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Archive for the ‘Illinois DUI charges’ tag

What is an Aggravated DUI?

March 12th, 2018 at 3:39 pm

aggravated DUI, DUI charge, felony DUI, Illinois automobile insurance, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneysIn Illinois, the more a person is charged with driving under the influence (DUI), the harsher the penalties get. The different types of DUI charges that are possible in Illinois are outlined in 625 ILCS 5/11-501.

A DUI can be classified as both a felony and misdemeanor. An aggravated DUI is a felony DUI. You can be charged with a felony DUI, even if it is your first DUI arrest or charge.

Proving an aggravated DUI is the same as proving a misdemeanor. The prosecutor must show that the defendant broke a law in some way, most often driving with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08 percent.

In addition to proving a violation of law, there are 11 circumstances that can elevate a misdemeanor DUI to an aggravated DUI. The following are the circumstances that make a DUI a felony:

  • The charge is the 3rd or subsequent DUI charge. A DUI arrest will always be a felony if you have two or more prior DUI convictions;
  • Driving a school bus with children under the age of 18 on board;
  • Driving under the influence that results in a car accident with a victim who suffers permanent disability to great bodily harm. This injury must be caused because you were driving under the influence;
  • Having a reckless homicide conviction on your record because of intoxication or impairment;
  • Having an accident in a school zone where another person suffered bodily harm;
  • The DUI being the proximate cause of death of another;
  • Being arrested for a DUI while having a suspended or revoked license. The suspended or revoked license must be the result of a prior DUI, statutory suspension, or reckless homicide.
  • Not having a valid license at the time of the DUI offense;
  • Driving a car that you know is not insured;
  • Being the proximate cause of bodily harm to a child; and
  • Committing a DUI with a passenger that is under the age of 16 and you already have another DUI.

How Serious is an Aggravated DUI?

Any kind of DUI conviction can be detrimental to you and your family, but an aggravated DUI can create many more problems. A misdemeanor DUI has a maximum sentence of less than one year. A felony offense can carry a much higher jail or prison sentence. A felony DUI carries a prison sentence of one year or more. In addition, there is a maximum fine of $25,000.

Reach Out to an Attorney for Help

If you are facing criminal charges, you should contact an attorney immediately. Choose an attorney with the experience and skill to represent you. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can defend you zealously in an aggravated DUI case. Our Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can provide an effective defense. Contact us today for a free consultation.


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.


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