Blog Authors

Latest from DUI Lawyer Skokie

When you are arrested for DUI in Illinois, the Secretary of State automatically suspends your driver’s license on the 46th day after your arrest.  You may be able to overturn that suspension, particularly on a first offense.  Illinois law sets out four specific grounds upon which to fight: (1) Were you properly placed under arrest? (2) Did the arresting officer have probable cause to believe that you were driving while under the influence? (3) Did you refuse to take the breathalyzer or other chemical test? and (4) Did you fail the test if you took it? Your best chance at…
The answer is yes, if the search falls under the “automobile exception” to the warrant requirement. Because automobiles are mobile, a driver could easily take off with the evidence before police have time to get a warrant. Therefore, the automobile exception allows officers to search your car without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe your car contains evidence of criminal activity. The search may include any interior compartment of the vehicle that might reasonably contain a particular type of contraband. For example, an officer looking for open alcohol cannot search a coin box. If you have…
After having too much to drink, you were involved in an auto accident and taken to the emergency room.  The nurse was very friendly while taking a sample of your blood.  The hospital had your blood tested for alcohol which showed you were way over the legal limit. The police then got the results and charged you with DUI. Did the police violate your constitutional rights by getting those results without a warrant? The answer is no, as long as the nurse was not acting as an agent of the police. A blood test is a search within the Fourth…
The answer is yes. In Illinois, you may be guilty of DUI if you are in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. To convict you, the state need only show that you had the capability or potential of operating the car. To determine actual control, courts look at factors including whether you are in the driver’s seat in possession of the ignition key and whether you have the physical capability of starting the engine and moving the vehicle. Illinois courts have convicted drivers based on the following: Defendant was zipped in a sleeping bag…
After you were arrested for DUI, the officers impounded and searched your car. The search yielded several capsules of an illegal narcotic. The officers did not have a warrant. You are now charged with possession with intent to deliver as well as DUI. Was the search of your car legal? The answer is generally yes. Officers are allowed to perform an inventory search without a warrant. The search, however, must satisfy three criteria: The original impoundment of the vehicle must be lawful; The purpose of the inventory search must be to protect the defendant’s property, to protect the police against…
It was bad enough you were arrested for DUI. But now that you are looking at your tickets, you realize you have two tickets for DUI. Are you in twice as much trouble? What does it mean? Under Illinois DUI law (625 ILCS 5/11-501), there are seven different types of DUI. An officer can charge you with a combination of driving while over the legal limit of .08 (the 501A-1 ticket) AND driving while under the influence (the 501A-2 ticket). The state can prove driving over the legal limit through a breathalyzer, or less commonly, a blood test.…
The answer is yes. While many offices of the Secretary of State are closed for business, the DUI unit in Springfield is still at work. Fighting a suspension during the quarantine has become more difficult as court dates are postponed. However, the situation is not hopeless. If you are charged with DUI, your license will generally be suspended for at least six months, starting on the 46th day after your arrest. It is important to act quickly. Your lawyer may still be able petition the court to block that suspension. If successful, you could still save your driving privileges along…
The roads were clear so you zoomed ahead. But your high speed made it difficult to brake when the car in front of you stopped suddenly, and so you crashed. The police came to the scene, and you are now facing criminal charges. What can happen to you? What can you do? If you were involved in a high speed accident, you may be looking at serious consequences. Even if there were no witnesses, you can be charged with misdemeanor speeding (625 ILCS 5/11-605.1) based on accident reconstruction evidence. If you were speeding in a school or construction…
Courts throughout Illinois are closed due to the COVID-19 quarantine. Any guess about when they will open is merely a guess at this point. If you already have a case in court, rest assured that it will be dealt with in time. If anything, many defendants will benefit from the delay. For one thing, older cases tend to weaken in time. The arresting officer may not recall the details of the event clearly. Witnesses may not be available to come to court at a later date or may have moved on to other matters. Many court watchers believe that the…
You binge-watched your favorite season of CSI, downing the last of your favorite craft beer. Making a run to the store, the police stopped you. They said your new car’s tinted windows were too dark. The smell of alcohol then led to your DUI arrest. Can the officer stop you because of the tinted windows? The answer is, under certain circumstances, yes. In Illinois, you may have tinted car windows, but there are restrictions. Violating those restrictions may give police probable cause for the stop. Under 625 ILCS 5/12-503(a-5), no window treatment or tinting may be applied to the…
The answer is they can if the search falls under the “automobile exception” to the warrant requirement. Because a driver could easily take off with the evidence before police have time to get a warrant, police are allowed to search your car as long as probable cause exists to believe that your car contains evidence of criminal activity. The search may include any interior compartment of the vehicle that might reasonably contain the contraband. If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. Did the police have the necessary probable cause or did they…
During an arrest for DUI, the officer or the squad car may be filming you. In some cases, this video can help your case by showing you did not appear impaired. But what happens if that video disappears? Can the charges against you be dismissed? The answer is it depends. If the evidence was materially exculpatory—in other words, important to proving you were not guilty, the court may sanction the state for failing to produce such evidence. This could include forbidding the officers from testifying as to matters that might have been shown on the video. However, if the evidence…
With the legalization of marijuana in Illinois, now is a good time for a reminder that you can still be charged with DUI if you drive while impaired. Under Illinois law, you may not drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle if within two hours you have a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of either 5 nanograms or more of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of whole blood or 10 nanograms or more of other bodily substance. (See 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(7))). Of course, the problem is knowing how much is too much. Police departments across Illinois are still seeking the…
One night, you went out with colleagues after work. The drinking ran a bit late, and it had been an especially stressful day. As you drove home, you could barely keep your eyes open, so you pulled over and fell asleep in your car. Suddenly, an officer knocked on your window, startling you awake. The officer asked you to get out of the car, and before long you were charged with DUI. Is the arrest legal? What can you do? Before an officer stops you, he or she must have a reasonable suspicion of wrong doing. In People v. Shelton
DUI cases do not routinely get thrown out of court short of a plea agreement or trial. But the court can dismiss your case if it meets certain criteria. A court may dismiss a case on any of the following bases: Your case did not go to trial within the time limits of the speedy trial act. Prosecution is barred by double jeopardy. You received immunity from prosecution. You were indicted by a grand jury that was not properly selected or certified, resulting in substantial injustice to you. The court does not have jurisdiction or the county is an improper…
The answer is usually yes. However, there are things an attorney may do to minimize some of the pain and inconvenience. For example, an attorney may be able to move the court date or request a longer interval between court dates when you have scheduling conflicts. After a DUI arrest, the officer will give you your first court date. On that date, your attorney will enter his or her appearance. The attorney may subpoena the evidence against you in advance and may then receive evidence. If you are seeking to overturn the automatic suspension of your driver’s license, your attorney…