Archive for the ‘Illinois DUI law’ Category
March 23rd, 2016 at 7:00 am
Disrupting the peace or posing a threat to public safety is often the grounds for a disorderly conduct arrest under 720 ILCS 5/26-1. However, there are plenty of good reasons why you might have acted or behaved the way that you did—actions which may serve as a defense to disorderly conduct charges.
If you are facing disorderly conduct charges, but believe that you have a defense that justifies your actions, you should discuss your particular case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Potential Defenses to Disorderly Conduct Charges in Illinois
There are four main defenses to disorderly conduct criminal charges. These defenses include:
- Exercising Your First Amendment Right to Free Speech. Some people who are very passionate about speaking out on an issue that is important to them have been charged with disorderly conduct, when the truth of the matter is that the defendant was merely exercising his or her First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Not all topics that are discussed openly in public are accepted by everyone. Yet nonetheless, people have the right to talk about controversial topics in public.
- You Acted in Self-Defense. Various criminal defendants find themselves facing disorderly conduct charges after getting into a fight or altercation in public. However, the reason for fighting may be a good one, such as acting in self-defense. All too often, people get into brawls while out at a bar or while socializing. A fight can get out of hand, and can pose danger to others who are nearby. Additionally, police are often called. Self-defense is a very specific defense and the criminal defendant’s actions must correspond to the legal requirements for a self-defense claim.
- You Acted in the Defense of Another. In certain situations, acting out in the defense of another is a good defense to disorderly conduct charges. However, for this defense to work, there are very specific legal requirements that must be satisfied by the facts. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can inform you as to when defense of another is a good defense to disorderly conduct charges.
- You Were the Victim of Outrageous Police Conduct or Entrapment. Very infrequently, a criminal defendant might stand falsely accused of disorderly conduct, due to the actions of law enforcement. Perhaps the law enforcement officer making the arrest exaggerated his or her accusations about your conduct, or maybe you were acting in accordance to instructions you received from law enforcement, and then you find yourself charged with disorderly conduct. Going up against the police is a tough fight, but if it is the truth then it is a good defense to disorderly conduct charges.
Contact Us for Help
There are plenty of good and valid defenses to disorderly conduct charges. If you are facing disorderly conduct charges, an experienced disorderly conduct lawyer should be able to help you identify any possible defenses you might have. Please do not hesitate to contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office. Our attorneys are prepared to advocate on your behalf immediately.
January 27th, 2016 at 11:07 am
Many new traffic safety laws became effective on January 1, 2016, and Illinois drivers need to be aware of what changes have taken place so that they are not caught off guard by law enforcement if they happen to violate one of the new laws without knowing. Of particular importance to the typical Illinois driver are the changes to some traffic offenses and DUI laws. A synopsis of all of the changes that take effect in 2016 can be found on the Cyber Drive Illinois website.
Changes to Traffic Offenses
- Aggravated speeding can be charged whenever a driver speeds past a school bus or through a construction site going more than 26 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, pursuant to HB 1453 PA 99-0212;
- If a driver is involved in an accident that causes the death of another, the Secretary of State will revoke the driving privileges of the individual responsible for the death. Revocation is effective 90 days after the revocation notification is mailed, pursuant to HB 3670 PA 99-0297;
- Pursuant to HB 4074 PA 99-0300, when an Illinois resident has had a license revocation in another state for more than 10 years, he or she may apply for an Illinois driver’s license, if all of the requirements for reinstatement are satisfied; and
- Temporary stop signs put into place be the Illinois Department of Transportation must be treated as permanent stop signs in accordance with SB 1388 PA 99-0124.
