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Archive for the ‘Rolling Meadows defense attorney’ tag

What Sobriety Tests can Drivers Refuse When Pulled Over for a DUI?

March 12th, 2020 at 9:38 am

IL DUI attorney, IL defense lawyerProsecutors in Kane County will be stepping up their DUI patrols during the weekend just before St. Patrick’s Day. While this is the 25th year in a row that Kane County has conducted these patrols known as “No Refusal” patrols, there is an important change this year.

When a driver is pulled over for a suspected DUI and refuses to submit to a chemical test, such as the breathalyzer, they will automatically lose their driver’s license for one year. Law enforcement will then contact an on-call judge that can issue an immediate warrant for the test. If the suspected driver still refuses, the test can be taken forcefully, and the driver can even face charges of obstruction of justice. The news of the patrols, and the change, has many drivers asking when they can refuse a test, and what type of test they can refuse if pulled over for a DUI.

Refusing Chemical Tests

Chemical tests used to prove that a driver is operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater can include breath tests, blood tests, and urine tests. Any time a driver is pulled over for a suspected DUI and refuses to submit to these tests, they will likely lose their license for one year. This is true in all counties, and at any time of the year.

This penalty drivers face is due to Illinois’ implied consent laws. Implied consent means that any time a driver gets behind the wheel, they have already consented to a chemical test if law enforcement asks them to submit to one.

Even with the implied consent law and the penalty that results from refusing a test, it is usually advised that drivers refuse these tests. The results from these tests can provide the prosecution with the proof they need to secure a conviction and so, in most but not all cases it is advised that drivers refuse these tests. For example, due to the additional charge drivers may face in March in Kane County, when a subpoena has been obtained, drivers should submit to these tests.

Field Sobriety Tests

Another type of test law enforcement may ask drivers to submit to include field sobriety tests. These tests include the Walk-and-Turn test, the One-Leg Stand test, and more. These tests are highly subjective, rely largely on the officer’s own opinion, and are highly unreliable. Drivers can refuse these tests without fear of losing their driver’s license, but they will still likely be arrested for a DUI. Like chemical tests, it is advised that all drivers always refuse field sobriety tests so they do not provide the prosecution with evidence.

Our Illinois DUI Lawyer can Help with Your DUI Charges

If you are facing DUI charges, you need the help of our skilled Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Attorney Cosley has helped many clients beat their DUI charges and he will put that experience to work for you. After reviewing your case he will create a solid defense to give you the best chance of a successful outcome. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI, call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation and to learn more about how he can help.

 

Source:

https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20200217/kane-county-authorities-plan-no-refusal-dui-patrol-around-st-patricks-day-with-one-change

 

How to Argue the Evidence in a Domestic Violence Case

February 5th, 2020 at 3:42 pm

IL defense attorney, IL domestic violence lawyerDomestic violence cases pose many problems for both the prosecution and defense. One of the biggest challenges that arise in these cases pertains to evidence. Domestic violence typically takes place behind closed doors in a private home. As such, they are very difficult to prove for the prosecution, and there is always a challenge for the defense when attempting to prove that something never took place. Below are a few types of evidence that the prosecution may use in a domestic violence case, and how a criminal defense attorney may argue against them.

Physical Evidence

In domestic violence cases, the prosecution will rely heavily on physical evidence. This is because juries are more likely to believe facts rather than evidence that may be clouded by a person’s own biases or opinions. For this reason, the prosecution may use photographs of the alleged victim’s injuries, or of property that was used during the alleged act.

Although this type of evidence seems very damaging at first, an experienced criminal defense lawyer will know how to argue against it. For example, injuries depicted in photographs may have been sustained in an accident and not during a crime. Property may have been damaged as a result of being dropped on the ground, and not because it was used to hit another person.

Witness Testimony from Bystanders

Testimony provided by bystanders in domestic violence cases often relies on what a person heard rather than what they saw. Domestic violence rarely occurs out in the open when people can actually see what is happening. However, a neighbor may overhear an argument that they assume is part of domestic violence. When testimony relies on what a person heard, a defense attorney can argue that the event was simply an argument and that no physical violence actually took place.

