Illinois DUI Cannabis Lawyers need to be expert in marijuana based DUI law in Illinois, and know how to challenge evidence in a meaningful way to help protect you. Read on to learn why that's Fagan, Fagan & Davis.
Illinois Cannabis DUI Lawyers
Most people think DUI just means drunk driving, but it actually stands for Driving Under the Influence, and Illinois DUI law allows DUI to be charged in many ways that go beyond the common notion of having one alcoholic drink too many. Specifically, DUI in Illinois also prohibits driving under the influence of cannabis or marijuana. Although Illinois law on cannabis use changed dramatically in mid-2016, the Illinois DUI lawyers at our law firm have been helping people accused of all forms of DUI since 1980, and we have vast trial experience in Cook, Lake and DuPage county DUI courts.
Cannabis DUI in the Law
There are basically two ways in which a person can be charged with a Cannabis DUI in Illinois. A person who is authorized to use marijuana medically, for instance, under Illinois' Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, must be impaired to a degree they are not able to operate a motor vehicle safely.
For those of us not certified for medical marijuana use, Illinois DUI law still allows the prosecution to allege a motorist cannot operate a motor vehicle safely, but also sets a standard bright line rule similar to the 0.08 level for alcohol.
In this case, DUI a person is presumed to be under the influence of cannabis the police can measure 5 ng or more of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9 THC) in a milliliter of whole blood or 10 ng per milliliter of other "bodily fluids" as measured within two hours of actual physical control of a motor vehicle. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
DUI Cannabis Penalties in Illinois
It may surprise you to know that the same penalties and penalty scheme that applies to other DUI offenses also is applicable to DUI cannabis. The possible penalties for Illinois DUI range widely. The most common is a class A misdemeanor DUI punishable by a maximum of 364 days in jail plus $2500 in fines and possible revocation of driving privileges, and the most rare can be punishable as class X felony offenses punishable by $25,000 in fines, 6-30 years in prison (or up 60 years based on enhancing factors) and lifetime drivers license revocation.
Illinois DUI Cannabis and Statutory Summary Suspension
Statutory Summary Suspension of your Driver's License is mandatory and happens automaticall beginning on the 46th day after you are served with a "Notice of Statutory Summary Suspension/Revocation". Most such notices in the case of DUI cannabis cases will be sent by mail after a lab has had the opportunity to analyze blood or other bodily fluids for the presence of THC. These suspensions last for as little as 6 months and sometimes as long as 3 years depending on several factors. In many cases, a permit called an MDDP is available if you qualify as a "first offender" for purposes of Illinois suspension law - this is a legal distinction different than being a first offender for DUI purposes.
Why an Illinois Cannabis DUI Lawyer?
Most people facing DUI simply decide to plead guilty from the start. Many don't even consult an experienced Illinois DUI attorney, mistakenly thinking their family attorney or business lawyer will understand the intricacies. They won't. They'll miss important legal issues, fail to understand the forensic science involved, misunderstand the consequences and effects, miss negotiating opportunities and will be unable to effectively mount a defense at trial. Those mistakes will cost you. A well trained lawyer specifically focussing on Cannabis DUI defense in Illinois won't make those same mistakes.
At Fagan, Fagan & Davis, we've successfully defended countless clients against DUI charges throughout the Chicago area including Cook county, DuPage county and Lake county courts. We understand the defense strategies that are most effective in court, and how to challenge evidence offered by the prosecution.
Call us now for a no-cost session with an Illinois DUI lawyer to learn how we can help.