Changes to DUI Laws
- After serving a five year revocation of their driver’s license, individuals who have been convicted of four or more DUIs will now be eligible to request an Illinois Restricted Driving Permit for the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, pursuant to HB 1446 PA 99-1446. As a condition of approval of the request for the Restricted Driving Permit, the driver’s vehicle must be equipped with a breath alcohol ignition interlock device for the remainder of the individual’s driving lifetime;
- Individuals who would like to have their driver’s license reinstated after being convicted for a second or subsequent DUI charge must obtain a Restricted Driving Permit and have an breath alcohol ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for a period of five years before seeking the reinstatement of their driver’s license, pursuant to HB 3533 PA 99-0297; and
- Pursuant to SB 0627 PA 99-0040, those arrested for DUI are now encouraged to sign the “Warning to Motorist” document that is read to these individual’s upon arrest. Refusal to sign the warning will be noted by law enforcement on the bottom of the document.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
The above identified changes to traffic and DUI laws took effect January 1, 2016. If you have been charged with a DUI or a traffic offense and you are being charged under one of the above new laws, you should contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer immediately. Our attorneys are prepared to provide you with a consultation and assist you with your case.
November 17th, 2015 at 2:48 pm
One of the consequences of being convicted for driving under the influence is that your driver’s license will be revoked. Under the current laws of Illinois, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both. Upon conviction, a person will lose their driver’s license; more specifically, the Secretary of State will revoke their driving privileges.
The revocation period depends on the number of prior offenses:
- For a first offense, license revocation is for a period of one year, and for those under the age of 21, revocation is for two years;
- For a second offense committed in a period of 20 years, license revocation is for a period of and years;
- For a third offense, license revocation is for a period of 10 years; and
- For a fourth any subsequent offenses, license revocation is for life.
Needless to say, being convicted of a DUI seriously impacts a person’s life by taking away their ability to drive.
New Law Changes Driver’s License Revocation for Fourth DUI Offense
A new state law, referred to as House Bill 1446 or Public Act 099-0290, will be taking effect on January 1, 2016 and will allow individuals in Illinois who have been convicted of four DUIs to be able to apply for a restricted driving permit after completing five years of their revocation period.
In order to be eligible for the restricted driving permit under the new law, the applicant must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence:
- That he or she has experienced a minimum of three years of uninterrupted sobriety from drugs, alcohol, or both; and
- That he or she has successfully completed a rehabilitative program or activity recommended by a licensed service provider.
While it is always a good legal strategy to fight a DUI charge that is pending against you so that you are not convicted of the DUI, if you ultimately are convicted, it is also important that you pursue the options available to you to get your driver’s license reinstated as soon as possible.
Under the new law, four-time DUI convictions can become eligible for an administrative hearing to request reinstatement of their driving privileges from the Illinois Secretary of State. In the alternative, these individuals can seek to obtain a restricted driving permit, which can be obtained for the purpose of transporting either yourself or a family member for certain reasons or purposes, including getting to and from work, school, substance abuse rehabilitative services or programs, for obtaining medical care and attending doctor’s appointments, or for getting children to daycare.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
Getting a first, second, third or subsequent DUI is a matter that can not be taken lightly. Your rights and your freedom are at stake. Consult with an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney about what options are available to you and whether you can get your driving privileges reinstated sooner rather than later. Please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for assistance.
March 23rd, 2015 at 6:53 pm
Driving under the influence, or “DUI” is a criminal charge that carries with it a host of possible consequences. People who have been injured by intoxicated drivers or who have lost family members in car accidents often advocate for extremely harsh punishment for people caught driving under the influence. Surprisingly, however, even many of these advocates are on board with getting rid of the “hard time” 30-day suspension of the person’s driver’s license that accompanies a DUI arrest in Illinois.
What is a Hard Suspension?
A hard suspension of a person’s driver’s license is a suspension with no exceptions. During a hard suspension a driver is not allowed to drive at all. This is opposed to a suspension where the driver is only allowed to drive under certain circumstances, such as being required to use an ignition interlock device. These are the devices that can be installed in cars that require the driver to blow into them to prove they are not intoxicated in order to operate the vehicle. Hard suspensions prevent drivers from driving to work, taking their children to school, going to alcohol treatment, or fulfilling any of a whole variety of basic life functions. While people who live in certain parts of Chicago may have reliable enough public transportation to do all of these things without driving, those living in the suburbs or in rural parts of the state can lose jobs and support networks. If the goal is to prevent future alcohol abuse and encourage treatment, hard suspensions work against that goal. Yet under current Illinois law, there is a mandatory 30-day hard suspension that follows a DUI arrest.
