Common Terms in DUI & Criminal Cases
When you are charged with a DUI or criminal offense, it can be a very scary time. While setting up a consultation with an experienced DUI and Criminal defense attorney will be your best bet, you, like most people, will want to do some research on your matter first.
One of the things that trips a lot of people up is the terminology used in DUI and criminal cases. The purpose of this article is to provide some common definitions to some of the terms and/or phrases you may encounter.
For more definitions you can look to the following resources:
General Terms: Applicable to DUI & Criminal Defense Cases
Arraignment: This is where you will learn what you are charged with, and you will tell the judge if you are pleading guilty or not guilty
Bail: The amount of money you will be required to pay to be released from custody while your case is pending
Bench Trial: a type of trial where the judge listens to all of the evidence and makes the decision of if you are guilty or not guilty.
Complaint: This is a form that gives you information about what you are charged with, time, place and location of the charge, who is making the complaint, and the police department. The details of what happened (very brief) and possibly the next court date will be included.
Felony: If you are charged with a felony in Illinois, this means that you are facing a potential prison time or a crime that is death eligible in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) for a minimum of 1 year and fines up to $25,000.00 dollars.
- Class 4 Felony: A potential imprisonment term of 1-3 years in IDOC.
- Class 3 Felony: A potential imprisonment term of 2-5 years in IDOC.
- Class 2 Felony: A potential imprisonment term of 3-7 years in IDOC.
- Class 1 Felony: A potential imprisonment term of 4-15 years in IDOC.
- Class X Felony: A potential imprisonment term of 6-30 years in IDOC.
Hearing: A hearing is similar to a trial in that the judge hears testimony or attorney arguments regarding the law that applies to the particular case you are charged with. The hearing typically has an impact on the case as a whole.
Indictment: A written statement, presented by the Grand Jury to a court, which charges the commission of an offense.
Information: A verified written statement signed by a State’s Attorney, and presented to a court, which charges the commission of an offense.
Jury Trial: A trial where 12 people, picked from your community, will listen to all of the evidence in your case. All 12 of them would have to agree that you are guilty or you will be found not guilty.
Misdemeanor: If you are charged with a misdemeanor in Illinois, this means that you are facing jail time sentences of less that one year in your local jail and maximum fines up to $2500.00.
- Class C Misdemeanor: A potential jail sentence of up to 30 days.
- Class B Misdemeanor: A potential jail sentence up to 180 days.
- Class C Misdemeanor: A potential jail sentence up to 364 days.
Preliminary Hearing: This is usually a short hearing in front of the judge to determine if the prosecution has probable cause to charge you with the offense you have been charged with. This does not mean that the prosecution will ultimately be able to prove you guilty of the offense, but it means they have enough to proceed with the case.
Probable Cause: Very generally, this means that the police have enough information to charge you with a crime or to conduct some type of search.
Supervision: Supervision means the case is continued for a certain amount of time. During that time, you have to fulfill the conditions set by the court. There is no conviction entered against you. If you do what the court says, the case is dismissed at the end
Common DUI Specific Terms
Abstract: This is a record of all your driving history within the state of Illinois and other states. The prosecution will take a look at this and consider it, along with any criminal history you have to determine how to charge you. We often ask that you bring a copy of this form with you when you come to the consultation so that we can assess how we need to approach your DUI.
Aggravated DUI: A felony charge of DUI. You can be charged with aggravated DUI under several circumstances. For example, if you get a DUI and you were never issued a driver’s license, you could be charged with Aggravated DUI. A third or subsequent DUI is also an Aggravated DUI.
Alcohol and Drug Evaluation: This is an evaluation that determines what substance abuse issues you have and what level of treatment you need to address your issues. Before sentencing, you must complete this evaluation. The law requires that this be done prior to the judge giving you a sentence.
Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID: This is a device that you put onto the ignition of your car that requires you to blow into it every time you drive. You may be required to get one of these as part of your DUI sentence, to get a Restricted Driving Permit, or to have your license reinstated.
