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Archive for the ‘DUI arrest’ tag

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

My Child Was in the Car During a DUI Arrest. Now What?

July 16th, 2018 at 6:54 am

adult DUI, child endangerment, DUI arrest, Illinois DUI laws, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyFor most parents, their children’s safety is a top priority in their life. Even with the best of intentions, parents can make mistakes that put their own safety and their children’s at risk. For some Illinois parents, a child might face a greater risk of injury because of an adult driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When this happens, a parent might have more to worry about than a pending driving under the influence (DUI) charge. There can be greater consequences for a DUI charge when there is a minor child present in the vehicle.

DUI Law in Illinois

In Illinois, a driver can be charged with a DUI if they are operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more. A DUI charge brings the risk of potential jail time, fines, court costs, probation, or even court-mandated alcohol treatment. When a driver is charged with a DUI when their child is in the car, child endangerment laws also come into consideration. In Illinois, child endangerment results any time that a minor’s welfare is put in harm’s way because of the reckless behavior of a parent or guardian. In the most extreme cases involving child endangerment, a parent or guardian could even have his or her parental rights terminated because of the endangerment.

All states try to look out for the best interests of minor children. As such, each state has its own laws pertaining to DUIs and minor children. In Illinois, a driver who is charged with a DUI with a minor child present will be charged with a DUI and child endangerment. In the event that a defendant is not charged with child endangerment right away, the state’s attorney reserves the right to add the charge against the defendant after further review.

For the purpose of DUI laws and minor children, in Illinois a minor child is someone that is under the age of 16. While 16 is not traditionally the age in which a child is no longer considered a minor, Illinois courts and legislators have determined that a 16-year-old has the ability to think freely and therefore not get in the vehicle with an intoxicated adult. Additionally, the more offenses a defendant has in his or her history, the harsher the punishment will be.

We Can Help You Today

If you have been charged with a DUI and your child was present resulting in an additional child endangerment charge, you need a dedicated and skilled attorney. A skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley is here to help you. Don’t let one mistake ruin your life, or your child’s life. Contact us today for a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt.+12C&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=32050000&SeqEnd=32750000

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

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

Illinois Marijuana DUI Law: What Happens If I Am Charged?

April 14th, 2017 at 7:00 am

marijuana DUI law, Rolling Meadows DUI lawyerOperating a vehicle under the influence of any drug or combination of drugs is illegal in Illinois. Even though medical marijuana is legal with a valid medical card in Illinois, the state previously had a zero-tolerance policy regarding the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in one’s system.

Governor Rauner signed SB 2228 into law which made changes to the Illinois DUI statute. Instead of investigating whether there are trace amounts of THC in a defendant’s blood, this new law creates a tiered system for impairment.

The new law dictates that it is now illegal to drive or be in actual control of a vehicle with more than 5ng of THC per ml of a person’s blood or bodily substance. Officials have determined this level is close in proximity to the .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) level for driving under the influence.

While this change in the law leaves some uncertainty in the community, it corrected a legal paradox where a person could be charged with a DUI for cannabis that he or she may have smoked or consumed over a month prior. 

I Have My Medical Marijuana Card

Illinois is an implied consent state, which means that when you applied for a medical marijuana card and were approved, you thus automatically consented to a field sobriety test. If a driver with a medical marijuana card refuses a field sobriety test after being pulled for reckless driving, he or she may have his or her license suspended or revoked.  If the arresting officer suspects that the reason for the reckless driving was the medical marijuana, the officer may testify at trial as to the defendant’s appearance of impairment.

Are the Penalties the Same?

If you are arrested for an offense while being legally impaired by THC and driving a vehicle, Illinois traffic laws apply. For example, a reckless driving citation is not less reckless even though the THC that caused the reckless driving was legal under Illinois state law for medicinal purposes. The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol vary depending on the circumstances surrounding each case. Most DUI penalties carry hefty fines and usually involve the suspension of one’s license. After a DUI arrest, a driver’s license is automatically suspended for 180 days.

