Latest from DUI Lawyer Skokie - Page 3

You like driving late at night.  It’s quiet, and it lets you think.  One night, you pulled over to eat in a store’s parking lot.  The store had been closed for several hours, and the area was deserted.  An officer spotted you and came over to investigate.  He smelled alcohol and pretty soon you were out of your car and under arrest. Can they do that?
The answer depends on the facts of your situation.
An officer can see if you need help as part of his or her community caretaking function.  Were you sleeping in the car or did
Continue Reading CAN I BE STOPPED FOR PARKING IN A LOT LATE AT NIGHT?

An officer can stop you for one reason then investigate you for another as long as the stop is not unduly prolonged. Whether a stop was unduly prolonged, and thus illegal, is a very fact-intensive question, which different judges may see very differently.
A traffic stop is unduly prolonged if it takes longer than the time reasonably required to complete the officer’s mission. The mission consists of the stop’s purpose and related safety concerns. Authority for the stop ends when tasks tied to the traffic violation are, or reasonably should have been, completed.  These tasks include checking your driver’s license,
Continue Reading CAN POLICE CHANGE THE REASON THEY STOP ME?

According to the Illinois Supreme Court, the answer is yes, especially if combined with other factors.
In People v. Hill, an officer stopped the defendant, then searched his car based on the strong odor of cannabis and a cannabis bud spotted in the backseat.  Defendant argued that because marijuana had been decriminalized, those reasons could not serve as the basis of a search.  The court disagreed.
The court said that a person does not have a legitimate interest in contraband. While small amounts of marijuana had been decriminalized, cannabis was still contraband, even though it might not be evidence
Continue Reading CAN POLICE SEARCH MY CAR BASED ON MARIJUANA WHEN POT IS LEGAL IN ILLINOIS?

The answer is yes.
Police can stop your car when they have probable cause to believe that a traffic violation has occurred.  Failure to wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt can be enough.
During any stop, the driver and passengers may be ordered out of the vehicle and questioned without violating the fourth amendment. Any questions need not be related to the purpose of the traffic stop as long as those questions do not prolong the stop.  Police may also frisk everyone to insure there are no weapons. If the stop is prolonged, police then must have a
Continue Reading CAN YOU BE STOPPED FOR FAILING TO WEAR A SEAT BELT?

If an officer pulls you over, you must stop as soon as you can safely do so.
Stopping too slowly could give police the probable cause they need to search your car. Police may think you are hiding something or that you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
To determine whether you stopped quickly enough, courts look at a number of factors: What were the weather conditions? Is traffic heavy? Are you on a highway without a shoulder? You might be justified in driving a little further to pull in somewhere like a mall where it is
Continue Reading HOW QUICKLY SHOULD YOU STOP WHEN POLICE PULL YOUR CAR OVER?

In most situations, the answer is yes.
Police need probable cause before they can stop your car for a suspected offense. Violating even a minor traffic law can be enough. Furthermore, police may conduct a brief, investigatory stop where the officer reasonably believes that you have committed, or are about to commit, a crime, which includes traffic violations.
For example, in People v. Edwards, the defendant violated a Chicago municipal law that prohibited drivers from unreasonably obstructing traffic. The defendant’s car had been running with its headlights on about three to six feet off the curb. This violation was
Continue Reading DOES A MINOR TRAFFIC VIOLATION GIVE POLICE THE RIGHT TO STOP MY CAR?

 
 
Your child only recently started driving.  Although generally responsible, he or she got a rather high speeding ticket with the possibility of a criminal record as a result.  Should you get an attorney?  What can an attorney do?
 
Be aware that certain types of tickets, like speeding, are very difficult to win at trial. However, under limited circumstances, it may be possible to get a ticket dismissed.  More likely, an attorney can help your child by negotiating with the prosecutor to get a reduced charge or sentence.  If, for example, your child is charged with a Class
Continue Reading HOW CAN A LAWYER HELP MY CHILD WITH A TRAFFIC TICKET?

If you are arrested for DUI when you are under age 21, you can face somewhat stiffer penalties than if you were older.  For one thing, the Illinois Secretary of State can revoke your driving privileges for at least two years for a first conviction.  Further, under Zero Tolerance, you can lose your license for at least three months if you are found to have any trace of alcohol in your system while operating a motor vehicle even if you were under the legal limit.  The investigating officer has the discretion whether to charge you with Zero Tolerance, DUI or
Continue Reading WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF AN ILLINOIS DUI UNDER AGE 21 AND HOW CAN AN ATTORNEY HELP?

