Not so long ago, the police were called to a carnival, because a man punched through a window. When the law enforcement officers arrived on the scene, they saw that the man was clearly drunk. His injuries were properly treated and he was then arrested for being intoxicated in public. He was released from custody later that day, once the police ensured that he no longer posed any threat to the public.
Drinking and being intoxicated in public may turn out to be a pretty serious crime. Hence, it is very important to know when it is a crime and, if so, to get in touch with a qualified, genuinely experienced Chicago DUI defense attorney.
The very first requirement is for you to be actually in public in order for it to be considered a public space. And, of course, over the years, courts have managed to come up with a definition of public spaces. This is a place that is freely opened to the public for participation, usage, and entertainment. If you were able to enter that space freely, it is probably a public area and drinking there is prohibited. Here are a few examples of areas that are considered to be public by the law – streets, parks, sidewalks, beaches, bars and restaurants, shopping malls and amusement parks, hotel hallways and lobbies, apartment building hallways, and so on. You will therefore need to be aware that drinking there is illegal.
Furthermore, do not forget that if you are not in your own place, it can also be considered public, even if you are alone. If the place was meant to be used by other people, it does not matter if you are alone or not – the place is considered a public spot as well. Subsequently, it is no wonder that you could be arrested even if you are lying on a sidewalk, as there are plenty of legal reasons to arrest you for that: you were drunk, you were in public, and you were interfering with other people, which are all great reasons to issue a warrant for your arrest.
Once you are arrested for being drunk in public, you are probably going to be taken into custody and to the police station. There they will wait until you will sober up and once that happens, they will release you from custody and will schedule a court date for you to appear. Hence, at this point, it is pretty important for you to get in touch with a qualified legal representative to get the most out of your legal defense strategy.
Though drinking in public is a misdemeanor, it does not necessarily imply mild legal consequences. After all, you may well be required to pay expensive fines and could even be facing some time in county jail. In addition, if you were drunk in public three times in one year, you will face a mandatory jail sentence of 90 days minimum. Still, the court does have the discretion to substitute the sentence with some other kind of option.
One way or the other, though, you will probably want to fight public drinking charges, and this is one of the many reasons why it is crucial to find a good Chicago DUI lawyer to help you. After all, there are a number of legal defense strategies that could help you out. First of all, there could be a lack of willful intoxication and do not forget about the space itself – it could really be private and not a public space. Finally, there is a chance that the police brought you to a public space on their own. There are plenty of different ways to fight this, but you need the right legal representative to do so.
In pretty much every single DUI case, the arresting officer should have a probable cause to pull a person over. After all, they cannot go stopping everyone they want to – it is against the law. There should be a reason why the law enforcement officer decided to stop the given vehicle. Perhaps the driver was acting abnormally or against the law. Their driving may have been suspicious or a report may have been issued to pull their car over to begin with. Furthermore, there should be witnesses to how the driver was operating his or her vehicle. If it turns out that the police officer had no probable cause to pull the driver over, the case will be dismissed, since the officer was not acting in line with protocol.
With that said, if you or your loved ones were pulled over and consequently charged with a DUI, it would be highly advisable to get a copy of the police report so you can determine if the officer had a reason to stop you. It is difficult to believe, but too many cases went to court just because the defendants had no qualified lawyer, who would notice there was no probable cause in the first place. Furthermore, it does not even matter if you were actually driving under the influence – the case will still be dismissed because of all the legal regulations. Hence, plenty of people realize that and experienced attorneys help them figure out if the officer was following the rules.
The funny thing about those DUI stops is the fact that the law enforcement officers are rarely pulling people over just because they have reason to believe that the drivers are impaired. On the contrary – many people, who were eventually charged with a DUI were actually stopped because of some other problem that is unrelated to driving under the influence.
A law enforcement officer cannot pull you over just because he or she thinks you are drunk. Well, here is a good example – the law enforcement officers sees a man leaving a bar late at night. This is reason enough for them to believe that he is intoxicated. However, at that point, they have nothing to stop him for unless the driver does something strange or illegal. If that driver managed to get home without disobeying any of the road rules and laws, there is absolutely nothing that the police can do about it.
Most DUI arrests happen when people are pulled over for something else. And it could be nothing serious – people were actually pulled over because one of their tail lights was out and the police officer simply wanted to inform them so they can attend to it. However, once a person is pulled over, the officer may suspect that he or she is also operating the vehicle while impaired.
In order to arrest you, the officer will need to make sure that you are actually acting suspiciously. For instance, the officer could smell alcohol on your breath, your eyes may give you away, your movements and even your speech may be off. In addition, driving under the influence does not only imply alcohol. If your behavior is suspicious, the officer may also believe that you are under the influence of drugs and will request a warrant for a blood test ASAP.
While you can politely refuse to submit yourself to the breathalyzer or BAC test, the refusal may turn out badly for you – you will be immediately arrested and you will eventually be required to submit yourself to the blood test during the booking. Furthermore, refusal does not give you any points in court.
One way or the other, if you or your loved ones were arrested for DUI, it is best to hire a qualified, experienced legal representative to help you out in your time of need. He or she will be able to review the probable cause and any evidence against you to build up a perfect legal defense strategy.
