Top Chicago Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Lawyer

Illinois DUI Lawyer practicing in Chicago, Cook CountyA conviction for driving under the influence can cause you to lose your driver’s license. It can ruin education and job opportunities. Worse yet, it could send you to prison for a significant period of time. The attorneys at Gruszeczki and Smith Law LLP are former prosecutors in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. They have prosecuted numerous driving under the influence and traffic cases over their careers. If you have been charged with DUI, you need experienced legal representation. Gruszeczki & Smith Law has the experienced trial lawyers you need to keep your license and stay out of jail.

A DUI arrest results in a suspension of your driving privileges. If the driver submitted to a breathalyzer (breath tests) or blood or urine draws, the Illinois Secretary of State will suspend your license for at least six months. If the driver refused to take these tests, then your license will be suspended for at least a year. However, the experienced Chicago attorneys at Gruszeczki & Smith Law can aggressively challenge these suspensions. Often times, the police arrest people for driving under the influence based on improper vehicle stops. On other occasions, the police lack probable cause to arrest an accused for DUI. Further, sometimes the police don’t administer the tests according to the law or don’t properly warn a motorist about his rights. We will protect your rights and, if appropriate, demand a hearing (called a Statutory Summary Suspension hearing) to defeat these suspensions of your license based on improper policing.

Aside from the loss of your driver’s license, a driving under the influence arrest results in a criminal prosecution. DUI can be either a misdemeanor or felony offense based on the circumstances and background of the accused. As former prosecutors, our vast experience in search and seizure provides our clients with an avenue to attack the state’s evidence and get it thrown out before trial. Because we worked with the police, we know what mistakes the police make and we will use those mistakes for your benefit. If a trial is necessary, we will strategically present your case with the goal of a finding of not guilty. To beat a DUI, and avoid a suspension of your driver’s license, you need the experience and trial skills of the lawyers at Chicago’s Gruszeczki and Smith Law.

The 7 Types of DUI in Illinois

An Illinois DUI does not necessary mean alcohol.  Currently, there are more than 7 different types of DUI in the State of Illinois.  Some of these DUI charges have nothing to do with consuming alcohol and driving.  Each of the 7 different DUI’s in Illinois have different elements that must be proven by the prosecution before a driver can be found guilty of driving under the influence.  It is important that you hire an attorney who understands the difference between these types of DUIs in order to ensure that you have proper legal representation.

Illinois DUI charged under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(1)

The first type of DUI in the State of Illinois is commonly referred to as an (a)(1) DUI.  An (a)(1) DUI is when a person is operating a motor vehicle and the alcohol concentration in the person’s blood, other bodily substance, or breath is 0.08 or more.  Generally speaking, an Illinois Driver is written a DUI under this section when the driver has provided a chemical test in the form of blood, breathe or urine and that test discloses that the driver has an alcohol concentration in their system over 0.08.  In this type of DUI the prosecution must prove two elements.  First, they must prove that an individual was driving and second, that the driver had 0.08 a higher concentration of alcohol in their system.

Illinois DUI charged under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2)

The second type of DUI in the State of Illinois is commonly referred to as an (a)(2) DUI.  An (a)(2) DUI is when an Illinois Driver is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.  This type of DUI differs from the (a)(1) DUI above in that there is no chemical test provided by the accused driver.  Instead, the prosecution will attempt to prove that the Illinois Driver is intoxicated based on observations made of the driver at the time of arrest.  Often times, these observations will include the driver’s performance on the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, an admission by the driver that he or she was drinking, the presence of alcohol in the vehicle, or other actions of the driver.  In this type of DUI the prosecution must prove two things.  First, they must prove that an individual was driving and second, that the driver was under the influence of alcohol.

A person who is arrested for DUI and who submits to chemical testing as mentioned above will often times be charged with two counts of DUI under section (a)(1) and (a)(2).  In that particular instance the prosecution will attempt to prove that the driver was driving over the legal limit of 0.08 and the prosecution will also attempt to prove that the driver was intoxicated based on observations made by the arresting officer.

Illinois DUI charged under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(3)

The third type of DUI in the State of Illinois is commonly referred to as an (a)(3) DUI.  An (a)(3) DUI is when a person is operating a motor vehicle and under the influence of any intoxicating compound or combination of intoxicating compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving safely.  A list of intoxicating compounds as defined by Illinois law can be found here.  By definition an intoxicating compound has the effect of distorting or disturbing the auditory, visual or mental processes. An (a)(3) DUI differs from other types of DUIs in that the prosecution must prove three elements.  First, they must prove that an individual was driving.  Second, they must prove a driver was under the influence of an intoxicating compound.  Third, the prosecution must prove that the driver was rendered incapable of driving safely.  This type of DUI is generally charged based on the observations of the arresting officers and can include testimony of a certified Drug Recognition Expert or other qualified witness.

