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When the police stop you for a routine traffic violation, it can be a stressful experience. However, if you are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the anxiety can be overwhelming. Facing criminal accusations is never easy, but Rob Hanauer and his team at Hanauer Law strive to provide support and alleviate your fears. When discussing your case with Rob, you will receive personalized attention and priority, allowing you to focus on your life while we handle your legal matters. If you require an experienced DUI lawyer in Wheaton to challenge unjust DUI charges, we are here to assist you.

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Why Choose Hanauer Law?

DUI offenses carry much harsher penalties than typical traffic violations, making them a severe concern for drivers. The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits in Illinois are strict and vary depending on age and driving occupation. If you face a DUI charge, it is crucial to have strong legal representation to navigate the complex legal process and protect your rights.

Hanauer Law is a trusted choice for DUI defense in Wheaton, Illinois. We understand the challenges and concerns that come with a DUI charge, and our team offers an informative, empathetic, and reassuring approach to ensure you receive the best representation possible. Our goal is to be as creative and thorough as possible to minimize the impact of a DUI charge on your life.

Being charged with a DUI can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, but you don't have to face it alone. Reach out to Hanauer Law today to schedule a consultation, and let us help guide you through this challenging time.

Understanding DUI Laws in Wheaton, Illinois

As a driver in Wheaton, Illinois, it's crucial for you to understand the local DUI laws. This knowledge will help you stay on the right side of the law and ensure your safety and that of other drivers and pedestrians. DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is a serious offense, and being aware of DUI laws can help you make informed decisions.

Keep the following in mind:

  • In Illinois, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is 0.08% for drivers aged 21 and over
  • For drivers under 21, any trace of alcohol in their system constitutes a DUI offense
  • For commercial drivers, the BAC limit is 0.04%
  • Law enforcement officers may also consider other factors to determine intoxication, such as the driver's impairment due to drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol, even if the driver is below the legal limit

Here are crucial elements of DUI laws that you need to be aware of:

Implied Consent Law

By operating a motor vehicle (including golf carts, ATVs, boats, mopeds, scooters, and the like) in Illinois, you automatically consent to chemical testing of your breath, blood, or urine to determine your BAC. Refusing a test can result in a 12-month license suspension for first-time offenders and longer suspensions for repeat offenders.

Administrative Penalties

If you're arrested for a DUI, your license may be suspended or revoked depending on the severity of the offense. First-time offenders with a BAC of 0.08% or more face a minimum six-month statutory summary suspension of their driving privileges, while repeat offenders might receive longer suspensions or license revocations. It is important to contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to mitigate the impact a suspension may have on your driving privileges.

Criminal Penalties

DUI convictions carry criminal penalties, including fines, imprisonment, and community service. First-time offenders may face up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. Repeat offenders face increased penalties and may even be charged with a felony.

Summary Suspension

If you're arrested for a DUI and have a BAC of 0.08% or more, your license will be summarily suspended for at least six months, starting from the 46th day following your arrest. An experienced DUI defense attorney may be able to identify an argument that could lead to a rescission of the statutory summary suspension.

Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID)

During a summary suspension, you may be eligible to obtain a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). To receive an MDDP, you must install a BAIID in your vehicle. This device requires you to submit a breath sample to start your vehicle and tests your breath at random intervals while driving.

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DUI Case Process in Wheaton

Initial Arrest and Charges

When you are arrested for a DUI in Wheaton, Illinois, the process will likely begin with the officer administering a breathalyzer or field sobriety test. If you fail these tests or refuse to take them, you will be placed under arrest and taken to the police station for booking. However, if you perform the breathalyzer test, and blow over .08, it may be hard to argue to a jury or judge that you were not guilty of DUI, even if you performed well on the field sobriety tests and your driving did not show any signs of obvious impairment. It is crucial to remain calm and respectful with the officers.

Upon being charged with a DUI, the following events typically occur:

  1. Bond hearing: The court determines the conditions of your release from custody while awaiting trial.
  2. License suspension: The Illinois Secretary of State will likely suspend your license regardless of court outcomes.
  3. Request a hearing: To contest the suspension, you must file a petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension within 90 days of your arrest.
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Court Appearances and Hearings

Your case will proceed through several court appearances. It is essential to have a DUI lawyer by your side throughout these stages:

  • Arraignment: The formal reading of your charges occurs, and you enter your plea (usually not guilty).
  • Pretrial conference: Your attorney and the prosecutor discuss potential evidence, issues, and the possibility of a plea bargain.
  • Motions hearings: Arguments are made to suppress evidence or dismiss the case based on legal or procedural issues.

Plea Bargain vs. Trial

During the case process, you and your DUI attorney in Wheaton will weigh the pros and cons of accepting a negotiated outcome or proceeding to trial. A plea bargain is a negotiated agreement between the defendant and the prosecution, usually offering reduced charges or penalties in exchange for a guilty plea.

If you decide to go to trial, the following steps take place:

  1. Jury selection: Potential jurors are interviewed and chosen to serve during your trial.
  2. Opening statements: The prosecution and defense present their statements of what they believe the evidence will show.
  3. Presentation of evidence: Witnesses are questioned, and evidence is presented for both sides.
  4. Closing arguments: A summary of the case is provided to the jurors.
  5. Jury deliberation: Jurors discuss the evidence and decide on your guilt or innocence.
  6. Verdict: The jury announces their decision. If found guilty, a sentencing date will be set. If found not guilty, you will be acquitted of the charges.

Possible Outcomes and Penalties

First-Time Offenders

If you are a first-time offender, the penalties may include:

  • Fines: Ranging from $75 to $2,000, depending on the circumstances of your case.
  • Jail time: Although possible, most first-time offenders do not receive jail time.
  • Community service: In many cases, the court may require some form of community service.
  • Educational programs: You may be required to attend classes such as treatment per a drug and alcohol evaluation, a Victim Impact Panel, or both.
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Repeat Offenses

For repeat offenders, the penalties can become more severe:

  • Fines: Subsequent offenses can result in fines of up to $25,000, depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest.
  • Jail time: A second offense typically warrants a minimum of 5 days in jail, while a third offense could lead to 10 days in jail. Blowing .16 or above will also lead to increased penalties.
  • License suspension: Second offenses usually result in 1 to 3 years, while a third offense can lead to a suspension of 5 years or more.
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Impact on Driver's License and Insurance

A DUI conviction has a significant impact on your driver's license and insurance:

  • License suspension: Depending on your case and the number of previous offenses, your license may be suspended for several months or years.
  • Restricted driving permit (RDP): After a certain suspension period, you may be eligible for an RDP, which allows limited driving privileges.
  • Insurance premiums: Your insurance provider may increase your premiums substantially after a DUI conviction.

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