DASA Approved Evaluator: A DUI evaluation or treatment facility that is approved by the Department of Human Services Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse. Your DUI evaluation and treatment must be completed by a DASA approved agency. Please note, specific counties have specific locations they want you to go to so you will need to check your county’s rule or have your lawyer tell you.
D.U.I.: Driving Under the Influence. You will often hear the term DUI for short. A DUI refers to any type of DUI including a DUI for driving under the influence of alcohol, a DUI for driving under the influence of marijuana or other drugs.
Formal Hearing: A formal hearing is required for a driver whose privileges have been suspended or revoked for an offense(s) involving a fatality or multiple DUI dispositions.
Informal Hearing: An informal hearing is required for a driver whose privileges have been suspended or revoked for an offense(s) not involving a fatality, a single DUI disposition or for sanctions related to lesser moving violations.
Illinois Secretary of State: This is the agency that gives you your driver’s license and the agency that has the power to revoke or suspend your driver’s license. Except for the PTR hearing, all hearings regarding your license are carried out by this agency.
Law Enforcement Sworn Report (LESR): The police officer fills out this form after placing you under arrest and sends this form to the Illinois Secretary of State. It will contain information as to whether you submitted to chemical testing, the results of the chemical test, if applicable, and a short description of what the officer observed during his/her investigation of you for DUI.
Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP): This is an option for first time DUI offenders to drive during the suspension of their driver’s license as long as they have a BAIID device installed in their vehicle. The MDDP is not valid if you are driving a car without the BAIID.
Petition to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension (PTR)): This is the form you file to challenge the suspension of your driving privileges after an arrest for DUI.
Restricted Driving Permit: This is a special hardship license that allows you to drive within certain guidelines during the period of revocation. You will often be required to install a BAIID device to get this special license.
Revocation of Driver’s License: This means that your driving privileges are revoked indefinitely, and you must go through a formal hearing to get your driving privileges restored.
Statutory Summary Suspension: Anytime you are arrested for a DUI in Illinois, you will receive this type of suspension. This suspension is given regardless of whether you are ultimately found guilty of the DUI itself. The length of time of this suspension varies depending on your DUI history and whether you submitted to chemical testing.
Statutory Summary Suspension Hearing (also often called a “SS HEARING”): After you file your petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension, you will have a court hearing to tell the court why your suspension should be rescinded.
Suspension of Driver’s License: This means that your driving privileges will be suspended for a definite time. After that time has ended you are eligible to pay a reinstatement fee and no formal hearing is required.
Warning to Motorist: This is a set of warnings that the police officer is required to give to you before asking you to submit to chemical testing. An officer’s failure to read these warnings before asking you to submit to a chemical test may invalidate the statutory suspension of your driver’s license.
As we said at the beginning of this article, these are some of the most common words or phrases you will hear in the Criminal and DUI context. An experienced criminal and DUI defense lawyer will know this terminology and be able to explain them to you in more detail. If you are charged with a criminal or DUI offense, contact Attorney Anisa Jordan. Anisa has been practicing criminal law for over a decade. While Anisa practices throughout Cook and the collar counties, she primarily spends her time in Lake County at the Waukegan main courthouse and Cook County, the Rolling Meadows Courthouse.Read More
What Happens If I Get A DUI/OWI in Wisconsin and I Have an Illinois Driver’s License?
If you have an Illinois driver’s license and you get a DUI in Wisconsin, will your Illinois Driver’s license be impacted? Yes, you will likely have an impact to your driving privileges in Illinois. It is important that you consult with an experienced DUI lawyer to evaluate your specific situation. Here are the top five questions and answers regarding getting a Wisconsin DUI when you have an Illinois driver’s license.
Top Five Questions and Answers about how getting A DUI/OWI in Wisconsin affects your Illinois Driver’s License
Question No. 1: Will Illinois Find Out About My DUI/OWI in Wisconsin?
ANSWER: The short answer is probably yes. Illinois will likely find out about your DUI/OWI conviction in Wisconsin. As of the date of this post, Wisconsin is not part of the Driver’s License Compact, so it will not directly report to Illinois. However, the conviction may be added to your national criminal record. If the Secretary of State of Illinois runs this background check, it may discover your DUI. In some cases, Illinois may not become aware of this information until you go to have your driver’s license renewed.