Witness Testimony from the Alleged Victim

In many cases, the alleged victim may take the stand to testify against the alleged perpetrator. This evidence can seem very damaging at first, as they will likely tell a jury their version of events, and hope to gain sympathy. A criminal defense attorney will know how to refute this testimony as well. They may submit evidence such as text messages or emails that falsely accused the defendant in the past, or other evidence that can prove these claims are false.

Testimony from Police Officer

The police officer that visited the scene at the time of the alleged crime will play a central role in any domestic violence case. The prosecution will likely call the officer to testify about their observations once they arrived on the scene. This testimony is not always as damaging as the prosecution hopes.

For example, if the alleged victim does not testify, but the officer testifies about statements the victim made, those statements could be considered hearsay. Hearsay refers to the act of one person testifying about statements another person heard. Because this is not direct, or first-hand evidence, hearsay is generally considered inadmissible in court, which means the judge will instruct the jury to disregard that evidence.

Facing Charges? Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

It is never easy to face criminal charges, but those involving domestic violence are some of the worst. They can ruin a person’s reputation and worse for those convicted, they come with harsh penalties such as high fines and jail times. It is for this reason that if you have been accused of domestic violence, you must speak to a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, our attorney has the necessary experience to defend against these charges and give you the best chance of beating the charges. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ChapterID=59&ActID=2100

Obtaining an Out-of-State Licenses After Being Suspended in Illinois

January 16th, 2020 at 2:13 pm

suspended-licenseLaw enforcement departments in Illinois have noticed a disturbing trend. After being convicted of a DUI, individuals visit another state for the purpose of obtaining out-of-state licenses after being suspended in Illinois. A man in Romeoville just tried this exact ploy. After his license was suspended after being convicted of multiple DUIs, he visited Iowa to get a new one. After he did, he returned to Illinois before being pulled over and charged again with a DUI.

Police in Illinois say that this is not actually all that unusual. It is becoming a recurring trend and one that they obviously want to stop. Drivers that are thinking about trying the scheme should know that it comes with serious penalties.

The Driver’s License Interstate Compact

There is a reason people can simply go to another state to obtain a driver’s license after theirs is suspended in their home state. That reason is because of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact. This contract tells all states to uphold a driver’s license suspension, even if it occurred out of state. The only states that do not take part of the contract are Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Due to this, it is not known how so many people are going to states that neighbor Illinois and getting a license. However, for those that do, there are some real penalties that come with it.

Penalties for Obtaining a False License

If your driver’s license is suspended or revoked in Illinois, you are expected to stay off the roads, within the state and outside of it. If you are caught driving on a revoked or suspended license, even if you obtained a new license in a different state, there are consequences. The first of these is the penalty you will face for any driving infraction you were pulled over for. For example, in the most recent story, the man will face penalties for drunk driving.

However, you will also face penalties for driving with a false license. You may face a charge of a Class A misdemeanor, which has penalties of up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. You may also be charged, depending on the alleged crime, with a Class 4 felony. In this instance, you will face anywhere between one to three years in jail and a maximum fine of $25,000.

These consequences are very serious. Typically, the Secretary of State will determine whether or not you will face these charges, as law enforcement has requested in the most recent case.

Charged with Carrying a False License? Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a DUI, carrying a false license, or any other crime, you need the help of a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we know how to defend these charges, make sure your rights are upheld and give you the best chance of a positive outcome. Call us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation so we can start building you a strong defense, and so we can help with your case.

 

Source:

https://patch.com/illinois/lagrange/dui-suspect-got-false-license-riverside-cops

Can You Get Arrested for Speeding?

January 9th, 2020 at 2:10 pm

IL defense attorney, Illinois traffic violations lawyerMany motorists think that if they are pulled over for speeding, the most severe penalty they will face is a traffic ticket. However, when motorists drive at an excessive rate of speed, they can face criminal charges. These can result in not only a permanent criminal record for those convicted, but also the very real possibility of jail time. Although most instances of speeding will not result in these harsh consequences, if a person is found guilty of aggravated or excessive speeding, they just might.

Aggravated and Excessive Speeding

When a person is arrested for speeding, it is most likely due to the fact that a police officer believes they are guilty of aggravated or excessive speeding. The penalties for speeding will depend on just how fast over the speed limit a motorist was driving.

