Driving under the influence is penalized heavily in the State of Illinois. Lawmakers recently passed new legislation targeting DUI offenders who attempt to circumvent administrative penalties by driving on a revoked or suspended license. If you have been charged with DUI, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands how the crime is prosecuted and how to (at least) get the charges reduced.
The Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus have successfully managed the cases of a number of individuals who made a mistake on their way home from the bar. While the consequences can be tragic, the penalty should not destroy your life or your ability to earn a living and provide for your family. Our attorneys understand this and will help plead your case to the judge.
You can, if so inclined, fight a DUI charge. There are a number of reasons why an individual may be charged with DUI unfairly. The prosecution must be able to show that you were both driving the vehicle and “under the influence” of drugs or alcohol while operating it. Generally, it is the second part of this proof that is targeted in a DUI offense. Similarly, you can show that the stop was illegal or unwarranted.
In some situations, it may be unclear if you were actually driving the vehicle. For instance, you might be behind the wheel, but the car is not turned on. A police officer stops to check and realizes that you are inebriated. They then give you a ticket for DUI. In some states, this is enough to prove a DUI. In Illinois, however, the prosecution must show that you were actually driving the vehicle.
In some cases, this can be inferred through circumstantial evidence. For instance, what if you are walking along the highway and are stopped by a police officer. The officer smells alcohol on your breath and your car is in a ditch somewhere down the road. In this case, the officer can infer that you were drunk and driving. If there was someone else in the car, however, it becomes more difficult.
In cases of alcohol, a driver must submit to a breathalyzer test or risk a one-year suspension of their license. In most cases, this is actually worse than a DUI charge. However, the police officer may have not administered the test properly or they made a determination based on a field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests are not very accurate and are prone to giving false positives. If the police officer later administers a blood test and finds some drug in your system, they can charge you DUI regardless of whether or not you were impaired. An experienced Wheeling DUI attorney can make the case that you were not inebriated at the time of the offense. The prosecution still has the burden of proof.
Senior Partner Jonathan Minkus has successfully defended individuals charged with every conceivable criminal offense, from traffic misdemeanors to death-penalty eligible homicides.