Question No. 2: Will My Driver’s License be Revoked for my Wisconsin OWI/DUI?
ANSWER: Yes. Once you are sentenced in Wisconsin on the DUI/OWI, your Illinois driver’s license will be revoked. This is perhaps one of the harshest things about getting a DUI/OWI in Wisconsin with an Illinois driver’s license. Depending on whether this is your first offense or not, your driving privileges in Illinois will be revoked for a minimum of 1 year. After the period of revocation has passed, reinstatement of your driving privileges is not automatic. You will have to go through an extensive and expensive process of applying to have your driving privileges reinstated with the Illinois Secretary of State.
Question No. 3: What Happens If I Refuse the Breathalyzer in my DUI/OWI in Wisconsin?
ANSWER: With limited exceptions, Illinois drivers can refuse to submit to chemical testing (for example, a breathalyzer, blood or urine test) for suspected DUI. There are no criminal penalties for a person’s refusal. However, depending on your DUI history, your license will be suspended for a minimum of 1 year when you refuse to submit. So, if the refusal is reported to Illinois, you may face a period of suspension of your Illinois driving privileges under the Illinois DUI summary suspension laws.
Question No. 4: Is There Any Relief or Waiver I Can Get So I Can Still Drive in Illinois While My License Is Revoked?
ANSWER: Possibly. In Illinois, you will have to apply for what is called a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP). You can find out if you are eligible for the RDP by meeting with a hearing officer at your local Secretary of State Office. In general, to be eligible, you must demonstrate that the revocation of your driver’s license is causing a hardship for you. You may be required to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) as a condition of being awarded a RDP.
QUESTION No. 5: Can Illinois Put Me in Jail for My DUI/OWI in Wisconsin?
ANSWER: No. Illinois cannot give you jail time for the DUI/OWI you received in Wisconsin. While a first OWI in Wisconsin is not a criminal offense, subsequent DUIs in that state can be jailable depending on various factors in Wisconsin. It should be noted, however, that Illinois can put you in jail for driving in Illinois when your Illinois driver’s license has been revoked because of the DUI/OWI you got in Wisconsin.
Illinois drivers, especially those living in the northern cities of the state, like Waukegan, drive frequently over the border into Wisconsin for relaxation and better taxes for things such as food items and gas. It is extremely important that you consult with an experienced Waukegan, Illinois DUI attorney to evaluate the consequences of your DUI/OWI in Wisconsin on your Illinois driver’s license. Attorney Anisa Jordan of The Jordan Law Firm has more than a decade of experience advising clients on DUIs and litigating DUIs at trial. Anisa is also familiar with the interplay between a DUI in Wisconsin and its consequences on an Illinois driver’s license. Contact the firm to set up a free consultation.Read More
What Happens to My Kids if I Get a DUI?
Your Parental Rights Are at Stake if DCFS Gets Involved in Your DUI Case
Getting arrested for DUI is troublesome. You might have to go to jail, lose your license, and pay massive fines. Did you know that you could face stiffer DUI penalties if the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) gets involved?
Picking up a DUI charge could throw your life into a tailspin. Not only does a DUI charge hurt you, but it can also hurt your whole family. Your parental rights may be at stake if you have a DUI conviction. Take charge of your family’s future right now by getting the right Illinois DUI charges defense lawyer on your side. With aggressive defense from attorney Anisa Jordan at The Jordan Law Firm, you may be able to keep your family together.
What Happens if DCFS Gets Involved in My DUI Case?
DCFS is the Illinois state agency responsible for protecting children from harm. DCFS helps parents raise their children by providing a range of services. However, DCFS also has the power to take your children from you if you put them in danger.
An experienced Illinois DUI charges defense lawyer will explain that there are two typical ways DCFS could get involved in your DUI case: driving drunk with a child in your car and having a DUI charge during child custody proceedings. Let’s talk about those scenarios in greater detail.
