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Archive for the ‘field sobriety test’ tag

Do I Need to Participate in a Field Sobriety Test?

March 9th, 2018 at 7:18 am

drunk driving, DUI charge, field sobriety test, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, DUI attorneyRed, white, and blue represent freedom in the United States, but those take on a completely different meaning when you see them flashing in the rearview mirror of your car. Being pulled over can be scary and you might not be sure what to expect. If a police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence of alcohol, a simple traffic stop turns into much more.

Illinois Field Sobriety Tests

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a study to determine what sobriety tests are the most effective in determining if a suspect is driving under the influence. Illinois uses “Standardized Field Sobriety Tests” on individuals to determine their intoxication. It is imperative that individuals understand what these tests are so that they are better equipped should a situation arise when they are faced with the question of participating in them.

  • Walk and Turn: This is a test that officers use to judge your balance and if you stagger while you walk. This test requires that you walk in a straight line, heel to toe, for nine paces and then turn around and walk back to the start. Arms are kept at your side, and the officer may instruct you to count the steps (one through nine) out loud.
  • One Leg Stand: This test also judges your balance and ability to follow directions. You will stand with your legs together and then the officer will instruct you to lift one leg off of the ground and stand there. Usually, the officer will instruct you to lift your foot six inches off the ground for up to 30 seconds.
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: This is a more “complex” test and it produces the most reliable results of the field sobriety tests. The officer will look for involuntary jerking of your eyes that is linked to alcohol consumption. The officer will move his finger, or a pen, from side to side and instruct you to follow it with your eyes.

Participation Requirements

Illinois law does not require you to participate in field sobriety tests. You are allowed to refuse any field sobriety test that the officer wants to conduct. There are no penalties for refusing the sobriety test. This is different than other states that will use this refusal to participate in a field sobriety test against you in further charges. Again, it is likely that you will be arrested after refusing a field sobriety test, but there are no further penalties associated with the refusal.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI, or submitted to field sobriety tests, but wish you had not, contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we will explore every option and defense that is available to you. Reach out to a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office today for immediate help with your case.

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

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