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Do You Know the Different Types of DUIs in Rolling Meadows?

January 23rd, 2020 at 2:16 pm

IL DUI lawyer, Illinois drunk driving attorneyWhen most people think about DUI charges, they typically think of a person driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) greater than the legal limit. In Illinois, as in most states, this limit is 0.08 percent. However, this is just one type of DUI charge in the state. In Illinois, there are six types of DUIs a person may face, and many of them do not even involve having a BAC higher than the legal limit.

DUI with BAC of 0.08 or Higher

This is the most common type of DUI in Illinois. To secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person was in physical control of a vehicle and that they had a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher.

The prosecution does not have to prove that the individual was driving dangerously, or that they were showing any signs of impairment. They only must prove the defendant was impaired and in control of the vehicle, which does not necessarily mean driving it. Even if the person was pulled over to the side of the road with the car keys in their pocket, they can still be arrested as they still have control over the vehicle.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol When Unsafe to Drive

This type of DUI comes as a surprise to many that know they were below the legal limit, but face DUI charges anyway. With this charge, the prosecution must only show that the individual was under the influence of alcohol and that it was unsafe for them to drive, even if they were below the legal limit. Chemical testing is not even required for this DUI although, without it, the case is much harder for the prosecution to prove.

DUI with Intoxicating Compounds

It is not only alcohol that can result in a DUI charge. Any intoxicating compounds, such as inhaling cleaning agents or gasoline in order to get a person high can also result in a DUI charge.

DUI with Legally Prescribed Medications

It does not matter if a medication such as opioids or sleeping pills was legally prescribed to a person. If it affects their ability to drive and they do so anyway, they can face a DUI charge. This is why it is so important that any time a medication is taken, a person must first fully read the label and all warnings, and ask their doctor or pharmacist whether it is safe to drive while on the medication.

Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis and Other Drugs

Although Illinois has just passed legislation legalizing cannabis, it will remain illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana or any other drug. It is important to know that marijuana, in particular, can remain in the blood for up to 30 days. That means that if a person used it two weeks ago, got in a car accident, and the police took a chemical test, THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, could show up in the results. This could make things very difficult for the driver, as they could face DUI charges even though they were not impaired.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Drugs

Lastly, a person may face charges of driving under the influence if they combine alcohol and drugs, which causes them to become impaired. This seems like common sense, but it can happen more easily and innocently than many people think. For example, if a person is taking opioids for chronic pain and has a glass of wine at a dinner party before driving home, they may not think they are impaired. A chemical test, however, will likely reveal otherwise, and they could face DUI charges even though they did not think they were doing anything illegal.

Facing DUI Charges? Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer knows how easy it is for people to be charged with a DUI. Often, these individuals did not even think they were doing anything wrong, and they certainly did not want to put themselves or others in danger. If you are facing DUI charges, we can help you beat them. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:

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

Obtaining an Out-of-State Licenses After Being Suspended in Illinois

January 16th, 2020 at 2:13 pm

suspended-licenseLaw enforcement departments in Illinois have noticed a disturbing trend. After being convicted of a DUI, individuals visit another state for the purpose of obtaining out-of-state licenses after being suspended in Illinois. A man in Romeoville just tried this exact ploy. After his license was suspended after being convicted of multiple DUIs, he visited Iowa to get a new one. After he did, he returned to Illinois before being pulled over and charged again with a DUI.

Police in Illinois say that this is not actually all that unusual. It is becoming a recurring trend and one that they obviously want to stop. Drivers that are thinking about trying the scheme should know that it comes with serious penalties.

The Driver’s License Interstate Compact

There is a reason people can simply go to another state to obtain a driver’s license after theirs is suspended in their home state. That reason is because of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact. This contract tells all states to uphold a driver’s license suspension, even if it occurred out of state. The only states that do not take part of the contract are Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Due to this, it is not known how so many people are going to states that neighbor Illinois and getting a license. However, for those that do, there are some real penalties that come with it.

Penalties for Obtaining a False License

If your driver’s license is suspended or revoked in Illinois, you are expected to stay off the roads, within the state and outside of it. If you are caught driving on a revoked or suspended license, even if you obtained a new license in a different state, there are consequences. The first of these is the penalty you will face for any driving infraction you were pulled over for. For example, in the most recent story, the man will face penalties for drunk driving.