Serious DUI Penalties for Driving Under the Influence with a Child in Your Car
The DUI penalties in Illinois are serious. A first offense DUI in Illinois is a Class A misdemeanor. That means you could spend up to a year in jail, and pay a fine of up to $2,500. But often, first-time offenders of simple DUI charges get lesser sentences including probation instead of jail time.
However, Illinois DUI penalties increase if a child under 16 is in the car when the police arrest you. If convicted, the judge could send you to jail for up to six months. Also, the judge must assess a minimum mandatory fine of $1,000, and a minimum of 25 hours of community service in a program that benefits children.
You could also face a charge of aggravated DUI if you get a DUI while a child is in your car. Your charge could be increased from basic DUI to aggravated DUI if:
- You have a previous conviction for DUI, or
- If you injure the child in a crash due to your intoxication.
Aggravated DUI in Illinois is a Class 4 felony. The judge can punish you by sending you to prison for up to one year — as opposed to county jail. Also, the judge could fine you up to $25,000.
You could have a DUI charge for drinking and driving, taking drugs, or being under the influence of both alcohol and drugs. You should note that you can face DUI charges for having marijuana in your system even if you have a medical marijuana card.
DUI Penalties with Prior Convictions
All penalties become more severe if you have prior convictions for DUI. Keep in mind that convictions from other states can count as a previous conviction under Illinois law. You face a Class 2 felony for your third or fourth offenses. The sentence for a Class 2 felony ranges from three to seven years. However, if you have four prior convictions, you face a Class 1 felony. A Class 1 felony carries a prison sentence between four and 15 years. Finally, a sixth or subsequent conviction is a Class X felony. You could serve between six and 30 years for this crime. However, you should know that if you had a child in the car while driving under the influence with a subsequent offense, you must pay a $25,000 fine. Also, you have to complete 25 hours of community service in a setting that benefits children.
Child endangerment happens when an adult acts in a way that may cause or permit harm to the health or safety of a child under 18. Also, you could have a child endangerment charge if you put a child in circumstances in which the child’s life is in danger. The police could charge you with this crime and DUI.
Child endangerment is a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense. You could go to jail for up to one year and pay a fine of $1,000. However, child endangerment becomes a Class 3 felony if you have a prior conviction for the same charge. A Class 3 felony carries between two and five years in state prison.
You could be charged with a Class 3 felony if the child dies as a result of child endangerment. According to the child endangerment statute, you could serve up to 10 years in prison, with a two-year minimum sentence. Notwithstanding, the parent of a child may get probation.
How Does DCFS Get Involved in My DUI Case?
If a child is present during an arrest, law enforcement agents in Illinois have a duty to report this to DCFS. Therefore, the police will call DCFS if you have a child in your car when they stop you for DUI. DCFS must inquire into the situation to be sure the child is safe. Usually, this means that a sober parent must pick up the child at the arrest scene or at the police department. DCFS will place the child with a relative if the other parent is not available.
Your DUI case also triggers DCFS involvement if you already have a family court case pending. The family court judge could order a DCFS investigation if you are in the midst of child custody or divorce proceedings when you pick up the DUI charge.
DCFS involvement could lead to greater penalties for you. DCFS has a lot of power. They could use their power to initiate legal proceedings that remove your children from your home if you have a substance misuse problem. They can also ask the judge to impose other conditions on you before you can regain custody of your kids.
Drinking and driving is one sign you have a drinking problem. Other indicators include your children arriving at school with dirty clothes, no food, or with signs of child abuse present. At that point, DCFS could order you to go to substance dependence counseling or take other steps to protect your children.
Act Now Before It’s Too Late
Facing a DUI charge is stressful, but DCFS involvement can ramp that stress level up quite a bit. Combat the stress by acting right away. Contacting Illinois DUI charges defense attorney Anisa Jordan at The Jordan Law Firm right away can help you form a winning defense strategy. From the moment you speak with Anisa and her team, you will know she is on your side. Call 312-380-9221 to make an appointment.Read More
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of Marijuana
In 2019, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana use. Since January 2020, Illinoisans—and out of state visitors—are allowed to purchase marijuana for personal use from state-licensed retailers. Legalizing recreational marijuana is not a simple process. To protect public health and safety while also legalizing marijuana, legislators have to address public health and safety questions in their legislation.
