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Archive for the ‘DUI charges’ tag

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

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

Getting a DUI Can Lead to Mandatory Drug or Alcohol Treatment Program

March 29th, 2017 at 8:00 am

alcohol treatment program, Rolling Meadows DUI lawyerEveryone with a driver’s license should be aware that it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Illinois. Yet there are many individuals who choose to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Someone who is charged with a DUI in Illinois faces jail time, a serious fine, and a permanent criminal record if convicted. However, people  are often unaware that the court can impose additional punishments on a person convicted of a DUI. In particular, the court is likely to require someone who is convicted of a DUI to complete a mandatory drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. Completion of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program is also often a stipulation for getting your driving privileges reinstated in Illinois or as a condition of your probation.

Court-Ordered Drug or Alcohol Rehabilitation Programming

For an individual that the court views as having a drug or alcohol dependency problem, the court will order that the convicted individual complete a mandatory drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. Oftentimes, the drug and alcohol rehabilitation program is in lieu of jail time, but there are many instances where the judge sentences a defendant to both jail time and the mandatory rehabilitation program.

The program must be completed with a licensed treatment center and the cost of the program must be borne by the criminal defendant. There are several qualifying treatment centers from which to choose. Therefore, if you would be more comfortable attending a treatment program that is, for example, strictly for women, works exclusively with adolescents, or that has a religious affiliation, then this may be possible.

In less serious DUI cases, the court may require only that the convicted criminal defendant participate in a drug and alcohol remedial education program, instead of a treatment program. The purpose of these programs is to educate and help those individuals who have committed criminal acts, such as driving under the influence, as a result of their drug or alcohol use.

Fight the DUI Charges

Fighting your DUI charges is your best shot at avoiding a conviction for driving under the influence. If your DUI charges are dismissed, then you will not have to face jail time, fines, or be required to participate in a drug and alcohol education or rehabilitation program. For many people, a DUI is often the result of exercising temporary poor judgement. Someone who does not have a substance or alcohol abuse may not need a drug and alcohol educational program or rehabilitation program.

Contact Us for Help Today

There are exceptions to the search and seizure protections offered by the U.S. Constitution. If you are facing DUI charges, please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer for assistance with your case.

Source:

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

Illinois Traffic Stops Must be Based on a Reasonable and Articulable Belief of a Traffic Violation

June 8th, 2016 at 11:08 am

Illinois traffic stops, Rolling Meadows DUI LawyerA police officer simply cannot stop you in Illinois on the grounds of drunk driving. Rather, law enforcement is not permitted to make a traffic stop without a reasonable and articulable belief that the driver has violated a traffic law, i.e., a reasonable suspicion that a law was broken. Stopping a driver for anything short of a reasonable and articulable belief that the driver has violated a traffic law would be an illegal seizure of the driver, which is a violation of the driver’s Fourth Amendment rights. Many people who are facing a DUI may be facing charges that are based on no actual violation of a traffic law. When there is no evidence of a reasonable and articulable belief that the driver broke the law, it means that the traffic stop was illegal.

How Do DUI Charges Come About?

Once a legal traffic stop has been made, a police officer can then witness evidence or facts that could lead the officer to believe that the driver was recently drinking alcohol, at which point a police officer can make allegations that the driver is driving while under the influence. Police can make a DUI arrest when they have a probable cause to believe that the driver broke the law. However, that is not to say that a driver may have engaged in activity while behind the wheel that made police suspicious as to whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol. There is a line between violating a traffic law and conducting oneself in a legal fashion, and sometimes police make mistakes about where that line is drawn.  

By way of a few examples, swerving within your own lane of traffic is not an illegal act. You might have been avoiding a pothole or other hazard in the road, weather conditions, such as a strong wind, might push your vehicle within your lane of traffic, or you might not have been paying close attention to your driving momentarily. However, as long as you stay in your own lane, you have not broken any traffic laws. Conversely, if you swerve between lanes of traffic in a dangerous or reckless way, or across a double yellow line into oncoming traffic, then you have committed a traffic violation and police can make a traffic stop.

Other reasons to make a traffic stop include:

  • Speeding violations;
  • Failing to comply with traffic signs and signals;
  • Driver or passenger is not wearing a seat belt; and
  • Equipment violations, such as a broken tail light.

Let Us Assist You Today

Police must have a reason for pulling a driver over to do an investigatory traffic stop. If other facts present themselves to the officer that lead the officer to believe that the driver is driving while under the influence, then the officer can make a DUI arrest. If you are facing DUI charges, do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI attorney for professional assistance with your case.

Sources:

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

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-601

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K12-603.1

Illinois One-Act One-Crime Doctrine

February 16th, 2016 at 7:00 am

one-act one-crime doctrine, robbery, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyWhen formally charged, a criminal defendant may be surprised to learn just how many different charges are filed against him or her for a single alleged crime. Someone who is arrested for driving under the influence might face DUI charges and reckless driving charges. Someone who gets into a physical altercation with law enforcement might be charged with aggravated battery of a peace officer and obstructing a peace officer.

