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Chicago criminal defense attorneyWhen you think of a police search, you may picture law enforcement officers going through your personal belongings looking for illegal drugs, unlicensed firearms, and other evidence that could be used against you in a criminal proceeding. This scenario is certainly one type of police search, and one that generally requires a warrant or your express permission, but there are other types of searches as well.

An Important Question

One of these is a type of search that our founding fathers could never have foreseen when drafting the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as it involves modern digital technology. Thus, two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court was tasked with determining whether the search of a person’s cell phone constitutes a search as defined by the Fourth Amendment and whether a warrant in necessary to allow such a search.


Chicago criminal defense attorneysMost criminal charges related to drug possession and other drug crimes are largely based on the evidence found by law enforcement during a search of a suspect’s property—often a home or vehicle. The United States Constitution, however, places very strict limits on how and when law enforcement officers may conduct such searches so that the Fourth Amendment rights of the suspect are not compromised. In most cases, the police must obtain a warrant from a judge authorizing the search based on probable cause that the search will yield useful evidence, illegal weapons, or drugs. The other alternative is for the suspect to allow the search when requested, though granting such permission is not often a good idea.

As police investigatory techniques evolve, controversies often arise regarding whether creative procedures place a citizen’s constitutional rights in jeaopardy. Such was the issue before the United States Supreme Court several years ago as it considered the constitutionality of the use of drug-sniffing dogs on a suspect’s property before obtaining a search warrant.

Florida v. Jardines


Chicago criminal defense attorneyThe moment a driver is pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she is often faced with a series of field and sobriety tests—including blood-alcohol content (BAC) tests—that ultimately help determine their fate in a court of law. Whatever the outcome, the driver found guilty of a DUI offense faces everything from the loss of driving privileges and serious prison time to hefty fines and community service. Depending on the severity of the conviction, the driver’s life can be affected for months, and even years following the DUI arrest.

The Science Behind the Breathalyzer

When so much rests on the results of sobriety tests, it is understandable that the reliability of such tests are questioned and challenged. So, just how reliable are breathalyzers? How do they work, and can they be trusted? In short, a breathalyzer is a modified infrared radiation spectrometer. That is a fancy term for a device that measures the absorption of organic compounds in the blood stream - in this case, alcohol. When you blow into a breathalyzer, the alcohol that is in your blood transfers through to your breath, and the device calibrates to read the concentration of alcohol in your system.


Chicago DUI Defense attorneyIf you find yourself arrested for driving under the influence in the state of Illinois, refusing a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) test of any kind can mean severe consequences for you from that very moment. If you have not yet been arrested for DUI, however, refusing a BAC test may offer a few advantages as you move forward with the defense of your case.

You Have Decided to Refuse a Breathalyzer Test. Now What?

Refusing a test before you have been arrested and taken into custody prevents law enforcement from collecting any incriminating evidence against you in a court of law. At this stage, you still have the option to shape the course of your fate in terms of charges and the penalties that accompany them, but how you proceed with the refusal is important.


Chicago DUI defense attorneyWhen you are pulled over for the suspicion of driving under the influence, you have the right to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test if you wish to do so. There are, however, consequences to this option, just as there are consequences to submitting to the test if you have in fact been consuming alcohol. If you are conflicted as to whether to submit or not, it is helpful to familiarize yourself the penalties associated with both options before you make your decision.

Standard DUI Penalties in the State of Illinois

For starters, if you decide to submit to a breathalyzer test and are found to be over the legal limit, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended for six months for your first offense. The suspension doubles to one year for a second or subsequent test failure. The suspension applies regardless of whether prosecutors push for a conviction on DUI charges. If you are convicted of DUI, you are looking at a combination of the following:


Skokie DUI Defense attorneyWhen you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, one of the first challenges you will face is likely to be the officer’s request to submit to field sobriety and breathalyzer tests. If the officer has pulled you over, he has done so because he feels he already has probable cause based on behavior you exhibited on the road.

From that moment on, standard protocol—and Illinois law—allows the officer to ask you to step out of the car (if he deems it necessary) and to ask you to submit to these tests. Although the situation is an intimidating one, especially if you feel you are being falsely accused, you do have the right to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test if you wish. If you do decide to take the test, though, it is important to understand the disadvantages that come with submitting.

Here are three ways submitting to a breathalyzer test can hurt you:


dui checkpoints illinois, chicago dui defense lawyerIf you are pulled over at any time, for any reason, it is never a fun experience. This is especially true when you are being directed to the side of the road for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). Whether you have in fact been drinking and driving or find yourself falsely accused, the moment you are confronted with the possibility of DUI charges, it is important to understand your rights. This begins with understanding when an officer has the right to pull you over in the first place.

