Archive for the ‘DUI’ tag
March 22nd, 2017 at 7:59 am
After your driver’s license has been suspended, either for racking up too many points for traffic violations or getting a DUI, there can be many pressures to continue driving without a license. It may be difficult to find alternative transportation to your job or to school. Or, taking public transit may be a challenge. You may be concerned about asking your friends or family to drive you because you do not want to be an inconvenience. However, if the state has suspended your driver’s license and you choose to continue driving despite being legally stripped of your driving privileges, you can face serious consequences if you are caught by law enforcement.
Driving on a suspended driver’s license is a criminal offense in Illinois under 625 ILCS 5/6-303. The charges are usually a Class A misdemeanor, but you could possibly be charged with a felony under certain circumstances. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony will depend on the reason why your driver’s license was suspended in the first place.
There Are Serious Consequences for Driving on a Suspended License
Driving on a suspended license is not a small offense like a traffic ticket. It is a criminal offense that could put you in jail and could saddle you with a large fine. It also means that you might be sentenced to do community service and you will have a criminal record. It is possible that it could also take even longer to get your driving privileges reinstated because the Secretary of State will extend your driver’s license suspension period if you are convicted of driving on a suspended driver’s license. There is also the chance that your license could be permanently revoked.
There are other consequences that go along with a driving on a suspended license conviction. For instance, if the offense was a felony level offense, it could prevent you from voting, getting certain jobs, running for political or governmental office, getting certain business licenses, and even owning a gun.
There are nuances in the law and certain rules and procedures that need to be followed as you try to get your driver’s license reinstated. An experienced license reinstatement attorney can be a huge help in making sure that you do not make any mistakes that could make your situation worse. Do not take a chance by not having legal representation. Contact a lawyer as soon as you can to help you handle this matter.
Speak with a Driver’s License Reinstatement Lawyer About Getting Your License Back
If you have had your driving privileges suspended by the state of Illinois, then you need to look into getting your driver’s license reinstated. An experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can help you get everything in order to your driver’s license back as soon as you possibly can.
March 6th, 2017 at 9:51 am
Being 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.
January 9th, 2017 at 7:00 am
In Illinois, one of the most commonly imposed penalties for misdeeds is to suspend or revoke an individual’s driving privileges. There are countless ways in which you could lose your driver’s license in Illinois; therefore, understanding why your license could be suspended or revoked is important.
Refusal to Submit to Chemical Testing
Under Illinois’s Implied Consent Law, anyone who drives on the roadways in Illinois has given implied consent to submit to chemical testing in the event that he or she is suspected by law enforcement of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, Illinois drivers have the right to refuse chemical testing.
One consequence of refusing chemical testing is that your driver’s license will be suspended for at least six months. If you refuse to submit to chemical testing after being involved in an automobile accident where you are suspected of driving under the influence, your driving privileges will be revoked for at least one year.
Arrested for DUI or Contributing to a DUI
When a driver is arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, where the driver’s blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent or more, then his or her driving privileges will be suspended for at least six months, or potentially longer depending on whether or not the driver refuses to submit to chemical testing (as discussed above), and whether the driver is a repeat offender.
Additionally, if you are found to have contributed to someone else driving under the influence, for example, you let a drunk person drive your car, you can then be charged with contributing to a DUI. In addition to potential jail time and a fine, another consequence for contributing to a DUI is that your driving privileges will be suspended.
Committing Driver’s License or ID Card Fraud
Suspension or revocation of a person’s driver’s license is one of the consequences associated with committing driver’s license or ID card fraud in Illinois. Any one of the following can lead to the suspension or revocation of a person’s driver’s license for no less than 12 months:
- Presenting false identification when trying to obtain a driver’s license or ID card in Illinois;
- Using a driver’s license or driving permit that has been unlawfully altered or that is fake;
- Applying your signature to a driver’s license or ID card application that you know contains false information;
- Using someone else’s driver’s license or ID card as if it were your own; or
- Permitting someone else to use your identification documents in order to apply for a driver’s license or ID card.
When You Need Your Driver’s License Back, Call Us
A driver’s license suspension or revocation is a punishment that is often tacked on as an additional penalty for many offenses. If your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked in Illinois, it is important that you work with a driver’s license reinstatement attorney to make sure that you do everything that you need to in order to get your driver’s license back as soon as possible. A passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can help.
