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Archive for the ‘DUI/DWI’ Category

State Prosecutor Warns Drivers that DUI Charges Apply to Marijuana

February 12th, 2020 at 6:46 am

DUI charges, Mariujana, IL defense attorney, The new year saw many changes to Illinois law, and the one garnering the most attention is the fact that both medicinal and recreational marijuana are now legal in the state. Although Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons says that he is in support of the new law, as it may eliminate the black market, he also has a warning for drivers. That is the fact that law enforcement across the state has been training on how to spot drivers under the influence of marijuana. He wants to remind drivers that while marijuana is now legal, it is still against the law to drive under the influence of the drug.

What is Drugged Driving?

The Illinois statute for driving under the influence includes both alcohol and drugs that can impair a driver’s ability to drive safely. Even prescription drugs can mean a driver will face charges if it is found that those drugs impair the motorist. This includes prescriptions for medical marijuana.

Although drugged driving is illegal in the state, law enforcement and prosecutors may have a difficult time securing a conviction, at least in these early days of legalization. Certain testing devices, such as breathalyzers, cannot detect THC the same way they can detect alcohol. While other testing devices are being developed around the country, there is currently no roadside test to determine if a driver is impaired by marijuana. As such, law enforcement will rely mainly on their own observations, which are entirely subjective.

Defenses to Drugged Driving

Even without roadside tests, urine and blood tests can detect THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, in a person’s system. Law enforcement may rely on these tests to establish a driver was impaired at the time of their arrest, but there are issues with these tests, as well.

The main one of these is that THC can remain in a person’s system for up to 30 days. That means that a person may have consumed marijuana weeks ago, but was not under the influence of the drug at the time of the arrest. That can provide a very effective defense to drugged driving.

As with all DUI cases in the state, an improper stop may also provide a valid defense. Law enforcement must have a legitimate reason to pull a driver over. They must have noticed signs that caused them to suspect a DUI, such as a driver that swerved in and out of their lane. When there was no probable cause to stop a motorist, any information or evidence obtained after the stop is inadmissible in court.

Lastly, the fact that testing for drugged driving is so subjective can also be used as a defense. An officer may claim for example, that a driver displayed a lack of coordination during roadside tests, which led to an arrest for drugged driving. However, an injury or illness may also cause coordination issues that do not affect a person’s ability to drive. This can also be used as a defense.

Charged with a DUI? Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer

With the legalization of marijuana in Illinois, and overzealous law enforcement officers wishing to make arrests, charges of drugged driving are likely to increase in the state. Many of the individuals charged will be innocent of a DUI and need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we can prepare a solid defense for you to help you beat the charges and retain your freedom. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation so we can further discuss your case.

 

Source:

https://fox2now.com/2020/01/02/illinois-prosecutor-warns-against-smoking-and-driving/

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

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

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

 

Challenging Breath Test Results in Illinois

October 24th, 2019 at 2:14 pm

IL defense attorney, IL DUI lawyerUnder Illinois’ implied consent laws, if you are pulled over for a DUI, you must submit to a breath test if asked by an officer. After the breath test, the officer will tell you what your blood alcohol content (BAC) is, and if you blew over 0.08, which is the legal limit. If you did, the situation may seem hopeless. However, there are ways to challenge these tests and get them thrown out of court, which can be very helpful to your case.

The Results Were Inconsistent

If you blow into a breathalyzer many times and get significantly different readings, it indicates that the machine is not reliable. Some judges have even deemed certain brands as being notoriously unreliable. Additionally, breath tests must be performed until two successive results fall within 0.020 percent of each other. If this range cannot be reached, a judge may determine that the tests are inconclusive.

The Officer Did Not Administer the Test Correctly

Officers must know how to properly administer a breath test, and there is a lot of user error with these machines. If the officer did not know how to use the machine, that shows a lack of training with them and can help prove that errors were made. Also, police officers must perform several tests to confirm that the machine is working properly. If they only performed one test, they did not do it correctly and the results are inadmissible in your DUI case.

