Archive for the ‘DUI charges’ tag
March 29th, 2017 at 8:00 am
Everyone with a driver’s license should be aware that it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Illinois. Yet there are many individuals who choose to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
Someone who is charged with a DUI in Illinois faces jail time, a serious fine, and a permanent criminal record if convicted. However, people are often unaware that the court can impose additional punishments on a person convicted of a DUI. In particular, the court is likely to require someone who is convicted of a DUI to complete a mandatory drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. Completion of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program is also often a stipulation for getting your driving privileges reinstated in Illinois or as a condition of your probation.
Court-Ordered Drug or Alcohol Rehabilitation Programming
For an individual that the court views as having a drug or alcohol dependency problem, the court will order that the convicted individual complete a mandatory drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. Oftentimes, the drug and alcohol rehabilitation program is in lieu of jail time, but there are many instances where the judge sentences a defendant to both jail time and the mandatory rehabilitation program.
The program must be completed with a licensed treatment center and the cost of the program must be borne by the criminal defendant. There are several qualifying treatment centers from which to choose. Therefore, if you would be more comfortable attending a treatment program that is, for example, strictly for women, works exclusively with adolescents, or that has a religious affiliation, then this may be possible.
In less serious DUI cases, the court may require only that the convicted criminal defendant participate in a drug and alcohol remedial education program, instead of a treatment program. The purpose of these programs is to educate and help those individuals who have committed criminal acts, such as driving under the influence, as a result of their drug or alcohol use.
Fight the DUI Charges
Fighting your DUI charges is your best shot at avoiding a conviction for driving under the influence. If your DUI charges are dismissed, then you will not have to face jail time, fines, or be required to participate in a drug and alcohol education or rehabilitation program. For many people, a DUI is often the result of exercising temporary poor judgement. Someone who does not have a substance or alcohol abuse may not need a drug and alcohol educational program or rehabilitation program.
Contact Us for Help Today
There are exceptions to the search and seizure protections offered by the U.S. Constitution. If you are facing DUI charges, please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer for assistance with your case.
June 8th, 2016 at 11:08 am
A police officer simply cannot stop you in Illinois on the grounds of drunk driving. Rather, law enforcement is not permitted to make a traffic stop without a reasonable and articulable belief that the driver has violated a traffic law, i.e., a reasonable suspicion that a law was broken. Stopping a driver for anything short of a reasonable and articulable belief that the driver has violated a traffic law would be an illegal seizure of the driver, which is a violation of the driver’s Fourth Amendment rights. Many people who are facing a DUI may be facing charges that are based on no actual violation of a traffic law. When there is no evidence of a reasonable and articulable belief that the driver broke the law, it means that the traffic stop was illegal.
How Do DUI Charges Come About?
Once a legal traffic stop has been made, a police officer can then witness evidence or facts that could lead the officer to believe that the driver was recently drinking alcohol, at which point a police officer can make allegations that the driver is driving while under the influence. Police can make a DUI arrest when they have a probable cause to believe that the driver broke the law. However, that is not to say that a driver may have engaged in activity while behind the wheel that made police suspicious as to whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol. There is a line between violating a traffic law and conducting oneself in a legal fashion, and sometimes police make mistakes about where that line is drawn.
By way of a few examples, swerving within your own lane of traffic is not an illegal act. You might have been avoiding a pothole or other hazard in the road, weather conditions, such as a strong wind, might push your vehicle within your lane of traffic, or you might not have been paying close attention to your driving momentarily. However, as long as you stay in your own lane, you have not broken any traffic laws. Conversely, if you swerve between lanes of traffic in a dangerous or reckless way, or across a double yellow line into oncoming traffic, then you have committed a traffic violation and police can make a traffic stop.
Other reasons to make a traffic stop include:
- Speeding violations;
- Failing to comply with traffic signs and signals;
- Driver or passenger is not wearing a seat belt; and
- Equipment violations, such as a broken tail light.
Let Us Assist You Today
Police must have a reason for pulling a driver over to do an investigatory traffic stop. If other facts present themselves to the officer that lead the officer to believe that the driver is driving while under the influence, then the officer can make a DUI arrest. If you are facing DUI charges, do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI attorney for professional assistance with your case.
February 16th, 2016 at 7:00 am
When formally charged, a criminal defendant may be surprised to learn just how many different charges are filed against him or her for a single alleged crime. Someone who is arrested for driving under the influence might face DUI charges and reckless driving charges. Someone who gets into a physical altercation with law enforcement might be charged with aggravated battery of a peace officer and obstructing a peace officer.