Movement to Eliminate the Automatic Hard Suspension
The Chicago Tribune reports that the Illinois State Bar Association has proposed ending the mandate that people arrested for DUI completely lose their driver’s licenses for at least 30 days, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is supporting the move; as is a local group called “Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.” What is the catch? Drivers would be able to get out of the 30-day suspension if they agreed to use an ignition interlock device whenever they drove during the suspension period. This would allow them to go to work, treatment, and other places they need to be while still keeping the community safe. It would also encourage the use of the ignition interlock device, preventing the drivers from drinking and driving on a suspended license. Both the drivers and the community win.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you have been cited for driving under the influence, you need an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI attorney. That is why you should call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We handle these unique cases regularly and can provide you with the representation you deserve. Reach out to us at (847)394-3200.
October 9th, 2014 at 7:32 pm
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.
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.
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.
April 10th, 2014 at 12:34 pm
According to United States law, no person under the age of 21 is allowed to consume alcohol and no person of any age is allowed to drive while intoxicated. Many times, adults will have a couple drinks and drive home safely, with a blood alcohol content below the legal level of 0.08. If a person under 21, however, is pulled over and is found to have a blood alcohol content of anything above 0.0, he or she can be charged.
This is called the zero tolerance policy of Illinois for underage drinking, says CyberDriveIllinois.com. If a person under 21 is caught driving with even a trace of alcohol in his or her system, he or she will lose all driving privileges. Police officers can only pull over a person if he or she has probable cause.
Probable causes can include:
- Driving over the speed limit;
- Running a red/yellow light;
- Not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign or four-way stop;
- Not driving straight in the traffic lane.
The zero tolerance law says:
- No person under the age of 21 can purchase, accept, possess, or consume alcohol. Penalties may be suspension/revocation of driving privileges;
- Any person under 21 who receives court supervision as penalty will receive 3-month suspension of driving privileges;
- Certain exemptions include religious and medical reasons;
- All states have zero tolerance laws;
- Other penalties may be fines, jail time, high insurance costs, mandatory alcohol evaluation and treatment, negative effects on driving record, and negative effects on job opportunities.
If you are caught with alcohol in your system while driving and you are under 21, your driving privileges will be suspended for 3 months. The suspension will be lengthened to one year for a second offense.
Although you can refuse to take a test to determine your blood alcohol level, you can be charged for refusal or failure to complete the test if you are under 21. The first time you refuse, your driving privileges will be suspended for 6 months and as a second offense, they will be suspended for 2 years.
Keep your driving record clean by not drinking and driving. If you have been caught drinking and driving, especially if you are under the age of 21, contact an Illinois criminal attorney to help you in court today.
November 14th, 2013 at 10:39 am
Drinking alcohol is dangerous for people of all ages even if they are old enough to drink legally. The law is not meant just to get people in trouble, it is to protect them, which is why the punishments can be so severe.
Not only is consuming alcohol illegal, but those under 21 cannot even transport or have alcohol in their possession. If someone underage is caught transporting alcohol in their vehicle, they can be fined up to $500 and receive a jail sentence of up to six months. The exception to this law is if a person under the age of 21 is transporting alcohol for employment or under the order of his or her parents.
If someone underage is caught drinking and driving, their punishment will be even more severe than someone who is of age because they will have broken multiple laws. If someone underage registers a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher while driving, he or she may be sentenced to 30 days in jail and be fined up to $500.
Under the Zero Tolerance Law, any person under the age of 21 can be punished for drinking and driving even if he or she does not register a 0.08 BAC. Depending on how many offenses the person may have and whether or not he or she refuses the test, the offense if punishable by 3 months up to 2 years in prison. The prison time, of course, increases if the BAC is above 0.08.
