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Archive for the ‘Elk Grove DUI attorney’ Category

Legal Issues Surrounding DUI Checkpoints

October 9th, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Illinios criminal defense attorney, Illinois DUI attorney, driving while intoxiated, DWI, Driving under the influence (DUI) cases are some of the more common cases in criminal court. While many cases may be relatively straightforward, there are certain issues that can pop up concerning police procedure in bringing these charges. Of course, each criminal case involving a DUI or other criminal charges should be evaluated in light of the particular facts surrounding the case in order to determine any issues present, as well as options the specific defendant has in addressing the charges.

One such issue that may become relevant in a DUI case is the context in which the defendant was pulled over. Some of those charged with DUI may be observed to be driving in a reckless manner by law enforcement; others may have committed a traffic infraction giving the officer pretext for the stop. Still others may have been charged with a DUI as the result of passing through a DUI checkpoint. A recent report looks at DUI checkpoints and the potential legal issues that result from them in some states, including Illinois.

No Refusal

In some states across the country, including Illinois, law enforcement officials are allowed to conduct what are known as “no-refusal” DUI checkpoints. While the legality of DUI checkpoints in general has been established for quite some time, these specific types of checkpoints are raising concerns in states that conduct them. No-refusal checkpoints involve ordering drivers who are suspected of DUI to submit to a blood test if they first refuse a standard field sobriety test.

The blood test is generally conducted after probable cause for commission of the crime is found, but some defense attorneys are saying the procedure is just a way to get around other laws in place. One problem is that the search warrants claiming probable cause to administer a blood test against the person’s wishes are reportedly mass-produced, something that goes against the general requirements of specificity and narrow scope that such documents should have. At least 30 states, counting Illinois, either have conducted no-refusal initiatives, or have the authority to do so.

On the other hand, law enforcement officials cite staggering statistics about drunk drivers and the need to get them off the road as support for no-refusal initiatives. They say that no-refusal checkpoints do not use procedure that is any different than what would otherwise be used in a DUI stop. In some states, the only difference would be the site at which the blood is drawn – normally, suspects are taken to a hospital for a blood draw after a warrant is issued for the test, while during no-refusal initiatives, there may be nurses at a jail to draw blood there. It is notable that in some states, law enforcement and judges have declined to take part in no-refusal initiative because of concerns over their legality.

DUI Lawyer

If you have been charged with a DUI, contact the experienced Rolling Meadows defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today to schedule a consultation.

Chicago Suburbs Lead in DUI Arrests

September 2nd, 2014 at 7:11 am

DUI, breathalyzer tests, Chicago criminal defense attorney, driving under the influence, Although it may seem like more people recently are being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), it should still be considered a serious offense that deserves the proper attention. Depending on the circumstances, an individual convicted of a DUI can face a substantial prison term, in addition to subsequent supervision and related costs and fines. Considering these potentially harsh penalties, it is advisable to consult with an attorney who is experienced in handling various types of DUI matters for those who are charged with the offense.

DUI Penalties

The sentencing guidelines for DUI offenses increase in severity depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. The penalties are more severe for those convicted of multiple DUIs in the past than they are for a defendant who has been charged for the first time. Still, even those convicted of DUI for the first time can face a maximum of one year of incarceration and an additional six months if a child was in the car while the offender was operating it. Other factors, such as an accident, or the injury or death of another as the result of the DUI, would enhance sentencing structures, as well as lead to additional criminal charges.

 Popularity of DUI

According to a news article recently published, four suburbs just west of Chicago are in the top ten Illinois communities for most DUI arrests in 2013. It found the community of Rockford was first, with a total of 556 DUI arrests last year. The suburb of Naperville was a close second, with 553 arrests for DUI, which was actually a four percent decrease from the 576 that occurred in Naperville in 2012.  The remainder of the suburbs were Carol Stream, which was number five on the list with 392 arrests, Elmhurst ranked sixth with 300, and Aurora, with a total of 256 individuals arrested for DUI, came in tenth place across the state.

The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists completed the survey and compiled the data related to Illinois’ DUI arrests, which it does annually. The purpose of the survey, in part, is to determine how many DUI-related arrests are made by law enforcement in the state of Illinois and to recognize the police departments and officers who are the most productive in combating drinking and driving. Almost 700 police agencies were surveyed, and about 84 percent of those responded. Other suburbs were notably ranked in the top 25 for DUI arrests, including Wheaton and Lombard.

Criminal Defense Attorney

DUI cases call for expert guidance from an experienced Illinois defense attorney. If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI in the Chicago area of Illinois, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today for a consultation to discuss your matter. We have experience representing clients in Cook County and the surrounding area.

