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IL defense lawyerDriving under the influence (DUI) is penalized heavily in Illinois – especially if another person is hurt or killed in an accident caused by an intoxicated driver. If great bodily harm results from a DUI car crash, the driver may face felony charges for aggravated DUI and up to three years in prison. If death results from a DUI accident, the driver faces a prison sentence of up to seven years. However, DUI resulting in the death of an animal is not currently an offense under Illinois law. Proponents of House Bill 3019 hope to change this.

Death of Illinois Police Dog Prompts New Bill

Illinois Deputy Robert Rosenkranz was in the middle of a routine traffic stop when an allegedly intoxicated driver struck the back of his police cruiser. The officer’s police K9 “Loki” was in the backseat of the police car. Unfortunately, the dog did not survive the accident. The loss of Loki represented a personal loss to the officers who worked alongside the K9 officer. It also meant losing the many years of training that went into teaching Loki to perform K9 duties. In response to Loki’s death, State Representative Joe Sosnowski filed a bill to make killing a police dog an elevated offense under Illinois law.

DUI Resulting in the Death of a Police or Service Animal May Be a Felony

Currently, driving under the influence is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a year-long driver’s license suspension, a fine of up to $2,500, and up to a year of jail time. A second or subsequent DUI is penalized more harshly. If House Bill 3019 passes, killing a service animal or police dog while driving under the influence would be a Class 4 felony punished by a maximum of three years in jail and a fine up to $25,000. Having any type of criminal record can have a massive impact on a person’s life. Felony convictions often have especially significant consequences. Being convicted of a felony can substantially influence an individual’s personal reputation, employment options, and housing opportunities.

Contact a Joliet DUI Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with driving under the influence, contact the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. for help. Our team of experienced Will County criminal defense attorneys knows how seriously a DUI conviction can affect your life. We are prepared to help you defend yourself against the charges. To learn more, schedule a free, confidential consultation today. Call our Plainfield office at 815-733-5350 or our Joliet office at 815-666-1285.



Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorney DUI

The act of drinking and driving is taken seriously by Illinois courts. As a result, the penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) include both administrative and criminal consequences. A first or second DUI is typically a misdemeanor offense in Illinois. While a misdemeanor conviction will still result in heavy fines, a driver’s license suspension of one year, and possibly jail time, felony DUI is punished much more harshly. A third or subsequent conviction for drunk driving or DUI involving certain aggravating factors is considered a felony offense in Illinois. If you are convicted of felony DUI, you could face years in prison and other life-changing consequences.

Receiving a Third, Fourth, or Fifth DUI Conviction

First and second DUIs are typically misdemeanor offenses in Illinois. Many individuals can avoid significant jail time and eventually regain their driving privileges after a first or second DUI. However, if a driver is convicted of driving under the influence for the third time, the penalties increase significantly. A third DUI is a Class 2 felony “aggravated DUI” punishable by three to seven years of imprisonment, a maximum fine of $25,000, and a 10-year driver’s license suspension. A fourth DUI is also punishable by three to seven years in prison and the offense is non-probational. A fifth DUI is a non-probational Class 1 felony punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. Fourth or fifth DUI convictions also result in a lifetime suspension of the offender’s driving privileges.

DUI Involving Aggravating Factors

There are several situations in which a first-time DUI is a felony offense in Illinois. A DUI may be classified as a felony if certain aggravating circumstances are present. Driving a school bus under the influence, DUI resulting in serious bodily harm, DUI with a suspended or revoked license, and driving under the influence without auto insurance are all Class 4 felonies in Illinois. DUI resulting in death and a second DUI with a passenger under 16 are both Class 2 felonies. If you are convicted of aggravated DUI, you face significant jail time and other consequences that have the potential to radically change your life.

Contact a Will County DUI Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one were charged with DUI, the consequences can last a lifetime. That is why it is important to contact the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. for help. Our team of skilled Joliet criminal defense attorneys has experience defending against both misdemeanor and felony DUIs. We can help you fight for your freedom. Call 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350 to arrange a free consultation.



