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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

Are Porch Pirates Burglars?

March 14th, 2019 at 1:47 am

IL defense lawyerThe holidays are over, but that has not stopped porch pirates from scooping up items left on porches. In a recent case, a porch pirate was caught on a security camera stealing a unicorn from the porch of a Wicker Park home in the early morning hours. Unlike most porch pirates heard of in the news, the unicorn was not a package delivered by a postal service or courier. Instead, a two-year-old living in the home had simply left it on the porch.

This type of crime is clearly against the law. However, this is one area of law that is not as clear as others. Are porch pirates considered burglars in the eyes of the law? Or, are they charged with another crime, such as petty theft?

Definition of Burglary in Rolling Meadows

According to 720 ILCS 5/19-3, residential burglary in Illinois is defined as when a person enters a dwelling, or any part thereof, without permission with the intent to steal another person’s property. The statute also states that anyone convicted of residential burglary is guilty of a Class 1 felony. In Illinois, a conviction of residential burglary can carry sentences of four to fifteen years in prison.

That penalty may seem harsh for porch pirates, particularly those charged with stealing something as small as a stuffed animal, as in this most recent case. However, due to the language of the statute and that it includes the phrase, “or any part thereof,” it is possible that porch pirates could be charged with residential burglary.

Definition of Petty Theft in Rolling Meadows

Law enforcement and the state prosecution both understand that residential burglary is often a harsh sentence for those that did not really break into a home and steal property. It is for this reason that some, including those charged with smaller thefts, are sometimes charged with the lesser charge of petty theft.

Petty theft, according to 720 ILCS 5/16-0.1, is the theft of property with a value of $500 or less. This is considered a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, those charged could face up to one year in county jail and up to $2,500 in fines. Most often, those charged with smaller thefts will face this charge if they did not actually steal from the victim’s person, and the value of property stolen was less than $500.

This is also true in the case of porch pirates, including the latest story involving the man that stole the toy unicorn. While law enforcement has not caught or charged the person, a police report was filed for petty theft in the amount less than $500.

Get the Proper Defense with a Rolling Meadows Theft Lawyer

While petty theft is a much lesser charge than residential burglary, those convicted will still face jail time and high fines. Even more, they will have a criminal record that will follow them around for the rest of their lives and prevent them from gaining housing, employment, and other opportunities. It is for this reason that anyone charged with petty theft should contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer for help. If you have been charged with any type of theft in Rolling Meadows, call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We understand Illinois law and will use it to prepare a defense that can get your charges reduced, or dismissed altogether. Contact us today for your free consultation so we can begin working on your case.

 

Sources:

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/porch-pirate-unicorn-wicker-park-video-my-little-pony/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt.+16&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=36600000&SeqEnd=41200000

Challenging a Search Warrant

March 7th, 2019 at 3:44 pm

warrantDuring a criminal trial, the prosecution’s case often rests on evidence seized by law enforcement officers during a search. In order for that search to be lawful, the owner of the property must voluntarily agree to the search, or law enforcement officers must have a valid search warrant. When police officers have a search warrant, the owners of the property must never interfere with the search. However, this does not mean that the search cannot be contested in the future.

Challenging a search warrant during a trial is a very common defense for those accused of committing a crime. If the defense can prove a search was unlawful, any evidence obtained during that search is deemed inadmissible in court. This can lead to the entire case being dismissed.

So, how does one challenge the validity of a search warrant? In Rolling Meadows, there are three possible ways to do it.

Unlawful Items Seized

With a search warrant, law enforcement officials must indicate the exact property they plan to search, and the evidence they are looking for. When they conduct the search, they are only allowed to take the property specified in the warrant. If they find evidence of another crime, or evidence such as electronic data that was not listed on the search warrant, they cannot seize that property.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects digital devices from illegal search and seizures. In order to be seized, the search warrant must explicitly state officers are searching for these items.

False Sworn Affidavit

When law enforcement officials are trying to obtain a search warrant, they must sign a sworn affidavit. The Illinois Constitution and Criminal Code allows not only police officers, but also private citizens, to provide these sworn affidavits. An affidavit states a person’s case for the search of a certain area.

When this affidavit contains false information, this is sometimes grounds for challenging a search warrant. Defendants that believe the affidavit contains false information can petition the court for a Franks hearing. These hearings are named after a landmark case in 1978 in which Franks was the defendant.

During a Franks hearing, the defendant is required to prove the signer of the affidavit knowingly or intentionally provided false information, or that they had a reckless disregard for the truth. It is not enough to show an officer was simply negligent or made a mistake.

