The criminal offense of driving under the influence of a controlled substance carries serious consequences in Illinois. The applicable statute states that a person shall not drive while under the influence of any intoxicating compound or combination of intoxicating compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving safely.
An intoxicating compound is legally defined as any intoxicating compound listed within the Illinois Controlled Substances Act. If a police officer believes the driver may be impaired and the driver's blood tests positive for any controlled substance, the driver may face DUI charges. This can include illegal drugs as well as prescription medications.
Additionally, it is important to know that a charge of DUI of a controlled substance may trigger additional charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance or Trafficking a Controlled Substance if any controlled substance is also found at the time of the arrest.
Potential Penalties if Convicted of DUI in Illinois
The potential penalties if convicted of driving under the influence of a controlled substance and for any additional convictions of DUI increase and may become more severe depending on the circumstances. After reading this section, if there are any questions you have about the potential penalties for a drug DUI, contact an experienced Illinois DUI attorney.
It is important to understand that a conviction for driving under the influence of a controlled substance can be life-changing. In addition to possible jail time, a suspended license, and expensive fines, a criminal conviction will result in a criminal record. Criminal convictions are part of the public record and can be accessed by just about anyone. In most cases, a DUI is not eligible for expungement to clear the conviction off your record.
A first-time charge for any DUI (drugs or alcohol) is generally a misdemeanor. Driving privileges are revoked for a minimum one year. Other penalties include the potential for jail time of up to 1 year and up to $2,500 in fines.
Penalties can also increase if any child under 16 years old is in the vehicle when the driver was under the influence of drugs. In this situation, Illinois may impose a possible jail sentence of up to six months, a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000 and 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children. The penalties may change depending on a variety of considerations.
An Illinois DUI second offense conviction is also a misdemeanor and carries a mandatory minimum of five days in jail or 240 hours of community service. Driving privileges are revoked for a minimum of five (5) years. The driver's Illinois vehicle registration may also be suspended.
Conviction of Illinois drug DUI third offense is a felony with a minimum of 10 years of driving privileges revocation and suspension of vehicle registration. DUI fourth offense conviction is also a felony and could result in a permanent loss of your driving privileges.
Associated Illinois DUI Crimes
Associated crimes mean additional criminal charges one may face in addition to the charge of driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Possession of a controlled substance is a crime that may accompany a charge of DUI controlled substance. The amount of drugs involved could also result in charges for possession with the intent to deliver or trafficking a controlled substance.
Law enforcement may search the vehicle once the driver has been suspected of driving under the influence of a controlled substance. This means that any controlled substance found either in a person's possession or within the vehicle may result in an associated charge of possession of a controlled substance. The driving penalty for a first conviction of possession of a controlled substance is a one year driving privileges suspension. The facts of each case determine the penalties the person charged is facing.
Trafficking a Controlled Substance
Trafficking a controlled substance is a charge where the facts and evidence discovered by law enforcement can drastically change the legal situation. The Illinois Controlled Substances Act states that it is illegal for an individual to knowingly possess with an intent to deliver or manufacture a controlled substance. Intent is the key word. If large amounts of a controlled substance(s) are discovered during a search of the vehicle or varying type(s) of controlled substances are found, the prosecution may use the amount of controlled substances discovered to create an image of intent.
Potential Defenses in Illinois DUIs
The first defense is to expertly examine all evidence and applicable laws to determine if there are any potential defenses to have evidence excluded. Motions are crucial to defending against unlawful search and seizure.
A criminal defense motion may be used to limit the fruit (controlled substances) from the poisonous tree (DUI controlled substance charge). Evidence not lawfully discovered by law enforcement cannot be used against the accused. As a result, research of the evidence along with knowledge of DUI defenses allow an experienced attorney to make the appropriate defense moves.
An Illinois DUI controlled substance charge can be stressful and daunting. The first step in your defense is to contact an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who understands Illinois DUI and controlled substance laws. Call the lawyers at Dolci & Weiland today at 630-261-9098 (DuPage County) or 312-238-9007 (Chicago Area).