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Archive for the ‘Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney’ 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

DUI Testing in Illinois

September 11th, 2017 at 9:53 am

breathalyzer test, DUI testing, field sobriety tests, local DUI attorney, Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorneyWhen a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence in Illinois, he or she will likely ask to see your license and registration, ask if you have been drinking, and, if he or she still suspects that you are intoxicated, administer one or more of the field sobriety tests described below.

Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are simple tests that police officers administer on the side of the road after pulling a driver over in order to predict blood alcohol concentrations of 0.08 and above. Approved standardized field sobriety tests in Illinois include:

  • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: To administer this test the officer asks the driver to follow the tip of his or her pen or finger with only his or her eyes. During this test the officer is looking to see whether the driver is experiencing nystagmus, an involuntary jerking of the eye that is magnified when a person consumes alcohol or certain other drugs.
  • The Walk-and-Turn: During this test the officer asks the driver to walk in a straight line by placing one foot in front of the other, heel to toe, heel to toe, and so forth nine times, turn, and walk back on the line in the same manner. All steps are taken while keeping one’s arms at his or her sides.
  • The One-Legged Stand: Here the officer tells the driver to stand with one’s arms at his or her sides, raise one foot approximately six inches off the ground, and balance on one leg for 30 seconds.

Additionally, a police officer in Illinois can also administer a breathalyzer test on the side of the road in order to measure the amount of alcohol on a driver’s breath. A breathalyzer is a device that gives a very accurate estimate of the amount of alcohol present in the blood of the person who blows into it. However, it is important to note that the only way to actually test someone’s blood alcohol concentration is via a blood test, which police officers do not administer on the side of the road but do conduct at the station after arresting a driver for driving under the influence.

Drivers in Illinois implicitly consent to submitting to a breathalyzer test when asked to do so by virtue of driving in our state. Therefore, refusing a roadside breathalyzer test can carry steep consequences such as having your license suspended.

Accused of Driving Under the Influence? Contact a Local DUI Attorney

Any accusation of driving under the influence in Illinois should be taken very seriously as the penalties available for first-time DUI convictions can include up to one year of incarceration, a fine of up to $2,500, a license suspension of up to six months, and various other penalties as well. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley our experienced Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorneys are well aware of the huge toll that a DUI conviction can take on a person’s life. Therefore, we work tirelessly to provide excellent legal representation to each and every one of our clients.

Source:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

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

DUIs: Substantially Worse if a Child is in the Vehicle

December 14th, 2016 at 11:01 am

duis, Rolling Meadows DUI Defense LawyerIllinois has strict laws when it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol. Driving under the influence is defined by 625 ILCS 5/11-501 as occurring when a person is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, which can be shown if his or her blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more.

Law enforcement, prosecutors, and the courts take DUI offenses very seriously. Moreover, they levy the harshest criminal charges that they can justify against an alleged drunk driver. However, when children are involved in a DUI, punishment can become substantially worse for the accused drunk driver.

Not only is your driver’s license automatically suspended when you are arrested for DUI, but you also face a misdemeanor charge for a first time offense, presuming that there are no aggravating factors involved in your DUI. If there are aggravating factors, your offense could be upgraded to a felony DUI offense.

One aggravating factor for a DUI is when a child is being transported in the vehicle as a passenger when the driver gets a DUI. Not only can a drunk driver be charged under the state’s DUI laws when he or she is transporting a child while under the influence of alcohol, but the offense could also result in additional child endangerment charges.

Child Passengers Enhance DUI Penalties

Illinois lawmakers were concerned about protecting children from drunk driving when they created Illinois’ DUI laws and penalties. That is why the penalties associated with a DUI are enhanced if a child under the age of 16 is in the vehicle at the time of the DUI. If a DUI involves some sort of automobile accident, and the child is injured during the DUI-related accident, then the offense can be upgraded to a class 4 felony.

This is sometimes also referred to as an aggravated DUI, and a conviction for an aggravated DUI involving an injured child carries additional penalties, such as an increased fine and a longer community service requirement. For example, when a child is injured in a DUI-related accident, the driver could face six months in jail with no chance of work release, a $5,000 fine, and a community service requirement of 25 hours.

The consequences for driving under the influence with a child passenger in Illinois can be expensive, very serious, and long lasting. If you have been arrested and charged with violating Illinois DUI laws, and you had a child passenger at the time of your DUI arrest, you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. It may be possible to get your charges reduced to a lesser offense.