Warrant Staleness

When law enforcement obtains a search warrant, they are required to search a property within a reasonable time frame. This is due to the fact that in many cases, valuable evidence is likely to be lost, hidden, or destroyed before the search is conducted.

For example, if officers obtained a warrant to search a home looking for drugs, they should conduct the search shortly after receiving the warrant. If they wait too long the evidence could be consumed or destroyed.

Warrant staleness can often provide a strong defense when challenging a search warrant. However, there are times when it is not as effective. For example, digital files are designed for longevity and so, warrant staleness may not provide a valid defense for crimes such as child pornography.

Let a Qualified Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney Handle Your Case

There are several ways to challenge a search warrant in court, but those accused of committing a crime should never attempt to argue those reasons on their own. A skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer will know the law surrounding searches and seizures and will apply it to any case that may involve an unlawful search. If you have been accused of a crime, or you believe law enforcement conducted an illegal search of your property, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200. We will ensure you are treated fairly and will fight for your rights in court. Call today for your free consultation.

 

Source:

https://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1278&context=casefiles

Driver’s License Reinstatement Hearing

February 28th, 2019 at 6:00 pm

licenseA driver’s license suspension can happen for a number of reasons. Perhaps you were charged with a DUI, or had too many points on your license. Whatever the reason, now you want your license back. And to get it back, you will need to attend a driver’s license reinstatement hearing.

These hearings are held at the Secretary of State Formal Hearing Offices, and the process can be intimidating. Lawyers are present to represent the Secretary of State, and whether or not you can start driving again all depends on the outcome. For your best chance at success, below are some tips to follow that can help.

Bring All Supporting Documents

Your hearing will end before it has even begun if you do not have all the necessary documents. An attorney for the Secretary of State will ask for them before the hearing even starts. A license reinstatement lawyer can advise on the specific documents you will need for your case, but the most common are:

  • Updated uniform report or evaluations;
  • Proof of risk education;
  • Letters of abstinence;
  • Letters of support/character letters; and
  • Documentation from a licensed facility.

It is also important to keep in mind that many petitioners still get turned away at this point, even if they have all the documents they need. This is because you are required to bring the original documents, not photocopies.

Dress Appropriately

What you wear to court may seem like a minor thing. However, the judge at the hearing will be making their decision based on their overall impression of you, and that includes how you present yourself. It is important to dress in a way that reflects that you understand the severity of the hearing and that you also respect the court. Dress pants, dress shoes, and button-down collared shirts or blouses are typically seen in court.

Have Representation

The best way to ensure success at your reinstatement hearing is to retain an attorney familiar with the Illinois Secretary of State Reinstatement Hearings. An attorney will be able to go over all the documentation to ensure it is what the court needs. They will find any inaccuracies or inconsistencies within the paperwork and clarify any information the judge may not look kindly on.

An attorney will also prepare an outline of the trial. They will inform you what types of questions will be asked, and may even have a mock hearing to give you a real feel for what to expect. This also allows you to become more familiar with the process so when you are asked certain questions, you know how to respond. The process will include an in-depth interrogation from the Secretary of State hearing officer that could include up to 100 questions. This is why it is so important to remember that in these cases especially, practice makes perfect.

Contact a License Reinstatement Lawyer in Rolling Meadows To Help Get You Back on the Road

If your license has been suspended and you have an upcoming formal hearing, do not try to handle it on your own. There is too much at stake and even forgetting just one document can delay your case for many more months. Instead, speak to a skilled Rolling Meadows license reinstatement attorney that can help. To give yourself the best chance of success at a formal hearing, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200 today. We will review your case and help you prepare testimony that leaves no doubt as to whether or not you are trustworthy to drive again. We offer free consultations, so call today.

 

Source:

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

 

There Are Defenses to Burglary in Illinois

February 26th, 2019 at 5:53 pm

Illinois defense lawyerRecently, burglaries occurred on the same day at two different businesses in Chicago. As of this writing, the police had not yet released much information, including whether or not the two incidents are related. They had released basic information about the suspects and are asking for the public’s help in finding them.

Facing burglary charges is extremely difficult, and may seem like a hopeless situation. It is not. A burglary lawyer in Rolling Meadows can help those accused build a strong defense and retain their freedom.

Elements of Burglary in Rolling Meadows

According to 720 ILCS 5/19-1, a person commits burglary when they enter into a building or structure without the permission of the owner or occupier. In order for burglary charges to apply, this breaking and entering must be done with the intent to commit a crime.

The prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that all three elements of the crime existed in order for a court to convict those accused. Refuting these elements will be a strong defense to any case, as this will create reasonable doubt in the minds of a judge or jury.

Defenses to Burglary in Rolling Meadows

Claiming innocence is a very common defense used against burglary charges. Defenses that include strong alibis, a lack of forensic evidence, and no eyewitnesses can all help build a strong defense of innocence.

While a situation may look bad, and like someone is committing a crime, that is not always the case. Someone may have permission to enter a building and therefore, there is no unlawful entering. Even when the owner or occupant has not given explicit consent, if the defendant believed they had permission to enter the building, this can provide a very strong defense.

In order for burglary to occur, a person has to have the intention to commit a crime, even if they have entered a building or structure unlawfully. It is for this reason that defenses such as voluntary intoxication are often very successful in burglary cases. A person cannot be convicted of burglary as long as they were simply too intoxicated, but had no intention to commit a crime.

Entrapment is a very challenging defense to prove, but it is still sometimes used. If someone encouraged the defendant to commit a crime when they otherwise would not have, they cannot be convicted of burglary. There needs to be evidence that the defendant tried to refuse, but was eventually convinced.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Burglary Lawyer for the Best Defense

Many defenses for burglary charges exist, but those accused should not try to argue them on their own. A skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can build a much stronger case based on evidence and refuting the prosecution’s case. If you have been charged with burglary and you need the best defense, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We are dedicated to defending your freedom and will aggressively explore defense strategies with you. We offer free initial consultations, so call today and we will start reviewing your case.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-1

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/burglaries-reported-at-2-ravenswood-businesses-police/

Been Charged with a Hit-And-Run? Defenses Are Available

February 21st, 2019 at 5:45 pm

Illinois defense lawyerWhen someone is involved in an accident, it is natural for the fight-or-flight response to kick in. It is for this reason that many people flee the scene of an accident. This is particularly true if they do not believe there was major property damage or serious injury. Leaving the scene of an accident could result in a hit-and-run charge. Those charged will face serious consequences if convicted. Due to this, it is important anyone charged knows that there are defenses available.

Illinois Law on Hit-And-Runs

The Illinois Compiled Statute, 625 ILCS 5/11-402 explains very clearly that hit-and-runs are against the law. Those charged with this crime in Illinois may be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, a possible license suspension, and even jail time in some cases.

In addition to the state statute, it is also law to report certain accidents to the Illinois Department of Transportation within ten days of the incident. Accidents that must be reported are those that result in death, bodily injury, or property damage over $1,500. This law pertains to contacting authorities. Even when minor accidents do not require reporting, all drivers involved are still required to stop. This is mainly so drivers can exchange information in case an issue from the accident arises later.

Defenses to a Hit-And-Run

Many people feel as though it is difficult to challenge a hit-and-run charge because the facts are typically unambiguous. Perhaps a witness wrote down the license plate number of the person that fled, or video surveillance captured the whole scene. While these facts may be damaging, it is important those charged remember that there are still defenses available.

Mistaken identity is a defense to many crimes, and an instance of a hit-and-run is no different. While witnesses, and possibly even those hit, may have a license plate number, that does not necessarily mean the owner of the car was driving. If it can be proven they were not, that individual is not criminally liable.

In order for a person to be convicted of a hit-and-run, the prosecution needs to prove that the individual knowingly left the scene of the accident. When accidents are severe, such as hitting a pedestrian, it can be difficult to convince a jury that the individual that left the scene did not know they were in an accident. However, there are times when the accident is so minor, it is reasonable to assume a person may not have even realized they were in an accident. This could be the case when a person is backing out of a parking space and hits another vehicle. If the prosecution cannot prove the individual knew they were leaving the scene of an accident, they have no case.

When an emergency situation is involved in the accident, the courts are also sometimes more lenient on those accused. For example, if someone was transporting another person to the hospital for an emergency, hit someone in the process and did not stop, the courts may decide to reduce the charges. They may even drop them altogether depending on the circumstances of the case.

Lastly, involuntary intoxication can provide a defense for hit-and-runs, as well as many other traffic offenses. For example, if an individual was unknowingly drugged or given sufficient amounts of alcohol, they would not be responsible for their behavior behind the wheel because they had no reason to believe they were intoxicated.