Operating a vehicle over 26 to 34 miles per hour above the posted speed limit is considered a Class B misdemeanor. For individuals convicted of this crime, the punishment is a maximum of 180 days in county jail, a fine of $1,500, or both.

These penalties increase when individuals are found guilty of driving more than 35 miles per hour above the posted speed limit. This charge is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Individuals convicted could be sentenced to one year minus one day in county jail, a maximum fine of $2,500, or both.

While these penalties are harsh, they are not the only ones drivers will face when they are convicted of excessive speeding. A conviction will remain on a driver’s license for up to seven years. That could mean increased auto insurance rates, and potentially difficulty finding an insurer that will provide that insurance at all.

Excessive Speeding and the Illinois DMV Point System

Jail time, high fines, and high insurance rates are all very serious consequences of excessive speeding. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones. Excessive speeding and aggravated speeding are very serious traffic offenses. As such, every time a motorist is convicted of these violations, they also have points added to their driver’s license through the Illinois DMV point system. The number of points assigned to a license will depend on the speed a driver was traveling at the time.

After any motorist has accumulated a certain number of points on their driver’s license, they are also at risk for having their driver’s license suspended. The length of suspension also varies depending on the number of points on a license. The number of points and the length of the associated suspension are:

  • 15 to 44 points: Two months
  • 45 to 74 points: Three months
  • 75 to 89 points: Six months
  • 90 to 99 points: Nine months
  • 100 points or more: Twelve months

The amount of driving convictions that will result in an automatic suspension of a driver’s license also depends on a person’s age. For those over the age of 21, three convictions in a 12-month period are enough to garner an automatic suspension. Anyone under the age of 21 must only accrue two convictions in a 24-month period to have their license suspended.

Our Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer can Help You Beat the Charges

Excessive speeding in Illinois comes with steep penalties that can remain with a person for several years. If you have been charged with excessive or aggravated speeding, call our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Attorney Cosley knows the defenses to charges of aggravated speeding, and how to use them to give you the best chance of beating the charges. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=062500050HCh.+11+Art.+VI&ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=122400000&SeqEnd=123900000

 

Understanding Reckless Homicide in Illinois

December 19th, 2019 at 8:56 am

crashCar accidents happen every day in Illinois. Many of these accidents are very minor and do not result in serious injuries. However, sometimes these crashes result in severe injuries and sometimes, even death. When one person causes the accident and another dies as a result, the driver may be found guilty of a felony. This is true when the driver’s negligent or reckless actions caused the accident and the resulting death. In Illinois, this is known as reckless homicide. Some drivers confuse this offense with reckless driving, but there are significant differences, including the penalties associated with them.

Differences Between Reckless Homicide and Reckless Driving

Reckless homicide and reckless driving both involve a driver acting negligently or recklessly while on the road. This means they show a blatant disregard for the safety of others. However, reckless homicide must involve a death for someone to be convicted of the offense. In fact, the Illinois statute governing reckless homicide also includes involuntary manslaughter.

A person charged with reckless homicide does not have to have intent to kill another person. In fact, if they do, they will likely be charged with murder instead of reckless homicide. Still, when a person takes the life of another, the law states they must be penalized for their actions.

Penalties for Reckless Homicide

Reckless homicide also has much harsher penalties than reckless driving. While reckless driving is usually considered a misdemeanor, reckless homicide is always charged as a felony.

A maximum fine of $25,000 can be laid regardless of whether the reckless homicide charge is considered a Class 2 or Class 3 felony. However, a Class 3 felony carries prison sentences of two to five years. A Class 2 felony carries a penalty of between three and 14 years in state prison.

Like any other criminal conviction, the penalties for reckless homicide can cause someone to lose their job, have their driving privileges revoked, prevent them from gaining employment, and from owning a firearm.

Defenses to Reckless HomicideLike any criminal offense, there are several defenses to reckless homicide charges. Some of the most common of these include self-defense and mistaken identity. Additionally, if the prosecution has insufficient evidence, they will also not be able to secure a conviction for the offense.