However, you will also face penalties for driving with a false license. You may face a charge of a Class A misdemeanor, which has penalties of up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. You may also be charged, depending on the alleged crime, with a Class 4 felony. In this instance, you will face anywhere between one to three years in jail and a maximum fine of $25,000.

These consequences are very serious. Typically, the Secretary of State will determine whether or not you will face these charges, as law enforcement has requested in the most recent case.

Charged with Carrying a False License? Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a DUI, carrying a false license, or any other crime, you need the help of a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we know how to defend these charges, make sure your rights are upheld and give you the best chance of a positive outcome. Call us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation so we can start building you a strong defense, and so we can help with your case.

 

Source:

https://patch.com/illinois/lagrange/dui-suspect-got-false-license-riverside-cops

Can You Get Arrested for Speeding?

January 9th, 2020 at 2:10 pm

IL defense attorney, Illinois traffic violations lawyerMany motorists think that if they are pulled over for speeding, the most severe penalty they will face is a traffic ticket. However, when motorists drive at an excessive rate of speed, they can face criminal charges. These can result in not only a permanent criminal record for those convicted, but also the very real possibility of jail time. Although most instances of speeding will not result in these harsh consequences, if a person is found guilty of aggravated or excessive speeding, they just might.

Aggravated and Excessive Speeding

When a person is arrested for speeding, it is most likely due to the fact that a police officer believes they are guilty of aggravated or excessive speeding. The penalties for speeding will depend on just how fast over the speed limit a motorist was driving.

Operating a vehicle over 26 to 34 miles per hour above the posted speed limit is considered a Class B misdemeanor. For individuals convicted of this crime, the punishment is a maximum of 180 days in county jail, a fine of $1,500, or both.

These penalties increase when individuals are found guilty of driving more than 35 miles per hour above the posted speed limit. This charge is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Individuals convicted could be sentenced to one year minus one day in county jail, a maximum fine of $2,500, or both.

While these penalties are harsh, they are not the only ones drivers will face when they are convicted of excessive speeding. A conviction will remain on a driver’s license for up to seven years. That could mean increased auto insurance rates, and potentially difficulty finding an insurer that will provide that insurance at all.

Excessive Speeding and the Illinois DMV Point System

Jail time, high fines, and high insurance rates are all very serious consequences of excessive speeding. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones. Excessive speeding and aggravated speeding are very serious traffic offenses. As such, every time a motorist is convicted of these violations, they also have points added to their driver’s license through the Illinois DMV point system. The number of points assigned to a license will depend on the speed a driver was traveling at the time.

After any motorist has accumulated a certain number of points on their driver’s license, they are also at risk for having their driver’s license suspended. The length of suspension also varies depending on the number of points on a license. The number of points and the length of the associated suspension are:

  • 15 to 44 points: Two months
  • 45 to 74 points: Three months
  • 75 to 89 points: Six months
  • 90 to 99 points: Nine months
  • 100 points or more: Twelve months

The amount of driving convictions that will result in an automatic suspension of a driver’s license also depends on a person’s age. For those over the age of 21, three convictions in a 12-month period are enough to garner an automatic suspension. Anyone under the age of 21 must only accrue two convictions in a 24-month period to have their license suspended.

Our Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer can Help You Beat the Charges

Excessive speeding in Illinois comes with steep penalties that can remain with a person for several years. If you have been charged with excessive or aggravated speeding, call our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Attorney Cosley knows the defenses to charges of aggravated speeding, and how to use them to give you the best chance of beating the charges. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=062500050HCh.+11+Art.+VI&ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=122400000&SeqEnd=123900000

 

What Are Your Rights When Approaching a DUI Checkpoint?

December 26th, 2019 at 9:07 am

IL DUI, IL drunk driving lawyer, IL DUI checkpoint lawyerThe holidays are approaching and that means in Illinois, you will likely come across more DUI checkpoints as you are traveling between shopping malls, restaurants, and the homes of loved ones. During the landmark case, Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, the United States Supreme Court ruled that these checkpoints do not violate a person’s rights. However, the federal government leaves it up to the individual states to determine if these stops go against the state’s constitution, and how to operate them if they determine they are legal.

