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Multiple DUIs Attorneys in Chicago, Illinois

In Illinois, like every state, it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other substances. The penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) are often severe, and they become even more serious if you have multiple DUI convictions on your record. 

Multiple DUIs can have long-lasting impacts because each subsequent offense is met with increasingly severe penalties, including substantial fines, license suspension, and even significant jail time. If you or a loved one is facing multiple DUI charges, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. 

At Ciardelli, Cummings & Campagna LLC, we understand Illinois' DUI laws and the profound impact they have on our clients' lives. We are committed to helping our clients develop a robust defense strategy to mitigate potential consequences and work toward the most favorable outcome. Located in Chicago, Illinois, we proudly serve clients throughout the Greater Chicagoland Area. 

Defining DUI

A DUI (driving under the influence) occurs when a person operates a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances. Impairment affects the driver's ability to safely control the vehicle, posing a significant risk to themselves and others on the road. 

In Illinois, like most states, a person is considered to be driving under the influence if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. This is the standard measurement used to determine impairment, but it can vary depending on the type of DUI and certain classification factors, such as the driver's age and type of driver's license held.  

  • Standard DUI: Occurs when a person operates a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Individuals can still be charged even with a lower BAC if they exhibit signs of impairment. 

  • Aggravated DUI: More serious and may be applied in situations where the driver has a very high BAC, causes an accident resulting in injury or death, or has multiple DUI offenses. Penalties are significantly more severe, including longer jail time, higher fines, and longer license suspension. 

  • Commercial DUI: Commercial drivers are held to higher standards due to the potential damage and risk involved with larger vehicles. Operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04% or higher constitutes a DUI offense, which can result in the loss of commercial driving privileges, among other penalties. 

  • Underage DUI: Given that the legal drinking age in the United States is 21, Illinois has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. Any detectable amount of alcohol in a person under 21 while operating a vehicle can lead to an underage DUI charge.

Charged with Multiple DUIs?

Understanding Multiple DUIs

In Illinois, a person is considered to have multiple DUIs if they receive more than one DUI charge within a given time frame. Under Illinois law, subsequent DUI offenses become more serious with each occurrence. The term "multiple DUIs" typically refers to a second or subsequent DUI charge occurring after an initial conviction.  

For example, a second DUI is considered a more serious offense (though still considered a class A misdemeanor) and carries harsher penalties than a first-time offense. Previous DUI convictions within a specified look-back period—usually the last 20 years—are taken into account when determining the severity of the punishment.  

This means that if an individual is arrested for a DUI and has a prior DUI conviction that occurred within the last 20 years, the new DUI will be treated as a subsequent offense. 

This escalation response to multiple DUI offenses reflects the state's intent to deter repeat offenses and address the dangers posed by intoxicated drivers on the road. The look-back period is crucial in DUI cases as it directly influences the classification of the charge and subsequently, the severity of the penalties involved. 

Penalties for Multiple DUIs

The penalties for multiple DUI convictions in Illinois are designed to be progressively more severe with each offense, reflecting the state's commitment to road safety and deterring impaired driving.

For individuals facing their second DUI conviction, the penalties may include the following, but may be subject to additional consequences if a high BAC or minor passengers are involved: 

  • Mandatory jail time of up to one year or extensive community service hours. 

  • A minimum fine of $2,500. 

  • License suspension for five years. 

  • Required alcohol or drug evaluation and treatment programs.  

By the time an individual faces their third DUI conviction (known as aggravated DUI), the charges escalate to a Class 2 felony, which carries more substantial consequences, including: 

  • Possible imprisonment for up to three to seven years. 

  • A minimum fine of $2,500. 

  • License suspension for ten years. 

Additionally, the court may mandate the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on the offender's vehicle, which requires the driver to pass a breathalyzer test before the vehicle can start.  

Additionally, certain aggravating factors, such as a higher BAC, driving with a minor in the vehicle, or causing bodily harm or death while driving under the influence, can lead to additional charges and penalties. If you or a loved one is facing multiple DUI charges, consult with our experienced team of attorneys. 

Defenses Against Multiple DUI Charges

Facing multiple DUI charges in Illinois can seem overwhelming, but several defense strategies can often be used to challenge your charges. These include: 

  • Questioning the traffic stop: Law enforcement must have a valid reason, known as reasonable suspicion, to stop a vehicle. If the stop was not legally justified, any evidence obtained during the stop may be inadmissible in court. 

  • Accuracy of the breathalyzer test: The breathalyzer device used during the arrest must be regularly maintained and calibrated to achieve accurate readings. If the device was not properly maintained, the results could be challenged. 

  • Field sobriety test validity: Field sobriety tests can be highly subjective, and factors such as medical conditions, disabilities, or even nervousness can affect the driver's performance, which could be used to challenge the accuracy of these tests. 

  • Chain of custody issues: Investigating the chain of custody and handling of any blood or urine samples collected for testing. Any mishandling or contamination could compromise the validity of the test results. 

Each case is unique, and an effective defense strategy requires a thorough review of all the circumstances surrounding the charges. At Ciardelli, Cummings & Campagna LLC, our legal team is adept at making sure our clients receive a vigorous defense aimed at achieving the best possible outcome. 

How Can Our Firm Help?

At Ciardelli, Cummings & Campagna LLC, we offer unparalleled legal support to those facing DUI charges. We offer detailed counsel on navigating DUI charges, from arraignment to trial (if necessary), exploring every avenue for plea bargaining, and examining options for hardship or restricted licenses.

Our objective is straightforward — to facilitate our clients' journeys towards resolution and rehabilitation, ensuring they are informed, prepared, and defended throughout the legal process. 

Multiple DUIs Attorneys in Chicago, Illinois 

Facing multiple DUI charges in Illinois is challenging due to the state's stringent laws and severe penalties. However, at Ciardelli, Cummings & Campagna LLC, we believe in second chances and the capacity for change. Our dedication to your defense is unwavering, and we provide extensive preparation and exhaustive attention to detail to fight for the best outcome. If you are facing multiple DUI charges, reach out to us today to set up a free consultation.