However, a very effective defense in reckless homicide is that it was truly an accident. When using this defense, drivers can show that they were not driving negligently or recklessly. For example, if a driver ran a red light and hit another car and died as a result, the driver of the vehicle they struck cannot be charged with reckless homicide because they were not driving recklessly.

Our Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney can Help With Your Charges

If you are facing charges of reckless homicide or any other traffic offense, ou r skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, our attorney knows you have rights even after being charged, and he fights to ensure they are upheld at all times. He also has the necessary experience to craft a solid defense for your case and give you the best chance of a positive outcome. If you need help, call us today at 847-394-3200 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K9-3

 

What Not to Do if You Are Arrested

November 21st, 2019 at 11:00 am

IL defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerBeing arrested is a very scary thing. Law enforcement in Rolling Meadows arrest people every day, and these individuals often do not know what to do when it happens. Just as there are certain things you should do, there are also things you should never do. Taking the wrong steps at this point could hurt your case in the future. Below are the five things you should never do if you are arrested.

Do Not Say Anything

If you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent and that is exactly what you should do. When police read you your Miranda rights, they will tell you that anything you say could be used against you, and they mean it. The chances are very good that they will take your words out of context and use it to hurt your case in court. Do not say anything to police officers except that you want to speak to an attorney.

Do Not Resist Arrest

Resisting arrest is a very dangerous thing to do in Illinois. Even trying to swat away the officer’s hands when they are trying to put handcuffs on you could result in additional charges if the officer views it as assault. Also, if law enforcement believes that you are resisting arrest, they have the right to subdue you, which can quickly become dangerous.

Do Not Run

Resisting arrest and fleeing the police are two different things. If you resist arrest, such as arguing with the officer and telling them they have the wrong person, they can subdue you but they likely will not shoot you. If you run, however, they might use weapons to prevent you from running away. Running is much more dangerous than simply resisting arrest and should never be done.

Do Not Let the Police to Search You or Your Property

There are times when the police can search you. If they arrest you, for example, they can search your person, which typically means going through your pockets. Also, if your vehicle is at the scene and police notice something that is in plain sight, such as a joint or an open container of alcohol, they can search your car as well. However, you should not let them search more than that.

Without your consent, law enforcement must obtain a warrant to search you or your property. Providing your consent can give police access to evidence that they will use against you and that will hurt your case.

Do Not Go Back Into Your House

If the police come to your home to arrest you, they may ask if you want to go back inside to say goodbye to your spouse or kids, or even to get a jacket. Do not accept this offer. If you do, the police will escort you inside and immediately start looking for evidence, even if they do not conduct a thorough search. Remember that you can call your spouse and children from the police station, and you do not need anything else that badly. Just allow the police to take you to the station and you will help protect your rights and your case.

Were You Arrested? Call an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested, you are likely very scared and confused. However, you do not have to go through it alone. Our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help. Christopher Cosley knows how to ensure your rights are protected, get evidence thrown out when those rights were not upheld, and give you the best chance of success in court. If you or someone you love has been arrested, call us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K31-1

Can Police Search Your Phone?

November 14th, 2019 at 10:58 am

searchImagine police pulled you over in a traffic stop. Maybe they suspect you of a DUI, or maybe they want to cite you for having a broken taillight. Whatever the reason, they approach your window and begin to question you. They may even become aggressive and demand that you hand over your phone. Perhaps they even order you to unlock it for them or provide them with your password. This is a scary situation, as everyone has personal and confidential information on their phones these days. The question is, are police allowed to search your phone?

U.S. Supreme Court Decides on Cell Phone Searches

In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of Riley v. California. The defendant had been stopped by police for expired registration tags on his vehicle. During the stop, the officer also learned that the defandant’s driver’s license was suspended and that he was carrying a number of firearms in his car. The officer also took his phone, which the officer claimed had further incriminating evidence on it.

The Supreme Court found in favor of the defendant and determined that police do not have the authority to search a person’s phone. The reason given for this was that modern smartphones have a wealth of information about a person. By accessing your phone, a person could determine where you live, work, what your Social Security number is, and more. The court determined this was an invasion of privacy.

However, although the Supreme Court made this ruling several years ago, there are still some instances in which police can search your phone.

