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Archive for the ‘DUI arrest’ tag

Illinois Marijuana DUI Law: What Happens If I Am Charged?

April 14th, 2017 at 7:00 am

marijuana DUI law, Rolling Meadows DUI lawyerOperating a vehicle under the influence of any drug or combination of drugs is illegal in Illinois. Even though medical marijuana is legal with a valid medical card in Illinois, the state previously had a zero-tolerance policy regarding the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in one’s system.

Governor Rauner signed SB 2228 into law which made changes to the Illinois DUI statute. Instead of investigating whether there are trace amounts of THC in a defendant’s blood, this new law creates a tiered system for impairment.

The new law dictates that it is now illegal to drive or be in actual control of a vehicle with more than 5ng of THC per ml of a person’s blood or bodily substance. Officials have determined this level is close in proximity to the .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) level for driving under the influence.

While this change in the law leaves some uncertainty in the community, it corrected a legal paradox where a person could be charged with a DUI for cannabis that he or she may have smoked or consumed over a month prior. 

I Have My Medical Marijuana Card

Illinois is an implied consent state, which means that when you applied for a medical marijuana card and were approved, you thus automatically consented to a field sobriety test. If a driver with a medical marijuana card refuses a field sobriety test after being pulled for reckless driving, he or she may have his or her license suspended or revoked.  If the arresting officer suspects that the reason for the reckless driving was the medical marijuana, the officer may testify at trial as to the defendant’s appearance of impairment.

Are the Penalties the Same?

If you are arrested for an offense while being legally impaired by THC and driving a vehicle, Illinois traffic laws apply. For example, a reckless driving citation is not less reckless even though the THC that caused the reckless driving was legal under Illinois state law for medicinal purposes. The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol vary depending on the circumstances surrounding each case. Most DUI penalties carry hefty fines and usually involve the suspension of one’s license. After a DUI arrest, a driver’s license is automatically suspended for 180 days.

I Have Been Arrested for a DUI. What is My First Step?

A DUI arrest for drugs or alcohol is a serious charge that no one should face alone. Contact an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200.  Take advantage of our 24-hour answering service.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/99/SB/09900SB2228enr.htm

First Time DUI Offender in Illinois? Here’s What You Can Expect to Happen

March 6th, 2017 at 9:51 am

first time DUI offender, Rolling Meadows DUI lawyerBeing arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can be scary, especially if you are a first time offender. You are likely unfamiliar with the DUI arrest and charging process, have little idea what happens next, and could use assistance to get through the process. Do not worry: an experienced criminal defense lawyer is able to help you throughout each step of your case.

What Can You Expect Happens Next?

Driver’s License Suspension. Once you have been booked and have had a chance to find a criminal defense lawyer, your driver’s license will be revoked. Driver’s license revocation is an automatic consequence of a DUI charge. If you quickly find a lawyer after being arrested for DUI, your lawyer can get to work preparing a petition for a hearing to rescind your driver’s license suspension.

First time DUI offenders also are able to apply for a monitoring device driving permit, which involves the installation of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device at the offender’s own expense that enables them to drive.

Arraignment Hearing. Shortly after the arrest, you will also have a hearing where the charges against you will be made clear. At this court appearance, your lawyer officially declares that he or she is your legal representative.

Strategy. You will talk with your lawyer and figure out what is the best criminal defense strategy for you. In some cases, it makes the most sense to work out a plea bargain with the prosecution. Other times, it makes the most sense to fight the charges that are pending against you. You may have a valid defense and believe that taking your case to court is the best option. Your lawyer will fight for you regardless of which path you choose.

Pre-trial Motions. If you decide to go on with a criminal trial, your lawyer will then work together with the prosecution to exchange evidence and other relevant materials so that your lawyer can prepare pre-trial motions. Pre-trial motions are motions to the court in advance of an actual criminal trial that attack certain deficiencies in the case. The point of pretrial motions is to either get the case dismissed or to prepare the case better for trial.

Criminal Trial. Next, you will have your criminal trial. This will be the formal trial where the elements of the alleged crime will be demonstrated (or not) by the prosecution, and your defense to your charges will be presented by your lawyer. You trial might be a jury trial or simple a trial before a judge. After the trial has concluded, a verdict will be rendered concerning your guilt or innocence.

Sentencing Hearing. If you are found guilty, there will be a sentencing hearing where the consequences of your DUI conviction will be handed down to you. At this hearing, your lawyer will work hard to present mitigating factors and other reasons why the judge should be lenient in your sentencing.

First Time DUI Offenders Should Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

First time DUI offenders need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help them fight their charges. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer immediately for assistance with your case.

Source:

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

Can I be Arrested for DUI if I Am in My Vehicle, But Not Driving?

January 18th, 2017 at 8:30 am

arrested for DUI, Rolling Meadows DUI LawyerOne interesting scenario that people often ask about is whether you can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol when you are in the vehicle, but not actually driving the vehicle. The logic is simple: If you are not driving the vehicle while intoxicated, how can you be considered to be “driving under the influence?”

Countless criminal defendants have been arrested by Illinois law enforcement for DUI when they were not actually engaged in driving the vehicle. In fact, an arrest can take place after law enforcement finds an intoxicated driver stopped at the scene of an accident, or after an officer finds a driver passed out behind the wheel of a stopped, or even parked, vehicle.  

Driving or in Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle

Under 625 ILCS 5/11-501, a person shall not drive or be in actual control of a vehicle in Illinois while intoxicated to the point of being incapable of driving safely. The part of the law that confuses many is the “in actual control of a vehicle” language of the statute.

“In actual control of a vehicle” is purposely broad in scope, as it is meant to make intoxicated driving as broad a crime as possible. Many scenarios fall within the scope of “in actual control of a vehicle” while under the influence, such as:

  • Being found by law enforcement in a condition where you are too drunk to drive, but you were just sitting in your car for a while until you felt sober enough to drive. If you have the keys, you are in actual control of the vehicle and can be charged with a DUI;
  • Being found passed out in your parked vehicle with the engine off due to intoxication. If you have the keys and you are drunk, you can be charged with a DUI. Circumstances might be different if you are sleeping it off responsibly in the back seat of your car, with no keys in your possession; and
  • Sitting in your vehicle while the engine is off after being involved in an accident. It does not matter if the accident was a single vehicle accident or a multi-vehicle accident; if you are intoxicated and behind the wheel at an accident, you may be charged with a DUI.  

The main takeaway is that if you are intoxicated in your vehicle, it is critically important that you do not have your keys. Possession or easy access to your keys while you are intoxicated in your vehicle is a significant factor when the courts consider if you were in actual control of the vehicle while you were intoxicated for the purposes of DUI charges.

If you are facing a DUI charge because law enforcement found you in your vehicle while in an intoxicated state, even though you were not driving and the motor was not running, you need to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to fight your DUI charges.

Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you are facing DUI charges, an experienced DUI lawyer will know how best to proceed with your case. Please do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer immediately for assistance with your case.

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

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