One of the most important public health questions is how to protect the public against individuals driving under the influence of marijuana. Many believe that driving under the influence of marijuana isn’t as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. This is not true. Marijuana slows down reaction times, affects visual perception, and can act as a distraction itself, so driving under its influence is just as dangerous as driving after drinking.
Read on for a breakdown of Illinois’ cannabis DUI laws, including driving under the influence penalties.
Can I Get a DUI for Driving on Marijuana in Illinois?
Because it is dangerous to drive under the influence of marijuana, it is illegal to do so in Illinois. In fact, if you are caught driving high in Illinois, the state can charge you with a driving under the influence (DUI) infraction. A DUI is a Class A Misdemeanor in Illinois. If convicted of DUI, the consequences can include jail time for up to a year, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. As a result of the harsh penalties, anyone facing a marijuana-related DUI charge should retain the services of an experienced local attorney handling DUI cases as soon as possible.
How Do They Test for Marijuana?
If Illinois police pull someone over during a traffic stop and suspect that they are under the influence of marijuana, they can administer a chemical sobriety test. A traditional breathalyzer test cannot test for the presence of marijuana like it does with alcohol. Instead, Illinois police use two different methods to chemically detect marijuana. Both methods look for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the body.
The first method is a blood test. If someone is suspected of driving under the influence, the police can administer a blood test to look for THC in their bloodstream. A positive test result of more than 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood supports a DUI charge. The second method is the testing of other bodily substances for the presence of THC. Most often done through a urinalysis, a positive result of 10 nanograms of THC per milliliter of other bodily substance also supports a DUI charge. Readers should note that as with alcohol, driving with an open container of marijuana in the car can trigger a DUI charge.
What If I Refuse the Test?
If you refuse to take a sobriety test, there are consequences. If the police suspect you of driving under the influence of marijuana and you refuse a sobriety test, your driver’s license is subject to an administrative suspension.
Like all states, Illinois has an implied consent rule attached to its driving regulations. In Illinois, this means that by driving in the state, you automatically consent for police to administer chemical tests when they suspect a DUI. According to this set of rules, known as the Statutory Summary Suspension Rules for suspected DUI, anyone who refuses a chemical test is subject to driver license suspension for some time. The summary suspension is an administrative penalty, so it is entirely separate from any related criminal offenses. However, prosecutors can use someone’s refusal of a chemical test and subsequent summary suspension as evidence for a criminal DUI charge.
How Long Do Special Statutory Summary Suspensions Last?
The length of an Illinois statutory summary suspension for suspected DUI depends on two factors. First, it depends on whether the suspected individual is a first time offender. Second, the suspension length hinges on whether the suspected individual failed or refused testing.
If someone has no prior DUIs or summary suspensions from any state in the last 5 years, they qualify as a first offender. If someone has a summary suspension but does not have a criminal DUI charge, they are not a first offender.
First offenders who fail a chemical sobriety test face a 6-month license suspension. On the other hand, first offenders who refuse a chemical sobriety test face a 12-month license suspension.
Summary suspension periods for repeated offenders are harsher than those for first offenders. Someone who is a repeat offender and fails a chemical sobriety test faces a 12-month administrative license suspension. Finally, a repeat offender who refuses a chemical sobriety test is subject to a 36-month administrative license suspension. Anyone facing a summary suspension for DUI can appeal the decision in Circuit Court by filling out the form on the back of the summary suspension notice that they receive in the mail.
You Can get a Marijuana DUI Even If You Are Not Stoned
Because of the way marijuana works in the body, you can end up with a DUI charge even when you are not high. The threshold amounts of THC for a marijuana DUI are microscopic. A nanogram is one billionth of a gram, so you can see how easily the concentration of THC in your blood can reach the threshold. THC is fat soluble and remains detectable in the body for hours or sometimes days after someone uses marijuana. Many different factors affect how long it is detectable in the bloodstream, including your overall health, metabolism, and body fat percentage, as well as how often you use marijuana. People who use marijuana regularly often have detectable THC in their blood a few days after the marijuana’s effects have worn off. Thus, even when you do not feel marijuana’s effects, if you regularly use marijuana and drive, a DUI is a constant risk. You can cite not feeling marijuana’s effects at the time of a traffic stop as grounds for an appeal or reduced sentence, but by the letter of the law, such a defense will not always work.