When Can Police Search Your Phone?

Under the Fourth Amendment, all American citizens are protected from unlawful search and seizures. However, if law enforcement has probable cause that your phone contains evidence of a crime, they can obtain a search warrant for your phone. If a judge determines there is probable cause and issues a search warrant, you will have to relinquish your phone so law enforcement can search it.

The only time law enforcement can search your phone without a warrant is when you provide your consent. Police officers often try to get around this by demanding, instead of asking for your phone. They do so in a way that makes individuals feel as though they do not have a choice. Unfortunately, in these instances, if you give police your phone and unlock it to grant them access, even begrudgingly, you have given consent and the police can search your phone.

It is extremely important that you never give police your phone unless they have a warrant. When consent is provided, it could hurt your case if police do in fact find evidence to use against you.

Did Police Unlawfully Search Your Phone? Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer

When police unlawfully search your phone, any evidence obtained from that search is inadmissible in court. This provides a solid defense for many offenses, including distracted driving. If you have been charged with a crime after police searched your phone, you need the help of a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, an attorney will always ensure your rights are upheld, and he will also get illegally obtained evidence thrown out of court. If you are facing charges, call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://scholar.google.ca/scholar_case?case=9647156672357738355&hl=en&as_sdt=6&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

 

Penalties for Ecstasy Possession in Illinois

November 7th, 2019 at 10:53 am

IL drug crimes lawyer, Illinois defense attorney Ecstasy is often known as a party drug, but it is a substance that is illegal under Illinois’ drug laws. It also carries some of the harshest penalties for those convicted. The drug was blamed for causing an epidemic in Illinois in 2002, as it was said to have been responsible for a number of teenage deaths. It has also been called a growing threat to youth all around the country. It is because ecstasy is considered so dangerous that law enforcement and the prosecution here in Illinois take it so seriously.

Anyone accused of ecstasy possession should understand what penalties they are facing if they are convicted, and the importance of speaking to an Illinois criminal defense lawyer.

What Is Ecstasy?

Today MDMA, the technical name for ecstasy, is on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Drugs appearing on this schedule are thought to have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use.

However, ecstasy was not considered an illegal drug until the 1980s. Before that time, psychiatrists used the drug when treating patients, although it had not yet been tested or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Since ecstasy has been banned throughout Illinois and the rest of the United States, it has become a very popular street drug.

Penalties for Ecstasy Possession in Illinois

Possessing any amount of ecstasy in Illinois is illegal. Like all drugs, the penalties associated with possessing the drug will depend on how much of the drug a person has in their possession.

The only ecstasy possession charge that is a Class 4 felony is possession of one to 15 tablets. The penalty for this charge for individuals convicted is one to three years in jail.

All other penalties for ecstasy possession are considered Class 1 felonies. Possessing 15 to 200 tablets carries a minimum sentence of four to 15 years in jail while possessing 200 to 600 tablets has a penalty of six to 30 years for individuals that are convicted.

Individuals found with 600 to 1,500 tablets of ecstasy face eight to 40 years in prison. Any amount of ecstasy in excess of 1,500 tables carries a minimum mandatory sentence of ten to 50 years in prison. When a person is found with more than 1,500 tablets of ecstasy in their possession, they may also face distribution charges.

These penalties will increase if the person accused has a prior conviction, or if they were found in possession of ecstasy near a school or place of worship. Individuals that are in possession of ecstasy while a crime was being committed or that had a firearm on them at the time of arrest may also face increased penalties if they are arrested.

Need Help With Your Ecstasy Charges? Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with ecstasy possession, you need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, our defense attorney knows how to defend against ecstasy possession and other drug charges to give you the best chance of holding on to your freedom. Call us today at 847-394-3200 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation so we can start preparing your defense today.

 

Source:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-107hhrg88329/html/CHRG-107hhrg88329.htm

Challenging Breath Test Results in Illinois

October 24th, 2019 at 2:14 pm

IL defense attorney, IL DUI lawyerUnder Illinois’ implied consent laws, if you are pulled over for a DUI, you must submit to a breath test if asked by an officer. After the breath test, the officer will tell you what your blood alcohol content (BAC) is, and if you blew over 0.08, which is the legal limit. If you did, the situation may seem hopeless. However, there are ways to challenge these tests and get them thrown out of court, which can be very helpful to your case.