I Have Been Arrested for a DUI. What is My First Step?

A DUI arrest for drugs or alcohol is a serious charge that no one should face alone. Contact an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200.  Take advantage of our 24-hour answering service.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/99/SB/09900SB2228enr.htm

First Time DUI Offender in Illinois? Here’s What You Can Expect to Happen

March 6th, 2017 at 9:51 am

first time DUI offender, Rolling Meadows DUI lawyerBeing arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can be scary, especially if you are a first time offender. You are likely unfamiliar with the DUI arrest and charging process, have little idea what happens next, and could use assistance to get through the process. Do not worry: an experienced criminal defense lawyer is able to help you throughout each step of your case.

What Can You Expect Happens Next?

Driver’s License Suspension. Once you have been booked and have had a chance to find a criminal defense lawyer, your driver’s license will be revoked. Driver’s license revocation is an automatic consequence of a DUI charge. If you quickly find a lawyer after being arrested for DUI, your lawyer can get to work preparing a petition for a hearing to rescind your driver’s license suspension.

First time DUI offenders also are able to apply for a monitoring device driving permit, which involves the installation of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device at the offender’s own expense that enables them to drive.

Arraignment Hearing. Shortly after the arrest, you will also have a hearing where the charges against you will be made clear. At this court appearance, your lawyer officially declares that he or she is your legal representative.

Strategy. You will talk with your lawyer and figure out what is the best criminal defense strategy for you. In some cases, it makes the most sense to work out a plea bargain with the prosecution. Other times, it makes the most sense to fight the charges that are pending against you. You may have a valid defense and believe that taking your case to court is the best option. Your lawyer will fight for you regardless of which path you choose.

Pre-trial Motions. If you decide to go on with a criminal trial, your lawyer will then work together with the prosecution to exchange evidence and other relevant materials so that your lawyer can prepare pre-trial motions. Pre-trial motions are motions to the court in advance of an actual criminal trial that attack certain deficiencies in the case. The point of pretrial motions is to either get the case dismissed or to prepare the case better for trial.

Criminal Trial. Next, you will have your criminal trial. This will be the formal trial where the elements of the alleged crime will be demonstrated (or not) by the prosecution, and your defense to your charges will be presented by your lawyer. You trial might be a jury trial or simple a trial before a judge. After the trial has concluded, a verdict will be rendered concerning your guilt or innocence.

Sentencing Hearing. If you are found guilty, there will be a sentencing hearing where the consequences of your DUI conviction will be handed down to you. At this hearing, your lawyer will work hard to present mitigating factors and other reasons why the judge should be lenient in your sentencing.

First Time DUI Offenders Should Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

First time DUI offenders need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help them fight their charges. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer immediately for assistance with your case.

Source:

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

Can I be Arrested for DUI if I Am in My Vehicle, But Not Driving?

January 18th, 2017 at 8:30 am

arrested for DUI, Rolling Meadows DUI LawyerOne interesting scenario that people often ask about is whether you can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol when you are in the vehicle, but not actually driving the vehicle. The logic is simple: If you are not driving the vehicle while intoxicated, how can you be considered to be “driving under the influence?”

Countless criminal defendants have been arrested by Illinois law enforcement for DUI when they were not actually engaged in driving the vehicle. In fact, an arrest can take place after law enforcement finds an intoxicated driver stopped at the scene of an accident, or after an officer finds a driver passed out behind the wheel of a stopped, or even parked, vehicle.  

Driving or in Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle

Under 625 ILCS 5/11-501, a person shall not drive or be in actual control of a vehicle in Illinois while intoxicated to the point of being incapable of driving safely. The part of the law that confuses many is the “in actual control of a vehicle” language of the statute.

