The answer is yes. But your cannabis card makes a difference as to what the state must prove.
As of January 1, 2020, you may legally consume certain amounts of cannabis if you are over age 21. If you have a medical cannabis card, you may only be prosecuted for a marijuana DUI if you drove impaired. Without the card, you may be prosecuted if you were over the legal limit: a delta-9-THC concentration of either 5 nanograms per milliliter of whole blood or 10 nanograms per milliliter of another bodily substance. This limit does not apply if you
Continue Reading CAN I BE CHARGED WITH DUI IF I HAVE A MEDICAL CANNABIS CARD?
Latest from DUI Lawyer Skokie
Your original criminal case ended in a sentence of supervision or probation, albeit with certain conditions. You thought you were done. But now the state is trying to violate you. Maybe you failed a drug test, failed to pay a fine or got in trouble for another offense.
What can happen to you? What can you do?
After the state petitions the court to violate your probation/supervision, you may be summoned to appear for a hearing, or in some cases, arrested. At the hearing, the state must prove your violation by a preponderance of the evidence. This is easier for…
Continue Reading WHAT CAN HAPPEN WHEN YOU VIOLATE PROBATION IN ILLINOIS?
Even if your breathalyzer reading is below .08, police can still charge you with DUI. That’s because the .08 limit is only a legal presumption that you were intoxicated.
A reading below .08 can help disprove that presumption of drunk driving. But if you slurred your speech, had glassy eyes, drove erratically and messed up the field sobriety tests, a judge or jury can still convict you.
Can you still fight the charges? Absolutely. The State has the burden of proving all elements of the DUI beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced attorney can reviewyour case for its best possible…
Continue Reading CAN YOU BE CONVICTED OF DUI IF YOU ARE BELOW THE LEGAL LIMIT?
You were on your way home from a night out on the town when the police pulled you over for a minor traffic violation. They asked you to perform some field sobriety tests and take a breathalyzer. Should you do it? Here are some pros and cons:
(1) Taking the Test Cuts Down on the Length of Your Driver’s License Suspension: After a DUI arrest, the Illinois Secretary of State will automatically suspend your driver’s license for a certain length of time (although you can try to fight this). For a first-time DUI, the suspension lasts six months. If…
Continue Reading THE PROS AND CONS OF TAKING THE BREATHALYZER
You didn’t see the cop until you went through the stop sign. Or maybe you were in an accident after leaving a party, and the cops were called. Now you are charged with drunk driving. Can you defend your case?
To be convicted of DUI in Illinois, the State must prove the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements are: 1) you had too much to drink, and 2) you were driving.
To prove drinking, the State must show you were over the legal limit of .08, or that you were so intoxicated that it impaired your…
Continue Reading THE ABCs of DUI Defense
You were driving down the road when you thought you saw an animal so you slammed on your brakes. Then you noticed a police car behind you. After a few blocks, the officer stopped you, even though your driving was just fine despite having had a few beers. Can the officer still make the stop?
To stop you, an officer needs a reasonable suspicion based on articulable facts present at the time of the stop. However, under certain circumstances, that reasonable suspicion can disappear or dissipate. Dissipation usually occurs when suspicion is based (1) on the vehicle’s appearance such as…
Continue Reading DID THE OFFICER’S REASON FOR STOPPING YOU DISAPPEAR?
You had an argument with your wife, and the police came to your house. After you both cooled off, the officer gave you a stern talk but decided not to make an arrest. The very next night, the same officer pulled you over for DUI on what seemed like a trumped-up excuse.
You believe the officer has it in for you. Is that a defense to your DUI?
In truth, each DUI case is unique. An officer’s dislike, prejudice or grudge against you could make a difference to a judge. However, few officers are likely to admit under oath their…
Continue Reading CAN AN OFFICER’S PREJUDICE BE A DEFENSE TO DUI?
You thought you were safe to drive, but unfortunately, you caused an accident. An ambulance took you and the other party to the hospital. At the hospital, the nurse drew your blood to run some tests. One test was for blood alcohol, which came out clearly over the limit. Can the state use the results to convict you?
The rules about using a hospital blood test as evidence are often tricky and fact specific. Generally, compulsory testing of blood and other bodily fluids is a search under the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment applies to private individuals such as medical…
Continue Reading CAN POLICE USE THE RESULTS OF A HOSPITAL BLOOD TEST AGAINST YOU?
The answer depends on the evidence against you and how the state has charged your offense.
