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Under 725 ILCS 5/103-3.5, you have the right to communicate free of charge with an attorney of your choice and members of your family as soon as possible upon being taken into police custody, but no later than 3 hours after arrival at the first place of detention. You must be given access to a telephone to make 3 calls. If you are moved to a new place of detention, your right to make 3 calls within 3 hours of arrival is renewed.
If police violate these rights, your statements to them are presumed inadmissible as evidence. However,
Continue Reading YOUR RIGHT TO COMMUNICATE WHILE IN POLICE CUSTODY IN ILLINOIS

The answer depends on your specific circumstances.
Did your driving show impairment?  Did you behave in a calm and controlled manner with police?  Were you stumbling to get out of the car?  Is your voice slurred on the evidence video?
On or about your first court date, your attorney will request any evidence that the state may have on you.  The evidence will likely include a video of your arrest.  The video should show what happened during the police stop and may even show your driving.  After viewing the video, your attorney can better assess if the state will be
Continue Reading CAN I BE CONVICTED OF DUI IF I DIDN’T TAKE ANY FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS?

Zoom Court was first initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Court business could thus continue, while keeping everybody safe.  Now, effective New Years Day, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court has 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: (i) evidentiary hearings, other than ex parte evidentiary hearings (such as emergency order of protection hearings); (ii) settlement conferences; (iii) bench trials; (iv)
Continue Reading IS MY DUI COURT HEARING ON ZOOM?

Before you can be arrested for DUI, police must have probable cause.  But at what point are you considered under arrest?
In Illinois, you are under arrest when your freedom of movement has been restrained by means of physical force or a show of authority. To determine when that happened, a court looks at: (1) the officer’s intent to make the arrest, and (2) your understanding, based on an objective standard of reasonableness, that you were under arrest. Probable cause cannot be justified by the evidence found after your arrest.
For example, in People v. Workheiser, the defendant took
Continue Reading DID POLICE HAVE PROBABLE CAUSE BEFORE YOUR ARREST?

Without more, the answer is probably not.  Under Illinios law, nervousness by itself does not give an officer probable cause for the search.
While most police searches require a warrant, there is an exception for automobiles. Under that exception, law enforcement officers may perform a warrantless search if there is probable cause to believe that the automobile contains evidence of criminal activity that the officers are entitled to seize.  The fact you may have made furtive movements is not enough by itself to provide probable cause.
Your furtive movements may have an innocent explanation, such as that you were trying
Continue Reading CAN POLICE SEARCH MY CAR BECAUSE I’M NERVOUS?

In our April 20, 2021 post, we discussed People v. Pearson in which the court held that police could not search a defendant’s hospital room without a warrant because the defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in his hospital room.  (Can Police Search My Hospital Room Without a Warrant?)
But a later Illinois Appellate case shows how specific facts viewed by a particular judge can reach a different outcome.  This is why it is important to hire an experienced attorney who is familiar with your courthouse and can present your facts in their best possible light to
Continue Reading CAN POLICE SEARCH MY HOSPITAL ROOM WITHOUT A WARRANT? PART II

You were driving to a friend’s one night when police pulled you over for a broken headlight.  Noticing a bag of white powder on the floor, the officer suspected you had illegal narcotics.  She searched your car, taking the baggie.  You then were arrested for a narcotics offense.
Can police search your car without a warrant?  What can you do?
Under Illinois law, an officer who lawfully stops your vehicle and has probable cause to believe you have contraband may lawfully search any closed containers within your car that might reasonably contain that contraband. An officer may properly seize evidence
Continue Reading CAN AN OFFICER SEARCH YOUR CAR BECAUSE OF SOMETHING THAT IS IN PLAIN VIEW?

In Illinois, fleeing and eluding a peace officer means that the officer signaled you to stop and you willfully failed to obey, increased your speed, extinguished your lights or otherwise fled or attempted to elude the officer.  The officer must be in uniform, and if the officer is driving, his or her vehicle must flash its lights when used with a horn or siren.  (See 625 ILCS 5/11-204).
Your offense becomes aggravated if you do any of the following when trying to escape:

  • drive speeding more than 21 miles over the limit,
  • you commit more than $300 in property


Continue Reading WHAT IS AGGRAVATED FLEEING OR ATTEMPTING TO ELUDE A POLICE OFFICER?  