What Are the Penalties for a Marijuana DUI?
As noted, Illinois prosecutes most first-time DUI charges as Class A misdemeanors. A conviction for a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois brings up to one year imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. For repeat offenders, and those who injure others while driving under the influence, the penalties increase. Second offenders can expect a mandatory minimum of five days imprisonment on top of other penalties.
In the third and fourth instance, a DUI aggravates to a Class 2 felony, which brings three to seven years imprisonment, up to $25,000 in fines, or both. Finally, fifth and sixth offenses are Class 1 felonies that bring 4-15 years imprisonment and 6-30 years imprisonment, respectively, alongside the same fines as a third or fourth offense. The best way to mitigate any of these penalties is to hire an experienced local attorney handling DUI cases to fight the charge.
Trying to avoid fines, jail time, and license suspension is not the only reason to fight a marijuana-related DUI offense. There are countless penalties aside from those imposed by the state that a DUI can cause. Here are just a few of them:
- Social stigma;
- Job loss due to the criminal charge;
- Job loss due to an inability to drive to work;
- Job loss due to missing work for jail time;
- Increase in car insurance rates;
- Difficulty finding future employment;
- Difficulty getting a loan or a mortgage; and
- Jeopardization of child custody.
These are just a few of the many ways that a DUI can negatively impact your life. Despite its recent legalization, the negative social stigma surrounding marijuana use is still prevalent in many social circles. Thus, any marijuana-related criminal charge can have ancillary penalties entirely separate from those that the state imposes.
If You Find Yourself Facing a Marijuana-Related DUI Charge
If the police are charging you with a marijuana related DUI, don’t wait to find legal help. Call us at The Jordan Law Firm today. The Jordan Law Firm has considerable experience in defending clients against DUI charges specifically, so we know the ins and outs of Illinois DUI rules. Furthermore, the DUI legal practitioner at our Arlington Heights and Waukegan locations closely followed the development of Illinois’ marijuana DUI laws long before the state implemented them. For these reasons, our lawyer can offer an unmatched level of service and expertise to our clients affected by Illinois’ marijuana DUI laws. Don’t wait for someone else to protect your freedom and constitutional rights. Instead, take things into your own hands and call us at The Jordan Law Firm today for the white glove legal service you deserve.Read More
What You Need to Know About DUI Evaluations and Sentencing
After a DUI conviction, you have to go through a formal DUI evaluation called the Alcohol and Drug Uniform Report. The purpose of this assessment is to look at your past behavior with drugs and alcohol and measure the possibility you’ll drive impaired again.
Illinois law requires a DUI evaluation if you’re hoping to win supervision, and the judge has to review the report before handing down a sentence. The only way to avoid this process is to beat the DUI charges.
Your best chance of getting the charges dropped or winning an acquittal is with the help of a DUI defense legal practitioner. Call The Jordan Law Firm at 312-380-9, or use the online form to book a free consultation. Based in Waukegan, IL, Anisa Jordan defends individuals in Cook, Lake, McHenry, Kane, and DuPage Counties.
When Do I Have to Go Through a DUI Evaluation?
After a conviction, a judge will order you to go through the evaluation process before sentencing you for a DUI. Illinois law requires it. The Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) requires you to go through the evaluation process before getting a restricted driver’s license or regaining your full driving privileges. DUI evaluations are usually related to DUI charges, but not always.
You have to pay for the DUI evaluation. If you can’t afford it, Illinois requires each evaluation provider to offer it at a reduced rate.
Who Performs DUI Evaluations?
The Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse of the Illinois Department of Human Resources licenses DUI evaluation programs and DUI evaluators. You, your lawyer, the prosecutor, and the judge know your DUI evaluator. But their name and recommendation are sealed in the court records, which means they aren’t public knowledge.
