COVID-19 Update! We are still open and We are now offering Virtual Meetings to all our clients.
Please call us at (815) 290-9170(708) 919-5415 for any help.

The MacNeil Firm Ltd. Call Our Office to Make a Payment

Facing DUI Charges In Illinois State

Facing DUI Charges In Illinois State - Frankfort, ILIf you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, your thoughts are likely filled with questions. You may be concerned about what happens next, how you should plead, or how many times you will need to go to court. This article will cover all of the basics of DUI charges in Illinois, including:

  • What happens after you are stopped for driving under the influence, and whether you will be arrested or have to post bail.
  • Why you should initially plead “Not Guilty,” even if your breath test was over the legal limit.
  • When police officers are required to read you your Miranda Rights, and what happens if they fail to do so.

If I Am Charged With Driving Under The Influence, Will I Be Arrested And Taken To Jail?

In most cases, when you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Illinois – which is typically a misdemeanor, but can be a felony – you will be arrested. Following your arrest, you will be taken to the police department and released after processing and fingerprinting. Illinois no longer requires cash bail for misdemeanor DUI offenses, so you will not need to post bail.

However, in other areas such as  Indiana, if you are arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI), you may still have to post cash bail. If you cannot, you will remain in police custody.

Can I Be Charged With DUI If My BAC Was Below The Legal Limit?

You can be charged with DUI even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is below the legal limit of 0.08. You could be charged under a separate statute that alleges impairment even if you are not over the limit.

Specific statutory presumptions come into play depending on your BAC. If your BAC falls between 0.05 and 0.07, there are no automatic presumptions. However, if your BAC is very low, such as 0.05 or less, there is a presumption that you are not under the influence of alcohol. Nonetheless, it is still possible to face DUI charges with a BAC under 0.08.

What Charges Will I Face If I Blew Higher Than The Legal BAC Level?

If it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt during your trial that your BAC was 0.16 or higher, it does not result in a different charge.  However, it can lead to additional sentencing requirements. For a first offender with a BAC that is double the limit or higher, there is a mandatory minimum of 100 hours of community service and a minimum fine of $500.

A second-time DUI offender with a BAC of 0.16 or higher must serve a mandatory two days in jail and face a minimum fine of $1,250. A third-time or higher DUI offender with a BAC double the limit (0.16 or higher) will face a mandatory minimum of 90 days in jail and a minimum fine of $5,000.

Should I Still Plead Not Guilty If My Breath Test Was Over The Legal Limit?

In almost all DUI cases, individuals initially plead not guilty. This provides an opportunity to gather and review all the evidence in the case, a process known as discovery. The state is required to provide all evidence that they intend to use against you in court.

This discovery process allows a thorough analysis, helping to determine solid defense strategies. Even if you have taken a breathalyzer or a blood test indicating a BAC over the limit, there may be motions available to suppress that evidence or other circumstances that could form the basis of a defense. If you do not immediately plead not guilty, this cannot happen.

When Will I Make A Plea In Court For My DUI Case?

During your first court appearance, the majority of DUI defendants initially plead not guilty. However, this can change based on the evidence available. After reviewing all the evidence and weighing your options, we will decide what the best option is.

If a valid defense is established, and the case is headed to trial or will involve filing motions to suppress evidence, the judge or jury will determine guilt or innocence. If it is determined that the state has a strong case, a negotiated plea agreement may be an option, leading to a guilty plea based on agreed sentencing terms.

How Many Times Do I Have To Go To Court For My DUI?

The average DUI case requires somewhere between three and six court appearances that occur approximately once a month, translating to about three to six months in total. This can vary based on certain circumstances. For example, hospital records, or results of  a blood or urine test can take longer to obtain. Additionally, litigating the case, filing pretrial motions, or going to trial would extend the length of the case as well.

What Happens If Police Failed To Read Me My Miranda Rights During My DUI Arrest?

Despite what most people may think, largely in part due to television and movies, Miranda warnings are generally not required when an officer begins investigating a situation shortly after pulling you over. They come into play only when you have been taken into custody and are being questioned about facts related to your arrest. While this may not be a significant issue in DUI cases, we do not necessarily rule it out either.

Can Information Gathered During My Arrest Be Used Against Me In Court If My Miranda Rights Were Not Read?

Information collected in violation of Miranda rights can be suppressed and hence cannot be used in court. As mentioned, Miranda rights only come into play once you are in custody and being interrogated about your arrest.

Statements made before the arrest during the investigation phase do not require Miranda warnings. Yet, if these statements were obtained in violation of Miranda, we can request the judge to suppress them.

Can I Refuse To Answer Questions Asked By An Officer During A DUI Arrest?

You have the right to refuse to answer questions during a DUI investigation and arrest. However, there are certain things you must do, such as providing identification or a driver’s license when requested, as well as exiting the vehicle if told to do so.

Can The Police Search My Car Without A Warrant In A DUI Case?

While a warrant is typically required for a vehicle search, there are exceptions in DUI cases that permit police officers to search your vehicle. If they have probable cause to believe that evidence related to the DUI is in the vehicle, they can conduct a search.

Additionally, if you provide consent for the search, they can proceed. After your arrest, the police have the right to search your vehicle under what is referred to as a search incident to arrest, which is essentially just an inventory of your car at that point because you have already been arrested.

Can The Police Stop Me Without Probable Cause And Start A DUI Investigation?

Probable cause is necessary to stop and detain a vehicle. However, in a DUI case, probable cause can be as simple as a traffic violation, such as speeding or improper lane usage.

If a judge determines there was no probable cause for the initial stop, any evidence obtained thereafter may be eligible for suppression and excluded from the trial. In other words, if the stop was deemed illegal, any evidence gathered during or after that stop could be excluded from the trial.

What Happens If The Police Obtain Evidence During An Unreasonable Search In A DUI Case?

If there was a search made without probable cause, we can file a motion to suppress that evidence. If the judge determines that there was no probable cause for the search, then any evidence obtained during or subsequent to that search would be excluded from trial. Thus, police cannot use the evidence they obtained during an unreasonable search.

For more information on Facing DUI Charges In Illinois State, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (708) 218-0947 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

Get your questions answered - Call now for FREE case evaluation (708) 218-0947.

Request Free Case Evaluation