The Machine Was Not Calibrated Properly

Breathalyzer machines are notoriously inaccurate. They must be calibrated properly and after being jostled around in a police car for some time, that calibration can easily be thrown off. Law enforcement must also keep proper records indicating when a machine was calibrated and had maintenance performed on it. When they cannot produce these records, an attorney will argue that the machine was not calibrated correctly and therefore, the results cannot be considered in the case.

The Stop Was Illegal

Police officers can only pull someone over when they have reasonable suspicion that a driver is breaking the law, or has broken the law. If an officer did not have reasonable cause to pull a driver over, any evidence obtained from that traffic stop cannot be used in court. This is sometimes the best-case scenario since the prosecution often relies mainly on evidence from gained from the traffic stop to prove that someone was driving under the influence.

Have You Been Charged with a DUI? Call an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI, you are likely imagining the worst-case scenario. However, not all cases get that far. Our dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley has the experience necessary to craft a strong defense for your case. This includes not only getting breath tests thrown out of court, but also challenging the prosecution every step of the way. If you have been charged, call us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501.1

Four Common Defenses to DUIs

July 17th, 2019 at 10:05 am

IL DUI lawyer, Illinois drunk driving attorney, If you are convicted for driving under the influence, it will have a severe and devastating impact on your life. You will likely have your license suspended, face crippling fines, and possibly even jail time. Even after serving a sentence or paying a fine, a conviction will still remain on your record. That could keep you from gaining employment, housing opportunities, and possibly prevent you from obtaining a professional license or seizing academic opportunities. To avoid these consequences, you need a strong defense for your DUI charges, and a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help you with it. Below are some of the most common defenses used against DUI charges.

Illegal Traffic Stop

In Illinois, police must have reasonable cause to pull you over. They cannot stop you simply because they suspect or have a hunch that you are intoxicated. Reasonable cause means they must have seen you violate a traffic law, such as running a red light or driving a car with a broken or missing taillight. If the officer that pulled you over cannot provide a satisfactory reason why they had reasonable cause, the evidence in the case can be suppressed.

Illegal Search and Seizure

Under the Fourth Amendment, the police cannot generally search your vehicle without first obtaining a search warrant. However, this works a bit differently in DUI cases. If you give consent to have your vehicle searched, the search is lawful. The search is also lawful if the police feel it is necessary for their own protection, such as if they are searching for a weapon they feel you may use against them. Lastly, if you are arrested for a DUI during a traffic stop, the police can search your car for evidence pertaining to the arrest, such as beer cans or bottles.

If none of those circumstances apply, the police cannot search your car. For example, they cannot pull you over for a suspected DUI and search your car when you have been cooperative and have not been arrested. If they do, any evidence collected can also be suppressed.

Inaccurate Field Sobriety Test

Field sobriety tests are notoriously inaccurate. They are largely subjective and can be affected by a person’s health condition, or even their mental state after being pulled over. Uneven pavement, flashing lights, and impractical footwear can all also give inaccurate results after a field sobriety test. These can be challenged in court and if successful, that evidence can be thrown out, and a judge may determine the officer did not have reasonable cause to arrest you.

Violation of Fifth Amendment Rights

Under the Fifth Amendment, anyone charged with a crime has certain rights. Law enforcement must inform individuals of these rights, and uphold them. You do not have to answer their questions and as soon as you decline, the police must stop questioning you. If they continue to press you for answers, deny you the right to an attorney, or fail to uphold any of your other rights, evidence obtained can be deemed inadmissible at trial.

Speak to a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you have been charged with a DUI, a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney will know the defenses available, and the best one to use for your case. If you are facing charges, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation. A charged does not have to turn into a conviction, and we will work hard to prevent it from happening.

 

Source:

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

 

What Turns a DUI Into an Aggravated DUI?

