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Archive for the ‘Illinois DUI’ tag

Illinois’ Marijuana DUI Law Not Changed by Legislators

July 18th, 2014 at 7:58 am

According to an article recently published, state legislators in Illinois will likely not address issues brought up by the inclusion of marijuana in the state’s DUI law until next year. Currently, the law allows law enforcement to charge drivers with a DUI who were driving under the drug’s influence, even when no evidence of impairment exists. Many are joining in an effort to change this portion of the DUI law in Illinois.

A Bill to Change the Law

A bill was drafted to address the issue and was sponsored by a Senator from Chicago. Although it was recently returned to the Senate committee, likely for the rest of the General Assembly’s current session, supporters are adamant that it will not be forgotten. The plan is to reintroduce the bill next session. Many supporters of the bill are saying the reason for the delay is due to the perception that the bill may be moving backwards in DUI enforcement. Because of this perception, it may take some time for the proposal to gain support.

The bill would seek to change the DUI law by not imposing a DUI charge if any amount of illegal drug is found in a person’s system, but instead imposing a separate criminal offense if the presence of a drug was detected in a person’s system. Many are supporting the bill, but acknowledge that it may require some minor changes to gain enough support to pass. One such change may be to focus the proposed change only on marijuana and not any other illegal drug.

Current Law

Under the relevant Illinois DUI law currently, a driver can be charged with driving under the influence of marijuana if any trace of the drug is detected in his or her blood or urine. The problem is that traces of marijuana can be found in a person’s system several weeks after they actually used the drug. The law does not require prosecutors to prove that a driver was impaired by the drug that he previously ingested, only that traces of the drug were found in his system at the time he was operating a vehicle.

This law is having profound and sometimes tragic outcomes for those charged with a DUI. Numerous defendants have been charged with aggravated DUI causing death under the marijuana portion of the DUI law, and have been sentenced to years in jail as a result.

DUI Defense Attorney

While the bill has not yet passed, many supporters are considering the simple discussion of the issue a positive step towards addressing it. If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI in Illinois, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have successfully represented clients in DUI cases. Contact our experienced Cook County criminal defense lawyers today for a consultation to discuss your case. We serve clients in Cook and DuPage Counties.

Fatal Rollover Crash Case finally solved from 2011

July 21st, 2012 at 4:00 pm

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the Riverside police have cracked the case about a car crash that left one man from Woodbridge dead and one woman from Cicero slightly injured.  Back on December 7th of 2011, Magali Padilla, 24, and Cesar Ramirez, 26, were on their way home from dinner.  Police supposed that from the scene of the crash, the 2003 Mercury Mountaineer was moving at a high rate of speed when it hit a curb and proceeded to roll over multiple times.  The force of the crash ended up ejecting Ramirez from the vehicle as the SUV came to a halt on someone’s front lawn.

When police arrived at the scene they noticed a strong smell of alcohol from both Padilla and Ramirez.  Padilla was given a breathalyzer test and registered a .017, which is two times the legal limit in Illinois.  Both Padilla and Ramirez were transported to Loyola University Medical Center where Ramirez was pronounced deceased shortly after arrival.  Yet from the date of the crash up to July 7th of this year the authorities in Riverside were not sure if they could charge anyone.

Police Chief Thomas Weitzel assured the public that his department was working non-stop since the alcohol-fueled car accident.  The officers were responsible for reviewing scene evidence, hospital records, witness testimony, and hours of video surveillance.  It was by reviewing the video camera tape that the Riverside police finally solved the case.  Padilla and Ramirez were driving from a restaurant as caught on tape at 11:40 pm on December 7th, 2011.  The video revealed that Padilla was driving the vehicle and not Ramirez.

This revelation resulted in Magali Padilla being charged with reckless homicide and aggravated drunken driving.  On July 8th, 2012 Cook County Criminal Court Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. ordered Padilla to be held on $35,000 bail.  DWI defense is complicated and often requires the finesse of a skilled DWI defense attorney in Cook County, IL.  If you have been affected by a DWI charge do not wait another day.

