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Archive for the ‘Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer’ Category

Leaving the Scene of a DUI Accident Can Lead to More Charges

April 7th, 2017 at 9:29 am

DUI Accident, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyCountless people in Illinois get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, despite knowing that driving under the influence is illegal. A driver may think that he or she is sober enough to drive or will not get caught. However, if you are caught, you will quickly find out that Illinois law enforcement does not take DUI very lightly.

Police are often harsh on drivers who are intoxicated behind the wheel and they will often look for ways to stack up as many criminal charges against an intoxicated driver as possible. But in some situations the driver actually gives the police good reason to add on additional criminal charges.

Extra Charges When the DUI Results in An Accident

If you are driving under the influence and you cause an accident, either a single vehicle accident or an accident involving another vehicle, when police arrive at the scene, they will look for every way that they can to charge you with criminal charges in addition to your DUI. For instance, if an accident was the result of your speeding or reckless driving, police will charge you with DUI, in addition to a reckless driving or speeding charge.

Tacking on Charges When Leaving the Scene of An Accident

Sometimes a driver involved in a DUI accident might decide that he or she should leave the scene of the accident in order to protect himself or herself from being arrested. For instance, this is common when a drunk driver hits a parked car. The intoxicated driver might leave the scene of the accident, thinking that because no one saw the accident there will be no liability. This is very far from the truth.

Hitting a parked car and then leaving the scene of the accident is a hit and run. Once the owner of the parked car discovers that his or her vehicle was involved in a hit and run accident, he or she will report the accident to police and the police will investigate. You could very well be identified as the culprit if the police are able to successfully conduct their investigation. You could be charged with DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, and hit and run.

If the accident involved another vehicle and you try to flee the accident scene before the police arrive, you will face additional charges as well. On top of your DUI charge, you will be charged with leaving the scene of the accident, and could be charged with other offenses based on the circumstances of the accident. For instance, if you left someone injured at the accident scene and you did not try to help that person, you could be further charged with failure to render aid.

Contact Us Today for Help

Driving under the influence charges are serious, and your situation can get far worse if you leave the scene of an accident. Even if you know that you are likely to be charged with a DUI if you stay, it is important that you stay until police arrive if you have been involved in an accident. Dealing with the DUI is one thing, but the additional charges that can be tacked on against you if you leave the scene of an accident can make things much worse for you. Furthermore, it is in your best interests to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for help with your case.

Sources:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-403.htm

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

Choosing a DUI Defense Lawyer: What You Should Know

December 23rd, 2016 at 9:20 am

Choosing a DUI Defense Lawyer, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyIf you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in Illinois, it is critically important that you fight the criminal charges that are pending against you. In order to do that, you will need an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney by your side fighting for you the whole way. These are important charges that you need to get reduced or dismissed—the consequences of being convicted for a DUI are life-altering and long-lasting. At worst, a lawyer can simply ensure that you receive fair treatment under the law. Consider the following when looking for a DUI defense attorney.

An Attorney Who is Qualified and Experienced

If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important to hire an attorney who is experienced in handling DUI defenses just like yours. An experienced DUI criminal defense attorney will know the specifics of the law, will understand the criminal court system, and will listen to you as you explain what happened that caused you to get arrested. The outcome of your defense will impact your life in a big way. Do not put your fate into the hands of an inexperienced attorney.

Consider Interviewing Prospective Lawyers

Do not be afraid to request an interview with a few criminal defense attorneys that you are considering hiring. Conducting an interview will give you a chance to meet the attorney in person and have an initial conversation together. Conducting an interview is a great opportunity to determine if the attorney will really listen to you, and can help you determine if he or she is a good communicator.

What is the Cost?

It is a good idea to figure out up front how a criminal defense attorney will be paid for his or her time and what that time will cost you. You will want a lawyer who is appropriately priced for your particular circumstances, and you should get a better understanding about how your lawyer will bill you before he or she begins working on your defense.

