Blog Authors

Latest from Patricia Magaña Blog

When we drink alcohol, the alcohol can be detected in our breath, urine, and blood. Often, the results of a chemical blood alcohol content (BAC) test are a key component of an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI). Breath tests, sometimes called Breathalyzers, analyze the alcohol on a person’s breath in order to approximate the person’s BAC. If you or a loved one have been arrested for drunk driving, it is important to understand how breathalyzer results can impact the case.

Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer in Illinois?
When police officers suspect a driver of drunk driving, they
Continue Reading Your Guide to Breathalyzer Tests in Illinois DUI Cases

Parents are responsible for guiding their children and helping them grow into happy, successful adults. However, even the best parents cannot prevent their children from making mistakes. For teenagers, shoplifting may seem like a victimless crime. Otherwise, law-abiding teenagers may justify stealing from a store because the crime does not involve violence or physical harm. Teenagers may also be peer-pressured into stealing. Some shoplift in order to impress their friends or gain a certain reputation at school. Other teens accused of theft are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Whatever the reasons, theft charges can have a
Continue Reading My Teenager Was Arrested for Shoplifting. Now What?

Illinois is one of many U.S. states that have eliminated or dramatically reduced criminal penalties for marijuana possession and use. Cannabis flower and cannabis products like “edibles” are now legal to possess in Illinois — regardless of the user’s medical need. However, marijuana possession, cultivation, and distribution are still limited and regulated by law. Furthermore, it remains illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. Smoking and driving or “drugged driving” can lead to charges for driving under the influence (DUI).

DUI Involving Cannabis in Illinois
Marijuana is legal for recreational use in Illinois. However, this
Continue Reading You Can Still Be Charged with DUI for Driving High in Illinois

In Illinois, an individual’s driver’s license can be suspended or revoked for driving under the influence of alcohol DUI), receiving several driving violations, failure to pay toll road fees, and even failure to pay child support. If an individual’s license is revoked, the only way to reinstate the license and recover the ability to drive is to meet certain eligibility requirements and attend a Secretary of State (SOS) driver’s license reinstatement hearing.
Informal Driver’s License Reinstatement Hearings
There are two types of license reinstatement hearings in Illinois. If you lost your license due to a first-time DUI or moving
Continue Reading How to Prepare for Your Driver’s License Reinstatement Hearing

Getting arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is cause for serious concern, and you may feel that your entire future is at risk due to a rare lapse in judgment. For many people, one of the most troubling thoughts is the idea of spending time in jail after an arrest or conviction. Jail time is certainly possible for DUI offenders in Illinois, but it is often possible to avoid it, especially with the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney.
Police Custody After a DUI Arrest
If you are arrested for DUI, you will almost
Continue Reading Will I Go to Jail for a DUI in Illinois?

According to Illinois law, there are a number of violations for which a CDL driver can face fines and the temporary suspension of their commercial driver’s license. These penalties can have quite serious consequences, especially for those who rely on their CDL for their livelihood. However, some violations can come with even more serious consequences, including a lifetime disqualification of a driver’s CDL. If you are facing charges for one of these CDL violations, it is crucial that you have a strong defense strategy.
Which CDL Violations Can Result in Lifetime Disqualification? 
In Illinois, CDL drivers will rarely face
Continue Reading Can a CDL Be Permanently Revoked in Illinois?

In Illinois and most other states, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers is 0.08. Though it is possible to be charged with a DUI with a lower BAC if there is other evidence of intoxication, it becomes more difficult to fight a charge when chemical test results show a BAC of 0.08 or above. However, you may be wondering what happens if you are charged with DUI and your BAC registered at much higher than 0.08.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a driver’s abilities can become significantly more impaired as their BAC increases.
Continue Reading How Does a High BAC Impact DUI Sentencing in Illinois?

