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Archive for the ‘DUI/DWI’ Category

Four Commonly Asked Questions About Illinois DUI Law

May 28th, 2018 at 6:00 am

DUI charges, DUI convictions, first DUI, Illinois DUI law, Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorneyBeing faced with a driving under the influence (DUI) charge in Illinois can be scary. You don’t know what to expect or what is going to happen. Ultimately, the best way to prepare is by understanding more about your charges. 

What is a DUI?

Pursuant to Illinois law, an individual who is operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more can be charged with a DUI. A DUI is not limited to only driving with alcohol in one’s system. A person can be charged with a DUI if he or she is intoxicated by drugs, intoxicating compounds, or methamphetamine is in his or her system.

BAC refers to the ratio of alcohol to the blood in your system. A BAC of .08 makes it illegal in Illinois to operate a motor vehicle. However, this standard only applies to individual over the age of 21, the legal drinking age. A driver under the age of 21 must have a BAC of 0. Any amount over 0 and the individual may face a DUI charge.

Will I Go to Jail?

The punishment, or sentence received, after a finding of guilt, depends on how many DUI convictions a person has on his or her record. The sentencing for a DUI can be fines and court costs, probation, jail time, or a combination of the three.

Because driving under the influence is dangerous, Illinois imposes the potential for strict penalties. Even an individual who is being charged with his or her first DUI faces the potential for jail time. Of course, while there are strict penalties associated with a DUI, it is important to remember that you have the opportunity to present a defense in your case to reduce a sentence or even get a case dismissed.

Will My License Be Suspended?

An individual convicted of a DUI does risk license suspension or revocation. Drivers under the age of 21 who are driving with any amount of alcohol, or other impairing substance, will automatically lose their license. Illinois has a zero tolerance policy for minors drinking and driving.

It is not just drivers under the age of 21 who are at risk of losing their license; anyone who is charged with a DUI risks license suspension or revocation. A driver will automatically face suspension if he or she fails to submit to or complete chemical testing for the DUI. Additionally, conviction of a DUI carries the possible sentence of license suspension.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Yes. There is no question that a lawyer can help make the process of a DUI charge easier. Dedicated Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is experienced in DUI defense and will present the best case possible under the circumstances. Our office combines years of experience with passion to defend clients. We know what defenses are applicable to your case to help you get you the best outcome possible. Reach out to us today for assistance.

Sources:

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

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/losepriv.html

Five Questions You Should Ask a DUI Attorney

May 10th, 2018 at 8:43 am

DUI attorney, DUI charges, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, DUI questions, DUI trialIf you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Illinois, you need a skilled and experienced DUI attorney to handle your case. Finding the right attorney for you is important. An attorney is not one size fits all. Therefore, it is essential to ask any potential DUI attorney questions to ensure that a successful and productive attorney-client relationship will result.

Questions to Ask an Attorney

If you are facing DUI charges, make sure to ask these five questions of any attorney you contact:

  1. How much experience do you have handling DUI cases? It is important to have an attorney who has experience handling cases like yours. Experience brings about confidence and a knowledge level that can assist you in your case. Additionally, asking the results of different cases can give you an idea of what could happen in your situation.
  2. What is your caseload? It is no secret that attorneys often handle multiple cases at once; it is how they make a living. However, you want to be sure that the attorney has the time and resources available to adequately represent you.
  3. Who will actually handle my case day-to-day? The size of a law firm determines the number of attorneys employed at that firm. Additionally, a larger law firm is likely to have a larger number of cases to juggle. As a result, an attorney other than the one you hired may be the one handling your case. Or, support staff may do the heavy lifting for a case. Alternatively, at a smaller firm, the attorney you hire will likely be the one to handle your case, in addition to help from law clerks and paralegals. Knowing who will be involved in the day-to-day activities of your case is important so that you are always informed of the happenings in your case.
  4. How often do you take cases to trial? Many cases are resolved outside of the courtroom. In DUI cases, plea deals often result. Therefore, you need to be sure that your attorney can take the case all the way to trial if that is the best route.
  5. What is the cost of representation? As with any service, attorneys cost money. It is worth spending the money to make sure you have the best possible defense to your DUI charge. However, you need to be aware of the cost before you hire an attorney. There will be a fee agreement between the attorney and client to ensure that both parties know exactly what to expect in terms of fees and expenses.

We Can Help You Today

Asking these questions at the outset of an attorney-client relationship can eliminate potential problems as your case progresses. If you need assistance with your DUI case, do not hesitate to contact a talented Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our firm for immediate help.