The legalization of recreational marijuana has caused some confusion regarding its effect on DUI laws.  A recent Illinois appellate court decision is providing some guidance. Essentially, the smell of burnt cannabis, without any corroborating factors, is not enough to establish probable cause to search the vehicle. This decision is likely to be revisited as the issue remains a complex one.
Effective January 1, 2020,   410 ILCS 705/10-10  permits  Illinois residents 21 years or older to possess no more than 30 grams of cannabis, 500 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a cannabis-infused product, or 5 grams of cannabis concentrate. Possessing
Continue Reading CAN AN OFFICER SEARCH MY CAR BASED ON THE SMELL OF MARIJUANA?

There are a host of offenses that can be either a Class A Misdemeanor or a Class 4 felony if you knowingly possess or display a fictitious or unlawfully altered driver’s license or permit.  (See 625 ILCS 5/6-301.1).  Simply possessing such a license is a Class A Misdemeanor on a first offense and a Class 4 felony on a later offense.
It is also a Class 4 felony if you possess or display that altered license under any of the following circumstances:

  • You wanted to obtain an account, credit, credit or debit card from a bank, financial institution or


Continue Reading WHAT IS THE CRIME OF “FICTITIOUS OR UNLAWFULLY ALTERED DRIVER’S LICENSE OR PEMIT” IN ILLINOIS?

When you were very young, you got caught driving while intoxicated and pled guilty to DUI.  That was more than 20 years ago.  Now you have been arrested for a second DUI.
Does the first one still count?
The answer is yes.  The DUI law does not limit the amount of time the state can look back in order to enhance your punishment for a second-time DUI or upgrade you to an Aggravated DUI for a third or later offense.
Is there anything you can do?  First contact an experienced DUI attorney.  The attorney can review your case for your
Continue Reading CAN MY PAST ILLINOIS DUI HURT ME EVEN IF IT HAPPENED A LONG TIME AGO?

Driving without a license is a bad idea.  Driving without a license while intoxicated is even worse.  Your DUI can then be upgraded to an aggravated offense and a Class 4 felony if you did not possess a driver’s license or any type of driving permit and you drove while intoxicated.
You can also be convicted of aggravated DUI if you had a license, but that license was suspended or revoked due to a reckless homicide or alcohol-related offense. Besides having a Class 4 felony DUI, you can also be convicted of driving on a suspended license and sentenced to
Continue Reading DUI WITHOUT A LICENSE

According to a recent Illinois Appellate Court decision, the answer is no. Further, you could end up with additional criminal charges.
In People v. Hutt, an officer obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s blood and urine after arresting him for DUI.  The defendant refused to give the samples.  The state then charged the defendant with obstruction of justice.  Under one definition of that offense, you obstruct justice when you knowingly destroy, alter, conceal or disguise physical evidence, plant false evidence or furnish false information with intent to prevent the apprehension or obstruct the prosecution or defense of any
Continue Reading CAN YOU REFUSE TO GIVE A BLOOD OR URINE SAMPLE WHEN THERE IS A VALID SEARCH WARRANT?

The answer is not necessarily.
If you were pulled over for DUI based on speeding, then the police likely have the probable cause they need to stop you, and you would not be able to fight the stop itself.  But the good news is that speeding doesn’t necessarily equal impaired driving.
To convict you of DUI, the state must prove that 1) you drove and 2) your driving was impaired by drugs or alcohol.   If you otherwise drove safely, performed well on field sobriety tests and spoke clearly and intelligently to police, you may be able to win a not
Continue Reading DOES SPEEDING PROVE I WAS DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE?

Many years ago you were young and reckless.  You got arrested in Illinois.  You wanted to pretend your case didn’t exist, so you skipped out on your court date and eventually moved out of state.  Older and wiser, you worry that a routine traffic stop will send you back to Illinois in handcuffs.
Now, you are ready to deal with your past, clear the warrant and deal with the underlying case.  Can you put it behind you?
The answer is very likely yes.  An attorney can bring your open warrant before your original court to ask a judge to vacate
Continue Reading CAN I CLEAR MY OLD ILLINOIS ARREST WARRANT WHEN I LIVE OUT OF STATE?

When the officer behind you turned on his signal lights, you knew you were in trouble.  So you decided to ignore the signal and try to get away.  The officer caught you anyway, and now you have a fleeing and eluding charge on top of other offenses.

What is fleeing and eluding?  What can you do?

Under 625 ILCS 5/11-204,  you commit fleeing and eluding if an officer has signaled you to stop, you willfully fail to obey, increase you speed, extinguish your lights or otherwise flee or attempt to elude the officer.  The officer must be in uniform,
Continue Reading WHAT IS FLEEING OR ATTEMPT TO ELUDE POLICE IN ILLINOIS?