Illinois employs what is referred to as the one-act, one-crime doctrine. Under this doctrine, for any one physical act or crime committed by a criminal defendant, he or she can only be convicted of one crime. However, that does not mean that the criminal defendant will not face a number of charges. Criminal defense lawyers work to either get charges dropped completely, or reduced to lesser crimes, which carry less severe consequences.
You May Face a Number of Criminal Charges
Many have heard the expression of ‘throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.’ Prosecutors often take this approach when pressing charges against criminal defendants. This is because under Illinois law, a defendant can only be convicted of an offense with which he or she has been charged. As such, prosecutors will charge a criminal defendant with as many crimes as fit the particular circumstances surrounding the alleged offense. For instance, it is not uncommon for criminal defendants who are arrested for driving under the influence to be charged with both DUI charges, under 625 ILCS 5/11-501, and reckless driving, under 625 ILCS 5/11-503. The DUI charges are the more serious offense, while reckless driving is a lesser offense.
Prosecutors often also charge criminal defendants with lesser included offenses. Lesser included offenses refers to situations where each of the elements required for establishing liability for a minor, or lesser, crime are necessarily required to establish liability for a more serious crime. Armed robbery, under 720 ILCS 18-2, is an example of a serious crime, and robbery, under 720 ILCS 18-1, is a lesser included charge commonly charged in conjunction with armed robbery. Armed robbery is the greater crime, while robbery is the lesser crime in this example.
In order to establish liability for armed robbery, the prosecution would necessarily have to establish liability for robbery. While not all the elements might exist to convict a criminal defendant of armed robbery, the elements for robbery may exist, and the criminal defendant can be convicted on the charge of robbery.
You Will Only Be Convicted of One Charge
Despite being charged with multiple crimes, a criminal defendant will only be convicted of one crime per physical act or crime. For example, while you can be charged with both robbery and armed robbery, you cannot be convicted of both armed robbery and robbery. Instead, you will only be convicted of one crime or the other, if you are convicted at all.
We Can Provide You with Exceptional Representation
Being charged with a crime is scary and daunting. Please do not hesitate to contact a skilled and compassionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office immediately if you are facing criminal charges. We will fight to get your charges dismissed or reduced if possible. Call us today at 847-394-3200.
December 10th, 2015 at 9:17 am
In Illinois, if you use the highways or roadways, you are considered to have given consent to chemical testing if you are arrested for driving under the influence under Illinois’ implied consent laws. A chemical test can either be a breath test, blood analysis, or a urine test, all of which are used to determine the blood alcohol concentration of a suspected drunk driver. You have a right to refuse to submit to chemical testing, but there are consequences for doing so, such as the automatic suspension of your driver’s license for refusal under 625 ILCS 5/6-203.1.
You would think that if you have not been drinking, then you would have nothing to fear in submitting to a chemical test, but this is not necessarily the case. There are a number of substances you can legally consume that can produce a false positive on your chemical test. Even if you have not been drinking alcohol, a false positive will cause you to be arrested for driving under the influence.
Law enforcement frequently use a chemical testing method referred to as a breathalyzer test to put an estimate on a driver’s blood alcohol concentration. These tests work by assessing the amount of alcohol in the breath sample – and cannot distinguish the source of the alcohol.
Technical Problems Can Contribute to False Positives
A number of technical problems can produce a false positive breathalyzer reading. These are problems that have nothing to do with the suspected driver’s actions or behavior. Instead, these problems include the following issues:
- Law enforcement failed to properly administer the breathalyzer test according to protocol;
- The breathalyzer device malfunctioned; or
- The breathalyzer device has not been properly calibrated.
Any of these technical problems could result in a false positive breathalyzer test reading, which could land you unfairly in jail for driving under the influence.
Substances That Can Contribute to False Positives
A variety of commonly consumed alcohol-based products have the potential to trigger a false positive in a breathalyzer test:
- Some over-the-counter and prescription cough medicine have a high alcohol concentration, which can vaporize on the breath;
- Certain mouthwash products and breath sprays have a high alcohol concentration to them;
- Some alcohol-based acne treatment products that are used around the mouth and lips could contribute to a breathalyzer false positive; and
- Some cosmetic products used for the lips can have alcohol components that can be detected by a breathalyzer test.
The alcohol in these products can vaporize and be carried with the suspect’s breath into the breathalyzer device, thus artificially inflating the actual alcohol content of the suspect’s breath.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
Even if you blow a false positive on a breathalyzer test, you will be arrested for driving under the influence, and you will need to consult with an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If you believe that your breathalyzer test results were incorrect, your lawyer will need to get to work collecting the evidence to support your claim. Please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately. The attorneys at the the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are prepared to assist you. You can reach out to us today by calling (847) 394-3200.