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. 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 DUI. 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 DUI. 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 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- When the defendant was DUI, their driver’s license had already been revoked or otherwise restricted and as a result, they were driving illegally even without being under the influence.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 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.
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