Search
Facebook Twitter Our Blog
The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
24 HOUR ANSWERING | 847-394-3200
SERVICE

1855 Rohlwing Road, Suite D, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

24 HOUR ANSWERING SERVICE

Archive for the ‘drunk driving charges’ tag

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

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

Can You Refuse Field Sobriety Tests in Rolling Meadows?

January 25th, 2019 at 10:28 pm

IL defense lawyerLike every other state, in Illinois, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content higher than 0.08 percent. Those found guilty of doing so will be charged with driving under the influence, or DUI. There are a few steps law enforcement take before making an arrest, though. One of those is to administer field sobriety tests. Many individuals, whether they have been charged with a DUI, or they think they are about to be, wonder if these tests are mandatory. So, can you refuse field sobriety tests in Rolling Meadows?

What Are Field Sobriety Tests?

Field sobriety tests are one tool used by law enforcement when they suspect someone is driving under the influence. While there are many field sobriety tests a police officer may ask the driver to undergo, there are generally three main ones.

The Horizontal Nystagmus Test (HGN) will involve the officer holding up an object. They will then ask the driver to follow that object with their eyes as the officer moves it from left to right. The officer will then look for when the pupil begins to exhibit ‘nystagmus’, or an involuntary jerking of the eye.

Another field sobriety test is the walk and turn test. During this test, the driver will be asked to take a number of steps, turn around using just one foot, and walk back in the direction from which they came. This test is mainly done so that the officer can observe the balance and coordination of the driver.

Lastly, the third main field sobriety test is the one leg stand test. In this test, the officer will ask the driver to stand with one foot approximately six inches off the ground. The driver will also be asked to count aloud by thousands. This test is also administered to determine the coordination and balance of the driver.

Can a Driver Refuse Field Sobriety Tests?

Any field sobriety test can be refused. However, that does not mean the driver will simply be sent on their way. Instead, they will likely be arrested. If an officer asks a driver to perform a field sobriety test, they already have the intent to arrest the driver for a DUI. They are simply trying to collect more evidence against the driver for when the case goes to court.

Still, drivers are always recommended to refuse to take field sobriety tests. While it will still likely end with an arrest, by refusing they are not providing additional evidence for the police and prosecution in the case.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help

Even if you have submitted to field sobriety tests and been arrested for a DUI, it is crucial that you contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer that can help. An experienced attorney can refute the accuracy of the tests, as well as discredit the officer’s testimony in court. If you have been arrested for a DUI, you need the best defense possible. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to get a free consultation. We will start reviewing your case right away, and prepare a defense to give you the best possible chance at a successful outcome.

 

Source:

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

Strategies for a DUI Trial

December 17th, 2015 at 10:10 am

Illinois DUI lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Many people who are charged with DUI under Illinois law are first-time offenders, and they have no idea what the DUI trial process will be like or even how it should be approached to either get the case dismissed or get the charges reduced. An experienced DUI criminal defense attorney with many years of trial experience can acquaint you with the process, and after developing an understanding of the facts about your specific DUI case, your attorney will be able to help you develop the best strategy for your trial.

The fines and penalties for a DUI conviction are significant and cannot be taken lightly, so presenting your best possible defense to the charges you face is in your interest. You want your DUI charges to go away, and a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to evaluate the options that are available. to you. There are a number of strategies you may be able to utilize. For instance, you may present any of the following:

  • Evidence suggesting innocence or mitigation of your alleged crime. When you can produce evidence that you are innocent of the charges that are pending against you, or that you are guilty of a lesser crime, this evidence can be helpful in your DUI trial.
  • Lack of evidence in support of your charges. On the flip side, if the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence against you for the alleged crime, your DUI case could be dismissed.
  • Witness testimony supporting your defense. Witness testimony that supports your defense is helpful in your DUI trial. If a passenger observed how the arresting officer failed to adhere to proper DUI field sobriety testing or arrest protocol, this testimony could be used to have your DUI case dismissed. You yourself could also be a witness at your own trial, if your DUI criminal defense lawyer thinks this would be a good idea.
  • Expert witness testimony supporting your defense. An expert witness could offer evidence to suggest that the breathalyzer test or other chemical test results are incorrect. You could have produced a false positive blood alcohol concentration, or there could have been factors that contributed to a higher than accurate blood alcohol concentration estimate, and an expert witness could offer medical or scientific evidence to support your defense.

Motions Can Help You

There are situations in which you can use a motion during your DUI trial to get the case or certain evidence thrown out, or to require the prosecution to do, or not do, something. Motions can change the course of prosecution in your DUI case and when used effectively and appropriately, motions can help strengthen your defense.

Motions are written requests made to the court by a movant party (i.e., the party or person making the motion is a movant), and the court will decide whether to grant or deny the motion. Motions are sometimes very complicated, full of legal language, and have to be submitted in a certain format and within certain time limits. An experienced DUI lawyer will know which motions are applicable to your DUI case and whether you should make them in your defense.

Contact Our Office Today

DUI trial strategy is an important aspect of your DUI criminal defense, and an experienced DUI criminal trial attorney can help you through this process. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately if you need assistance with your case. We are happy to help you today.

 

Source:

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

Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top