Unlike some states, such as neighboring Wisconsin, in Illinois, DUI checkpoints are considered legal. That doesn’t mean though, that you do not have any rights when approaching one.

How DUI Checkpoints Work

Law enforcement has the right to set up DUI checkpoints any time they wish and in nearly any location. They cannot set these checkpoints up in areas that would cause needless traffic jams, or that would pose a hazard to drivers, such as on a highway. Police typically choose a location where arrests for DUIs are common. Sometimes police departments may announce where these checkpoints are, in the hopes that it will deter drunk driving. Other times, they may be more discreet, in the hopes of catching drivers off guard.

When setting up the checkpoint, law enforcement must use lights, signal flares, or signs to tell drivers that they are approaching a checkpoint. All vehicles and officers on the scene must be clearly marked to indicate that they belong to law enforcement.

Officers are not allowed to detain drivers they have no reason to believe has been drinking or committing any other criminal activity. If they want to ask a driver to get out of their vehicle, or to search the vehicle, they must have reasonable suspicion that the driver is drunk or has committed another offense. Lastly, officers cannot arrest someone without a reason to believe that the person has committed a crime.

Your Rights at a DUI Checkpoint

In Illinois, you are allowed to turn your vehicle around if you are approaching a DUI stop and wish to avoid it. You must make this turn legally. If you decide to proceed through the checkpoint, it is important to understand that you still have the same rights as someone that is pulled over by police for a suspected DUI.

You do still have the right to remain silent if you could incriminate yourself, such as admitting that you had been drinking. You can also refuse to perform field sobriety tests and can refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, although your driver’s license will likely be automatically suspended for one year.

If the police arrest you at the checkpoint, you still have the right to remain silent until speaking to an attorney. You also have the right to refuse to provide a blood sample until you are presented with a warrant signed by a judge.

Arrested at a DUI Checkpoint? Call an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

Too many people in Illinois are confused about their rights when they approach a DUI checkpoint. The fact is everyone has them and, too often, law enforcement violate those rights in their eagerness to make an arrest. If you have been charged with a DUI arrest after passing through a checkpoint, call our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our attorney has the experience necessary to challenge these charges and give you the best chance of beating them. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation to learn how we can help.

 

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/496/444

Understanding Reckless Homicide in Illinois

December 19th, 2019 at 8:56 am

crashCar accidents happen every day in Illinois. Many of these accidents are very minor and do not result in serious injuries. However, sometimes these crashes result in severe injuries and sometimes, even death. When one person causes the accident and another dies as a result, the driver may be found guilty of a felony. This is true when the driver’s negligent or reckless actions caused the accident and the resulting death. In Illinois, this is known as reckless homicide. Some drivers confuse this offense with reckless driving, but there are significant differences, including the penalties associated with them.

Differences Between Reckless Homicide and Reckless Driving

Reckless homicide and reckless driving both involve a driver acting negligently or recklessly while on the road. This means they show a blatant disregard for the safety of others. However, reckless homicide must involve a death for someone to be convicted of the offense. In fact, the Illinois statute governing reckless homicide also includes involuntary manslaughter.

A person charged with reckless homicide does not have to have intent to kill another person. In fact, if they do, they will likely be charged with murder instead of reckless homicide. Still, when a person takes the life of another, the law states they must be penalized for their actions.

Penalties for Reckless Homicide

Reckless homicide also has much harsher penalties than reckless driving. While reckless driving is usually considered a misdemeanor, reckless homicide is always charged as a felony.

A maximum fine of $25,000 can be laid regardless of whether the reckless homicide charge is considered a Class 2 or Class 3 felony. However, a Class 3 felony carries prison sentences of two to five years. A Class 2 felony carries a penalty of between three and 14 years in state prison.

Like any other criminal conviction, the penalties for reckless homicide can cause someone to lose their job, have their driving privileges revoked, prevent them from gaining employment, and from owning a firearm.

Defenses to Reckless HomicideLike any criminal offense, there are several defenses to reckless homicide charges. Some of the most common of these include self-defense and mistaken identity. Additionally, if the prosecution has insufficient evidence, they will also not be able to secure a conviction for the offense.