Sources:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/SupremeCourt/Rules/Art_VIII/ArtVIII_NEW.htm

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

Can I Get a DUI on a Bike in Illinois?

April 17th, 2018 at 8:59 am

DUI on a bike, Rolling Meadows DUI attorney, DUI conviction, aggravated DUI, DUI penaltiesAfter drinking too much, the worst decision is to get into a vehicle and drive. Taking a cab, ride share, or otherwise getting a ride home is the best option. However, some people may want to ride their bike home after having a bit too much to drink. This option is safer than driving a car; however, there are safety risks to riding a bike under the influence. Additionally, while there are certainly dangers to riding a bike under the influence of alcohol, and other states give DUIs to bike riders, you will not receive a DUI charge.

Illinois DUI Laws

Illinois DUI statute states that “a person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle” while having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more. The definition of vehicle under Illinois law is a device that transports a person or property, “except devices moved by human power.” By definition, a bike is not categorized as a vehicle. A bike is “moved by human power.”

In order to receive a DUI on a bike, the bicycle must be motorized and capable of traveling greater than 20 miles an hour. That being said, while you cannot get a DUI while riding a bike, riders are still subject to the same laws as motor vehicle drivers in Illinois.

Even if you cannot receive a DUI while riding a bike, you can definitely still receive a DUI while operating your car. Driving under the influence is dangerous, but it does happen. Moreover, you need to be aware of what can happen if you are charged with a DUI.

If you are convicted of a DUI, you can face hefty penalties. The more DUIs you have on your record, the more severe the consequences get. In Illinois, one DUI can lead to a license suspension for three months, or even more. A second DUI conviction carries the possibility of a one-year suspension of your license. Receiving a third DUI can lead to the suspension of your license for up to 10 years. The penalties rise from there. Both misdemeanor and felony convictions are possible, as well as a charge of an aggravated DUI.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

If you have been charged with a DUI, you need a dedicated and experienced Rolling Meadows DUI attorney who can fight for you. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we are uniquely qualified to handle your DUI defense. Do not hesitate to contact us today for help.

Sources:

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

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K1-217

Do I Need to Participate in a Field Sobriety Test?

March 9th, 2018 at 7:18 am

drunk driving, DUI charge, field sobriety test, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, DUI attorneyRed, white, and blue represent freedom in the United States, but those take on a completely different meaning when you see them flashing in the rearview mirror of your car. Being pulled over can be scary and you might not be sure what to expect. If a police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence of alcohol, a simple traffic stop turns into much more.

Illinois Field Sobriety Tests

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a study to determine what sobriety tests are the most effective in determining if a suspect is driving under the influence. Illinois uses “Standardized Field Sobriety Tests” on individuals to determine their intoxication. It is imperative that individuals understand what these tests are so that they are better equipped should a situation arise when they are faced with the question of participating in them.

  • Walk and Turn: This is a test that officers use to judge your balance and if you stagger while you walk. This test requires that you walk in a straight line, heel to toe, for nine paces and then turn around and walk back to the start. Arms are kept at your side, and the officer may instruct you to count the steps (one through nine) out loud.
  • One Leg Stand: This test also judges your balance and ability to follow directions. You will stand with your legs together and then the officer will instruct you to lift one leg off of the ground and stand there. Usually, the officer will instruct you to lift your foot six inches off the ground for up to 30 seconds.
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: This is a more “complex” test and it produces the most reliable results of the field sobriety tests. The officer will look for involuntary jerking of your eyes that is linked to alcohol consumption. The officer will move his finger, or a pen, from side to side and instruct you to follow it with your eyes.

Participation Requirements

Illinois law does not require you to participate in field sobriety tests. You are allowed to refuse any field sobriety test that the officer wants to conduct. There are no penalties for refusing the sobriety test. This is different than other states that will use this refusal to participate in a field sobriety test against you in further charges. Again, it is likely that you will be arrested after refusing a field sobriety test, but there are no further penalties associated with the refusal.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI, or submitted to field sobriety tests, but wish you had not, contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we will explore every option and defense that is available to you. Reach out to a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office today for immediate help with your case.

Source:

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

Drugged Driving in Illinois

February 5th, 2018 at 8:40 am

Class 4 felony, drugged driving, DUI charges, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, drug convictionMuch focus is on drunk driving. Even though motorists know they should not drive after drinking, many do anyway. This often leads to serious accidents.