Joliet, IL criminal defense attorney DUI

Drunk driving causes thousands of accidents each year in the United States. In an effort to curb driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, states have instituted harsh penalties for impaired drivers. Under Illinois law, anyone who drives a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol faces several criminal and administrative penalties. If you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), you may face revocation of your driver’s license. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help reduce your charges and reinstate your driving privileges.  

Penalties for Being Arrested and Charged with Drunk Driving

Most drunk driving arrests happen during a traffic stop. If police suspect that you are under the influence, he or she will likely use a handheld breath test such as a Breathalyzer to test your breath for alcohol. The officer may also ask you to complete a field sobriety test during which you perform balance and coordination-based tasks. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or more or you are notably impaired, you may be arrested and charged with DUI.

If this is your first DUI charge, you face an immediate six-month driver’s license suspension called a statutory summary suspension. Once your driver’s license has been suspended, you may not drive any motor vehicle by law. Once the suspension period ends, you are permitted to drive. However, if you are convicted of driving under the influence, you may face driver’s license revocation, which differs significantly from a license suspension.  

Drivers Convicted of DUI May Have Their Licenses Revoked

Being charged with a crime is not the same thing as being convicted of a crime. A person who is charged with DUI has been formally accused of driving under the influence. If a defendant pleads guilty to driving under the influence or is found guilty in court, he or she is then convicted of DUI. If someone is convicted of DUI in Illinois, his or her license may be revoked for one year. Once the revocation period ends, he or she will be able to request reinstatement of the license. However, unlike a suspension, the reinstatement of driving privileges after revocation is not automatic. A driver will need to formally request reinstatement and attend a Secretary of State hearing in order to regain the ability to drive.

Contact a Joliet, IL DUI Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested for DUI in Illinois, your driver’s license may be suspended or revoked. This can greatly impact your daily life if you cannot drive to places, including to and from work. A tenacious Will County criminal defense lawyer from Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help you fight to retain your driving privileges. Call our Plainfield office at 815-733-5350 or our Joliet office at 815-666-1285 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.



What Are the Penalties for DUI Convictions in Illinois?

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Will County drunk driving defense attorney

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is always dangerous, and it can lead to victims being injured or killed in car accidents. Drunk driving can lead to many serious punishments, even for a first offense, including loss of driving privileges, prison time, and costly fines. Drivers who are convicted of multiple DUIs may face felony charges. The state of Illinois has a "Zero Tolerance" law for minors -- those under the legal drinking age of 21 years -- who drive impaired. This means that an underage driver who is caught driving with any trace of alcohol in his or her system can be charged with DUI, even if his or her BAC is less than .08 percent. As for adults, multiple DUI convictions carry even harsher criminal penalties.

DUI Punishments for First and Subsequent Offenses

First and second DUI convictions are charged as a Class A misdemeanor, but first offenders are given less harsh punishments than second offenders. For a first DUI conviction, a driver will face revocation of their license for one year, possible community service hours (100 in total), and fines up to $2,500, depending on the nature of the offense.

Second DUI convictions are given punishments of mandatory prison time of five days or 240 hours of community service. On top of that, drivers will have their license revoked for five years if their second conviction falls within 20 years of their first.

Subsequent DUI convictions are classified as aggravated DUIs and are punished by:

  • Third conviction: A Class 2 felony punished with revocation of driving privileges for 10 years. Depending on the nature of the offense, drivers could also face a prison term of up to 90 days and fines up to $25,000.

  • Fourth conviction: A Class 2 felony punished with permanent revocation of driving privileges and possible fines up to $25,000.

  • Fifth conviction: A Class 1 felony punished with permanent revocation of driving privileges and possible fines up to $25,000.

  • Sixth conviction: A Class X felony punished with permanent revocation of driving privileges and possible fines up to $25,000.

Whenever a child is a passenger during a DUI incident, the driver may also be required to complete a certain amount of community service hours with an organization that benefits children.

