Bloomington IL DUI lawyer
Our Bloomington, IL DUI lawyer at Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols has represented many drivers who were charged with one form of a DUI or another. Though motor vehicle laws can be confusing, it’s important to understand how a DUI is handled by the state based on the variables of the circumstances under which a driver is arrested. A common question asked of our DUI lawyer is, “Is a DUI a Felony or a Misdemeanor?” The answer depends on the below factors, and our DUI lawyer in Bloomington, Illinois can make this clearer.
State Laws and Mitigating Factors
Laws regarding DUIs vary from state to state, as does each state’s sentencing restrictions and criminal statutes. In many instances, when a person is arrested for driving under the influence and there are no mitigating factors and they have no prior convictions for a DUI, they will be charged with a misdemeanor. Our DUI lawyer serving Bloomington, IL shares examples of mitigating factors which may escalate the charge to a felony include:
- The defendant has one or more prior convictions for a DUI.
- The defendant hurt or killed someone while driving under the influence. This is sometimes referred to as “bodily harm” and is more than likely going to escalate the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony.
- The defendant has a history of alcohol or drug abuse, or was intoxicated far above the legal maximum blood alcohol content.
- The defendant had a minor-aged passenger in their vehicle at the time they were pulled over. A DUI lawyer in Bloomington, IL wants you to know that this may result in a mandatory felony DUI charge.
- The defendant was in the midst of committing an additional crime when they were DUI. This can include driving recklessly, speeding away from the scene of a crime they committed while under the influence, etc.
- The defendant was driving on a restricted, revoked, or suspended license.
What happens if I have a previous DUI conviction?
Your Bloomington, IL DUI lawyer can advise you as to how your case may be affected by a previous criminal record, but here are some general guidelines:
- When the defendant has one or more previous convictions, they are more likely to be charged with a felony DUI for the current circumstances.
- When the defendant was driving under the influence, their driver’s license had already been revoked or otherwise restricted and as a result, they were driving illegally even without being under the influence.
If you have any further questions on how a DUI can change from a misdemeanor to a felony, speak with a DUI lawyer Bloomington, Illinois residents trust.
What is an alcohol evaluation?
If the prosecutor or judge suspects that you may have a drinking problem, and you are convicted of a DUI, you may be ordered to attend an alcohol evaluation. Your DUI lawyer Bloomington, IL trusts can inform you of whether or not you will likely have to undergo this process upon a conviction. After meeting with a drug and alcohol counselor, the counselor will determine if you are an addict and/or an alcoholic. If the finding is yes, you may be ordered by the court to attend an alcohol or drug treatment program. You may also have to complete an alcohol education program during which you will learn about the dangers of overindulging in alcohol or using drugs to get high.
Talk to a Skilled DUI Lawyer in Bloomington, IL Who Cares
Having a DUI on your record can change everything. If you were arrested on a DUI charge, your future may depend on getting a good DUI lawyer. To speak with a trusted Bloomington, IL DUI lawyer, call Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols today to arrange a consultation.
Considerations to Make if You Have Been Pulled Over by a DUI
When it comes to a DUI arrest, or being pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, there are a few things our DUI lawyer serving Bloomington, IL shares that you should not do. At Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols, our lawyers know that a DUI case can be made much by taking the following into consideration:
Handover Your Documents
If you have pulled over for anything, do not be incapable of giving the police officer your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration. If you are seen fumbling around with these things, or you cannot find them, you might only give the officer a better reason to further inquire into your current situation and whether you’ve been drinking.
Our Bloomington, Illinois DUI lawyer recommends that you try gathering all of your documents while the officer is coming to your car. If it is nighttime, turn on the interior light, and once you have the documents, keep both hands on the steering wheel.
Don’t Admit to Drinking Anything
At some point, the officer will likely want to know if you have had anything to drink. When they use the word ‘anything’, they mean this literally. As a Bloomington, IL DUI lawyer, we have known many people who assume the officer will be appreciative, thus lenient, if they are honest about “having just one drink”, or “having a glass of wine an hour ago.”
The officer is not interested in what you had and how long ago. All he or she wants to know is whether you have consumed any alcohol. If you answer “yes”, it can be probable cause and enough to warrant your arrest.
Our DUI lawyer representing Bloomington, IL shares with you that, you can decline their question, or politely say no. You might still be arrested; however, your case may be more favorable when you give police the least amount of evidence to use against you.
You Should Submit to an Alcohol Test After Your Arrest
Once you have been arrested, you are required by law to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test. There are a lot of rumors that suggest you don’t have to submit to a test after your arrest, or rather you should not. This is inadvisable as it could result in harsher penalties. Even if you fail the test, it is better that you take it. A good Bloomington, IL DUI lawyer may be able to fight the results on your behalf.
Make Sure the Lawyer is Present with You During Questioning
As soon as you are arrested, anything you say can be used against you. Police know how to use various tactics in an attempt to get you to voluntarily say things that could incriminate you. A Bloomington, IL DUI lawyer can be your voice and ensure you don’t give up your rights during questioning.
Utilize Your Right to a Phone Call
In most states, you have the right to make at least three phone calls after an arrest. Your first call should be to a DUI lawyer serving Bloomington, IL at Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols. Your second might be to a family member or a friend. And your third could be to a bail bondsman if you plan to post bail.
You Should Not Represent Yourself
Any criminal case is complicated, including DUI charges. Regardless of your innocence, it may be in your best interest to rely on a DUI lawyer to defend your case.
Don’t take the risk of representing yourself, call an experienced Bloomington, IL DUI lawyer from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols.
“Joe was very helpful! Helped me through the whole process! Went smooth and easy!”