September 15th, 2016 at 1:24 pm
Until recently, it was illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana, regardless of how much marijuana was in your system. Illinois law used to employ a zero tolerance approach when it came to driving under the influence of marijuana. Specifically, if any amount of marijuana was detected in the suspected drugged driver’s system, the driver could be charged with a marijuana DUI. But the recent passage of Illinois bill SB2228 changes things and puts a measurable limit on when an Illinois driver is too high to drive.
Under the old law, prosecutors were not required to demonstrate that the driver was actually intoxicated by marijuana at the time of their DUI arrest, according to a recent article in the Pekin Daily Times. Instead, the prosecution only had to show that marijuana, even in trace amounts, was detected in the driver’s system. A blood test could be used to analyze a blood sample for any trace of THC, which is the active psychoactive chemical ingredient in marijuana.
A Zero Tolerance Policy Is Patently Unfair
The old law was strikingly unfair since it failed to require proof that the driver was actually under the influence of marijuana to such a degree that the intoxication impacted the driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. The old law could place a person who was merely in contact with marijuana smoke in violation of the state’s marijuana DUI laws, even though the person never actually inhaled more than second-hand marijuana smoke.
New Law Offers Measurable Legal Limit
The new law places a quantifiable measurement on when a person is considered to be under the influence of marijuana to such a degree that their driving ability is affected. Specifically, a person who has five nanograms of THC in their blood, when the blood sample is taken within two hours of a DUI arrest, is considered to be under the influence of marijuana and is not safe to drive a vehicle. With the enactment of the new marijuana DUI law, Illinois joins just four other states – Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington – that have placed a measurable impairment level on marijuana.
Bill SB2228 Also Decriminalizes Possession of Small Quantities of Marijuana
The new law also decriminalizes possession of small quantities of marijuana. Instead of being a criminal offense, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana is punishable as a civil infraction, meaning that offenders will merely be issued a ticket. The ticket ranges from between a fine of $100 and $200.
Facing A DUI? Contact A Rolling Meadows Drug Offenses Lawyer
Whether you are facing a DUI, a marijuana DUI, or drug charges, you need to speak to an experienced Rolling Meadows drug crimes lawyer as soon as feasible about your situation. These criminal charges are serious, and you need legal representation that can help you fight the charges that are pending against you.
August 30th, 2016 at 7:04 am
When you are suspected of driving while under the influence, law enforcement may request that you submit to blood alcohol concentration testing. While this testing often takes the form of a breathalyzer test, where a breath sample is analyzed for its alcohol content, sometimes blood testing is requested to determine a suspected drunk driver’s blood alcohol concentration. Blood samples are taken in one of two ways, either as part of a DUI kit that is completed at a hospital or as part of an emergency blood draw.
- DUI Kit Blood Samples. When blood is taken as part of a DUI kit, the arresting police officer must request the blood test and the driver must consent to the blood draw. The test must be done at a hospital by a qualified medical professional (i.e., a registered nurse, licensed physician, certified paramedic or trained phlebotomist). Urine samples are often also collected when a driver completes a DUI kit.
- Emergency Blood Draws. Emergency blood draws that are taken while a suspected drunk driver is receiving emergency medical treatment and can be used as evidence in DUI cases. These are blood samples that are taken as a matter of routine when a person receives emergency medical services.
Must I Consent to Blood Testing?
Under Illinois implied consent law, anyone who uses the state’s public roads automatically gives consent to chemical testing in suspected DUI situations. However, drivers do have a right to refuse such tests, but there will be consequences for doing so. In particular, a driver that refuse testing will have their driver’s license suspended for a certain period of time.
Fighting the Use of Blood Evidence in DUI Cases
There are plenty of reasons why it might be important for a person charged with a DUI to fight the use of blood testing results as evidence in a DUI case. The test results might show a blood alcohol concentration level that is above the legal limit of 0.08%, or the blood test results could show that the driver was under the influence of drugs. There are many ways that a skilled DUI criminal defense lawyer can fight the use of blood test results as evidence in a DUI case. For instance:
- Your lawyer could demand proof of custody of the blood sample every step of the way through the testing process. This means that if the prosecution cannot show that the sample was in the appropriate chain of custody (i.e., only people who were authorized to handle the blood sample ever touched it), the sample cannot be used as evidence.