The Results Were Inconsistent

If you blow into a breathalyzer many times and get significantly different readings, it indicates that the machine is not reliable. Some judges have even deemed certain brands as being notoriously unreliable. Additionally, breath tests must be performed until two successive results fall within 0.020 percent of each other. If this range cannot be reached, a judge may determine that the tests are inconclusive.

The Officer Did Not Administer the Test Correctly

Officers must know how to properly administer a breath test, and there is a lot of user error with these machines. If the officer did not know how to use the machine, that shows a lack of training with them and can help prove that errors were made. Also, police officers must perform several tests to confirm that the machine is working properly. If they only performed one test, they did not do it correctly and the results are inadmissible in your DUI case.

The Machine Was Not Calibrated Properly

Breathalyzer machines are notoriously inaccurate. They must be calibrated properly and after being jostled around in a police car for some time, that calibration can easily be thrown off. Law enforcement must also keep proper records indicating when a machine was calibrated and had maintenance performed on it. When they cannot produce these records, an attorney will argue that the machine was not calibrated correctly and therefore, the results cannot be considered in the case.

The Stop Was Illegal

Police officers can only pull someone over when they have reasonable suspicion that a driver is breaking the law, or has broken the law. If an officer did not have reasonable cause to pull a driver over, any evidence obtained from that traffic stop cannot be used in court. This is sometimes the best-case scenario since the prosecution often relies mainly on evidence from gained from the traffic stop to prove that someone was driving under the influence.

Have You Been Charged with a DUI? Call an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI, you are likely imagining the worst-case scenario. However, not all cases get that far. Our dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley has the experience necessary to craft a strong defense for your case. This includes not only getting breath tests thrown out of court, but also challenging the prosecution every step of the way. If you have been charged, call us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation.

 

Source:

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

What Are Defenses to Reckless Driving in Illinois?

October 17th, 2019 at 10:12 am

IL defense attorney In Illinois, any extremely dangerous driving behavior that puts the safety of others at risk is considered reckless driving. Excessive speeding, tailgating, and changing lanes often and suddenly are all considered forms of reckless driving. This is a very serious offense for those charged in Illinois, and it could even result in jail time. As such, it is important that those accused speak to an Illinois criminal defense attorney that can help prepare a proper defense. Below are some of the tactics a defense attorney may use.

Lack of Intent

To be successful in a reckless driving case, the prosecution must show that the defendant intended to drive recklessly. Intent is difficult to prove in any criminal case because it is challenging to show what a person was thinking at a specific point in time.

In some cases, the original charges do not specifically state that a driver was driving recklessly. A traffic ticket, for example, may only say that the driver was negligent. This is a lack of specificity, and it opens the door for a defense attorney to ask for a Bill of Particulars.

The Bill of Particulars

When a defense attorney motions for a Bill of Particulars, they are asking the state to specify the actions that caused the defendant to be charged with reckless driving. The state must explain either in writing or orally, depending on the judge, what behavior led to the charges. This can include swerving in and out of lanes, excessive speeds, or other forms of reckless behavior.

This is often difficult for the state to do, particularly if there are not a lot of details on the original ticket. After the state presents the Bill of Particulars, the judge must determine if there is probable cause to charge the defendant with reckless driving.

Reducing the Charge

If the state cannot prove the specific actions that led to the reckless driving charge, the court may dismiss the case, or reduce the charges. When the courts take the latter course of action, typically the accused will face charges of negligent driving or aggravated speeding.

Negligent driving is not considered a criminal offense and the penalty is a $500 fine. While jail time is a possibility with an aggravated speeding charge, it is not likely, particularly when it is a first offense. Aggravated speeding is also looked upon much differently by the courts than reckless driving.

Charged with Reckless Driving? Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with reckless driving, it is important to know there are defenses available. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can provide those defenses and hold the prosecution responsible for proving their claims. We will also ensure your rights are upheld and if they were not during the traffic stop or at any other time, we can also use this in your defense. Call us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation to learn more about how we can help with your case.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-503

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