You may be aware that if you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Illinois, your driver’s license will be revoked for at least a year. However, it is also possible to lose your driving privileges for a time even before your criminal case is resolved. Illinois drivers who are arrested and charged with DUI can be issued an automatic statutory summary suspension of their license if they fail or refuse a chemical test designed to detect the presence of alcohol and other controlled substances. If you have been arrested, here are some important things to understand about
Continue Reading 4 Things to Know About Statutory Summary Suspensions in Illinois

A vast amount of people in the United States require their own form of transportation to maintain their livelihood and continue their daily routine. Driving, however, is a privilege and that privilege can get taken away under certain circumstances. Fortunately, this privilege can also be reinstated if you take the right steps. If your driver’s license has been revoked due to an offense involving multiple DUI charges or a fatality, you will need to attend a formal hearing with the Secretary of State (SOS) to reinstate your license.
What to Expect Prior to the Formal Hearing
To have a successful
Continue Reading How Can I Prepare for my Formal License Reinstatement Hearing?

In Illinois, being arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol can lead to a range of criminal consequences and administrative penalties. Most first-time DUIs are punishable by fines up to $2,500, community service, a six-month driver’s license suspension, and mandatory alcohol education classes. Second and subsequent DUIs or DUIs involving aggravating circumstances are punished more harshly. Some DUI offenses can even lead to lengthy jail sentences. If you have been charged with drunk driving in Illinois, it is crucial that you work with a skilled DUI defense lawyer.
Possible Defenses Against DUI Charges
If you have been
Continue Reading How Can I Get Out of a DUI in Illinois?

Over the last several years, there has been a growing number of serious car accidents caused by distracted driving due to texting and other handheld cell phone use. In response to this problem, Illinois and many other states have begun to implement laws restricting the use of electronic devices while driving, including for drivers of commercial motor vehicles. If you are accused of texting while driving, you could face serious consequences, including the suspension of your commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Penalties for Handheld Cell Phone Use
According to Illinois law, drivers of commercial vehicles are prohibited from texting or
Continue Reading Can I Lose My CDL for Texting and Driving?

As teenagers and young adults experience the freedom of having a driver’s license, many find themselves in situations that involve drinking and driving. For individuals under the age of 21, being convicted of a DUI can lead to very serious consequences, including criminal penalties and the loss of driving privileges. If you or your child find yourself in this situation, it is important to discuss your case with a skilled DUI defense lawyer. Fluent in English and Spanish, Attorney Patricia Magaña has over 15 years of legal experience helping clients minimize or eliminate the negative consequences of a DUI
Continue Reading What Are the Zero Tolerance/Underage Drinking Laws in Illinois?

Trucking weight restrictions were established throughout the United States in order to preserve our roads and promote safety. Trucks and vehicles that are carrying excess amounts of weight can damage streets and highways, creating safety hazards for other motorists. In the state of Illinois, if a police officer has reason to believe that a truck is overweight, he or she can require the driver to stop the vehicle and submit to a weighing. If it is determined that your vehicle is in violation, serious financial penalties may result. If you are a CDL holder who has been cited for
Continue Reading What Are the Financial Penalties for Overweight Trucks in Illinois?

Being accused of identity fraud can be a very frightening experience. In the state of Illinois, individuals who are facing fraudulent ID charges may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of their case. Regardless if a conviction is made, however, the Secretary of State does have the authority to suspend or revoke your driver’s license. If you have lost your driving privileges due to ID fraud charges, it is important to discuss your legal needs with a skilled attorney as soon as possible.
Actions That Can Lead to a Suspended or Revoked License
In Illinois,
Continue Reading Can My Driver’s License be Suspended or Revoked in Illinois for Fraud?

If you are convicted of driving under the influence in Illinois, a number of factors will determine the sentence you serve. One of the biggest factors the court will consider is your criminal history and whether you have previous DUIs on your record. If you do have previous DUI convictions on your records, the court may consider how long it has been between convictions.
Many states place a lookback period on DUI cases and that timeframe is typically five to ten years. If a conviction occurred before the lookback period, the courts cannot consider it. After being charged with a
Continue Reading What Is the Lookback Period for DUIs in Illinois?

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is not just your license to drive. It is a way to earn an income to support yourself and your family. As a commercial driver, you must follow all of the same traffic laws as other drivers, but you are also regulated by other state and federal laws. It is not surprising then, to have many questions when you are accused of violating these laws. If you carry a CDL, below are some of the most frequently asked questions about CDL violations and the answers to them.
Is Court Supervision Available for CDL Violations?
When
Continue Reading FAQs About CDL Violations