Now that recreational marijuana use is legal in many states—including Illinois—it is important for motorists to understand that drugged driving is against the law as well. If a person is pulled over for driving recklessly and is found to have drugs in his or her system, he or she could face DUI charges, regardless of whether or not he or she is at the legal limit.

However, measuring the amount of drugs in one’s blood is easier said than done. There is no 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) equivalent for marijuana and other drugs. Plus, unlike alcohol, drugs can stay in a person’s body for weeks after use.

Illinois does have laws in place regarding drugged driving. Therefore, if you do use marijuana—whether for recreational or medicinal purposes—and drive later, you could face DUI charges. 

What is Considered Drugged Driving?

Illinois law allows five nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of urine or other bodily substance. However, it is also illegal for a person to drive in an unsafe manner and have even the smallest amount of drugs in his or her system. A police officer may perform a blood, breath or urine test, or require the driver to submit to field sobriety testing.

Drugged Driving Penalties

A first offense can result in a $2,500 fine, one year in prison and license suspension for one year. If a person is convicted of a second offense, the penalties increase. They include license suspension for five years, a $2,500 fine, one year of imprisonment, 30 days of community service and completion of a substance treatment program.

Once a person is convicted of three or more DUI charges, the charges become Class 4 felonies. A person will lose his or her driving privileges for six years and be subject to penalties such as drug treatment, a $10,000 fine, and three years in prison.

The penalties are enhanced when the driver is in a school zone or has a passenger under the age of 16 in the car at the time. Enhanced penalties also apply if the driver is under the influence of drugs and causes an accident that results in serious injury, disfigurement, disability, or death.

Contact Us Today for Help

It is illegal to drive while intoxicated, and that means being under the influence of not only alcohol, but drugs as well. Even marijuana use can impair one’s judgment and lead to accidents.

If you are facing DUI charges for having high levels of marijuana or other drugs in your system, you need legal help right away. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can defend your case. Passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley can work to reduce your penalties. Let us help you today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501.2

Illinois Police to Begin Roadside Drug Testing

January 8th, 2018 at 7:31 am

roadside drug testing, Rolling Meadows DUI defense lawyer, drug offense, new drug test, drugged drivingGetting behind the wheel in Illinois while under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs is illegal. However, for the past few decades educational campaigns aimed at deterring drivers from driving under the influence have focused almost exclusively on the evils of drunk driving while largely ignoring the various problems associated with driving while under the influence of drugs. Perhaps this is because, up until recently, police officers have had a reliable tool at their disposal to detect alcohol in a driver’s system (the breathalyzer) while they lacked such an instrument to conduct roadside testing for drugs. However, it seems that this is about to change as at least one Illinois police department plans to begin roadside drug testing in the upcoming months.

The New Test

According to the Chicago Tribune, Carol Stream police officers plan to be the first department in Illinois to implement a new roadside test to determine if drivers are under the influence of one or more drugs. Reportedly, the new roadside test will be able to detect marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, amphetamines, and opiates such as heroin via a chemical test.

The new test will be very similar to the roadside breath tests that police officers currently use; however, instead of blowing into a breathalyzer a suspected impaired driver will have his or her mouth swabbed. Many European countries, as well as a handful of American states, are already using similar roadside tests to determine whether a driver is under the influence of a controlled substance.

How do Police Officers Currently Determine if a Driver is on Drugs?

Currently, an Illinois police officer who suspects a driver of being under the influence of a controlled substance has the option of seeking a blood or urine sample from the driver which can then be tested for drugs. Still, such a sample must be collected and tested at a police station which means that there is often significant lag-time between pulling the driver over and determining if he or she is in fact under the influence of one or more drugs.

Furthermore, these tests are quite expensive. In contrast, the new drug test that is about to be rolled out in Illinois can be administered on the side of the road, will be less expensive and will tell police officers how much of a particular drug is present in a driver’s system (rather than simply indicating whether or not a drug is present).    

Need Legal Advice?

If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Illinois and are looking to protect your legal rights, contact experienced Rolling Meadows DUI defense lawyer Christopher Cosley without delay. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley we defend clients from all walks of life against DUI charges. You do not have to take on the daunting task of fighting your DUI charge alone. Contact us today for help.

Source:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/ct-met-police-drug-driving-test-20171205-story.html

What You Need to Know About Underage DUIs in Illinois

December 12th, 2017 at 8:10 am

Rolling Meadows DUI attorney, underage drinking, underage DUI, zero tolerance policy, driving privilegesWe all know that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Illinois with a BAC of 0.08 percent or more. Yet did you know that drivers who are under 21 years of age can get in trouble for driving under the influence if they have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system? This is because Illinois has what is known as a zero tolerance driving under the influence policy.