DuPage County Judge Sentences Man to Six Years for Fatal DUI Crash

May 7th, 2012 at 10:42 am

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a DuPage County Judge recently sentenced 40-year-old Jeffrey Fisher to six years in prison for the 2011 drunk driving accident that killed his girlfriend, 30-year-old Eva Meyers of Carol Stream. With a .15 blood-alcohol level at 3:00 a.m. on July 3, 2011, Fisher drove his pickup truck through the warning gates at an Itasca railroad crossing, where he struck a freight train traveling at about 40 miles per hour. In addition to his intoxication, Fisher was driving on a suspended license at the time of the accident. While Fisher could have received a maximum 10-year prison sentence on an aggravated DUI charge, he pled guilty to the charge and received only six years.

The consequences of driving while intoxicated can be extremely serious for all parties involved. Not only can you face severe criminal penalties for illegal behavior, but you risk your life, the life of any passengers, and the lives of other drivers and pedestrians.

Like Jeffrey Fisher, though, we are human and we all make mistakes. If you are charged with DUI or a related crime, you should immediately contact an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney for help with your case. Your lawyer may be able to uncover a legitimate defense on your behalf, or find errors in police work that can result in the lessening of the charges against you, or even dismissal of the DUI charges altogether. Call our office today for a thorough evaluation of your case, and see what we can do for you.

 

U.S. Authorities Locate Suspect in Fatal Illinois DUI Case in South Korea

April 17th, 2012 at 10:46 pm

In 1996, Kyung Ho Song was charged with DUI and reckless homicide after he drunkenly plowed into a broken-down station wagon on Lake Street in Bartlett, instantly killing Ecuadoran immigrant Sonia Naranjo. Song told a Cook County court that he was was a shoe store manager making $12,000 annually, and was released after posting a $2,500 bail bond deposit. In reality, Song owned a strip mall, a large home in Schaumburg, and additional commercial property valued at over $1 million. Less than two years after the incident, Song had liquidated all of his assets, withdrawn his guilty plea to the criminal charges, and fled the U.S. for his native South Korea.

Some 15 years later, the Chicago Tribune reporters contacted Cook County authorities about the case that had lain dormant for years. The police resumed their search for Song, and in December, 2011, located him living in Seoul, South Korea. Although law enforcement officials state that they intend to pursue the case, they have not yet taken any action to contact South Korea about extraditing Song. It is unclear at this point whether any extradition efforts would be successful.

As this case illustrates, criminal charges, especially when severe in nature, can follow a person for the rest of his or her life. Song still faces the possibility of extradition and incarceration for a crime committed 15 years ago. Likewise, if you are convicted of a crime, your criminal conviction will become a permanent part of your criminal history in most instances.

If you are charged with any type of crime in Illinois, and especially very serious crimes, you should take every effort to avoid a criminal conviction. In order to have the best chance of avoiding a conviction, contact a top Cook county, Illinois criminal defense attorney for assistance.

Chicago White Sox Will Not Partake in Alcohol Ban

March 24th, 2012 at 5:04 am

While alcohol has long played a role in professional sports – both for the players and the fans – some Major League Baseball (MLB) teams have made the decision to ban alcohol from the players clubhouse. However, Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura recently reported to ESPN Chicago that the team will not be joining teams such as the Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Colorado Rockies, and Chicago Cubs in prohibiting players from drinking in the clubhouse. Ventura simply stated that he doesn’t have a reason to change the White Sox policy that allows alcohol, but that he would change the policy if “it needs to change.”

The alcohol ban may stem in part from multiple drunk driving accidents involving professional athletes. In 1999, Carolina Hurricanes star Steven Chiasson was killed while in a drunk driving crash after leaving the clubhouse with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than three times the legal limit. Similarly, four years ago, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock was also killed in an alcohol-related accident after leaving Busch Stadium following a game.

It’s not just professional athletes who make the decision to drink and drive. Many sports fans, whether at the game or in a sports bar, tend to drink to excess, which can result in dangerous situations and serious legal consequences. If you or a loved one is accused of driving under the influence (DUI) or causing an accident while under the influence of alcohol in Illinois, you should not hesitate to contact a top Naperville DUI defense lawyer right away. It’s important to immediately take the appropriate steps to safeguard your legal rights and minimize the legal penalties you could face for a potential drunk driving conviction in Illinois.

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