- Your lawyer may be able to present evidence that medication you took or alcohol from an alcohol swab administered before your blood draw interfered with the accuracy of your blood sample.
- If appropriate, your lawyer may be able to argue that proper protocol was not followed by law enforcement when making your DUI arrest, the medical professional who drew the blood sample, or the lab technician when performing analysis on your blood sample.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you are facing DUI charges and there is chemical testing evidence in your case, please contact a Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our phone number is (847) 394-3200.
August 19th, 2016 at 7:00 am
Driving under the influence is a serious offense in Illinois, and law enforcement does not take it lightly. Illinois law provides for three different types of DUI offenses: driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs, or driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, according to 625 ILCS 5/11-501.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
When it comes to driving under the influence of drugs, there are two levels of this offense: driving under the influence and driving with drugs in your system. Driving under the influence of drugs involves the arresting officer’s judgment call concerning whether you were operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. Only officers who have received training concerning how people behave when they are on drugs are really qualified to make this judgment call. Inexperienced law enforcement officers may lack the skill and training to appropriately and correctly identify suspected drugged drivers. In order to be convicted, there must be proof of the charge that you were under the influence of drugs at the time of the arrest. The smell of drugs (e.g., the smell of marijuana) or the driver’s admission of having taken drugs at some other time in the past is not enough. However, if drug paraphernalia is found in the vehicle, or the driver is unable to perform field sobriety tests, this evidence is more concrete.
Driving with drugs in your system involves being tested to prove that you had some concentration of drug in your body at the time of arrest or shortly thereafter. These tests could include breath, blood, or urine testing. These tests must be completed by individuals who are trained and qualified to perform these tests. For instance, breathalyzer testing can be conducted by a law enforcement officer who is trained to perform such testing. However, blood and urine testing must be done by a qualified medical professional, and must be done within a certain amount of time after you are taken into custody by law enforcement. There are also specific procedural requirements for how these types of tests are conducted, which are provided for under the law. The testing procedure must be performed in accordance with the law, or else any resulting evidence may be inadmissible against you.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs And Alcohol
Drugs and alcohol can be a dangerous mixture, with highly intoxicating effects. Police have the right to request a blood or urine sample for testing to determine whether or not the driver was intoxicated at the time of arrest.
Charged With A DUI? Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
Facing a DUI for driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both is serious business. If you have been charged with a DUI, please do not hesitate to contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately for help with your case.
August 18th, 2016 at 8:46 am
Being charged with a first DUI is bad enough, but being charged with a second, third or subsequent DUI can be worse. DUIs are serious matters, and anyone who has been charged with a DUI needs to seek the help of an experienced Illinois DUI lawyer immediately. The differences between facing DUI charges as a first time offender and facing DUI charges as a repeat offender are striking. Illinois law takes repeat DUI offenses very seriously. For instance:
- When you are facing a third or subsequent DUI charge, you are facing a felony charge under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(d)(2)(B);
- A second DUI conviction within 20 years of a first DUI conviction will result in driver’s license revocation for a period of five years; and
- A third DUI conviction will result in driver’s license revocation for a period of 10 years.
When it comes to DUIs, the Illinois courts can look back into your driving history for prior DUI convictions; indeed, they can look back to when you first were granted driving privileges. This means that any prior DUI conviction in Illinois will be taken into consideration when determining your punishment for a second or subsequent DUI conviction.
Any number of aggravating factors can make things worse for you when you are facing a second or subsequent DUI. For instance, having a blood alcohol concentration twice the legal limit (the legal limit is 0.08 percent), driving while under the influence with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle, or being involved in an accident that causes severe bodily harm or death to another can all exacerbate the penalties you may face if convicted. An experienced DUI defense lawyer understands what is at stake for you and will work diligently to get your charges dropped or reduced and will work hard to ensure that you receive fair treatment under the law.
Possible Defenses to DUI Charges
Any number of defenses could be raised against the DUI charges you are facing, but what defenses may be appropriate are determined on a case by case basis. Based on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest, certain defenses may be available to you, while others may not. Some common defenses that are typically raised against DUI charges include:
- The traffic stop was not a valid stop;
- The breathalyzer device was not properly calibrated;
- The field sobriety tests were not properly conducted;
- Police failed to follow appropriate protocol concerning breathalyzer testing, field sobriety testing, the stop, or the arrest; or
- Police violated your rights.