Illinois’ Zero Tolerance Policy

As noted on the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State’s website, a driver who is less than 21 years old and is caught with even a trace amount of alcohol in his or her system can get into a lot of trouble under Illinois’ zero tolerance law. Exactly how much trouble a young driver can get in depends on how much alcohol they are found to have consumed before getting behind the wheel. For example, a person who is under 21 can be charged with a DUI (aka driving under the influence) if he or she is caught with:

  • A BAC of 0.08 percent or more,
  • A BAC of 0.05 percent or more plus additional evidence proving impairment,
  • Any illegal drugs in their system, or
  • Other indications of having been driving while under the influence.

Furthermore, Illinois’ zero tolerance law provides that a driver who is under 21 will lose his or her driving privileges if he or she is caught driving after having consumed any alcohol at all. Underage individuals who get caught driving with alcohol in their system in Illinois lose their driving privileges as follows:

  • If convicted of a first DUI – driving privileges revoked for at least two years.
  • If convicted of a second DUI within five years – driving privileges revoked for at least five years.
  • If stopped and issued a ticket for a traffic violation (first offense) – driving privileges suspended for three months.
  • If stopped and issued a ticket for a traffic violation (second offense) – driving privileges suspended for one year.

The Consequences of Underage DUIs in Illinois

In addition to losing their driving privileges for a specified period of time, underage individuals convicted of driving under the influence in Illinois can be sentenced to serve time in jail (generally imprisonment for up to one year) and/or be ordered to pay a fine (typically up to $2,500). Furthermore, those convicted of driving under the influence often find that the consequences of a DUI conviction extend far beyond the penalties imposed by the court. For example, many people find that after being convicted their insurance provider decides to terminate their auto insurance policy.

Need Legal Advice? Contact a Local Rolling Meadows DUI Attorney

Anyone who has recently been charged with driving under the influence in Illinois should contact an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI attorney Christopher M. Cosley without delay. It is important to realize that driving under the influence, whether you are over or under 21, is a serious criminal offense in Illinois that can carry steep fines and serious jail time. Therefore, if you have been accused of driving under the influence it is critical that you consult with a local criminal defense lawyer about your legal options right away.

Source:

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/traffic_safety/DUI/uselose.html

Understanding the Ramifications of Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Illinois

October 23rd, 2017 at 6:21 am

breathalyzer test, DUI charge, DUI conviction, DUI defense, Rolling Meadows DUI attorneyIf you or a family member is pulled over, should you consent to taking a breathalyzer test? This is a common question and, in truth, the answer is—it depends. This is because each case is different and your circumstances may have presented a scenario where refusing a Breathalyzer test was appropriate, or vice versa.

Under Illinois Law, when you obtain a driver’s license you are impliedly consenting to take a Breathalyzer test if you are requested by a police officer to do so. This implied consent is codified in state statute 625 ILCS 40/5-7.1.

Even with the existence of an implied consent law, you have the right to refuse a Breathalyzer test, but the ramifications can be quite severe. For example, if you are convicted of a DUI and you refused to take a breathalyzer test, then your driver’s license will be suspended for at least one year.

Warning Required

When a police officer asks you to take a breathalyzer test, they are legally obligated to inform you that refusing to take the test may result in the aforementioned suspension of your driver’s license.

The suspension of your driver’s license can go beyond one year, depending whether you have a criminal record and/or a prior DUI conviction.

Why Some People Opt to Decline the Breathalyzer Test

There is a belief that if you refuse a breathalyzer test, it will improve your chances of prevailing against the government’s DUI charge. This is not a sound legal strategy. Yes, the lack of an official breathalyzer result may make it more challenging for the prosecution to obtain a conviction, but it does not guarantee your victory in court. This is because the government can prove a DUI through a variety of methods, even without a breathalyzer result.

For example, the police officer who pulled you over could testify in court concerning your driving behavior and physical appearance when you were pulled over. If you underwent a field sobriety test, the results of that test are generally admissible as evidence. Also, there may be video footage from the police officer’s squad car which could potentially reveal that you were intoxicated. Some, or all, of these tests and other evidence could be considered sufficient by a jury to find you guilty of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Speak to a Rolling Meadows DUI Defense Attorney Today

Whether you agreed to take a breathalyzer test or not, you have the right to quality legal representation. That is why it makes sense to contact a passionate Rolling Meadows DUI attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We are eager to assist you immediately.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500400K5-7.1

Strategies for Prevailing in Your DUI Case

October 20th, 2017 at 11:50 am

DUI case, DUI convictions, DUI offenses, Rolling Meadows criminal law attorneys, DUI defenseGetting convicted of a DUI carries significant ramifications that may adversely affect you for years. A DUI conviction is typically a Class A misdemeanor, meaning you could be ordered to serve up to one year in jail. You could also be required to pay a fine of up to $2,500 with a mandatory minimum fine of $500. In addition, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least one year. And this is all for a first-time offender.

