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Archive for the ‘DUI defense’ tag

Boating While Impaired in Illinois

September 20th, 2018 at 11:34 am

Cook County boating while intoxicated lawyerIn Illinois, we are lucky to be located near Lake Michigan and other smaller lakes that are sprinkled throughout the state. Nice weather often calls for days spent with family and friends on a boat. For most people, these fun activities often involve the enjoyment of alcoholic beverages. However, what most people do not think about is the potential that they may face criminal charges while driving or operating a boat under the influence of alcohol.

What Is Boating Under the Influence?

In Illinois, the same law applies to boating under the influence of alcohol as for driving under the influence (DUI). If you are operating a boat with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08%, you can be charged with DUI. Additionally, operating a boat under the influence of drugs can also result in a DUI charge.

Picture the vessel in which you suspect a person would get in trouble for boating under the influence. Is it a speedboat? A person can be charged with boating under the influence when operating any number of different vessels, including yachts, sailboats, personal watercrafts, fishing boats, etc. Do not get fooled into thinking you are safe from a DUI charge just because you are not on a speedboat on the lake.

Who Can Test Me?

The law in Illinois dictates that a person consents to be tested for drugs and alcohol when they choose to operate their boat on the water. A person may refuse to participate in a drug or alcohol detection test, but that refusal will likely lead to an arrest and suspension of boating privileges for up to two years.

Boats can be “pulled over” just like cars on land if law enforcement suspects that you are operating your boat under the influence of alcohol. Busy days on the water and popular holidays can even lead to a checkpoint being set up to find those who are operating their boat under the influence.

Consequences of Boating Under the Influence

Just like a DUI in a car, a DUI on a boat can land an individual in a world of trouble. Driver’s license suspension, jail time, fines and costs, and probation are just a few of the penalties that can result from a boating under the influence charge. Additionally, multiple offenses will cause a boat driver to be in more trouble and face steeper sentences.

Contact a Cook County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a DUI for boating under the influence, dedicated Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley can help you understand your options for defending against these charges. Contact us at 847-394-3200 to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

Sources:

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

Understanding the Ramifications of Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Illinois

October 23rd, 2017 at 6:21 am

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

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

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

Warning Required

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

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

Why Some People Opt to Decline the Breathalyzer Test

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

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

Speak to a Rolling Meadows DUI Defense Attorney Today

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

Source:

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

Strategies for Prevailing in Your DUI Case

October 20th, 2017 at 11:50 am

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

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

Ways to Prevail Against the Government

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

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

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

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

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

Speak to a Rolling Meadows DUI Defense Attorney Right Away

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

Source:

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

Can a Sleeping Driver be Arrested for DUI in Illinois?

September 27th, 2017 at 7:26 pm

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

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

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

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

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

Key factors include whether the individual:

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

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

How Can I Avoid a DUI Charge While Parked?

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

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

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

Source:

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

DUI and Driverless Cars

May 17th, 2017 at 7:27 am

driverless cars, Rolling Meadows DUI Defense AttorneyWith technology becoming more of an integral part in our vehicles, the prospect of having our roadways dominated by self-driving cars is inching closer to reality. It is not hard to identify the perks of driverless cars. Fewer accidents and less road rage incidents are what some autonomous car designers are pointing to with their investors.

One major issue developers are hoping for is that driverless cars will help solve, if not eradicate, the issue of drunk driving. In theory, one would be able get into his or her self-driving car, push some buttons, and have his or her car deliver the individual safely to his or her destination.

Yet one of the looming questions about whether a person in a driverless car is operating the vehicle for the purposes of a DUI law is the question of who is actually in control.

Autopilot or No Pilot?

One of the first instances of a fatal car accident involving a driverless car was the case where a man was killed inside of an autonomous Tesla. The individual had the car on autopilot when the accident happened. Tesla pointed to the fact that even though the car was in autopilot mode, the driver was still required to have his or her hands on the steering wheel and was responsible for the trajectory of the car.

The legal question then becomes, when a car is on autopilot who is controlling the car? Is the liability and or responsibility that of the manufacturer of the software or the driver who gave the car the directions of where to go?

DUI Law and Physical Control

DUI laws across the nation generally have one factor in common: laws require a person to be in actual physical control of a vehicle for him or her to be guilty of a DUI. This can present a legal paradox. Currently, if a police officer sees a car swerving erratically, there is little question with regard to who is in control of the car. Yet how will the same play out when a driver insists a car was driving itself?

Although autonomous vehicles are still a relatively new design, with little legal precedent set as of yet, it is not likely that the “car was doing the driving,” excuse is going to get you out of hot water.

Rolling Meadows DUI Defense

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, please understand the seriousness of the charge. A DUI conviction can land you in jail, get your license suspended, or prevent you from getting certain professional licenses. Contact your Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley to schedule your consultation. Call 847-394-3200 today.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/02/business/joshua-brown-technology-enthusiast-tested-the-limits-of-his-tesla.html

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

Choosing a DUI Defense Lawyer: What You Should Know

December 23rd, 2016 at 9:20 am

Choosing a DUI Defense Lawyer, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyIf you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in Illinois, it is critically important that you fight the criminal charges that are pending against you. In order to do that, you will need an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney by your side fighting for you the whole way. These are important charges that you need to get reduced or dismissed—the consequences of being convicted for a DUI are life-altering and long-lasting. At worst, a lawyer can simply ensure that you receive fair treatment under the law. Consider the following when looking for a DUI defense attorney.

An Attorney Who is Qualified and Experienced

If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important to hire an attorney who is experienced in handling DUI defenses just like yours. An experienced DUI criminal defense attorney will know the specifics of the law, will understand the criminal court system, and will listen to you as you explain what happened that caused you to get arrested. The outcome of your defense will impact your life in a big way. Do not put your fate into the hands of an inexperienced attorney.

Consider Interviewing Prospective Lawyers

Do not be afraid to request an interview with a few criminal defense attorneys that you are considering hiring. Conducting an interview will give you a chance to meet the attorney in person and have an initial conversation together. Conducting an interview is a great opportunity to determine if the attorney will really listen to you, and can help you determine if he or she is a good communicator.

What is the Cost?

It is a good idea to figure out up front how a criminal defense attorney will be paid for his or her time and what that time will cost you. You will want a lawyer who is appropriately priced for your particular circumstances, and you should get a better understanding about how your lawyer will bill you before he or she begins working on your defense.

Get a Lawyer Who Will Explore All of Your Legal Options

Having options is good.  It is best to work with a criminal defense attorney who will consider all of the legal options that are available to you. It is even better if your attorney can tell you about the pros and cons of each legal option you have, and the likelihood of success that each option offers you.

Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

When you need to hire a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney to help you with your DUI defense, make sure that you take some time to figure out which attorney is right for you. Criminal defense attorneys are not all alike, and you may find that you can work better with a certain attorney, rather than others.

Source:

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

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