Other Consequences Resulting from DUI

Unfortunately, drivers who travel impaired may not notice other motorists sharing the road, and devastating collisions can occur. If a victim is killed after being hit by a drunk driver, the offense will be charged as reckless homicide. If convicted, the driver will face a minimum of two years in prison and possibly more, depending on the circumstances of the incident. 

Drivers convicted of DUI can face many other consequences to their life, such as the following:

  • A DUI conviction stays on a driver’s permanent record.

  • The driver could miss work if he or she cannot drive and possibly lose his or her job.

  • The driver may be required to drive with a restricted license and/or utilize a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID).

  • The driver may be required to carry high-risk auto insurance for three years.

  • The driver can have his or her vehicle registration suspended.

A DUI offender can also see his or her car impounded if he or she drives drunk without insurance, without a valid license, while his or her driver's license is suspended, or with a previous reckless homicide conviction.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Driving drunk is never a good idea, because it can lead to serious ramifications, including fatal accidents. However, depending on the circumstances of the traffic stop, a driver may face charges that are based on insufficient evidence or improper police procedures. The skilled legal team from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help defend against any charges that violate a driver’s rights. To schedule a free consultation with our diligent Will County DUI defense lawyers, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




What Happens to Minors Who Drink and Drive in Illinois?

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Will County underaged drunk driving defense attorney

The state of Illinois has serious consequences for those who drink and drive. When a minor under the legal drinking age of 21 decides to operate a vehicle while intoxicated, they may face severe punishments that can have a lasting effect on the young person’s life. Illinois has a "Zero Tolerance Law" for underage drinking and driving. Under this law, a minor driver who is found with any amount of alcohol in their system will have their license suspended and will have to take a driving course before having their driving privileges reinstated. Even those minors who are caught attempting to purchase alcohol with a fake ID can suffer consequences.

Illinois Zero Tolerance Law

A conviction under the Zero Tolerance Law may not lead to punishments that are as serious as those for a regular DUI conviction. However, if a minor is stopped under suspicion of drunk driving, the officer who makes the stop can decide which charges will apply: DUI, Zero Tolerance, or both.

A driver under the age of 21 who is convicted under the Zero Tolerance Law will have their driving privileges suspended for three months for a first offense and one year for a second offense. DUI convictions can lead to:

  • First conviction: Revoked driving privileges for a minimum of two years

  • Second conviction: Revoked driving privileges for a minimum of five years

During a traffic stop, the minor driver may be asked to submit to a roadside breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests. These tests may be used to establish probable cause to make an arrest. Following the arrest, the driver will be asked to submit to a chemical test of their blood alcohol content. If they refuse, driving privileges will be suspended for six months for a first offense or two years for a second offense.

Other Offenses That Can Lead to Suspended Driving Privileges

It is tempting for minors to want to drink alcohol before their 21st birthday. However, Illinois law clearly states that if a minor attempts to purchase alcohol with a fake ID, they will have their driving privileges suspended. Loss of driving privileges can also occur if the underaged person is caught possessing alcohol either in or out of a motor vehicle. If a minor is convicted of the illegal purchase, possession, receipt, or consumption of alcohol, the penalties are as follows:

  • Six-month driver's license suspension for first offenses;

  • One-year driver's license suspension for second offenses; and

  • Revocation of driver's license for subsequent offenses.

When the suspension term is up, a driver will have to complete a remedial driving course before being issued a new license. In some cases, the driver will have to retake a driver’s education course and final exam before earning their new license.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

Minors are not the only ones to blame for a Zero Tolerance and/or DUI conviction. Parents can face consequences if they knowingly allow their child to drink alcohol and then let them get behind the wheel of a car. Everyone involved can have their lives altered after a DUI conviction. This is why having a knowledgeable lawyer from Tedone & Morton, P.C. in your corner is important when facing criminal charges. Our Will County underage DUI defense attorneys will be able to build a strong defense strategy and help keep your minor child’s driving privileges intact. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 815-666-1285.



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