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Illinois State Police Troopers have been giving motorists special attention lately, focusing on enforcement of Scott’s Law or Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle. Not a lot of Illinois motorists know about this law, and unfortunately, that lack of awareness has resulted in serious injury and death to several police officers in the past several months. What is Scott’s Law, or the Move Over Law? While slowing is subjective, we¬†recommend slowing enough so that the officer can visibly see the deceleration. While you can fight about whether you slowed in court, the officer won’t even stop you if…
DUI Evaluation at the Skokie Courthouse If you were arrested for DUI, not only is it important to secure representation by a qualified Illinois DUI lawyer, in almost all cases a drug and alcohol evaluation is required at some point. While the State of Illinois requires the evaluator be licensed and authorized by the State, each county can, and often does, have it’s own requirements. In Cook County DUI cases, evaluations must be conducted by CSI or Central State Institute, and for DUI cases appearing in the Skokie courthouse at 5600 Old Orchard Road. Because the DUI drug and…
Legislators in Illinois are again moving to act on convincing recent research which shows what many parents already knew – the part of the brain which formulates rational behavior is not fully developed in most people until around 25 years of age. In the past, changes in Illinois criminal law have included changing the jurisdiction of the adult criminal system over even nominally juvenile offenders. Now, according to a Chicago Tribune report, there’s a new parole law focused on young offenders as well.  Under the new law, people convicted as adults of most crimes committed before they reached the age of 21 will…
How Illinois Expungement or Sealing Normally Works In most cases that are dismissed (or that result in a not guilty, or acquittal as it is formally called), the defendant can file a petition with the court seeking to seal or expunge their record. As long as there are no other bars to doing so, that petition can be filed immediately with the Clerk of the Circuit Court with no waiting period, pursuant to 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(2)(A). Notice is then sent to the prosecutor, the chief legal officer of the municipality in which the arrest took place (in Chicago, that’s…
Is it possible to trick an Illinois breath test into providing a false breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) reading? Actually, it’s not that difficult – it may just be as simple as varying your normal pattern of breathing. Breathalyzers, which can be used as an investigatory tool in an effort to determine the guilt or innocence of a person in a DUI case, are not the reliable devices despite what is claimed by law enforcement agencies. In Illinois, the most commonly used breath test device is the Intoximeters EC/IR II pictured here (picture from their website). An example of potential unreliability…
Could what happened to an Ohio man also take place here in the state of Illinois? Prevention of child endangerment in Illinois Quite aside from the possibility of criminal prosecution for Child Endangerment in Illinois, the Department of Children and Family Services may conduct a family assessment or an investigation in order to prevent or provide a remedy for child abuse or neglect. The family assessment will include a comprehensive look at child safety, the potential risk of subsequent child maltreatment and family strengths, as well as needs. A family assessment “does not include a determination as to whether child…
Persons who are arrested on charges of driving under the influence, or DUI in Illinois, tend to assume that they will be automatically convicted in court. Nothing could be further from the truth. With proper assistance from a skilled DUI lawyer, several other possibilities exist. Careful examination of potential issues that can be used to attack the case before trial, or trial itself are imperative, and here we give examples of just a few issues that have the potential to produce dramatically different results than what most people expect.    There are many substances that contain forms of alcohol that can produce false…
Many ask if they should take the breath test on the street, known as the PBT. Often the arresting officer in an Illinois DUI says the PBT, the preliminary breath test (also called the portable breath test) on the street before being arrested, won’t or can’t be used against you in court. That’s true only to a certain extent. In fact, it’s misleading and meant to get a motorist to submit to the test.  Can the PBT be Used as Evidence? How can the PBT be Used?  However, the PBT can be used in certain ways. Typically, the prosecution can…
A warrant for arrest was issued for singer R. Kelly from the Cook County Criminal Court. That was a “no bond” warrant. A “no bond” warrant does not mean no bond will be set once the subject of the warrant is taken into custody – the person sought for arrest is afforded a timely bail bond hearing before a Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County. This is exactly what happened to R. Kelly.  The singer, accused of multiple accounts of aggravated Illinois felony criminal sexual abuse charges, appeared in front of Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke, Jr, represented by his…
The other day, I had a somewhat sensitive criminal case in an Illinois courtroom. The alleged victims in the case are small children. The prosecutor offered a deal. For many reasons I won’t share here, after discussing the offer with my client, we rejected the offer. The prosecutor was stunned and visibly upset. Then she asked the gotcha question no doubt meant to make me rethink the whole thing … Mr. Fagan, what if it was your kid? How would you react?! How indeed. The truth is that I might be very emotional. I might be distraught. I might be…
Let’s imagine you’re charged with an Illinois Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (AUUW), which is a felony criminal offense. You were caught with a gun and didn’t have a FOID card. Let’s add in that there were (mostly) empty beer cans in the back seat of the car you were driving, which is where you had that gun. And the gun was under the front driver’s seat, where you were sitting. And the Illinois vehicle registration had expired, which was why you were stopped. And when the officer said you were being arrested for DUI, even before he found…
We’ve already provided practical information about the Chicago DUI courthouse where you will appear if you’ve been arrested for a misdemeanor DUI in Chicago – the case will be heard at the Richard J. Daley Center located at 50 W. Washington, and some information about the building facilities itself can be found here. Meanwhile, any DUI arrest is unsettling, and we thought it might be helpful to walk you through what a DUI defense will look like at Chicago’s Daley Center, also known as the 1st Municipal Court of Cook County, Illinois.   Where is my Courtroom at the Daley Center?  While the Daley…
Skokie DUI Courthouse Any Illinois DUI arrest is an upsetting event. Most people arrested for DUI have never had any significant contact with the court system, as experienced DUI lawyers might, and certainly never contemplated facing serious criminal penalties. Even the most basic misdemeanor DUI is a serious class A misdemeanor under Illinois law. Possible penalties include jail, loss of driving privileges and more. While we’ve provided information about the law elsewhere, one thing missing is the practical aspect of what to expect from the process. With that in mind, this is our Practical Court Guide series, and in this segment,…
The search for the right lawyer for your Illinois criminal or DUI defense obviously is an undertaking worth careful thought. There are many things to think about, starting with the qualifications and experience of an attorney both in the geographic area where you have court, and in the legal area of criminal or DUI defense. But what about some basic, down to earth, practical questions you should consider before hire any professional, espescially an attorney?   Here are five basic things to consider before speaking with an attorney. These are the nuts and bolts of a good professional relationship, and you have a right…
Former officer Jason Van Dyke, the defendant in the Laquan McDonald murder trial, faces an oddball sentencing situation that has Chicago area criminal defense lawyers engaged in an ongoing and interesting discussion. Van Dyke was recently found guilty by a jury of Second Degree Murder and sixteen counts of Aggravated Battery with a Firearm (one for each shot). Sentencing is still to come at this point. The Crimes and the Times A charge of Aggravated Battery with a Firearm is what is called a class X felony, which carries a sentencing range of 6 at least, up to a maximum…
Maybe you’ve seen headlines recently such as “9th Circuit panel finds a constitutional right to openly carry a gun,” “U.S. Appeals Court: Constitution Gives Right To Carry Gun In Public,” or “Appeals court rules Constitution protects right to openly carry gun in public.” These headlines are designed to grab attention and shock a person into reading the article, but they can be misleading when it comes to understanding the July 24, 2018 decision in Young v. Hawaii and what it means for people outside Hawaii. This post will briefly discuss the case in light of what, if anything, it means for…