Tag Archives: DUI

The Illinois Secretary of State No Longer Sends Vehicle Registration Renewal Notices

The Illinois Secretary of State stopped sending renewal notices to Illinois drivers as a reminder to renew their vehicle registration. Because this decision came without warning, many Illinois drivers, who rely on the renewal notice as a reminder, have incurred substantial fees for their late renewal. For those of you who rely on the reminder, you can now sign up for an email notice by visiting the Secretary of State's website

Many drivers are surprised to find out that, in general, it is not a violation of their Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures for officers to run license plates and conduct traffic stops for expired or suspended registration, even when no moving violation has occurred. These stops often lead to further inquiry by the police officer, additional tickets, and in some cases, a drug possession or DUI investigation. Don't give patrol officers a reason to pull you over! Check your license plate sticker and renew your vehicle registration before it expires to avoid late registration, additional fees, a traffic citation for Driving with an Expired Registration, and even a possible DUI or criminal investigation

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Illinois DUI Defense Attorneys

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is one of the most serious traffic offenses you can face. In most circumstances, a first time offense is a class A misdemeanor, which carries with it possible penalties of up to 364 days in county jail and fines of up to $2,500. In addition, a conviction for DUI results in an automatic revocation of your driving privileges for one year. Although a revocation of your driving privileges would not take effect until the conclusion of your criminal case, and is sometimes carefully avoided if granted court supervision, many drivers arrested for DUI face Statutory Summary Suspensions. Statutory Summary Suspensions take effect on the 46th day after your arrest and are triggered by a failed breathalyzer test or a refusal to submit to a reasonable request for a breathalyzer test. To the surprise of many first time offenders, this particular suspension of your driving privileges will remain in effect and on your record even if you ultimately beat the DUI.  For first time offenders, a statutory summary suspension ranges from 6 months for a failed breathalyzer test to 1 year for a refusal. For second time offenders, the suspension increases to 1 year for a failed breathalyzer test and 3 years for a refusal. 

DUIs have long lasting effects. A DUI is no longer expungeable, even if you receive court supervision. This means it will remain on your record and driving history for the rest of your life. Once you receive court supervision for DUI, you can never receive court supervision for DUI again, which means a subsequent DUI will result in a criminal conviction (and revocation of your driving privileges), unless you beat it. 

DUIs can also be charged as felonies if certain aggravating factors are involved, such as: a second or subsequent offense, driving under the influence without a license, or causing personal injury or death. 

At Aldrich & Siedlarz Law, P.C., our criminal attorneys are experienced in defending DUI arrests, including statutory summary suspension hearings, and are ready to fight for you! We represent clients arrested for DUI in DuPage County, Will County, Kendall County, Cook County and Kane County. We also offer free consultations, reasonable rates, and our attorney, Marlene Siedlarz, speaks Polish. 

Many people worry about what to do if they are ever pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence. Whether you have had a few drinks or not, it is important to know what you have to do during a DUI stop and what you can refuse. Some DUI investigations are initiated because the officer suspects that the driver is driving under the influence. But others begin as a normal traffic stop, initiated for a minor traffic violation. Those ordinary traffic stops can quickly turn into a DUI investigation because of the time of day or night, the location of the stop, the smell of alcohol, or because of various other factors. Some officers simply presume that if you are driving past 11:00 p.m. or 12:00 a.m., particularly on a weekend, that you must have consumed alcohol prior to driving.

If you are pulled over and the officer asks you if you have had anything to drink, you are now the subject of a DUI investigation. If the officer asks you to step out of the car, you must comply. However, if he then asks you to submit to a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT), you can refuse. And if you have consumed alcohol, you should refuse. While a PBT is not admissible at your DUI trial, PBT results can form the basis of an officer's probable cause to arrest and will be admissible at preliminary hearings regarding probable cause or a statutory summary suspension hearing. 

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You might be wondering what to do if a police officer asks to search your vehicle upon pulling you over for a traffic violation. Many people feel intimidated and nervous during a traffic stop and might not realize that they can and should refuse a vehicle search. If an officer is asking to search your car, chances are he or she is suspicious of something more going on than your minor traffic infraction. Usually officers ask to search a vehicle due to suspicions of DUI, open alcohol or drug possession.

The Fourth Amendment protects drivers from unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally, the 4th Amendment requires an officer to secure a warrant before performing a search of one's person, home, vehicle, or effects. There are certain exceptions to the warrant requirement, one of which is consent.

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Another friendly reminder that the police will be out in full force this weekend due to the holiday. Although their focus will be on impaired drivers, they will not hesitate to pull over speeders and other traffic offenders. So...fasten your seat belts, put down your cellphones, stop at all stop signs, use your turn signals, and keep your speed to a minimum. Remember, speeding 26 miles per hour or more above the speed limit is now a misdemeanor. If all else fails and you end up with a ticket, give us a call for a free consultation, either in person or over the phone!

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