Cook County and its collar counties have their own rules and procedures for DUI evaluations. The evaluation is standardized for all of Illinois, but your process varies a little depending on the county. Some county courts require you to go through a DUI evaluation with a specific organization.
The DUI Evaluation Process
During your assessment, the DUI evaluator reviews your:
- Driving history,
- Chemical test results,
- Objective Test score and category, and
- Interview answers.
You have to participate in a face-to-face interview with the evaluator. They’ll ask you about your current and past alcohol and drug use. They’ll ask you about past DUI arrests or convictions if there are any on your record. You don’t have to answer questions about any current DUI or criminal charges. But refusing to answer questions means the evaluator might consider the review incomplete.
The evaluator will compare your answers to your driving history and chemical test results. It’s important that you tell the truth. The evaluator will note if you refuse to answer, lie, or provide inconsistent answers.
The evaluator assigns you a risk level and records their recommendation on the Alcohol and Drug Uniform Report form for the court or the SOS.
The DUI Evaluator Assigns You a Risk Level
The evaluator assigns you a level of minimal, moderate, significant, or high risk, which indicates the likelihood that you’ll drive drunk or while on drugs again. Your risk level determines the type and length of treatment the judge orders.
The judge has some discretion in sentencing you, but they can’t go below the minimum consequences required by law.
This level indicates you don’t have any previous DUI cases, had a BAC less than 0.15, and have no symptoms of alcohol or drug abuse or dependence. A judge may require you to complete at least 10 hours of DUI risk education.
A moderate risk level shows you have no previous DUI cases, had a high BAC in your current case, but have no other signs of substance abuse or dependence. A judge may require you to complete at least 10 hours of DUI risk education and 12 hours of early intervention over four weeks. The judge also may assign you to complete any necessary treatment and participate in a continuing care plan.
This risk level shows you have a previous DUI or similar conviction on your record, a BAC of .20 or higher in the current case, and other symptoms of substance abuse. A judge may require you to complete at least 10 hours of DUI risk education, go through at least 20 hours of alcohol or drug treatment, and participate in a continuing care plan.
You’re considered high risk if you have symptoms of substance dependence regardless of your driving record or have two prior DUI convictions within the previous 10 years. A judge may require you to complete at least 75 hours of alcohol or drug treatment and participate in a continuing care plan. You may be required to admit yourself to an in-patient treatment facility.
Other Possible Outcomes After a DUI Evaluation
If you don’t cooperate with the assessment, you may face:
- An additional evaluation process at your expense;
- Delayed sentencing in your DUI case;
- Restricted driving privileges; or
- Loss of driving privileges.
Also, remember that these consequences are in addition to other penalties, such as jail time, probation, fines, court fees, a driver’s license suspension, and an installation of an ignition interlock device.
Your Rights During a DUI Evaluation
At any time during the evaluation process, you have the right to:
- Withdraw from the process;
- Seek a second opinion through another evaluation; or
- Reject the completed evaluation.
Whether any of these options is a good idea depends on your case. It’s best to consult a DUI defense legal practitioner about your options. You may benefit from a new evaluation with a different professional.
Call a Waukegan DUI Legal Team Today
Anisa Jordan, the founder of The Jordan Law Firm, is ready to defend you against DUI charges in Waukegan and throughout the Chicago area. She fights to get you the best possible results, whether that’s dropped charges, an acquittal, or a lenient sentence.
Contact us online or call 312-380-9221 to schedule a free consultation.Read More
Can I Get a DUI While Boating?
The weather’s slowly improving in Northern Illinois, and for some of us, that means getting out on the water. A day on Lake Michigan can be the perfect way to relax and spend time with family and friends. But if you mix boating with a few alcoholic drinks, you might find yourself in trouble with the law.
Operating any vessel under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both is illegal in Illinois. It’s a lot like getting arrested for DUI.
If you or a relative find yourself charged with boating under the influence (BUI), call The Jordan Law Firm at 224-340-6522 for help.
What Is Illinois’s Boating Under the Influence Law?