“In actual control of a vehicle” is purposely broad in scope, as it is meant to make intoxicated driving as broad a crime as possible. Many scenarios fall within the scope of “in actual control of a vehicle” while under the influence, such as:

  • Being found by law enforcement in a condition where you are too drunk to drive, but you were just sitting in your car for a while until you felt sober enough to drive. If you have the keys, you are in actual control of the vehicle and can be charged with a DUI;
  • Being found passed out in your parked vehicle with the engine off due to intoxication. If you have the keys and you are drunk, you can be charged with a DUI. Circumstances might be different if you are sleeping it off responsibly in the back seat of your car, with no keys in your possession; and
  • Sitting in your vehicle while the engine is off after being involved in an accident. It does not matter if the accident was a single vehicle accident or a multi-vehicle accident; if you are intoxicated and behind the wheel at an accident, you may be charged with a DUI.  

The main takeaway is that if you are intoxicated in your vehicle, it is critically important that you do not have your keys. Possession or easy access to your keys while you are intoxicated in your vehicle is a significant factor when the courts consider if you were in actual control of the vehicle while you were intoxicated for the purposes of DUI charges.

If you are facing a DUI charge because law enforcement found you in your vehicle while in an intoxicated state, even though you were not driving and the motor was not running, you need to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to fight your DUI charges.

Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you are facing DUI charges, an experienced DUI lawyer will know how best to proceed with your case. Please do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer immediately for assistance with your case.

Source:

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

Police Performing Community Caretaking Function Can Arrest for DUI

June 6th, 2016 at 8:27 am

Illinois arrest for DUI, community caretaking function, Rolling Meadows DUI LawyerGenerally speaking, police need to have a good reason—probable cause—to make a traffic stop. Otherwise the traffic stop is an illegal seizure under the Fourth Amendment. However, there are limited exceptions to the prohibition against illegal seizures, and one of those exceptions arises when police are acting in their community caretaking function.

Police Officers As Community Caretakers

The community caretaking function of a police officer occurs when an officer engages in an activity, other than the investigation of a crime, that helps those in the community. A few examples include helping lost children find their parents, responding to non-criminal calls such as helping people, assisting with missing person cases, or helping drunk citizens return to their homes (presuming that the drunk individuals are not violating the law).

The Community Caretaker Exception to Search and Seizure

In order for the community caretaking exception to the Fourth Amendment to apply, the police officer must be engaging in an activity or job duty other than the investigation of a crime, and the search and seizure must be reasonable and undertaken with the purpose of protecting the public or promoting safety.  

Community Caretaker and DUI Example

Very infrequently does a police officer stumble upon a person who is drunk behind the wheel, but who is not in fact driving. Still, this can happen, and it has happened in the past. In The People v. McDonough, a police officer came across McDonough’s vehicle on the side of the road. The officer stopped to check if the driver was ok. The officer turned on his lights, and proceeded like a traffic stop—he approached the vehicle and asked the driver questions. During questioning, the officer noted evidence of alcohol intoxication on the driver’s breath and asked the driver to participate in field sobriety testing. The driver failed these tests and then refused to submit to a breathalyzer test. McDonough was arrested for DUI, and the Illinois Supreme Court found that the police officer’s stop was not a violation of McDonough’s Constitutional rights because of the community caretaker exception.

When the officer turned on his lights, he engaged in a seizure of the driver. However, since the officer was looking into the vehicle that was stopped on the side of the road as a community caretaker, rather than as an officer investigating a crime, the police officer’s seizure, or traffic stop, was legal. Therefore, the resulting DUI charges were based on a legal stop and seizure. Furthermore, the evidence of the alcohol on the driver’s breath was obtained through a valid search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment community caretaker exception, and thus could not be excluded at trial.

When You Need a DUI Defense Lawyer

There are exceptions to the search and seizure protections offered by the U.S. Constitution. If you are facing DUI charges, please contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer immediately. We are happy to help you today.

Sources:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/fourth_amendment

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/opinions/supremecourt/2010/november/109489.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=81900000&SeqEnd=84800000

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