Get a Lawyer Who Will Explore All of Your Legal Options

Having options is good.  It is best to work with a criminal defense attorney who will consider all of the legal options that are available to you. It is even better if your attorney can tell you about the pros and cons of each legal option you have, and the likelihood of success that each option offers you.

Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

When you need to hire a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney to help you with your DUI defense, make sure that you take some time to figure out which attorney is right for you. Criminal defense attorneys are not all alike, and you may find that you can work better with a certain attorney, rather than others.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

Evidence in Your DUI Case: Breathalyzer Testing Results Invalid

December 16th, 2016 at 9:47 am

breathalyzer testing, Rolling Meadows DUI lawyerWhen a person is stopped by law enforcement for a traffic violation, and the officer who made the traffic stop develops a reasonable suspicion that the driver of the vehicle is intoxicated by alcohol, the police officer can request that the suspected drunk driver submit to a breathalyzer test.

A breathalyzer test is a chemical test that analyzes the amount of alcohol on a person’s breath and then determines whether the person has a blood alcohol concentration that is over the legal limit of 0.08. Under Illinois implied consent law, drivers are required to submit to a breathalyzer test upon a police officer’s request or else face consequences, such as the automatic suspension of their driver’s license. But remember: you do have the right to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test.

Even if you are pulled over and you do submit to breathalyzer testing, there are many things that could render your breathalyzer testing results invalid. It is well established that breathalyzer tests are not foolproof and there can be any number of procedural mistakes that could make your test results invalid. Invalid breathalyzer test results cannot be used against you in a DUI case against you. A few examples of things that can make your breathalyzer test results invalid include:

  • The breathalyzer machine malfunctioned during your test;
  • The breathalyzer machine was not properly calibrated before you took your breath test;
  • The police officer who administered your breathalyzer test did not follow proper protocol;
  • The police officer who performed your breathalyzer test was not properly licensed or trained to conduct breathalyzer test in the field;
  • The breathalyzer machine used to perform your breath test it was not of the type that is an approved testing device;
  • The police officer who administered your breathalyzer test did not conduct the required observation period before conducting the breath test;
  • The police officer who administered your breathalyzer test did not record the breathalyzer device certification tests of the simulator solution (used to calibrate/test the device before the suspected drunk driver uses the breathalyzer machine); or
  • You have a medical condition that influences your breathalyzer test results.

If you have been charged with a DUI and you have submitted to a breathalyzer test, a skilled and experienced criminal DUI defense attorney can help fight your charges by attacking the validity of your breathalyzer testing results based on any of the above identified reasons. DUI charges can result in serious consequences if you are convicted, such as costly fees, jail time, mandatory drug and alcohol educational classes, and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device on your vehicle, for which you have to pay. Your driving privileges will also be suspended, and you will have to get your driver’s license reinstated. A lawyer can help you with your driver’s license reinstatement as well.

Let Us Help You Today

If you are facing DUI charges and there is chemical testing evidence in your case, an experienced DUI lawyer will know when this evidence should be challenged. Please do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer immediately. Our passionate attorneys are eager to help you today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

Police Performing Community Caretaking Function Can Arrest for DUI

June 6th, 2016 at 8:27 am

Illinois arrest for DUI, community caretaking function, Rolling Meadows DUI LawyerGenerally speaking, police need to have a good reason—probable cause—to make a traffic stop. Otherwise the traffic stop is an illegal seizure under the Fourth Amendment. However, there are limited exceptions to the prohibition against illegal seizures, and one of those exceptions arises when police are acting in their community caretaking function.

Police Officers As Community Caretakers

The community caretaking function of a police officer occurs when an officer engages in an activity, other than the investigation of a crime, that helps those in the community. A few examples include helping lost children find their parents, responding to non-criminal calls such as helping people, assisting with missing person cases, or helping drunk citizens return to their homes (presuming that the drunk individuals are not violating the law).

The Community Caretaker Exception to Search and Seizure

In order for the community caretaking exception to the Fourth Amendment to apply, the police officer must be engaging in an activity or job duty other than the investigation of a crime, and the search and seizure must be reasonable and undertaken with the purpose of protecting the public or promoting safety.  