Illinois’ Marijuana DUI Law Not Changed by Legislators

July 18th, 2014 at 7:58 am

Chicago DUI lawyer, Cook County criminal defense lawyer, DUI charge, illegal drug, Illinois’ marijuana DUI law, marijuanaAccording to an article recently published, state legislators in Illinois will likely not address issues brought up by the inclusion of marijuana in the state’s DUI law until next year. Currently, the law allows law enforcement to charge drivers with a DUI who were driving under the drug’s influence, even when no evidence of impairment exists. Many are joining in an effort to change this portion of the DUI law in Illinois.

A Bill to Change the Law

A bill was drafted to address the issue and was sponsored by a Senator from Chicago. Although it was recently returned to the Senate committee, likely for the rest of the General Assembly’s current session, supporters are adamant that it will not be forgotten. The plan is to reintroduce the bill next session. Many supporters of the bill are saying the reason for the delay is due to the perception that the bill may be moving backwards in DUI enforcement. Because of this perception, it may take some time for the proposal to gain support.

The bill would seek to change the DUI law by not imposing a DUI charge if any amount of illegal drug is found in a person’s system, but instead imposing a separate criminal offense if the presence of a drug was detected in a person’s system. Many are supporting the bill, but acknowledge that it may require some minor changes to gain enough support to pass. One such change may be to focus the proposed change only on marijuana and not any other illegal drug.

Current Law

Under the relevant Illinois DUI law currently, a driver can be charged with driving under the influence of marijuana if any trace of the drug is detected in his or her blood or urine. The problem is that traces of marijuana can be found in a person’s system several weeks after they actually used the drug. The law does not require prosecutors to prove that a driver was impaired by the drug that he previously ingested, only that traces of the drug were found in his system at the time he was operating a vehicle.

This law is having profound and sometimes tragic outcomes for those charged with a DUI. Numerous defendants have been charged with aggravated DUI causing death under the marijuana portion of the DUI law, and have been sentenced to years in jail as a result.

DUI Defense Attorney

While the bill has not yet passed, many supporters are considering the simple discussion of the issue a positive step towards addressing it. If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI in Illinois, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have successfully represented clients in DUI cases. Contact our experienced Cook County criminal defense lawyers today for a consultation to discuss your case. We serve clients in Cook and DuPage Counties.

Proposed Legislation to Ease Penalties for Drunk Drivers

June 19th, 2014 at 7:00 am

penalties, ease penalties, anti-drunk-driving groups, Chicago DUI lawyer, Christopher M. Cosley, drunk drivers, DUI laws, DUI offenses, DUI penalties, redemption bill, repeat DUI offendersAccording to an article recently published by the Chicago Tribune, one Illinois lawmaker is going against past trends of increasing penalties provided for by state law associated with driving under the influence (DUI) offenses. Instead, the representative is attempting to build support for a measure that would somewhat ease penalties faced by repeat DUI offenders.

Redemption Bill

The representative decided to sponsor what is known as the “redemption bill” after being confronted by an individual from her district. The man told his story, and the representative took a first hand look at his treatment, which proved to her that the man had turned his life around since his offense. Her measure would change the existing DUI laws in a limited way. The proposal would apply to those people found guilty of a fourth DUI offense who would have otherwise permanently lost their licenses and allow them a limited permit to only drive to and from work.

In addition, the proposal would carry various conditions. In order to get driving privileges restored, offenders would have to go through a five-year waiting period since their last conviction. Offenders would also have to successfully complete rehabilitation, pass three years worth of screenings, and request the permit from the Secretary of State. If approved for the permit, the offender would be required to equip his or her vehicle with a breath-testing device that would lock the steering wheel if attempted to operate while intoxicated.

Opposition

There are those who have voiced opposition to the measure. They argue that being charged with a fourth DUI indicates a serious problem, and allowing such a person to get behind the wheel poses a threat to society. Others, including anti-drunk-driving groups, are split on their support of the measure.

Although repeat DUI offenders pose a serious risk to the community, the ultimate goal is to rehabilitate offenders and the legislation gives them the opportunity to prove themselves. Some point out that a portion of repeat offenders do change and learn from their mistakes. The ones that are able to turn their lives around should not be punished for the rest of their lives for past mistakes.

Criminal Defense Attorney

It remains to be seen whether this measure will garner enough support to make it into law. However, old DUI penalties remain in effect while it is pending. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have experience representing many clients who have been charged with various levels of DUI offenses. Contact us today to schedule a consultation in our Rolling Meadows office. We have represented clients in Cook County and the surrounding area.

Severe Consequences for Fatal DUI Driver

April 21st, 2014 at 2:22 pm

drug crimes, lawyer, attorney, criminal defense lawyer, criminal defense attorney, Illinois, ChicagoMany people struggle with addiction and as a result, many criminal cases involve the use, possession, or other acts that occur while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. While these cases alone are often troubling, combining the use of illicit substances and deciding to operate a vehicle can significantly compound a tragic outcome. Such was the case for a man who was recently sentenced to 12 years in prison after being responsible for a fatal accident while under the influence of drug and alcohol.