However, a very effective defense in reckless homicide is that it was truly an accident. When using this defense, drivers can show that they were not driving negligently or recklessly. For example, if a driver ran a red light and hit another car and died as a result, the driver of the vehicle they struck cannot be charged with reckless homicide because they were not driving recklessly.

Our Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney can Help With Your Charges

If you are facing charges of reckless homicide or any other traffic offense, ou r skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, our attorney knows you have rights even after being charged, and he fights to ensure they are upheld at all times. He also has the necessary experience to craft a solid defense for your case and give you the best chance of a positive outcome. If you need help, call us today at 847-394-3200 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K9-3

 

Tips to Avoid a DUI This Holiday

December 12th, 2019 at 8:55 am

IL DUI lawyer, IL defense attorneyThe Illinois State Police (ISP) are warning drivers that, as the holidays approach, they still must remain safe on the roads. In a news story, the ISP have warned drivers that they will be looking for motorists that are under the influence, distracted while driving and drivers that do not wear their seat belts. The worst of these infractions is certainly a DUI, so below are a few tips on how to avoid getting one of these charges.

Learn of DUI Checkpoints Ahead of Time

Of course, it is going to be much harder to avoid a DUI if you have to make it through a DUI checkpoint. Of course, no one should be driving while under the influence, but law enforcement at these checkpoints also often want to simply make arrests, whether a person is guilty or not. So, to avoid them, download an app such as PhantomAlert that can tell you where the roadblocks are.

Do Not Drive Drowsy

Drowsy driving can look a lot like drunk driving to police officers that are eager to make an arrest. Even just one drink on a stomach full of turkey can make you drowsy enough to impair your driving. Another reason to avoid driving while drowsy is also to ensure your safety, and the safety of those around you.

Designate a Driver

Of course, the best way to avoid a DUI charge is to avoid driving drunk. That often means designating a driver before you go out. If there are many festivities that you and friends or family will be attending, you can all take turns being the designated driver so everyone can celebrate the holidays, while remaining safe.

Ask for a Ride

Sometimes you may find that you had the best of intentions but that you ended up having one or two more drinks than you thought. When this is the case, it is always better to ask for a ride. Ask around at the event you are at to find out if anyone is going your way, or call an Uber or Lyft.

Plan Ahead

One of the best ways to avoid a DUI is to plan ahead so you do not find yourself stranded, which can make it that much more tempting to get behind the wheel of your car. Also, preparing for your ride home ahead of time will also be easier than asking as everyone is leaving the party, and could be cheaper too, as you may not have to rely on paid services, such as taxis and ride-sharing programs.

When the Worst Happens, Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer

Whether or not you have followed all of the above tips, you may still find yourself facing charges. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer knows that not everyone charged is guilty, and he will work hard to prove you are not either. Attorney Cosley has the experience necessary to have your charges reduced, or dismissed altogether. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.galvanews.com/news/20191122/isp-prepare-for-increased-holiday-travel

 

What Happens if I Am Caught Driving with a Suspended License?

December 4th, 2019 at 8:50 am

IL defense attorney, IL traffic violations lawyerThere are many reasons a person may have their license suspended, or even revoked, in Illinois. A DUI conviction will certainly strip someone of their license, even for a first offense. Sometimes a lesser offense, such as failing to pay traffic tickets, is enough to have a license suspended. Whatever the reason for it, many people mistakenly believe that driving on a license that has been suspended or revoked does not come with serious consequences. They believe that if they are caught, it will be like any other minor traffic offense, and the most they will face is a fine. That is wrong.

Driving on a suspended or revoked license is a serious offense. Depending on the circumstances, you could even face jail time for it.

Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License

There are many penalties associated with driving on a suspended license. The offense is outlined in the Illinois Vehicle Code, Section 6-303. Under this statute, the offense is considered a Class A misdemeanor and could result in a maximum of 364 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. Individuals convicted also have to pay mandatory court costs.

In some situations, the offense could even be considered a felony, such as when the license was suspended after a DUI conviction. In these cases, driving on a suspended license has penalties of up to ten days in jail, or 240 hours of community service, which is approximately 30 days.