Contact Our Offices Today

DUI charges should never be taken lightly. Only an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney will know how to help you fight your DUI charges. Contact us today for help.

Source:

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

The Unintended Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Illinois

December 1st, 2016 at 1:02 pm

DUI conviction, Rolling Meadows DUI defense lawyerEven the most sensible people can sometimes exercise poor judgement, or think that they are sober enough to drive after a few drinks. Drunk, intoxicated, or even buzzed drivers are often pulled over by law enforcement and arrested on DUI charges. Oftentimes, these individuals have no idea what to do because they are first time DUI offenders. A DUI conviction can have a profound impact on your life beyond the obvious criminal consequences, such as jail time and fines. Many first time DUI offenders are stunned by the additional consequences of a DUI.

DUI Facts: The Profile of the Average DUI Offender

According to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State, the average DUI offender in Illinois is a male around the age of 34 years old, who is intoxicated behind the wheel between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. This typical DUI offender generally has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of twice the legal limit (legal limit being 0.08 BAC in Illinois for drivers over the age of 21). Ninety percent of the drivers who were arrested in 2014 for DUI lost their driving privileges as a result, and 86 percent of those drivers who were arrested were first time offenders.

Additional Consequences of A DUI

In addition to the misdemeanor or felony penalties associated with a DUI conviction, there are a number of additional consequences that many people do not realize also result from a DUI conviction. For instance:

  • In order to get your driver’s license reinstated, you will have to successfully attend and complete a drug and alcohol remedial education course, or a substance abuse course;
  • You will have a permanent DUI conviction on your driving record;
  • You may miss time from work or school because you have to deal with your DUI hearing;
  • You may be able to get a restricted driving permit, but you will have to meet certain requirements for an administrative hearing before you can get the permit;
  • Your vehicle registration will be suspended;
  • Your vehicle will likely be impounded, and you must pay to get your vehicle out of impoundment;
  • You will be required to get high-risk auto insurance for three years following your DUI conviction; and
  • If you were subject to a blood test to determine your blood alcohol concentration level, you may be held liable for the cost of that blood test if you are subsequently convicted of a DUI.

First Time DUI Offender? Contact Our Offices Today

The courts do not take DUI offenses lightly and may be particularly harsh on first time DUI offenders. If you have been charged with a DUI, you will need help navigating your criminal charges and understanding the DUI court procedures for getting a restricted driving permit, a judicial hearing, and fighting your DUI charges. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney immediately to discuss your case.

Source:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

What Are Your Rights at a DUI Checkpoint?

October 27th, 2016 at 7:00 am

DUI checkpoints, Rolling Meadows DUI attorneyDUI checkpoints are common in Rolling Meadows and the surrounding areas. Law enforcement will set up a checkpoint—a temporary stop—to see if a driver is intoxicated on drugs or alcohol while driving. However, the problem with DUI checkpoints is that the police officers who man these stops may take too many liberties when it comes to investigating potentially intoxicated drivers. Therefore, it is important to understand your rights if you are stopped.

You Do Not Have to Answer Questions

Often, drivers do not realize that they are not required to answer a police officer’s questions when stopped at a DUI checkpoint. When a police officer asks where you were earlier in the evening, or where you are going, you do not have to answer. Police officers ask these questions to gather evidence against you, and you do not have to incriminate yourself. If you are not under arrest, then the police have no right to interrogate you. As such, you can politely decline to answer their questions at a DUI checkpoint.

You do, however, need to comply with their commands such as providing your driver’s license and registration upon request. Use common sense when you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint if law enforcement ask you a few initial questions. You can always say that you will not answer any questions without your lawyer present.

Police Cannot Search Your Vehicle Without Probable Cause

While law enforcement officers have the right to briefly stop you at a DUI checkpoint, they do not have free reign to search your vehicle without permission. A law enforcement officer has to have probable cause in order to conduct a search of your vehicle during a DUI check under your 4th Amendment protections. Police often develop the necessary probable cause to conduct a search of your vehicle if they observe something during the DUI stop that suggests you may be intoxicated behind the wheel. Common examples of evidence that supports the police officer having probable cause includes smelling alcohol in the vehicle or on the driver’s breath, or witnessing an open alcohol container in the vehicle.

Arrested at a DUI Checkpoint? Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you were arrested for DUI during a DUI checkpoint, it is important that you contact a knowledgeable Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney who can review your case and explain your rights. Do not delay when it comes to getting the legal defense that you need. Call 847-394-3200 today.

Source:

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

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