The Criminal Case

The defendant was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, heroin, and alprazolam at the time of the crash that occurred when he rear-ended a car, killing an 11-year-old boy and severely injuring another car occupant. The car struck was stopped in a line of other vehicles because of an earlier accident that occurred on the road.

After the accident, a urine analysis determined that the defendant had heroin and alprazolam in his system in addition to an illegal amount of alcohol while driving. He pleaded guilty late last year to two counts of aggravated DUI, which meant he would face a maximum sentence of 14 years of incarceration. He was sentenced last week to 12 years jail time, plus a $4,500 fine. Illinois law will require him to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.

The Dangers of Heroin Use

This case represents just one of the dangers of heroin use. Not only was the incident that claimed the life of an 11-year-old completely preventable, but the defendant will have to deal with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life. The prosecutor on the case used the defendant’s sentencing hearing as an opportunity to expand on the potential repercussions of using the drug. He stated that heroin in particular is a highly addictive drug that quickly leads users to uncontrollably self-destruct. While the issue of addiction is one that deserves attention, it takes a back seat when that addiction gives rise to criminal behavior that has permanent, devastating effects on other people.

This case represents one of the most tragic outcomes possible for those who participate in drug use. Cases involving the illicit use of drugs and alcohol commonly bring up addiction and treatment issues for the perpetrator of the crime, but in cases like these, where a life is lost senselessly, the needs of the defendant are often secondary to the interest in public safety. If you have been charged with a crime involving drugs, it is crucial to speak to a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney about your options and rights. The attorneys at the Law Office of Christopher M. Cosley have successful experience representing clients charged with drug offenses in the Chicago area. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Do I Have To Submit To Chemical Testing For a DUI?

October 19th, 2013 at 2:26 pm

If you’re pulled over in Illinois and the officer has reason to believe that you may be under the influence of alcohol, he or she can ask you to complete a field sobriety test. Depending on the results of that test, the officer may request that you complete a chemical test to verify your blood alcohol content (BAC).  Knowing what you are required to do in these circumstances can make a big difference in whether you lose driving privileges or not. If you have been arrested for DUI, your first step should be to contact your Illinois criminal law attorney for advice.

Chemical Testing For a DUIIn Illinois, failing a chemical test or refusing to submit to chemical testing might lead to statutory summary suspension or revocation. It’s important to note that these rules apply to Illinois drivers pulled over for DUI in other states, too. If you refuse to submit to chemical testing, immediate penalties will apply. However, if you contact a DUI attorney immediately, you can fight a license suspension.

For the first occasion in which you refuse to submit to chemical testing, your driving privileges will be suspended for 12 months. On the 31st day of that suspension, you might become eligible for driving relief, which involves a monitoring device driving permit and the installation of a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device. For a second offense, driving privileges can be suspended for three years with no opportunity for driving relief.

In the heat of the moment as you’re pulled over for suspected DUI, it can be frustrating for an officer to demand that you submit to a test. If you are arrested for DUI following the incident, you should hire a Chicago DUI lawyer to manage your case. Don’t risk statutory summary suspension by refusing to submit to the chemical tests.

The Steps of A DUI Arrest

September 4th, 2013 at 9:49 am

Knowing what to expect in a DUI arrest can be helpful if you are involved in an incident. Knowing what’s required of the officer and what steps should be taken to protect your rights can also make a difference in the success or failure of your DUI case. If you have been charged with a DUI in Illinois, you need the help of an experienced criminal attorney.

LauraAt the outset of the arrest, the officer will stop a vehicle at a roadside safety check or for probable cause, reasonable suspicion, or unusual operation. The officer should then observe the driver and request proof of a driver’s license, insurance card, and vehicle registration information. In the event the officer does not suspect operation of the vehicle under the influence, he or she will release the driver without any further charges.

If the officer suspects that the driver is under the influence of alcohol, he or she will ask the driver to submit to field sobriety tests. If the field sobriety tests give the officer probable cause, the driver can be arrested for DUI and taken to the local police station. The driver should be asked to submit to chemical testing for the breath, blood, or urine.

Following this test, if the driver’s BAC is more than .05 but less than .08 and no drugs are found in the driver’s system, statutory summary suspensions will not apply, but the DUI charge can stay intact until other action is taken in court. If a driver refuses to submit to the testing, the statutory summary suspension can apply. Refusing to take the test can cause problems for your case down the road.

Fighting a DUI charge can be difficult, on your own, but an experienced DUI defense lawyer will fight on your behalf. For more information about your Illinois DUI arrest, contact a qualified criminal law attorney today.