Some underage drinkers even go as far as getting a fake ID so that they can buy alcohol themselves and get into bars. With each step away from the truth, these teens are digging deeper and deeper holes for themselves with the law. Having a fake ID can result in 25 hours of community service, most likely for an alcohol abuse prevention program or a fine of at least $250. If a person who is 21 or older allows someone else to borrow their ID can have the same results.
Underage drinking dangerous for the drinker and it is also dangerous for those around him or her. Anyone with knowledge of underage drinking can get into legal trouble as well. If you have been caught drinking underage or allowing someone to, contact a criminal attorney for help. Located in Rolling Meadows, attorney Chris Cosley will help you through your underage drinking court case today.
November 7th, 2013 at 1:00 pm
Senator Julie Morrison has sponsored a bill, which along with other measures will make waterways safer next year. For Morrison, this bill is personal. In 2012, her nephew, 10 year old Anthony Borcia was killed after falling off a tube on Petite Lake in Northern Illinois. Morrison stated that “for me, this law is about turning a personal tragedy into an opportunity to protect other people. Last summer, my nephew was killed by a boater under the influence of drugs and alcohol. I’m doing everything I can to keep other families from experiencing our loss.”
The person responsible for Tony’s death was David Hatyina. He was sentenced to ten years in jail after pleading guilty to operating a motorboat while under the influence of alcohol and cocaine. His blood alcohol level while operating his boat was between .09 and .12, which is over the legal limit.
One measure that was signed into law would make the penalties harsher for people who operate boats under the influence. If convicted of this crime, offenders would have their driver’s license suspended for three months. It also requires boaters who are involved in boat accidents to submit to a breathalyzer or other chemical blood alcohol test. This is how implied consent works when a driver is suspected of DUI.
The other measure would require certification before certain people can operate a watercraft. People who were born on or after the first day of 1990 would need to complete a boat operation safety course and also receive certification from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Without this new law, only kids from the ages of 12 and 18 need to be certified unless they are driving a boat with their parent or 18 year old guardian. The last bill would require boats who are towing a person to show an orange flag as a warning to other boaters.
Morrison also stated that “people need to know that drinking and boating is every bit as serious as drinking and driving. I hope that requiring blood alcohol tests in the case of serious boating accidents will make some people think twice before they crack open a beer while they are operating a boat.” If you have been operating any vehicle and pulled over for suspicion of DUI, you need help. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows who can handle your case.
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.
At 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.
April 12th, 2013 at 4:33 pm
Each state has different laws regarding driving under the influence. While some rules do vary across the nation, many of the punishments do not. In Illinois, to be considered intoxicated while driving for citizens 21 or older, their blood alcohol contact has to be at .08%. If you are under the age of 21, if there is any alcohol in your system, you can be charged with a DUI.
For your 1st offense, in Illinois, you can get either jail-time of up to one year, a fine of up to $2,500, a license suspension for a minimum of a year, a breath alcohol ignition interlock device, vehicle registration suspension, or community service. However, if there is a child under the age of 16 in the car, you can get jail-time of at least six months, or a minimum fine of $1,000.
If the DUI was your 2nd offense, it is possible to get jail-time for a year along with 240 hours of community service. There can be a fine of up to $2,500. If there was child present under the age of 16, you may have to pay a fine that can add up to $25,000, or serve jail-time for up to 1-3 years.
In 2011, Illinois issued new DUI laws. On January 1, 2011, they had amended the Unified Code of Corrections. It stated, “that those convicted of a DUI accident that occurred on or after the amendment date where the accident was proximate cause of greatly bodily harm or permanent shall receive no more than 4.5 days of good conduct credit for each month of the offender’s sentence of imprisonment,” according to the Illinois DUI Laws website.
If you are being charged with a DUI, make sure to call a lawyer as soon as possible. Contact an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney today.