In general, any of the following circumstances allow a police officer the right to direct you to the side of the road:

Highway Checkpoints - Whenever you encounter a checkpoint, you are always required to pull over and comply with an officer's requests. Checkpoints are typically planned ahead of time and are expected to have a strategy in place. For example, police will pull over every car or every other car. The primary purpose of checkpoints is to identify drivers who are operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as they are often utilized as a tool in drunk driving deterrence.


comply with police llinois, Chicago dui lawyerThe outcome of your DUI arrest actually begins before you pull over for the officer who has flagged you down. The moment you see an officer's lights flash behind you, the decisions you make from that point on will set the tone for your entire case. Even if you are guilty of driving under the influence, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to remain respectful and comply with the police, to the best of your ability. However, this does not mean you are required to incriminate yourself.

Here are some common requests you will face from an officer who pulls you over for the suspicion of DUI and how you should handle each one:

Proper pullover - Police want to see you pull your car over quickly, safely, and correctly. You should not delay pulling over to the side of the road; you should comply with the officer’s direction as quickly as possible, so long as you can safely park your vehicle. The sooner you stop and park your car, the better your chances of avoiding unnecessary tension and conflict once the officer approaches you. You want to cooperate from start to finish, and pulling over immediately, when the officer directs you to do so, is the first signal that demonstrates you are taking the matter seriously and that you intend to comply.


Posted on in DUI Defense

pulled over for dui, Chicago Illinois dui lawyerWhen it comes to any potential arrest, how you react in the moments that lead up to and follow the arrest can make a difference in the representation and outcome of your case. This is especially true when it comes to being pulled over for the suspicion of drunk driving. The minute an officer pulls you over because they believe you have been drinking, the decisions you make from that point on can significantly alter what happens to you in a court of law. Your driver’s license, record, reputation, your future, and even your wallet are at stake. Even a simple statement or behavior can put you in hot water and make matters worse, which is why it is so important to keep your actions in check the moment you find yourself face-to-face with a DUI situation.

What to Avoid

If you find yourself pulled over for drunk driving, criminal charges are imminent. To protect your best interests and to prevent the collection of evidence that can be used against you in court, refrain from the following:


steps to take for DUI, Chicago DUI lawyerYou have been pulled over by the police for suspicion of drinking and driving. Now what? A DUI arrest begins with an officer directing you to the side of the road based on probable cause that you have been operating your vehicle under the influence. From there, the officer observes you and asks for your information, and then typically requests for you to submit to a field sobriety test.

At this point, you have some decisions to make. Any test you take, along with how you choose to behave the moment you are accused, can and will be used against you in court. That is why the steps you take when you are pulled over are so crucial. Your course of action during these critical moments has the power to significantly impact your case from start to finish.

If you are pulled over for a DUI, follow these steps to set yourself up for a fair trial:


rights when arrested in illinois, chicago criminal defense attorneyOnce you experience an arrest, the events that immediately follow the incident can be a blur, especially when the reality of facing criminal charges comes crashing down on you. The weight of such circumstances can be overwhelming, to say the least. Whether the accusation is a false one, you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or you made a poor choice in the moment, being escorted to prison with long-lasting consequences on the horizon can seriously alter your present as well as your future.

Arrest Aftermath

What happens when the damage is done and there is no rewind button? Once you have been arrested and accused of a crime, your options are limited. You may not be able to take back the choices you made or change the circumstances surrounding the arrest, but you do have the ability to inform yourself of your basic rights and claim those liberties to the best of your ability in an effort to protect your best interests. 


criminal defense in illinois, Chicago criminal lawyersWhenever a citizen experiences an arrest, the initial fear of facing criminal charges of any kind typically prompts them to request to speak with an attorney right away. Ideally, this should always be the first course of action. Consulting with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can be one of the most crucial decisions you make when accused of a crime,. The sooner you acquire proper legal representation, the sooner you can safeguard your rights, build a strong case, and protect your future.

In the event you are arrested, here are three valid reasons you should consult with an attorney:

1. You may be wrongly accused.


what to do when you are arrested, Chicago criminal defense lawyersThe moments that lead up to an arrest can be disorienting; the sequence of events often blurs together, spawning a state of shock and confusion as you process the fact that you will possibly face criminal charges for your actions. Even if you sense the arrest coming, the moment law enforcement begins to read your rights and take you into custody, reality begins to surface and you can quickly succumb to panic mode if you do not know how to handle the situation. This is especially the case when you believe you have been wrongly accused. 