If you have prior DUI convictions on your record, the penalties are even more severe. For example, if this is your third DUI conviction, the charge escalates to a Class 2 felony which means you could be ordered to spend between three and seven years in jail. Also, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least 10 years.

Ways to Prevail Against the Government

If you are charged with a DUI, do not presume that you are going to be found guilty. There are many ways to challenge a DUI charge. For example, your Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney can investigate whether the police officer who pulled you over followed all proper and necessary protocols and procedures when handling your charges.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you from being subjected to an unreasonable search and seizure. Hence, a police officer cannot engage in an invasive search of your person or vehicle for no good reason.

In addition, a police officer must have probable cause to pull over your vehicle. Therefore, if you were operating your vehicle in a reasonable manner, traveling at the posted speed limit, and the officer just randomly pulled you over, the arrest and subsequent charge could be challenged due to a lack of reasonable suspicion.

Another way to prevail in court is to challenge the veracity of the evidence the government claims to have against you. This may include impeaching the police officer’s credibility, contesting whether you were even the driver in the vehicle, or emphasizing the fact that you took a field sobriety test and passed.

Are these strategies guaranteed to work? No lawyer can guarantee the outcome of a case. Nevertheless, these strategies highlight the fact that you have ways to take on the government’s charges and prevail in court.

Speak to a Rolling Meadows DUI Defense Attorney Right Away

One of the best ways to enhance your chances of succeeding in court is by contacting a DUI defense lawyer right away. The dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal law attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are ready and able to help. We have extensive experience representing people charged with DUI offenses. Contact our office today to schedule a confidential case review.

Source:

http://www.isp.state.il.us/traffic/drnkdriving.cfm

Can a Sleeping Driver be Arrested for DUI in Illinois?

September 27th, 2017 at 7:26 pm

DUI arrest, DUI charge, Rolling Meadows DUI defense lawyer, sleeping driver, DUI defenseWe all know that driving under the influence is illegal, but is it illegal to sleep one off in your car? You may be surprised to learn that, in Illinois, the answer is yes, under some circumstances.

Under code section 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a), it is illegal to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in Illinois while under the influence of alcohol or an intoxicating compound to a degree that you are not capable of driving safely. Therefore, if a court of law determines that an individual had actual physical control of the vehicle that they were sleeping in while intoxicated then that person can rightfully be convicted of driving under the influence in Illinois.

What Does it Mean to Have “Actual Physical Control” of a Vehicle?

Having “actual physical control” of a vehicle essentially means having the ability to operate the vehicle. Illinois case law notes that a person does not need to move, or even have the intent to move, a vehicle to have actual physical control.

Relevant case law also indicates that there are several factors that courts in Illinois should take into account when determining whether or not an individual charged with a DUI had actual physical control of their vehicle.

Key factors include whether the individual:

  • Had the vehicle’s ignition key,
  • Was physically capable of operating the vehicle, and
  • Was sitting in the driver’s seat.

Please note that this list of factors is non-exhaustive and that the court will examine the totality of the circumstances on a case-by-case basis in order to determine whether or not the individual charged with driving under the influence did in fact have actual physical control of the vehicle.

How Can I Avoid a DUI Charge While Parked?

The best way to avoid a DUI charge while parked is to simply not sit in your parked car while intoxicated. Ask a sober driver to give you a lift, take a cab, or walk home. However, if you have no other option but to sleep or wait in your car, do whatever you can to show that you do not have actual physical control of the vehicle. For example, it is probably a good idea to put the car’s ignition key in the glove box and sit or lie down in the backseat.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

If you have been accused of driving under the influence in Illinois, The Law Offices of Christopher Cosley is here to help. Attorney Christopher Cosley is an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI defense lawyer who handles all types of DUI cases in Rolling Meadows and throughout the greater Chicago area. Being convicted of driving under the influence can hugely impact your life, so it is important that you take steps today to protect your future. Start by hiring a tenacious DUI defense lawyer to argue your case.

Source:

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

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