony DUI offenders often face significant jail time and other harsh consequences. Regaining driving privileges and restoring normalcy in your life after a felony DUI can be extremely difficult. If you or a loved one are facing felony DUI charges, make sure to work with a skilled DUI defense attorney.  

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Can You Still Get Jail Time for a Marijuana-Related Crime In Illinois?

 Posted on July 22, 2022 in Drug Crimes

Wheaton Criminal Defense AttorneyFew substances have been as controversial as cannabis. Public opinion about marijuana flower and THC products has shifted in recent years and many states have legalized the drug for medical or recreational use. Marijuana has been legal in Illinois since 2020. However, there are still important limitations regarding possession, consumption, sale, and cultivation of marijuana. Violating one of Illinois’ marijuana laws can lead to criminal penalties, including jail time.

Illinois Cannabis Laws in 2022

Many people make the mistake of assuming that because marijuana was legalized, that any and all use of the substance is permitted. However, Illinois law only allows certain people to use marijuana and only under certain conditions. Similarly to alcohol use, marijuana use is only allowed for adults aged 21 or older. Illinois residents may possess up to 30 grams, or approximately an ounce, of marijuana flower, up to 5 grams of marijuana concentrate, or up to 500 mg of THC in an “edible” or other marijuana product.

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Questioning the Validity of a Blood Test in an Illinois DUI Case

 Posted on June 14, 2022 in DUI

b2ap3_thumbnail_dupage-county-dui-defense-lawyer.jpgDriving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is penalized by criminal and administrative consequences in Illinois. If you are convicted of DUI, your driver’s license will be revoked and you will not be allowed to drive for the duration of the revocation period. You will also face steep fines and, in some cases, even imprisonment.

However, individuals accused of drunk driving have Constitutional rights, including the right to defend themselves against the charges. One potential defense strategy is to question the validity of blood alcohol test results.

Blood Testing to Determine Blood Alcohol Content

In Illinois, blood testing is frequently used to assess a driver’s intoxication level. Blood testing is not infallible, however. Many different issues can cause blood test results to be inaccurate.

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Juvenile Alcohol Offenses in Illinois

 Posted on May 26, 2022 in Juvenile Offenders

IL defense lawyerThe legal drinking age is 21 in all 50 U.S. states. However, this does not mean that every person waits until they are 21 years old to drink alcohol. Teens and young adults may experiment with alcohol before it is legal. In some cases, the decision to drink leads to significant consequences, including criminal charges.

Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

Many young people find ways to access alcohol even though they are not old enough to buy it legally. They may get an older sibling or friend to purchase the alcohol for them or use a fake ID to buy alcohol from the store. Underage possession of alcohol is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the offender faces driver's license suspension for a minimum of six years, fines, and even jail time.

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False Accusations of Sexual Assault: Understanding Your Rights and Options

 Posted on April 12, 2022 in Sex Crimes

IL defense lawyerSex crimes are considered by most people to be some of the most egregious crimes a person can commit. This makes being falsely accused of a sex crime even more devastating to the accused person. If you were charged with sexual assault, you may be facing severe criminal and personal consequences.

In Illinois, sexual assault is a Class 1 felony offense punishable by up to 15 years in prison. If certain aggravating factors are present, such as the possession of a firearm during the alleged attack, the offense is elevated to a Class X felony. Aggravated sexual assault is punishable by a maximum of 30 years behind bars.

Fortunately, criminal defendants have certain rights afforded to them by state and federal law. The first step in defending yourself against false allegations is to understand and invoke these rights.

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What Happens If You Do Not Pull Over for Police?

 Posted on March 18, 2022 in Criminal Law

IL defense lawyerThe last thing most drivers want to see in their rear-view mirror is flashing blue and red lights. Some drivers may even start to panic when they see the police are pulling them over. In a moment of fear or anxiety, the driver may speed off in an attempt to outrun the police. Alternatively, drivers who are not paying attention to their surroundings may not even realize police are attempting to pull them over for a traffic stop. Whatever the reasons, failing to pull over and stop the vehicle for police can lead to criminal charges for fleeing or attempting to elude police.

Fleeing and Eluding Police Officers in Illinois is a Criminal Offense

Illinois law requires individuals to comply with police directions. Police may use the vehicle's sirens, spoken directions, or other means to signal a driver to pull over. If the driver does not pull over, he or she may be charged with fleeing and eluding a police officer. Usually, fleeing and eluding is considered a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine up to $2,500. If you are convicted of misdemeanor fleeing and eluding, you also face a six-month license suspension. It is illegal to drive any vehicle if your license is suspended and doing so can result in additional criminal charges.

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What to Do If Someone Gets an Order of Protection Against You

 Posted on February 11, 2022 in Domestic Violence

IL defense lawyerIn Illinois, alleged victims of domestic violence, threats, abuse, or harassment may get an order of protection against the supposed abuser. If you recently found out that someone got an order of protection against you, you may be surprised and confused. You may not know what to do next. You may also be concerned about what will happen if you violate the terms of the protection order (either voluntarily or involuntarily). In a situation like this, it is highly recommended that you speak to a criminal defense attorney for help. Your lawyer can explain exactly what you are up against and what the next steps are.

Assert Your Right to Remain Silent

The first thing you need to know if you were accused of domestic violence or subjected to a protection order is that you have rights. Criminal defendants have the right to remain silent and avoid incriminating themselves. It is important that you take advantage of this right. If police try to interrogate you, you have the right to say nothing.

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