Due to the stressful nature of an arrest, many individuals who are confronted with the possibility of criminal charges tend to freeze up the minute they are accused of a crime. Some act out in anger, out of fear, or from sheer disbelief that they are being taken into custody. During those moments when emotions run high, irrational and aggressive behavior can take over, which can easily make the situation worse and hurt your overall case in a court of law.

What to Avoid the Moment You are Placed Under Arrest


arrest rights in Illinois, Chicago criminal defense lawyerNo matter what kind of criminal offense you face, any crime that results in an arrest calls for a proper criminal defense. The moments that immediately follow your arrest are crucial; how you choose to react and the decisions you make in those moments have the power to shape any repercussions you face. Understanding your rights and the liberties you have because of them can make all the difference in the results of your case.

Your Four Basic Rights Following Your Arrest

We’ve all heard these rights before, whether on television, in movies, or through stories from neighbors who have experienced an arrest. Also known as "Miranda rights," these famous lines give us an immediate snapshot of what we can and cannot do upon arrest, as well as what powers authorities do and do not have to exercise against you. The moment you are taken into custody, the U.S. Supreme Court requires that law enforcement informs you of the following:


ignition interlock devices in illinois, Chicago DUI defense attorneyThe moment you are pulled over under the suspicion of drinking and driving, your whole world can be turned upside down. If you have in fact been drinking and driving, the moment the law enforcement officer collects evidence against you, you are at risk for losing your license, serving jail time, paying hefty fines, and possibly blemishing your future career options, as DUI convictions can often ruin your eligibility for certain jobs.

The BAIID Consequence

Along with having your license suspended, paying fines, and serving possible jail time, you may also face another serious restriction as you reclaim your driving privileges. Should you decide to submit to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test upon your arrest and are found guilty of driving while intoxicated, you will likely be required to have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed in your vehicle if you are eligible for driving relief. The BAIID installation is required for a set period of time determined by the court, depending on the nature of your conviction, and you are required by law to utilize it any time you get behind the wheel.


refusing a BAC test in Illinois, Chicago DUI defense attorneyWhen it comes to the subject of DUI, the consequences of getting behind the wheel intoxicated are never easy to face, especially when they directly affect someone you know personally. The mere prospect of being pulled over under suspicion for driving while intoxicated is an uncomfortable scenario to ponder, but it is a very real reality for many people. And, it is a crime that has the power to alter the quality of your life severely.

The Moments After You are Pulled Over

So, what actually happens when you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI? Are the events that unfold as harsh or as scary as we hear they are? The moment an officer pulls you over, they require you to present your license, registration, and proof of insurance, and you are then asked to submit to a field sobriety test if the officer believes you have been drinking.


refusing a breathalyzer test in Illinois, Chicago DUI defense lawyerOne of the biggest questions people have when the subject of DUI defense arises is how to handle a breathalyzer test. Should you automatically agree to submit to a BAC test? Or should you refrain from submitting all together? When combined, the rights dictated to you by the police in the heat of the moment along with the consequences presented to you for refusing to submit are intimidating, at the very least.

To Submit or Not to Submit?

The stressful ordeal of being pulled over under suspicion of drinking and driving can make the decision to take the test a tough call. The answer to whether or not you should agree to the test is just as difficult, but one thing is for certain: There are potential advantages to refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test, and many criminal defense attorneys actually encourage you in this direction.


dui, fourth of july, chicago dui lawyerLike many holidays, the Fourth of July weekend means numerous parties and get-togethers, and that usually translates to an increased number of intoxicated drivers on the roadways. State police are on high alert during the festive holiday, paying special attention to those who may be operating a vehicle under the influence.

What Is a Breathalyzer?

Drunk driving and breathalyzers go hand in hand. A breathalyzer is a special device used by police to estimate someone's blood alcohol content (BAC) via a breath sample. When drivers suspected to be operating under the influence are pulled over, they are subject to a BAC test, which is heavily relied upon in the during criminal prosecution as supporting evidence for the crime.


b2ap3_thumbnail_blog.jpgAll too often we hear about the tragic consequences of driving under the influence and what a DUI can mean for everyone involved in a drunk driving incident. The statistics surrounding injuries and fatalities are undoubtedly alarming, and they are understandably the most controversial topic when it comes to drunk driving accidents.

What we do not hear about nearly as much is the impact that DUI penalties have on drivers during day-to-day life. DUIs still mean big consequences for Illinois drivers who are merely pulled over and found to be under the influence. It does not take a tragic accident to alter the life of one person significantly.

DUI Convictions and Their Penalties

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