It is important to remember that in a hit-and-run case, or any criminal case for that matter, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. This means it is the prosecution’s responsibility to prove the defendant committed the crime, and they must do so beyond a reasonable doubt. These defenses challenge that burden of proof and are often enough to get hit-and-run cases dismissed.

Contact a Hit-And-Run Lawyer in Rolling Meadows That Can Help

Simply knowing the defenses for a hit-and-run charge are not enough. Those accused will face very many specific procedures that must be followed in court and be prepared to go up against very confident prosecutors. They will also be questioned extensively and could be presented with damaging evidence they do not know how to effectively argue in court. It is for this reason that anyone charged with a hit-and-run should contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney that can help. If you have been charged with a hit-and-run, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200. We know the strategies that can be used in court to reduce your charges or get them dropped altogether. We are the best defense against hit-and-run cases in court, and we want to help you with yours. Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-402

 

Is Breaking into a Car Burglary?

February 19th, 2019 at 5:37 pm

Illinois defense lawyerTwo individuals were recently arrested for multiple burglary charges in the area of 95th Street and Book Road in the Northwest Side. Naperville police say the pair first burglarized a home and then continued to steal from multiple vehicles. Both are facing felony charges, and it raises the question of whether or not vehicle burglary is a felony, or if these charges pertain only to the home they are suspected of breaking into.

Burglary and Illinois Law

According to 720 ILCS 5/19-1, burglary is defined as when a person without permission enters a “building, house trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof with the intent to commit a felony or theft.”

The same statute also states that any violation of this law is considered a Class 3 felony. Under this law, if convicted, the two individuals mentioned above will face felony charges, possibly one for each vehicle entered.

The law does not distinguish locked vehicles from unlocked vehicles. This means even if there was no actual “breaking” into the vehicle, a person could still face vehicle burglary charges. However, the prosecution would have to prove that the defendant broke into the vehicle with the intention to steal or commit a felony.

Criminal Trespass to a Vehicle

A charge that is often associated with vehicle burglary is criminal trespass to a vehicle, outlined in 720 ILCS 5/21-2. Under this law, anyone that enters into a vehicle and operates it is also guilty of a crime. This law includes any type of vehicle including aircraft, watercraft, and snowmobiles.

This law is not part of Illinois’ burglary laws but instead, the state’s trespassing laws. Although still against the law, this crime is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which is a much lesser charge than the felony charge individuals will face with burglary charges.

Defenses to Vehicle Burglary

Many of the defenses used in burglary cases could also apply to vehicle burglary cases. For example, if an individual had permission to enter the vehicle, or even thought they had permission to enter it, they could be found innocent of vehicle burglary.

A person can very easily enter into a vehicle thinking it was theirs. This is one defense that is used often in vehicle burglary cases, but not in cases involving other types of burglary. Many people drive the same make and model of car, and if a person believes the car to be their own, they may mistakenly get in. This would not constitute vehicle burglary.

Call a Rolling Meadows Vehicle Burglary Lawyer that Can Help

Facing any type of burglary charges can be very stressful and traumatic. Felony charges are very serious and can result in high fines and several years in prison if convicted. However, a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help get charges dropped or reduced to a lesser charge. If you have been charged with burglary or vehicle burglary, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will review your case with you and discuss the many options you may have for a defense. We offer a free initial consultation so do not wait another minute. Let us start fighting for your freedom today.

 

Sources:

https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2-chicagoans-charged-with-naperville-residential-vehicle-burglaries/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-1

What Are the Laws in Illinois for Passing a School Bus?

February 14th, 2019 at 12:10 am

IL traffic violation lawyerMany drivers may understand that they need to stop for school buses when the arm is extended and the lights are flashing. However, few know the severe penalties that accompany violating this traffic law. Every driver in Illinois should know that the law in Rolling Meadows and throughout Illinois takes this violation very seriously. Those convicted will even face a license suspension.

What the Law Says About Passing a Stopped School Bus

The laws surrounding passing a stopped school bus are included in the Illinois Vehicle Code, 625 ILCS 5/11-1414. This piece of legislation indicates that it is against the law to overtake, or pass, a school bus when the bus is stopped to load or unload students.

Drivers must come to a full stop when the bus operator has displayed the extended arm, or when the lights are flashing. Drivers can also not continue traveling until the driver has retracted the extended arm, turned the flashing lights off, or resumed motion. In some instances, such as when there is an issue with these signals, a bus operator may motion to other drivers that they can continue driving. In these instances, a driver may do so.

This law will apply in most cases of a vehicle approaching a school bus, even in parking lots. When a bus is traveling in one direction on a four-lane highway though, drivers traveling in the opposite two lanes are not required to stop.