June 12th, 2019 at 5:14 pm

Illinois defense attorney, IL criminal lawyerIt was in February of 2019 that a woman was convicted of an aggravated DUI after crashing into a stalled vehicle on the Murray Baker Bridge in 2017, killing another woman. She faced up to 14 years in prison, but recently was sentenced to three years. Under her no contest plea, she is eligible for appeal and probation, but must serve at least 85 percent of her sentence.

Any DUI is considered a serious offense in the state of Illinois. An aggravated DUI however, involves certain factors that upgrade the crime to something more serious.

Misdemeanor DUI vs. Aggravated DUI

Most DUIs in Illinois are considered Class A misdemeanors that carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison. Many first offense misdemeanor DUIs do not involve any jail time. When there are certain other factors involved in the crime, known as aggravating factors, the charge of DUI is upgraded to a felony or an aggravated DUI.

When a person is convicted of an aggravated DUI, the minimum sentence is a minimum of 10 days in jail or 480 hours of community service. Aggravated DUIs differ from misdemeanors mainly due to the fact that maximum sentences exceed one year. Sentences for aggravated DUIs are typically between at least one and three years.

Types of Aggravated DUI Offenses

There are many different circumstances that can result in a DUI becoming an aggravated DUI. They include:

  • Prior offenses: When the driver has two or more prior DUIs, any others that follow are considered aggravated DUIs
  • Driving on a suspended or revoked license: When the driver’s license is suspended or revoked for prior DUIs, leaving the scene of an accident, or reckless homicide
  • Driving without a valid license: When the driver does not have a valid driver’s license, learner’s permit, or restricted driving permit
  • Driving without valid insurance: When the driver knew, or should have known, the vehicle they were driving was not covered by proper liability insurance
  • An accident occurred that resulted in great bodily harm: The prosecution will likely press aggravated DUI charges, even if the drunk driver was not at fault for the accident
  • Accidents resulting in bodily harm to those under 16: When those injured are minors, any extent of injury will result in an aggravated DUI
  • Accidents resulting in death: These aggravated DUI charges count as one felony, regardless of the number of fatalities. Unlike other instances, the drunk driver must have contributed to the accident.
  • Drunk driving in a school zone: If a drunk driver harms anyone while driving through a school zone, they will face aggravated DUI charges. Serious injuries are not required but if an accident does result in great bodily harm, the charges and associated penalties will likely increase.
  • Driving a school bus with passengers under the age of 18: Even one passenger can result in an aggravated DUI charge, and the incident does not have to involve an accident.
  • Prior DUI convictions under certain circumstances: These include carrying a passenger under the age of 16 and previous convictions for an alcohol-related homicide offense.

When facing charges for any type of aggravated DUI, those accused must speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer that can help.

Charged with a DUI? Call Our Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with any type of DUI, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer today. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we want to help you build a solid defense that will have your charges dropped or reduced so you face as few penalties as possible. These charges are serious, and you need someone with experience to help you get the best possible outcome for your case. Call us today at 847-394-3200 or fill out our online form for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.pjstar.com/news/20190424/dunlap-woman-sentenced-for-2017-fatal-dui-accident

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

Is There a Lookback Period in Illinois for DUIs?

April 4th, 2019 at 8:22 pm

Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois DUI attorneyMany states have a lookback period for DUI convictions. A lookback period, which is typically five to 10 years, indicates the amount of time a DUI conviction remains on a person’s driving record. This is helpful for those charged with subsequent DUIs because the prosecution and courts can only see DUIs within that timeframe. If a person was convicted of a DUI but the conviction took place longer than the lookback period, that DUI is not considered during sentencing.

So, is there a lookback period in Illinois for DUIs?

Lookback Period in Illinois

Unfortunately, in Illinois, there is no lookback period for DUIs. If a person is convicted of a DUI, it remains on their permanent driving record. This means the prosecution and judge can charge for a subsequent DUI no matter how long ago the first conviction occurred.

However, the courts will still take into consideration the length of time between a first offense and subsequent offenses when revoking a person’s driver’s license. For this reason, it is important anyone charged with a DUI speaks to a Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer that can help them beat the charges and continue to enjoy an unblemished permanent driving record.