You can be charged with a crime if you operate or are in physical control of a watercraft while:
- You’re under the influence of alcohol;
- Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher;
- You’re under the influence of any drugs or combination of drugs that make you incapable of operating a watercraft safely;
- You have any amount of a controlled substance in your system; or
- You’re under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug.
Any amount of alcohol or an illegal drug in your system, even THC from legal cannabis, can lead to BUI charges. Most of the time, officers look for people over the legal limit. But the police can arrest you if they believe you aren’t operating a boat or other vessel safely because of drugs or alcohol.
What’s a Watercraft?
Illinois statutes use the term watercraft or vessel instead of boat. You might wonder why and ask, What is a watercraft? The term is defined in the Boat Registration and Safety Act as “every description of watercraft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water,” though it explicitly doesn’t mean seaplanes.
A watercraft could be a:
- Personal watercraft like a jet ski,
- Non-powered watercraft like a canoe or kayak,
- Sailboat, or
If you believe you weren’t on a watercraft at the time of your arrest, talk with a lawyer right away.
Who Can Stop Me for a BUI?
Several authorities can stop you while boating off Waukegan Harbor, including the Illinois Conservation Police, the Lake County Sheriff Office’s Marine Unit, or the U.S. Coast Guard. They may stop you to check you’re following the rules and then may suspect you’re intoxicated. Or they may stop your boat because they notice signs of impairment.
What Happens After a BUI Arrest?
You may be arrested and booked into jail. At that time, you might be released on bail or held until your arraignment. If the police let you go quickly, don’t get back on a boat. Under Illinois law, you can’t operate a watercraft in the state for 24 hours after your arrest.
Do I Have to Take a Chemical Test?
Anyone who operates or controls a watercraft in Illinois has consented to a breath, blood, or urine test if the police arrest them for a BUI.
Do you have to give a breath, blood, or urine sample after a BUI arrest in Illinois? Yes and no. You can decline. But there are consequences for violating the implied consent law. If you refuse, your boating privileges will be suspended for at least two years.
Your license suspension goes into effect 28 days after your arrest. If you want to challenge the license suspension, call a lawyer right away. We can request a hearing on your behalf and fight the suspension and the charges.
Defending Against a Misdemeanor BUI Charge
After you’re arrested for a BUI, you’ll typically face a Class A misdemeanor charge. If you plead guilty or are convicted, a judge can sentence you to up to 364 days in jail. A judge can also fine you up to $2,500. Other potential punishments include supervision, probation, restitution, community service, home detention with electronic monitoring, or work release.
Under some circumstances, a BUI becomes a felony, which comes with much harsher consequences.
A prosecutor charges you with a Class 4 felony if:
- You have a previous BUI conviction;
- You caused another person great bodily harm, disfigurement, or a permanent disability; or
- You were operating a boat while your license was revoked or suspended due to a BUI.
A Class 4 felony is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine up to $24,000. But if you’re convicted for a BUI during which you caused someone serious harm, then you face between 1 and 12 years in prison.
A prosecutor would charge you with a Class 2 felony if you caused someone’s death while BUI. If convicted, you face between 3 and 14 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
Don’t panic while reading these potential punishments. You need to know the worst-case scenario. But you might be able to avoid it by hiring an experienced defense attorney.
What If You Had a Child or Teen on the Boat?
If a minor under 16 years old was on the boat at the time of the BUI, you will face harsher penalties. If convicted, you have to pay a fine of at least $500 and complete at least five days of community service in a program that benefits children. The fine and number of days could be a lot higher.
You Might Lose Your Boating License
The Department of Natural Resources can suspend your boating privileges for a misdemeanor or felony BUI. If you’re a first-time BUI offender and found guilty of a misdemeanor, you’re exempt from the mandatory one-year suspension. If you’re guilty of a felony, you’ll lose your boating license for three years.
Ready to Call a Waukegan BUI Defense Lawyer?
Anisa Jordan, the founder of The Jordan Law Firm, can help you navigate BUI charges in Lake County or Cook County. She prides herself on fighting for individuals facing criminal charges. She knows how frustrating and scary the experience can be, especially if this is your first time in court.
Contact us online or call 224-340-6522 to set up a free consultation.Read More