If you are charged with a second violation of driving with a license that was suspended or revoked after a DUI conviction, the offense is upgraded to a Class 4 felony. The mandatory minimum penalty for this conviction is at least 30 days in jail or 300 hours of community service. However, the court has the ability to sentence you to one to three years in jail and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Driver’s License Suspensions

After being found guilty of the offense of driving with a suspended license, you will also face additional suspensions. The Secretary of State will extend your suspension for the same amount of time the original suspension dictated. If you are convicted of driving with a license that has been revoked, you will have to wait at least one year from the date of your conviction before your license is reinstated. Although there are no guarantees that you will get your license back after this time, one year is the minimum amount of time you will have to wait.

Convicted of Driving on a Suspended License? Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

Being charged with driving with a suspended license is a serious offense. However, facing charges is not the same thing as being convicted. While the situation may seem hopeless, there are many defenses to driving on a suspended or revoked license. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer knows what they are. If you are facing charges, call us today at 847-394-3200 to set up a free consultation so we can start discussing your case.

Source:

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

 

How Can a Juvenile Conviction Affect College Admissions?

November 28th, 2019 at 11:02 am

Illinios juvenile defense lawyer, Illinois juvenile attorneyRegardless of how stellar a student’s high school transcript is, and no matter how well they scored on the SATs, if they have any type of juvenile conviction on their record, it will make it much more difficult for them to get into college. This is just one of the consequences of being convicted of a crime, even if that conviction came in the form of adjudication in the juvenile system.

So, if your child has been adjudicated, how will it affect their chances of getting into the school of their dreams? How can you help ensure they will not feel those consequences?

Criminal History Questions on College Applications

Approximately half of all public colleges and universities will ask about a student’s criminal history on their applications for admittance. This number increases to between 60 to 80 percent for private institutions. Approximately half of all two-year community colleges will ask students about their criminal background, while most four-year colleges will conduct a full background check.

The questions asked will typically include any offenses a student committed as a juvenile. Applicants may be asked to include information about previous arrests, if they faced charges as a result, if the charges were dropped, or if they were found guilty or innocent.

It is important students are honest when answering these questions. Schools that ask these questions will typically run a background check anyway, and any prior arrests will show up on those checks. If there are discrepancies between what a student states on their application and what shows up on a background check, it will only work against the student.

How a Criminal History Affects College Admission Decisions

Not only do college and university applications ask about a student’s criminal background, but they typically ask for more detail than even employment applications. Elite schools, particularly those that are highly competitive, will likely not accept students that have a criminal record.

Other schools may deny students with a criminal background financial aid. With most students requiring this type of help, that alone could mean they will be unable to attend school. Two types of convictions or adjudications that could really hurt a student’s chance of admission or those involving violence and sex crimes. Schools around the country are trying to severely cut down on the number of these instances happening on campus and so, these crimes will likely hamper a student’s efforts the most. However, petty crimes such as vandalism and low-level marijuana offenses will likely be overlooked.

Get the Help You Need from an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

Unfortunately, once a student has a conviction or adjudication on their record, it is often very difficult to get rid of it. As such, the only way to help ensure these won’t affect their college or university application is to retain the help of a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we know how to prepare defenses when minors are charged with a crime so it does not affect their chances of getting into a post-secondary school or any other part of their life. If your child has been charged with a crime, call us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation to learn more about how our attorney can help you and your family.

 

Source:

https://www.law.northwestern.edu/legalclinic/cfjc/documents/ParentHandbook.pdf

What Not to Do if You Are Arrested

November 21st, 2019 at 11:00 am

IL defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerBeing arrested is a very scary thing. Law enforcement in Rolling Meadows arrest people every day, and these individuals often do not know what to do when it happens. Just as there are certain things you should do, there are also things you should never do. Taking the wrong steps at this point could hurt your case in the future. Below are the five things you should never do if you are arrested.

Do Not Say Anything

If you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent and that is exactly what you should do. When police read you your Miranda rights, they will tell you that anything you say could be used against you, and they mean it. The chances are very good that they will take your words out of context and use it to hurt your case in court. Do not say anything to police officers except that you want to speak to an attorney.

