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Homewood Legal Issues Blog

Can I refuse to answer police questioning during a DUI stop?

When you see the blue lights flashing behind you after having a few beers after work or a couple glasses of wine at dinner, it's tempting to panic, especially once the officer comes to the window. Whether you are over the legal limit or not, the way that you respond to the officer during your initial interaction with him or her greatly impacts your legal defense options later.

With very few exceptions, you have the right to remain silent and refuse to speak or answer questions, although this is not always the wisest course of action. You must always make sure that you understand the other issues at hand before speaking to police, and when in doubt, it is wise to say as little as possible.

You could lose your CDL for texting while driving your truck

A staggering number of people text or otherwise use their smartphones while they drive. Many states, including Illinois, have penalties in place for those who get caught texting while driving. Most drivers will face fines and potentially get points against their licenses. Drivers with commercial driver's licenses (CDLs), however, face more serious consequences.

In many ways, commercial drivers get held to higher standards than other drivers on the road. This is likely the result of the potential risk big trucks pose for severe accidents resulting in injuries or even deaths. For commercial drivers who text while valid driving, there could be a host of consequences, including the loss of their ability to hold valid CDLs.

With joint custody, you cannot just move whenever you want

You had a lot of freedom before you got married. If you wanted to move to California, you could do it. If you just wanted a change of scenery in Illinois, you could move across the state. If you wanted to see the world, you could hop on the next flight to London or Sydney or Beijing.

Then you got married. You had two kids. Your spouse filed for divorce.

Plea deals come with many benefits and some drawbacks

The vast majority of criminal cases never make it trial even though many of them qualify for a jury trial. This is due to plea deals being reached before the case ever makes it to trial. These agreements are made between the prosecutor and defendant.

While plea deals do have some very important benefits for all parties involved, they aren't without opposition. For the men and women who are dealing with the plea bargain process, looking at both the benefits and the drawbacks is imperative.

You might face unforeseen penalties with a criminal conviction

If you are facing criminal charges in Cook County, you may worry about what might happen if the court convicts you. For instance, if a police officer charges you for driving under the influence (DUI), you could potentially end up spending time in jail and get saddled with expensive court costs and fines. Unfortunately, the penalties may not end there.

A criminal conviction can affect your life in many ways unrelated to jail time or fines. For example, you could lose your job — or if you are a student — your financial aid. In addition, you could also face other court ordered penalties.

Protecting your commercial license after a DUI

You've always enjoyed driving a commercial vehicle. You get to travel, and you're paid to do what you love. Normally, you never touch a drink before you're behind the wheel, and for good reason. If you drink and drive, you could lose your license. Even worse, the Commercial Driver's License is revocable if your blood alcohol concentration is .04 or higher, which is a much lower limit than others have to contend with.

You understand that your vehicle is larger and more dangerous than others, so the limits make sense. You want other people to be safe around your vehicle, just like you want them to keep you safe on the roads, too. Unfortunately, although you stopped drinking several hours before getting behind the wheel, you were still intoxicated. After weaving once or twice, a cop pulled you over.

What to expect when you file for divorce in Illinois

For many people, filing for divorce is a source of great anxiety. After all, ending a marriage isn't a decision to be taken lightly. There can be unpredictable consequences to a divorce, especially in situations where you and your spouse simply cannot agree on terms for your divorce.

Some couples have the benefit of a prenuptial agreement to guide the divorce process. This document can outline the expectations for the division of assets, as well as how the couple may handle issues such as child custody and spousal support. In lieu of a prenuptial agreement, however, you should know what to expect if the courts will set the terms for your divorce.

Can you refuse a breath test during a DUI stop in Illinois?

It's a nightmare scenario, especially for people who drive commercially for a living. You get pulled over by the police, who administer a field sobriety test. Basic health issues, ranging from diabetes to anxiety or even a bad knee, could result in an officer suspecting you're under the influence. In that scenario, the next step usually involves the officer performing a chemical test, such as a breath test, to determine alcohol impairment. In some scenarios, officers may collect blood, saliva or urine for testing. Some people might consider refusing to allow the officer to perform a chemical test. Doing so, however, has serious implications for your legal situation.

Illinois law requires you to submit to testing

4 reasons your commercial driver’s license may be suspended

Commercial driving privileges are closely followed by state and federal agencies. As a result, the rules around why your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and for how long can be suspended are plentiful.

Losing your CDL can be devastating if you rely on it for your occupation. To protect yourself from suspension, be aware of the four main reasons a CDL can be suspended and the duration of each suspension.

You must understand the standardized field sobriety test

Even though you understand the risks of drinking and driving, there could come a point when you consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Many people make this mistake because they believe they are sober enough to drive.