The state can charge you with aggravated DUI if you were involved in a motor vehicle crash (including with a snowmobile or boat) that killed another person when your DUI was the proximate cause of the death. To convict you, the state must show that your driving was impaired, and that impairment resulted in the death.
Illinois DUI law, however, has several types of DUI offenses. The most common may be simple driving under the influence of alcohol, but the state may also charge…
Continue Reading AM I AUTOMATICALLY GUILTY OF AGGRAVATED DUI IF WHEN THE ACCIDENT KILLED SOMEONE?
The answer is not necessarily. That said, the DUI doesn’t help.
You commit reckless homicide when you unintentionally cause a death without lawful justification by recklessly driving a vehicle (including a snowmobile or boat) in a manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm. A judge or jury could infer recklessness from your DUI, but they are not required to draw that conclusion. Further, “driving under the influence” requires some proof that you were impaired, not just that you’d been drinking. If there is no other evidence of impairment, besides perhaps a breathalyzer, you could still win an acquittal.
Continue Reading CAN I BE CONVICTED OF RECKLESS HOMICIDE BASED ON DUI?
The answer is yes, but only until January 1, 2024. As of that date, Illinois has changed its law.
After January 1, you cannot be stopped solely because of that air freshener hanging from your rearview mirror. However, Illinois law still forbids driving with objects suspended between you and the rear window, side wings or the side windows immediately adjacent to each side of you which materially obstruct your view. An officer can still stop you on that basis. See 625 ILCS 5/12-503.
The change in the law is intended to prevent such a violation being used as a pretext…
Continue Reading CAN I BE STOPPED BECAUSE OF SOMETHING HANGING FROM MY MIRROR IN ILLINOIS?
Your job involves a bit of driving, and you just got yourself arrested for DUI. You hope to win your case, but you wonder if your boss needs to know what happened.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but the decision to tell may hinge on the following factors: Do you need to drive to do your job? Would you have a different way to get to work if your license was suspended? Does your job require you to report any arrests? Will it be difficult to appear in court, especially if there are more than three or four court dates?
Continue Reading SHOULD I TELL MY BOSS I WAS ARRESTED FOR DUI?
A recent Illinois Supreme Court decision says no.
In People v Hutt, the defendant refused to let medical personnel draw his blood and refused to provide a urine sample despite a warrant authorizing these samples. Defendant was later convicted of DUI and obstruction of justice.
A person obstructs justice when, with intent to prevent the apprehension or obstruct the prosecution or defense of any person, he or she knowingly “destroys, alters, conceals or disguises physical evidence, plants false evidence, furnishes false information.” See 720 ILCS 5/31-4(a)(1).
The state argued that defendant concealed evidence by refusing to submit the samples. …
Continue Reading CAN YOU BE CHARGED WITH OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE FOR REFUSING TO GIVE A BLOOD SAMPLE?
Under limited circumstances, the answer is yes.
Breathalyzer results on a properly certified machine are nearly always admissible at trial. However, results from a portable breathalyzer are not considered reliable and are generally not permitted. The breathalyzer taken on the street when you were arrested is almost never admitted as evidence.
But there is one exception. The state has a new weapon that they can use in certain circumstances. The trial judge may allow the state to use the results of a portable breathalyzer that has an attached printer. Bear in mind that portable breathalyzers still come with a wide…
Continue Reading CAN A PORTABLE BREATHALYZER RESULT BE USED AGAINST ME IN ILLINOIS?
Illinois law requires police to use body cams at all times when the officer is in uniform, responding to calls or engaged in any law enforcement-related activity while on duty. If exigent circumstances prevent the officer from turning on the camera, he or she must do so as soon as practicable. The officer may turn the camera off under certain circumstances such as when a victim requests it.
But what happens if the officer forgets? Under Illinois law, a judge or jury may consider an intentional violation of the body cam law when weighing the evidence against you where the…
Continue Reading THE LAW ON POLICE BODY CAM VIDEOS IN ILLINOIS
Zoom Court was first initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Court business could thus continue, while keeping everybody safe. But even post-pandemic, Zoom Court is here to stay. As of January 1, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court made remote hearings permanent. Revised Illinois Supreme Court Rule 45 governs the use of Zoom going forward.
For criminal or traffic matters that do not involve the possibility of jail or prison time, you may be able to attend all court hearings on zoom, except for:
- evidentiary hearings, other than ex parte evidentiary hearings (such as emergency order of protection hearings),