Do Not Resist Arrest

Resisting arrest is a very dangerous thing to do in Illinois. Even trying to swat away the officer’s hands when they are trying to put handcuffs on you could result in additional charges if the officer views it as assault. Also, if law enforcement believes that you are resisting arrest, they have the right to subdue you, which can quickly become dangerous.

Do Not Run

Resisting arrest and fleeing the police are two different things. If you resist arrest, such as arguing with the officer and telling them they have the wrong person, they can subdue you but they likely will not shoot you. If you run, however, they might use weapons to prevent you from running away. Running is much more dangerous than simply resisting arrest and should never be done.

Do Not Let the Police to Search You or Your Property

There are times when the police can search you. If they arrest you, for example, they can search your person, which typically means going through your pockets. Also, if your vehicle is at the scene and police notice something that is in plain sight, such as a joint or an open container of alcohol, they can search your car as well. However, you should not let them search more than that.

Without your consent, law enforcement must obtain a warrant to search you or your property. Providing your consent can give police access to evidence that they will use against you and that will hurt your case.

Do Not Go Back Into Your House

If the police come to your home to arrest you, they may ask if you want to go back inside to say goodbye to your spouse or kids, or even to get a jacket. Do not accept this offer. If you do, the police will escort you inside and immediately start looking for evidence, even if they do not conduct a thorough search. Remember that you can call your spouse and children from the police station, and you do not need anything else that badly. Just allow the police to take you to the station and you will help protect your rights and your case.

Were You Arrested? Call an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested, you are likely very scared and confused. However, you do not have to go through it alone. Our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help. Christopher Cosley knows how to ensure your rights are protected, get evidence thrown out when those rights were not upheld, and give you the best chance of success in court. If you or someone you love has been arrested, call us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K31-1

Can Police Search Your Phone?

November 14th, 2019 at 10:58 am

searchImagine police pulled you over in a traffic stop. Maybe they suspect you of a DUI, or maybe they want to cite you for having a broken taillight. Whatever the reason, they approach your window and begin to question you. They may even become aggressive and demand that you hand over your phone. Perhaps they even order you to unlock it for them or provide them with your password. This is a scary situation, as everyone has personal and confidential information on their phones these days. The question is, are police allowed to search your phone?

U.S. Supreme Court Decides on Cell Phone Searches

In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of Riley v. California. The defendant had been stopped by police for expired registration tags on his vehicle. During the stop, the officer also learned that the defandant’s driver’s license was suspended and that he was carrying a number of firearms in his car. The officer also took his phone, which the officer claimed had further incriminating evidence on it.

The Supreme Court found in favor of the defendant and determined that police do not have the authority to search a person’s phone. The reason given for this was that modern smartphones have a wealth of information about a person. By accessing your phone, a person could determine where you live, work, what your Social Security number is, and more. The court determined this was an invasion of privacy.

However, although the Supreme Court made this ruling several years ago, there are still some instances in which police can search your phone.

When Can Police Search Your Phone?

Under the Fourth Amendment, all American citizens are protected from unlawful search and seizures. However, if law enforcement has probable cause that your phone contains evidence of a crime, they can obtain a search warrant for your phone. If a judge determines there is probable cause and issues a search warrant, you will have to relinquish your phone so law enforcement can search it.

The only time law enforcement can search your phone without a warrant is when you provide your consent. Police officers often try to get around this by demanding, instead of asking for your phone. They do so in a way that makes individuals feel as though they do not have a choice. Unfortunately, in these instances, if you give police your phone and unlock it to grant them access, even begrudgingly, you have given consent and the police can search your phone.

It is extremely important that you never give police your phone unless they have a warrant. When consent is provided, it could hurt your case if police do in fact find evidence to use against you.

Did Police Unlawfully Search Your Phone? Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer

When police unlawfully search your phone, any evidence obtained from that search is inadmissible in court. This provides a solid defense for many offenses, including distracted driving. If you have been charged with a crime after police searched your phone, you need the help of a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, an attorney will always ensure your rights are upheld, and he will also get illegally obtained evidence thrown out of court. If you are facing charges, call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://scholar.google.ca/scholar_case?case=9647156672357738355&hl=en&as_sdt=6&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

 

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