The Illinois State Police also like to remind drivers that school buses are required to stop at railroad crossings. In this case, drivers traveling in the opposite direction of the bus are not required to stop.

Those behind the bus, however, may not pass if the bus is within 100 meters of the crossing. Due to the fact that school bus operators will need to engage their flashing lights and control arm when stopping the bus, it is safest for drivers behind the school bus to always stop and give the bus plenty of room.

Penalties for Passing a Stopped School Bus

The penalties for passing a stopped school bus illegally are also covered under the Illinois Vehicle Code, and they are harsh.

For a first offense, violators of this law will face a mandatory fine of at least $150. They will also face a mandatory suspension of three months.

Those charged with a second offense will face a mandatory fine of at least $500. These offenders will also have their license suspended for one full year. It is important those charged with a second offense understand that only offenses within the previous five years will be considered.

Court supervision is often an option for those convicted of breaking the law. Unfortunately, when a person is charged with illegally passing a stopped school bus, this is not a possibility.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Traffic Attorney and Keep Your License

Facing a license suspension is very serious. It can prevent people from going to work, attending school, and even visiting friends and family. The situation may seem hopeless, but it is not. A dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can help individuals keep their license by building a strong defense for those charged. If you have been charged with failing to stop for a school bus, or another traffic violation, call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will review your case, fight for your rights, and do everything possible to prevent a license suspension. We offer free consultations, so contact us today.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-1414

http://www.isp.state.il.us/docs/schoolbussafety5542.pdf

 

New Year, New Rules of the Road in Illinois

February 12th, 2019 at 12:04 am

IL traffic lawyerMost drivers believe they know the rules of the road. These rules include driving under posted speed limits, stopping at traffic lights, and following all road signs, such as school crossings. However, many new traffic rules will come into effect over the course of 2019. Drivers need to ensure they are familiar with these rules as well. If they are not and are found in violation of these new laws, they could be facing hefty fines and other penalties.

New Texting and Driving Laws

Perhaps the most important law that will be introduced later in the year is the new penalties imposed on drivers found in violation of texting and driving. This law, which stems from Illinois House Bill 4846, will come into effect on July 1, 2019.

Texting and driving has been illegal in Illinois since 2014. The new law though, will now consider texting and driving a moving violation rather than a non-moving violation. Moving violations are entered into a person’s driving record. When a person is convicted of three moving violations within a 12-month period, their licenses are also subject to suspension. A first offense carries the same penalty of $75.

Children Under Two Must Ride in Rear-Facing Car Seats

Before January 1, 2019, Illinois law required that all children under the age of eight be restrained in a car seat. Previously, the law did not state which way that child restraint system had to face in the vehicle. Under the new law, which took effect on New Year’s Day, all children under the age of two must ride in rear-facing car seats. Children under the age of two and taller than 40 inches in height, or weighing more than 40 pounds, may sit in a front-facing car seat.

Those found in violation of this law will be subject to fines and penalties at the discretion of the officer that pulls them over. These penalties could include $75 for a first offense and up to $200 for a second offense.

Driver Curriculum will Include the “Dutch Reach” Method

While not necessarily a new law, those reading the Illinois’ Rules of the Road manual will now be encouraged to use the “Dutch Reach” method after parallel parking. This method states that when exiting a vehicle, drivers and passengers alike should reach across their body to open the door. This, it is believed, will help prevent more instances of “dooring,” as it will remind those in vehicles to look first for pedestrians and bicyclists that may be in the path of the door.

School Bus Signs Must be Covered

According to Illinois House Bill 3292, when school buses are not being used to transport school children under the age of 18, for religious purposes, or for any other activity not affiliated with a church or school, the “School Bus” sign must be covered or concealed.

In addition, the signal arm and the flashing lights of a school bus should not be operated when the bus is being used for the same types of activities. This law also came into effect on January 1, 2019.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer 

Too many people believe that if they are pulled over and found in violation of certain laws, they have no choice but to pay the fines and face other penalties. This, however, is not the case.

If you are found in violation of any new traffic laws, or any other traffic law, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows traffic attorney that can help. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we can provide you with the legal defense you need to ensure you are not at risk for losing your license or paying large fines for violations you did not commit. Contact us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=91&GA=100&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=4846&GAID=14&LegID=110209&SpecSess=&Session=

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=91&GA=100&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=3293&GAID=14&LegID=105016&SpecSess=&Session=

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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