 

Can’t Search This

July 8th, 2013 at 4:45 pm

The fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution is one of the most important protections against governmental intrusion. It guarantees the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” In other words, the fourth amendment requires that searches or seizures be reasonable. “So, what is reasonable?” one may ask. Courts have interpreted reasonableness to require a warrant supported by probable cause.  Thus, before law enforcement officials can search something or someone, or arrest someone, they need to go in front of a judge with enough evidence and obtain a warrant.

RigsHowever, the Supreme Court of the United States has recognized certain exceptions to the warrant based on probable cause requirement. For example, in what are known as Terry stops (named after the Terry v. Ohio case), law enforcement officers may briefly detain someone and quickly perform a pat down search if the officer observes unusual conduct which leads him reasonably to conclude in light of his experience that criminal activity may be afoot. These searches, however, are meant to ensure the safety of law enforcement, i.e. if the officer has a reason to believe that the suspect is carrying a weapon, he should be allowed to ensure that the person is not a danger to the officer. Terry stops, however, are not supposed to be a fact gathering expedition.

Not surprisingly, police officers have used Terry stops to gather evidence without a warrant. In People v. Sorenson, for example, the police officer pulled over a car with three occupants. After having no luck frisking the driver, the officer asked to search the backseat passenger, even asking him to take off his boots, which revealed an illicit substance. Although, at first blush it would appear that the search was not justified, the court agreed with the officer and refused to suppress the evidence obtained in the warrantless search.

Law enforcement agencies can exploit whatever constitutional loopholes they wish to, despite the protections that the fourth amendment guarantees. If you are charged with a crime, an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney can ensure you have the full protection of the Constitution.

 

Image courtesy of Simon Howden / freedigitalphotos.net

Illinois Teen Accused of Terrorism Pleads Not Guilty

June 22nd, 2013 at 9:51 am

The whole country was turned upside down not too long ago when the Boston Marathon was bombed and there were many injuries and three deaths. The entire nation followed the news and awaited the results of the FBI’s search for those who caused it, then when and if the FBI could catch them and shut down any of their future plans.

LucyAlthough much of the fuss has died down following the Boston Marathon bombings, terrorism has not stopped. Recently in Illinois, a teenager was charged with and pleaded not guilty to terrorism, according to ABC World News.

The 18-year-old boy, Abdella Ahmad Tounisi, is from a Chicago suburb and has supposedly attempted “to join an al-Quaida-linked militant group fighting Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria,” reported ABC news.

The alleged terrorist stood in court recently with his attorney, who pleaded not guilty on his behalf. The criminal act that Tounisi was charged with is attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group and lying about the operation when questioned by federal authorities.

He was arrested at the O’Hare International Airport when he was beginning the first leg of a trip to join Jabhat al-Nusrah.

Abdella Ahmad Tounisi faces up to 23 years in prison if he is convicted of this terrorist crime.

Often times, terrorism starts at a young age such as this in foreign terrorist groups, and Tounisi may even count himself lucky for being caught before he actually got into the life of a terrorist. American authorities do what they can to keep the streets safe from terrorists, so be careful if you get yourself mixed up in it.

If you find yourself accused of a crime such as terrorism, or perhaps some other crime, contact a criminal attorney for assistance. Attorney Chris Cosley can help you in your criminal court case in Rolling Meadows, Ill. today.

 

Woman Takes Plea Agreement for Aggravated DUI

June 19th, 2013 at 9:59 am

Being arrested and charged with a DUI can be a frightening experience particularly for a person who had no knowledge that a crime was committed. An incident that took place back in December resurfaces in recent news when a woman takes a plea agreement.

Pam The 34-year-old woman admitted to driving while under the influence. Her actions caused the death of a 60-year-old man driving a scooter. However, she claims she did not know she had hit anyone. She thought she had hit the curb only.

Some might say that she was fully aware of what she was doing, getting behind the wheel under the influence and with a revoked license. In addition, the woman denied driving the vehicle but later confessed.

The police say that the woman ran a red light and hit a man on a motorcycle who later died of his injuries. She was later arrested the day of the incident at about 7:00 am, two hours after the incident. She was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Being intoxicated impairs a person’s judgement. Unfortunately, the person who is drinking does not realize that they are impaired, and they may use poor judgment to drink and drive, putting him or herself and everyone else on the road in danger. One bad decision has the potential to ruin the lives of many.

A DUI arrest is a serious matter. It does not make you a bad person, but if someone is injured as a result of your poor decision, it can be devastating to the victim, their family, and to you. In a DUI case, time is of the essence. It is imperative for the accused individual to have proper legal representation. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI, contact a criminal defense attorney in Illinois to discuss your options and the best course of action.

 

Image courtesy of Naypong of freedigitalphotos.net

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