Illinois employs what is referred to as the one-act, one-crime doctrine. Under this doctrine, for any one physical act or crime committed by a criminal defendant, he or she can only be convicted of one crime. However, that does not mean that the criminal defendant will not face a number of charges. Criminal defense lawyers work to either get charges dropped completely, or reduced to lesser crimes, which carry less severe consequences.

You May Face a Number of Criminal Charges

Many have heard the expression of ‘throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.’ Prosecutors often take this approach when pressing charges against criminal defendants. This is because under Illinois law, a defendant can only be convicted of an offense with which he or she has been charged. As such, prosecutors will charge a criminal defendant with as many crimes as fit the particular circumstances surrounding the alleged offense. For instance, it is not uncommon for criminal defendants who are arrested for driving under the influence to be charged with both DUI charges, under 625 ILCS 5/11-501, and reckless driving, under 625 ILCS 5/11-503. The DUI charges are the more serious offense, while reckless driving is a lesser offense.

Prosecutors often also charge criminal defendants with lesser included offenses. Lesser included offenses refers to situations where each of the elements required for establishing liability for a minor, or lesser, crime are necessarily required to establish liability for a more serious crime. Armed robbery, under 720 ILCS 18-2, is an example of a serious crime, and robbery, under 720 ILCS 18-1, is a lesser included charge commonly charged in conjunction with armed robbery. Armed robbery is the greater crime, while robbery is the lesser crime in this example.

In order to establish liability for armed robbery, the prosecution would necessarily have to establish liability for robbery. While not all the elements might exist to convict a criminal defendant of armed robbery, the elements for robbery may exist, and the criminal defendant can be convicted on the charge of robbery.

You Will Only Be Convicted of One Charge

Despite being charged with multiple crimes, a criminal defendant will only be convicted of one crime per physical act or crime. For example, while you can be charged with both robbery and armed robbery, you cannot be convicted of both armed robbery and robbery. Instead, you will only be convicted of one crime or the other, if you are convicted at all.

We Can Provide You with Exceptional Representation

Being charged with a crime is scary and daunting. Please do not hesitate to contact a skilled and compassionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office immediately if you are facing criminal charges. We will fight to get your charges dismissed or reduced if possible. Call us today at 847-394-3200.

Source:

https://casetext.com/case/people-v-kolton-1

DUI Charges: False Positives for Chemical Breath Tests

December 10th, 2015 at 9:17 am

Illinois DUI attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney, In Illinois, if you use the highways or roadways, you are considered to have given consent to chemical testing if you are arrested for driving under the influence under Illinois’ implied consent laws. A chemical test can either be a breath test, blood analysis, or a urine test, all of which are used to determine the blood alcohol concentration of a suspected drunk driver. You have a right to refuse to submit to chemical testing, but there are consequences for doing so, such as the automatic suspension of your driver’s license for refusal under 625 ILCS 5/6-203.1.

You would think that if you have not been drinking, then you would have nothing to fear in submitting to a chemical test, but this is not necessarily the case. There are a number of substances you can legally consume that can produce a false positive on your chemical test. Even if you have not been drinking alcohol, a false positive will cause you to be arrested for driving under the influence.

Breath Tests

Law enforcement frequently use a chemical testing method referred to as a breathalyzer test to put an estimate on a driver’s blood alcohol concentration. These tests work by assessing the amount of alcohol in the breath sample – and cannot distinguish the source of the alcohol.

Technical Problems Can Contribute to False Positives

A number of technical problems can produce a false positive breathalyzer reading. These are problems that have nothing to do with the suspected driver’s actions or behavior. Instead, these problems include the following issues:

  • Law enforcement failed to properly administer the breathalyzer test according to protocol;
  • The breathalyzer device malfunctioned; or
  • The breathalyzer device has not been properly calibrated.

Any of these technical problems could result in a false positive breathalyzer test reading, which could land you unfairly in jail for driving under the influence.

Substances That Can Contribute to False Positives

A variety of commonly consumed alcohol-based products have the potential to trigger a false positive in a breathalyzer test:

  • Some over-the-counter and prescription cough medicine have a high alcohol concentration, which can vaporize on the breath;
  • Certain mouthwash products and breath sprays have a high alcohol concentration to them;
  • Some alcohol-based acne treatment products that are used around the mouth and lips could contribute to a breathalyzer false positive; and
  • Some cosmetic products used for the lips can have alcohol components that can be detected by a breathalyzer test.

The alcohol in these products can vaporize and be carried with the suspect’s breath into the breathalyzer device, thus artificially inflating the actual alcohol content of the suspect’s breath.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Even if you blow a false positive on a breathalyzer test, you will be arrested for driving under the influence, and you will need to consult with an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If you believe that your breathalyzer test results were incorrect, your lawyer will need to get to work collecting the evidence to support your claim. Please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately. The attorneys at the the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are prepared to assist you. You can reach out to us today by calling (847) 394-3200.

 

Sources:

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

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

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