Illinois DUI charged under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(4)

The fourth type of DUI in the State of Illinois is commonly referred to as an (a)(4) DUI.  An (a)(4) DUI is when a person is operating a motor vehicle and under the influence of any other drug or combination of drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving.  This type of DUI is often charged when a person is under the influence of a legal, prescribed, controlled substance and this legal substance effects a person in such a way that they are no longer capable of safety driving a car.  This type of DUI can also include testimony of a certified Drug Recognition Expert or other qualified witness.   An (a)(4) DUI, much like the (a)(3) discussed above, differs from other types of DUIs in that the prosecution must prove three elements.  First, they must prove that an individual was driving.  Second, they must prove a driver was under the influence of any other drug or combination of drugs.  Third, the prosecution must prove that the driver was rendered incapable of driving safely.  It is important to note that a DUI charged under section (a)(4) does not have to prove the amount of drugs in a driver’s system, only that those drugs in the driver’s system rendered the driver incapable of safely driving a car.

Illinois DUI charged under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(5)

The fifth type of DUI in the State of Illinois is commonly referred to as an (a)(5) DUI.  An (a)(5) DUI is when a person is operating a motor vehicle and is under the combined influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving.  This type of DUI is charged when the police officer believes that a person has consumed alcohol in combination with either an intoxicating compound or drug and that combination has rendered them incapable of driving a car safely.   This type of DUI can also include testimony of a certified Drug Recognition Expert or other qualified witness.   An (a)(5) DUI, much like the (a)(3) and (a)(4) DUI’s discussed above, differ from other types of DUIs in that the prosecution must prove three elements.  First, they must prove that an individual was driving.  Second, they must prove a driver was under the influence of alcohol and other drug or drugs or intoxicating compound or compounds.  Third, the prosecution must prove that the driver was rendered incapable of driving safely.

Illinois DUI charged under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(6)

The sixth type of DUI in the State of Illinois is commonly referred to as an (a)(6) DUI.  An (a)(6) DUI is when a person is operating a motor vehicle and is there is any amount of a drug, substance, or compound in the person’s breath, blood, other bodily substance, or urine resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of a controlled substance listed in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, an intoxicating compound listed in the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act, or methamphetamine as listed in the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.  This type of DUI is often charged when a person is taking prescription pills without a valid prescription or when a person is taking controlled substances (for a list of controlled substances see 720 ILCS 570)  , intoxicating compounds (for a list of intoxicating compounds see 720 ILCS 690/1), or methamphetamines (for a list of methamphetamines see 720 ILCS 646/5).  The amount of the drug, substance or compound in a driver’s system is immaterial for a DUI charged under section (a)(6) because it is unlawful for a person to have any of the aforementioned substances in their system in the first place.  This type of DUI can include testimony of a certified Drug Recognition Expert or the results of chemical tests to prove the presence of drugs, substances or compounds in the driver’s system.   In a DUI charged under (a)(6) the prosecution must prove three things.  First, they must prove that an individual was driving and second, that the driver had any amount of a drug, substance, or compound in the person’s breath, blood, other bodily substance, or urine.  Third, they must prove that the consumption or use was unlawful.

Illinois DUI charged under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(7)

The seventh and final type of DUI in the State of Illinois is commonly referred to as an (a)(7) DUI.  An (a)(7) DUI is when a person is operating a motor vehicle and that person has, within 2 hours of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle, a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration in the person’s whole blood or other bodily substance as defined in paragraph 6 of subsection (a) of Section 11-501.2 of this Code (See 11-501.2 here).  In a DUI charged under section (a)(7) a person cannot have a Tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of either 5 nanograms or more of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of whole blood or 10 nanograms or more of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of other bodily substance.  A driver who lawfully consumes cannabis under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act and who has a valid registry card is exempt from charge under an (a)(7) DUI, unless that driver is impaired by the use of cannabis.  In order to prove a DUI under section (a)(7) the prosecution will need results of a chemical test showing a driver is not in compliance with aforementioned levels.  In a DUI charged under (a)(7) the prosecution must prove two things.  First, they must prove that an individual was driving and second, that the driver had 5 nanograms or more of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of whole blood or 10 nanograms or more of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of other bodily substance in their system within 2 hours of driving a car.

For free consultation with criminal defense lawyers experienced with driving under the influence charges or other traffic offenses, contact Gruszeczki & Smith Law in Chicago, Illinois at 312.253.7343 or use the form to the right.

Finally, keep this in mind. If you are charged with driving under the influence or a drug related crime in Chicago, Cook County or any part of the state of Illinois, it’s extremely important to remember that law enforcement officials and the prosecution are not on your side.

Whether you are facing a DUI charge or other criminal charges it is important to understand that there is a big difference between a conviction and an arrest.  The state and its prosecutors must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in each and every case.  Our attorneys will work closely with you, reviewing your case, educating you on the legal issues and ramifications and discussing trial strategies and potential witnesses. From evaluating the state’s evidence and analyzing any offers from the state they will be your experienced criminal defense team. Gruszeczki & Smith Law, your Chicago DUI Attorney team. Please visit this post for additional insights into why choosing DUI representation with the right experience is critically important.