Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

Submitting to a breath test offered by a police officer has a variety of potential consequences. Of course, the question itself assumes that you have a choice – either agreeing or refusing – but do you? What is the difference between a breath test taken on the street after you are stopped by the police and the breath test offered back at the station after you have been placed under arrest for DUI? Are you required to take the physical field sobriety tests? Illinois DUI law is complex, our defense attorneys have provided guidance on these questions below.

What is the difference between a Preliminary Breath Screening Test (PBT) and an Evidentiary Breath Test?

A PBT is sometimes, not always, offered to drivers on the street before they are placed under arrest for DUI. The vast majority of PBT’s are not certified or calibrated the same way as the evidentiary breath test, which is offered at the police station. PBT’s can only be used for probable cause purposes to arrest a motorist for DUI but may not be used as evidence at trial.

Drivers who are charged with high rate speeding offenses are often surprised to learn that they can face up to a year in jail under Illinois law. These offenses are commonly known as aggravated speeding offenses and Illinois has increased the potential consequences for drivers who plead guilty or are found guilty of these charges.

Unfortunately, most drivers are not familiar with these changes to the law. After receiving a speeding ticket, many drivers are only concerned with the inconvenience of appearing in traffic court or the prospect of increased insurance rates. However, these Illinois speeding laws have substantially changed over the years.

Current Illinois law groups speeding offenses into two primary categories – petty and misdemeanor offenses. Speeding 26 or more over the posted limit is charged as a misdemeanor offense, which qualifies as a crime under Illinois law.

Courtroom etiquette has many written and unwritten rules and, as we all know, first impressions are lasting impressions, so how you appear and how you behave during your court appearance may have a significant impact on your case. In some extreme circumstances, bad behavior can result in jail time or a fine if you are found in contempt of court. To make a good first impression, you should familiarize yourself with the rules and make sure you adhere to them.

Planning for Your Day in Court

The courthouse is a place of employment for the judge and the court staff. As everybody else, they want to keep their work day smooth and efficient. By arriving on time and following the rules, you show the court the proper respect it deserves and allow the court to maintain efficiency. By doing so, you are also increasing your chances of a more favorable outcome.

What is Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)?

Our clients facing Illinois DUI charges often ask us to explain Blood Alcohol Concentration (often referred to as Blood Alcohol Content or BAC). BAC is most commonly used as a measure of alcohol intoxication for legal purposes.

BAC is usually expressed as a percentage of ethanol in the blood in units of mass of alcohol per volume of blood. For example, a BAC of 0.08 means that there are 0.08 g of alcohol for every deciliter (100 milliliters) of blood.

The Illinois Secretary of State is cancelling large numbers of driver’s licenses and state IDs due to fraud. The Secretary of State processes and compares the photos of anyone who applies for or renews a driver’s license or state ID in a central digital database. Therefore, if you obtained a license or ID under a false name, date of birth or social security number, there is a high probability that the Secretary of State’s facial recognition system will flag your application.

While you may initially leave the facility with a temporary permit (paper license), the official plastic license or ID may never arrive. Months later, in it’s place, you may receive a Notice of Cancellation which indicates that you “committed a fraudulent offense in the making of an application” directing you to contact the Illinois Secretary of State Fraudulent Review Unit. In turn, the matter is turned over to a Secretary of State Police investigator. At that time, an in-person interview may be required.

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It isn’t unusual for the lawyers at The Davis Law Group, P.C. to work with individuals who committed the fraudulent offense a decade or two ago. These individuals may have previously renewed their driver’s license multiple times without any issues. The technology has changed over the years and allowed even very old instances of fraud to be uncovered.

The DUI defense attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. often represent clients who were trying to be responsible and “sleep it off.” Unfortunately, this area of Illinois law is complex. In Illinois, it is unlawful for a person to be driving OR in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence.

Under Illinois law, the phrase “actual physical control” means that a person was in the vehicle with the ignition key and able to exercise physical control over the vehicle by starting the engine and causing the vehicle to move. It is not necessary that you be actually driving the vehicle.

This means if you are in your car and have the “ability” to start the car and cause it to move, you can be charged with DUI. If the car is parked, the engine is off, the keys are on the floorboard, and you are asleep, you still may be considered to have the “ability” to start the engine and cause the car to move.

Have you ever wondered what happens during a DUI arrest? While every DUI is different and varies based on a variety of factors, the following is a typical scenario for a DUI stop in Illinois:

  1. First, a police officer requests that the driver pulls over their vehicle. This can be a part of a DUI checkpoint, roadside safety check, response to a reported accident, traffic violation or if the officer has other reasonable cause or suspicion that the driver is under the influence (for more info, see our article Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause).

  2. The driver is asked to produce a valid driver’s license, car registration, and proof of insurance.


A DUI arrest can be a frightening experience. Criminal penalties, high fines and a loss a driving privileges can have a devastating effect on your personal and professional life.

The Davis Law Group, P.C. is recognized as a leading Illinois DUI defense firm. Our attorneys will analyze the facts of your case and determine the most appropriate strategy to ensure the best possible result. Our legal team’s unique and personalized approach focuses on our clients’ specific needs. We are here to help.

The DUI defense attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. represent clients facing DUI charges throughout Illinois and the Chicagoland area. We primarily accept DUI cases in Cook County, Lake County and DuPage County. This includes Skokie Courthouse, Rolling Meadows Courthouse, The Daley Center, Bridgeview Courthouse, Markham Courthouse, Maywood Courthouse, Leighton Criminal Courts Building at 26th & California, the DuPage County Courthouse in Wheaton, and the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan.

There are a number of DUI and traffic-related proposals currently pending in the 2018 Illinois legislature. These are a few highlights of those bills, which deserve close attention:

Traffic Ticket Fine Waiver Program

Fines, fees and costs for minor traffic offenses could be excused for a defendant who is unable to pay. Upon application, the court may convert all of the obligation to community service or partially excuse payment without condition.

In addition to losing driving privileges and facing potential jail time, DUI offenders in Illinois may also have their vehicle seized through a procedure known as civil forfeiture.

Under Illinois law (see 720 ILCS 5/36-1), any vehicle may be seized and impounded by a law enforcement agency if the vehicle was driven by someone who was under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and/or an intoxicating compound(s), with the knowledge and consent of the owner of the vehicle, and at the time of the offense one of the following is true:

  • the driver’s driving privileges were revoked or suspended for either:

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