You left your car at your friend’s house while you were out of town. You wanted the car moved every few days so you left him the keys.  While you were gone, the police stopped your friend in the car and asked to search it based on suspicion that it was involved in a crime.  Your friend said OK. The police found hidden drugs leading to your arrest.
Can they do that?  The answer depends on the authority your friend had to consent to the search.
To justify the search, the state must show that a reasonable person, in the
Continue Reading CAN A THIRD PARTY CONSENT TO A POLICE SEARCH OF MY POSSESSIONS?

Once you are arrested for DUI, the Secretary of State usually suspends your driver’s license for at least six months beginning on the 46th day after your arrest.  Your attorney may file a petition to rescind or overturn that suspension.  In some cases, the sooner an attorney can file that petition, the better your chance of winning.
Your suspension can only be attacked on certain grounds.  One ground is the propriety of the underlying traffic offense.  In other words, an officer needs probable cause to stop you, which may be that you violated a traffic law.  But what if you
Continue Reading OVERTURNING YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSION BASED ON THE UNDERLYING TRAFFIC STOP

While you can still be convicted of DUI without a breathalyzer, the prosecution’s job certainly is a bit harder.
To find you guilty of DUI, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were both driving and impaired.  A breathalyzer reading above .08 raises a presumption that you were impaired.  Without the breathalyzer, the state must rely on other evidence.
During your court case, your attorney will ask the state to turn over copies of its evidence against you.  In most cases, that evidence will include video from the police stop. The video may show your driving prior
Continue Reading CAN I BE CONVICTED OF DUI IN ILLINOIS IF I DID NOT TAKE THE BREATHALYZER?

The answer depends on a variety of factors.
Were you driving? Are there witnesses to your driving?  Did the officer observe the odor of alcohol at the scene?  Were there beer cans or open evidence of drug use in the car? To convict you, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving and that you were impaired.
Did you cause the accident?  What kind of damage was done to the vehicles involved?  Note that even if you didn’t cause the accident, you may still be charged with DUI. The accident gives police the probable cause needed
Continue Reading CAN I BE CHARGED WITH DUI FOR GETTING IN A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT?

There is nothing illegal about wearing a costume while driving a car.  If you are driving late at night, however, your costume may garner a little extra attention from police.  The costume and time of night may lead police to assume you’d been partying.
Wearing a costume, in itself, will not give police the probable cause they need to stop you.  But if you show any other signs of erratic driving, the costume may tip the balance in making a stop.
If you have been charged with a DUI, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review
Continue Reading CAN YOUR HALLOWEEN COSTUME GET YOU IN TROUBLE FOR DUI?

You’ve been booked for DUI and sent home from the police station.  You were given a court date within two months.  What happens from there
Generally at your first court date, your attorney will file his or her appearance with the court and the state. The attorney may also file a motion for discovery, which requests copies of the evidence against you. Discovery may include police reports, breathalyzer results and the squad car or body cam video from your arrest.
Note that the Secretary of State usually suspends your driver’s license for at least six months beginning on the 46th
Continue Reading WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR DUI IN COOK COUNTY?

Before police can stop your car, they must have probable cause to believe that a traffic violation is occurring.  If  the officer develops a reasonable, articulable suspicion that you are doing something wrong, the officer may investigate as long as he or she does not unreasonably prolong your stop. The officer must be able to point to facts that support his or her suspicion and may not simply rely on a hunch.  Further, the officer cannot rely on evidence found during a search to retroactively justify his or her suspicion.
The definitions of “probable cause,” “reasonable, articulable suspicion,” and “unreasonably
Continue Reading HOW AN ATTORNEY CAN HELP WITH YOUR DUI

According to recent Illinois case law, the answer is a probable yes.
Under Illinois law, any person who drives or is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle upon the public way shall be deemed to have consented to chemical tests.  This is known as implied consent. Generally, you must be under arrest before the results of any testing can be used against you unless the tests fall under an exception to the warrant requirement.
One such exception is actual consent.  In  People v. Patel, the defendant had been in a traffic accident and was at the hospital
Continue Reading CAN MY CONSENT TO CHEMICAL TESTS BE USED AGAINST ME IF I WASN’T UNDER ARREST FOR DUI?