Court Supervision

After being found guilty of driving under the influence in Rolling Meadows, the best chance a person has at avoiding jail time and high fines is court supervision.

When a judge sentences a person to court supervision, the defendant will have certain requirements and obligations they must meet. The court will then supervise that person for a period of time to ensure they are fulfilling those obligations, such as community service. Once a person can complete their court supervision successfully and without further incidence, the charges are dismissed without a conviction.

It is important that anyone sentenced with court supervision for a DUI understands this is only possible after their first DUI. Any subsequent DUI convictions are not eligible for court supervision, even if the defendant was not ordered to court supervision previously.

It is also important for all drivers in Illinois to understand that court supervision is not only possible for first-time DUIs, but also first offenses of reckless driving. The stipulations of court supervision remain the same regardless of the charge a person is facing.

Driver’s License Revocation

While Illinois may not have a lookback period for DUIs, the length of time in between subsequent DUIs does have an effect on how long a person’s driver’s license is revoked.

First-time DUI convictions will result in a person losing their driver’s license for one year. If a person is then convicted a second time of a DUI, their license is revoked for five years, but only if 20 years have passed since their first DUI.

The only subsequent DUI convictions that will not have any effect on the amount of time a person loses their driver’s license are third and fourth convictions. After a third DUI, a person will lose their license for 10 years, regardless of how long it has been since their last DUI. After a fourth conviction, a person loses their driver’s license for the rest of their life.

Without a Lookback Period, Anyone Charged with a DUI Needs a Rolling Meadows DUI Attorney

In Rolling Meadows, even one DUI conviction has serious consequences. Not only will individuals go a year without their license, but they will also have a permanent mark on their driving record. They could even have a permanent criminal record. For these reasons, anyone charged with driving under the influence needs a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer that can help them build a solid defense. If you have been charged with a DUI, you simply cannot take your chances with the wrong lawyer, or try to beat the charges on your own. There is simply too much at stake. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200 for your best chances at retaining your license, and your freedom. Do not face the difficulties that come with even just one DUI conviction. Call today for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

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

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-6-3.1

Harsher Penalties Now in Effect for Wrong-Way DUI Crashes

March 21st, 2019 at 5:53 am

duiOften with a new year comes new laws, and 2019 was no different. In fact this year, over 250 new laws went into effect on January 1, 2019. One, in particular, affects those charged with a DUI while traveling on the wrong side of the road. Now, wrong-way travel is an aggravating factor in sentencing for DUIs.

What exactly does the new law entail, though? And what does it mean for drivers in Rolling Meadows?

The New DUI Law

House Bill 4554 was debated throughout most of 2018. In August of that year, Governor Bruce Rauner signed the bill that would become law in January of the new year.

The new law amends a section of the Illinois Criminal Code. It does not, however, actually change the drunk driving laws in Illinois. Those found driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher will still likely be charged with driving under the influence. This will apply regardless of the side of the street they were driving on at the time, or whether or not the DUI driver caused an accident.

The new law will only change a wrong-way DUI case during the sentencing phase of trial. When aggravating factors are present, the courts can impose harsher sentences, which means longer jail times and higher fines.

The new law was prompted by the number of wrong-way DUIs seen throughout Illinois. One in particular, however, occurred in 2015 near Oak Brook. That incident resulted in the death of a young police officer. Three other people were injured. At the time, judges wished to consider the wrong-way travel as an aggravating factor but were not permitted to. If that same circumstance happened today, they could consider wrong-way travel as an aggravating factor.

Penalties for Wrong-Way DUIs

The penalties for driving under the influence in Illinois are already severe. DUIs are already considered a Class 2 felony within the state. If convicted, individuals face between three and seven years in prison.

When individuals are charged with a DUI while traveling the wrong way on a road though, those penalties could potentially double. With the new law in effect, judges will have the authority to hand down an extended term prison sentence of seven to fourteen years.