Reach Out to an Attorney for Help
It is possible to move past a DUI charge and get on with your life, but you will need the help of an experienced Illinois DUI criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights and freedom. Please do not wait unnecessarily to contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for assistance with your case.
June 3rd, 2016 at 7:40 am
Driving under the influence of drugs is illegal under Illinois law. A person is considered to be under the influence of drugs if his or her ability to drive safely is impacted by the drug use. Under Illinois’ zero tolerance policy when it comes to drugged driving, even a trace amount of drugs found in a driver’s blood, breath or urine, is sufficient to prompt criminal DUI charges. These laws apply to all drugs that are identified in:
- Illinois Cannabis Control Act under 720 ILCS 550;
- Illinois Controlled Substances Act under 720 ILCS 570;
- Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act 720 ILCS 690; and
- Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act under 720 ILCS 646.
The list of drugs covered by the above statutes include all kinds of drugs and controlled substances, such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, MDMA, and other popular drugs.
Reasonable Suspicion to Make an Arrest for Drugged Driving
In order to make an arrest for drugged driving, the law enforcement officer must have a reasonable suspicion that the driver is operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. No actual evidence of the drugged driving is required for the arrest to be made. However, law enforcement in Illinois is not as familiar with the signs and indications that a driver is under the influence of drugs, and the federal government wants to help change that.
According to KFVS12.com, Illinois is one of just four states in the country that was awarded federal grant money to help law enforcement identify signs of drug intoxication in drivers that have been pulled over or stopped. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility gave Illinois Department of Transportation grant money that will fund 10 Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement classes to law enforcement agencies across Illinois. Each class will educate up to 25 law enforcement officers on how to identify signs that a driver is under the influence of a drug.
DUI and Drug Testing
In Illinois, if you are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you are required to submit to testing under the state’s implied consent laws. Under the implied consent laws, by merely using the public highways of Illinois, drivers consent to submit to chemical tests, or blood or urine testing, for determining whether a driver is operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Law enforcement officers get to choose which type of testing is administered.
You have the right to refuse chemical and blood or urine testing, but there are consequences for doing so. Two main consequences exist when a driver refuses to submit to testing:
- Your driver’s license will be revoked and suspended.
- Your refusal can be used as evidence against you later in court.
Contacting a Rolling Meadows DUI Lawyer
A conviction for driving under the influence of drugs will leave you facing DUI penalties. It is important to work with an experienced drug offenses and DUI lawyer in order to fight the charges that are pending against you. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office. We will assist you throughout each step of your case.
January 20th, 2016 at 12:12 pm
The newest rendition of alcohol is a freeze dried form of powdered or crystallized alcohol. The powdered alcohol is considerably lighter than traditional liquid alcohol and can easily be transported. The powdered alcohol is mixed with water or other liquids to form an alcoholic beverage.
Powdered alcohol was approved for use in the United States by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in 2015. However powdered alcohol is not readily available in the United States. Obtaining the approval of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau was the last regulatory step required before powdered alcohol can be manufactured and sold in the United States. The earliest that powdered alcohol will be available for purchase in the United States is by the upcoming summer. But there are a number of states that have proactively banned powdered alcohol sales and use before the substance is even available on the market.
Illinois Bans Powdered Alcohol
Senate Bill 0067 added 235 ILCS 5/34.5 to the Liquor Control Act of 1934. Effective as of January 1, 2016, the new law prohibits the buying and selling of powdered alcohol products in Illinois. The new law makes a first offense classified as a Class A misdemeanor, while a second or subsequent offense is classified as a Class 4 felony. The new law focuses on the buying and selling, or reselling of powdered alcohol – the law does not address purchasing powdered alcohol legally out of state and then transporting it into Illinois for personal consumption.
While it may not be possible to purchase powdered alcohol in Illinois, a number of nearby states do not have laws banning the sale or use of powdered alcohol. For instance, Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri lack any sort of ban on powdered alcohol, and it would not be difficult for those Illinois residents who want to try the product to travel across state lines, purchase the powdered alcohol legally, and then bring it back to Illinois for personal consumption.