Community Caretaker and DUI Example

Very infrequently does a police officer stumble upon a person who is drunk behind the wheel, but who is not in fact driving. Still, this can happen, and it has happened in the past. In The People v. McDonough, a police officer came across McDonough’s vehicle on the side of the road. The officer stopped to check if the driver was ok. The officer turned on his lights, and proceeded like a traffic stop—he approached the vehicle and asked the driver questions. During questioning, the officer noted evidence of alcohol intoxication on the driver’s breath and asked the driver to participate in field sobriety testing. The driver failed these tests and then refused to submit to a breathalyzer test. McDonough was arrested for DUI, and the Illinois Supreme Court found that the police officer’s stop was not a violation of McDonough’s Constitutional rights because of the community caretaker exception.

When the officer turned on his lights, he engaged in a seizure of the driver. However, since the officer was looking into the vehicle that was stopped on the side of the road as a community caretaker, rather than as an officer investigating a crime, the police officer’s seizure, or traffic stop, was legal. Therefore, the resulting DUI charges were based on a legal stop and seizure. Furthermore, the evidence of the alcohol on the driver’s breath was obtained through a valid search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment community caretaker exception, and thus could not be excluded at trial.

When You Need a DUI Defense Lawyer

There are exceptions to the search and seizure protections offered by the U.S. Constitution. If you are facing DUI charges, please contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer immediately. We are happy to help you today.

Sources:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/fourth_amendment

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/opinions/supremecourt/2010/november/109489.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=81900000&SeqEnd=84800000

Different DUI Standards for Medical Marijuana Patients

May 13th, 2015 at 11:56 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, drug crimes, Illinios drug laws, Illinois is slowly limping into the age of medical marijuana. While getting the system up and running is taking some time, there are some very good things in the state’s medical marijuana laws. One of those good things has to do with how medical marijuana patients will be treated when it comes to DUI charges.

Illinois DUI Marijuana Charges for Non-Medical Marijuana Users

People who choose to use marijuana in Illinois without the protections that are afforded to medical marijuana users run serious risks if they are ever pulled over on suspicion of a DUI. Under Illinois statute, a person can be found guilty of DUI if he or she drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle while there is any amount of a drug, substance, or compound in his or her blood, breath, or urine resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of cannabis. Now, as most marijuana users are aware, certain metabolites of marijuana can remain in a person’s system for days or even weeks after the drug has been used and the effects of the drug have worn off. This means that technically a person who uses non-medical marijuana in Illinois and then drives two or three weeks later can be prosecuted for driving under the influence of drugs, even though all of the science indicates that the marijuana would be having no effect on the person’s driving at that time.

Illinois DUI Marijuana Charges for Medical Marijuana Patients

Fortunately, medical marijuana patients will be treated differently. The Illinois law that deals with this particular type of DUI specifically exempts people who are patients licensed under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. This does not mean, however, that medical marijuana patients will be allowed to drive while high. A different part of the DUI statute makes it a crime to drive while under the influence of any drug or combination of drugs to a degree that the person is rendered incapable of safe driving. So a urine test showing marijuana metabolites will not be enough to convict a person of DUI, but evidence of marijuana intoxication at the time of driving will suffice. One way the State may try to prove intoxication in these cases is through the use of drug recognition experts, or DREs. You may be aware of the standard field sobriety tests that cops perform on suspected drunk drivers. DREs are law enforcement officers who have been trained to administer a longer battery of tests that allegedly indicate whether someone has been using a drug other than alcohol, and if so, what type of drug they have been using.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have been charged with a DUI, you need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Christopher Cosley has spent his career defending the rights of people like you. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M . Cosley at (847)394-3200.

Illinois May Ditch the Hard Suspension of Licenses after a DUI Arrest

March 23rd, 2015 at 6:53 pm

Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, criminal penalties, 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.

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.

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.

 

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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