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Frequently Asked Questions About DUI and Criminal Defense Cases

Drunk Driving & Criminal Defense Frequently Asked Questions

At Brady Cole Trial Lawyers, our attorneys provide skilled, experienced representation for clients who are facing criminal charges. Many people who are in these situations are unsure about what to expect during the legal process, and they often have questions about what they can do to protect their rights and avoid being convicted. We are here to provide answers to questions about criminal defense, including:

How Can I Protect My Rights When I Am Arrested?

Everyone who is arrested by law enforcement has certain Constitutional rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to be represented by an attorney. However, police officers will often encourage people to waive these rights, and they may indicate that they are just asking questions and gaining information about a case, or they may even lie about the facts of a case in order to obtain a confession or other incriminating statements. It is very important to assert your rights when interacting with police officers. Anything you say or do, including your facial expressions and body language, could be used against you if you are charged with a crime. The best way to protect yourself is to state that you will not answer any questions without having your lawyer present.

What Is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony?

Misdemeanors are usually considered to be less serious crimes, and they typically carry sentences of less than one year. Felonies will be more serious, and they may result in prison sentences of one year or more. However, all criminal charges should be taken seriously, since they can result in a permanent criminal record that could affect your employment prospects and other areas of your life. With the help of a criminal defense lawyer, you can take steps to avoid a conviction and minimize the consequences of the charges you may face.

Is it Possible to Defend Against DUI Charges?

While an arrest for DUI may seem like a conviction is inevitable, there are a number of ways a DUI defense attorney may be able to help with your case. We may be able to challenge the results of sobriety tests and show that the methods used were faulty or that the results were not interpreted correctly. We may be able to challenge the reason you were stopped by police in the first place, and if an officer had no probable cause to believe that you had violated the law, your case may be dismissed. We will advise you on the best strategies to use in your case to prevent a DUI conviction or help you avoid serious penalties and regain your driving privileges as soon as possible.

Do I Have to Take Field Sobriety Tests When Pulled Over by a Police Officer?

Field sobriety tests consist of physical tasks that police officers may ask drivers to perform to determine whether they may be intoxicated. The standardized field sobriety tests that officers may use include the “walk and turn” test, the “one leg stand” test, and the “horizontal gaze nystagmus” test in which you may be asked to track an object with your eyes. Any roadside sobriety tests, including field sobriety tests or portable breathalyzer tests, are not legally required in most cases, and their sole purpose is to help an officer establish probable cause to perform an arrest. While refusing these tests may give an officer a reason to arrest you, this refusal on its own will not result in penalties.

Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?

“Implied consent” laws require drivers to undergo testing to determine whether they are impaired due to the use of alcohol, drugs, or other substances. However, these laws only apply to breathalyzer tests or other chemical tests performed after a driver is arrested for DUI. When you are taken to a police station and asked to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test, you can refuse these tests, but doing so will result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license. In Illinois, a chemical test refusal will result in a one-year suspension for a first offense or a three-year suspension for a second offense. If you do submit to a chemical test that shows that you were over the legal limit, you will face a six-month license suspension for a first offense or a one-year suspension for a second offense.

When Can I Get My License Back After a Suspension or Revocation?

Illinois allows first-time offenders to apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit following the automatic suspension of a driver’s license. This permit will require you to have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed in any vehicle that you drive, and you will not face any restrictions on where and when you can drive. If your driver’s license is revoked following a DUI conviction, or if your license has been suspended for a second time within five years, you may be able to obtain a Restricted Driving Permit based on hardship, including the need to drive for work, school, or family purposes. A Restricted Driving Permit will also require you to use a BAIID, and you will be limited to driving at certain times and for approved purposes. After your period of license suspension or revocation has been completed, you will need to apply for the reinstatement of your license with the Secretary of State.

Contact Our Waukegan Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you have any other questions about criminal cases, or if you need help defending against DUI or other charges, contact Brady Cole Trial Lawyers at 847-752-9639. We will provide you with a free consultation, and we will help you determine the defense strategies that may allow you to resolve your case successfully.

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