Concerns about Under-Aged Consumption of Powdered Alcohol
Concern surrounding under-aged drinking abounds in Illinois, and there is no doubt that there is concern about the impact that a powdered form of alcohol will have on under-aged drinking once it becomes available for purchase. There is a high likelihood that the new form of alcohol will become a drinking fad among young people, and as previously mentioned, there is little to stop young people from purchasing the powdered alcohol (legally or illegally) in other states for use in Illinois.
Additionally, there are concerns about how potent the new substance will be. Like liquid alcohol, a powdered version can get a person drunk, but questions arise as to how quickly a powdered version could impact a person’s judgement. To be sure, it takes longer for the body to process the powdered form than liquid alcohol.
Imagine a scenario where a powder alcohol drink is mixed up and drank immediately, before the powder has time to fully dissolve into the mixer. A person could theoretically get behind the wheel while not feeling drunk, only to become gradually more affected by the alcohol as the powder fully dissolves. A DUI could easily result from this scenario.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
It may be a while before powdered alcohol is available to the public, but once it is there is no doubt that some individuals who consume it will end up having a brush with the law. If you are facing alcohol-related criminal charges, please contact an experienced Rolling Meadows aggravated DUI lawyer immediately. Our skilled attorneys are prepared to assist you today
January 4th, 2016 at 2:58 pm
When an individual is arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and refuses to submit to chemical testing or submits to a chemical test that reveals a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher, that individual will be subjected to a statutory summary suspension of his or her driving privileges under Illinois law. This can be a terrible situation for an individual who needs to be able to drive. If you have been subjected to a statutory summary suspension of your driver’s license in Illinois, you need to consult with a criminal defense attorney to see if there is any way for your suspension to be rescinded.
Summary suspensions can be rescinded (meaning taken back or canceled) for a number of reasons, if a petition to rescind is filed within 90 days of the service of the notice of summary suspension. A skilled DUI defense attorney can identify any potential reasons why your summary suspension should be rescinded and can help you file your petition within the statute of limitations for a rescission.
There can be a number of errors, shortcomings or failings in terms of the procedure surrounding your summary suspension that could be a grounds for rescission of your suspension. For instance:
- No hearing, no summary suspension. You are entitled to a hearing on your summary suspension within 30 days of your rescission petition filing. If your hearing is not conducted within the 30 days, your hearing has not been timely provided to you, and thus the suspension cannot stand and must be rescinded.
- When requests to admit and requests to produce go unfulfilled. The state prosecutes you in a criminal DUI case, and that means that the state is required to participate with you by answering any requests you might put forth, such as a request to admit or a request to produce evidence during discovery. When the state does not cooperate, it is a grounds for rescission of your summary suspension.
- Pleadings are deficient. Pleadings are required to contain certain elements, and must comply with certain legal requirements. When pleadings are incomplete, improper, or inconsistent with logic or chronology, they may be deficient, which warrants rescission of your summary suspension.
Violations of Your Rights
Rescission of summary suspension can be warranted if your rights were violated or denied. For example:
- Service of the notice of summary suspension is improper. You are entitled to service of the notice of your summary suspension, and if service is not proper you are being denied of your rights. This is a grounds for rescission.
- Denied your choice of chemical test. In Illinois, individuals are not provided the right to choose what kind of chemical testing they will be subjected to after being arrested for a DUI, but if the arresting officer offers you a choice, and then later denies you the testing method you selected, it can be a grounds for rescinding your summary suspension.
- Denied your right to an attorney. When facing criminal charges, you always have a right to consult with an attorney. Although you are not entitled to an attorney prior to being arrested, if you are permitted by law enforcement to consult with a lawyer, and then law enforcement tries to have you submit to chemical testing, it can be grounds for rescission of your summary suspension.
- Fourth Amendment violations. You are provided certain rights concerning search and seizure and a violation of those rights by law enforcement officials is a grounds for a suspension to be rescinded.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
There are many reasons why your summary suspension for a DUI can be rescinded, and an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney who is familiar with Illinois case law will be able to identify any potential reasons why your summary suspension should be rescinded. Please contact a reputable Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately by calling (847) 394-3200. We are happy to assist you today.