Beat DUI Charges with the Help of a Rolling Meadows DUI Attorney

Even without aggravating factors present, the penalties for a DUI conviction are extremely harsh. Those charged need the help of a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer. If you have been charged with a DUI, with or without aggravating factors, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. These are serious charges, and no one should try to beat them on their own. We will investigate the circumstances of your arrest, and analyze all the evidence to build the strong defense you need. There is no time to waste. We want to get started on your case today, so call now for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=4554&GAID=14&DocTypeID=HB&SessionID=91&GA=100

What to Expect After a First-Time DUI

February 7th, 2019 at 7:28 pm

drunk-drivingBeing charged with a DUI is always an upsetting time. Individuals may feel shocked if they did not realize they had too much to drink. When the DUI is a first offense, it is also normal to feel confused and worried about what will happen next.

The first thing individuals should always do after being charged with a DUI is to contact a DUI attorney in Rolling Meadows that can help. An attorney will be able to best explain what will happen in a specific situation and provide a strong defense. This will give those charged the best chance at regaining their freedom and having a clear record once the incident is over.

Generally speaking, there is a procedure that anyone charged with a DUI will have to follow.

Court Appearances and Driver’s Licenses

Immediately after being charged with a DUI, individuals will likely be given a notice that their license is suspended. That suspension often starts 46 days after the arrest. They will also be given a notice of when they must appear before the court for their first hearing.

It is highly advisable that anyone charged with a DUI contact a criminal defense attorney that can represent them at this first hearing, and all other court appearances. During the first hearing, the attorney will inform the court that they are representing the defendant. They will ask for the prosecution’s discovery, which will include any evidence against the defendant.

At this time, the attorney may also petition the court to allow the defendant to keep their driver’s license without suspension. If the court does not grant that petition, an attorney will then be able to petition the court to allow the defendant to drive with an ignition interlock device after the first 30 days of suspension. This can help individuals remain mobile during the DUI proceedings. It can also help them keep their employment if driving is a large part of their job.

After the prosecution gives the defense attorney the evidence they have against the defendant, the attorney may make certain motions. The police may have lacked probable cause to stop the defendant, or there could be indications that the testing devices were inaccurate.

Once all evidence has been reviewed and any applicable motions made, the defense attorney will then advise the defendant whether they can win the case, or if the defendant should accept a plea bargain. Either way, the defendant will still be required to have an alcohol evaluation taken.

In Cook County, this can only be done through the Central States Institute, located in the circuit court. This evaluation may include drug screening and an in-person interview. Evaluators will try to determine how many substances a person uses, if they live a sober life, and if they have character references. If a person is later found guilty of the DUI, the court will use this evaluation to determine appropriate sentencing.

How Long Does a DUI Proceeding Take?

No DUI case is over after the first court date. It will likely take several months, particularly if the defendant and their attorney have decided to take the case to trial. The focus though, should always be on getting a successful outcome and not rushing the case to simply have it over with. If the defendant is ever charged with a second DUI offense, they may regret rushing the first case simply to put it behind them.

Possible Penalties

After being arrested for a DUI the first time, the first question many people have is whether or not they will go to jail. While jail time is a possibility, it is unlikely that a first-time offender will have to spend time in jail. Instead, those convicted will likely have to attend alcohol classes, pay fines, and/or perform community service. Those that take their case to trial and lose may face harsher penalties, but jail is still an unlikely outcome.

Contact a Rolling Meadows DUI Attorney That Can Help

Although jail time is unlikely, it is still very important that anyone charged with a DUI speak to a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will give those accused the best chance at getting their license back sooner, avoiding jail time, and keeping their criminal record clean. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. Being arrested is very stressful, particularly for those that do not know what to expect next. We can help guide you through the process and prepare a solid defense that will give you a better chance of a successful outcome in court. Do not wait another minute to get the help you need. Contact us for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/ABOUTTHECOURT/MunicipalDepartment/ThirdMunicipalDistrictRollingMeadows/Directory.aspx

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

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