Every single one of us has made at least one error of judgment and decided that it is fine to drive after drinking only a couple of beers. Regardless of whether you think you are preserving the ability to act effectively on the road or perhaps because you were sure that there would be no police on the roads at night, it is a very bad decision and all too many drivers pay for it. And, of course, the law enforcement authorities are not all that forgiving when it comes to DUI offenders – you may well lose your license and even be sentenced to county jail or state prison. Hence, if you or your loved ones were charged with DUI, it is crucial, imperative even, to make sure that you don’t waste any time and get in touch with a qualified criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
With that said, if this a first-time offense or perhaps you never committed a DUI in the past, you may expect legal penalties that range from mild to sever. This all depends on a number of factors about the accident. First of all, the court will take into consideration whether or not you have any previous DUI records. Furthermore, the court will also take into consideration your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) levels to see if you were indeed driving while intoxicated. The reason for being pulled over by the law enforcement authorities is also one of the factors that will definitely be taken into consideration by the court. The officer will elaborate on whether you were cooperating and behaving yourself. Whether or not there was a minor in the vehicle with you is also a very important detail that will interest the court. And, of course, the court will need to learn if you have injured anyone or perhaps damaged some property during the accident.
In most cases, first-time DUI offenders will be charged with a misdemeanor. However, this does not necessarily imply that the legal penalties will be less harsh. In fact, you may well be facing time in county jail as well as expensive fines. Nevertheless, if you have an experienced legal representative by your side, odds are, they will be able to minimize the sentence or to replace time in jail with alcohol or drug awareness classes. In fact, if you complete those classes with success, there is a high chance that your case will be dismissed.
If you have committed a consequent DUI offense in Chicago, you should not ignore the possible consequences. You will be charged with a felony and the legal penalties for it will be absolutely correlated. This means that you can face stricter driving limitations, even more expensive fines, and time in state prison, especially if someone was hurt during the accident or if you have damaged property.
Despite the fact that the prosecution will be able to make the most from the results of breathalyzer test that you took after being pulled over, it does not necessarily imply that there are no legal defenses that could counter that. After all, the arresting officers and the prosecutors will need to follow strict legal rules and regularities. This means that if at least one of those rules is neglected, your case will be closed and you will not need to worry about any further legal consequences. This is one of the many reasons why it is so important to find the best lawyer possible that will have the skills and the expertise to prove that your legal rights were neglected by the authorities.
It does not matter if it is your first DUI offense or if you committed one before, the best thing to do is to get in touch with a great legal representative as quickly as possible. Only then will you be able to make the most from your defense and to make sure avoid the harshest legal consequences.
Chicago Sheriff swore an oath recently. He replaced the old sheriff and there are rumors now that the time inmates spend in jail will increase in a drastically.
Right now, because of jail overcrowding, the vast majority of inmates are not serving their full sentence. In fact, when it comes to DUI inmates, they are required to serve the minimum of 96 hours in jail, but are actually released right after they are booked. Furthermore, most of the inmates are serving only about 10% of their time in jail, but this tendency could now change.
Rumors are claiming that the new sheriff is pretty serious about changing the rules and intends to make sure that inmates will serve a minimum of 90% of their sentence if the sentence implies more than 30 days in jail. This implies that people should be very cautious, especially when considering taking a plea bargain. At times, the plea bargain may involve a jail sentence of 30 days and more, so if you are planning on being released in a couple of days, this may no longer be the case.
The rumors also claim that there will be a viable alternative to the jail sentence— electronic home monitoring. If you or your loved ones were charged with a crime such as drunk driving, do not be too hasty and do not plead guilty right away. It could even make things worse and that is the last thing you want.
It is very important, crucial even, to make sure you have a qualified, genuinely experienced legal representative by your side. Only a good lawyer will ensure that your sentence is minimized and that you won’t do all of that jail time in full.
DUI is a pretty serious offense – you can easily be sentenced to jail even for a misdemeanor DUI and this is one more reason why you should first consult a lawyer before making any decisions and trying to manage things on your own. So, go ahead, discover all the possibilities, and learn much more about the possible defense strategies and you will be able to make the most from your legal representation. After all, both you and your loved ones surely deserve it! Serving full time is not an option and a Chicago DUI attorney will make sure you get the most from your legal adviser!
John Wright, ESQ
Law Offices of Chicago DUI Experts
Driving under the influence on your own is bad enough. However, if you are driving with some passengers and these passengers are your own children – well, this is all kinds of messed up and you are clearly endangering the lives of your kids with your irrational actions. A recent situation of a drunken father who was driving with his three-year-old daughter and one-year-old son and crashed his car into two other vehicles proves that point very clearly. The girl was not restrained properly in her seat and she suffered facial injuries. The little boy was taken to the hospital as well.
This is not only a driving under the influence case – it is also child endangerment pursuant to Penal Code section 273. If little children are injured or hurt, the case is viewed as a felony, so the driver will face up to six years in prison. However, if it is viewed as a misdemeanor, the maximum sentence would equal a year in county jail.
There is also a special enhancement for DUI penalties if the driver was driving under the influence with minors under 14 years old. If this is the first offense, 48 hours will be added to the jail sentence, if it is the second offense, 10 days will be added to the jail sentence, and if it is the third offense, expect 30 days of jail sentence in addition to the standard penalties. This enhancement, however, does not apply if the driver was already charged with child endangerment as well.
Finally, if you were arrested for driving under the influence and with children in your vehicle, there is a pretty big chance that you will get a visit from child protection services and you will be expected to complete a special 52-week parenting class. This class will also be appointed to you in court of you were already prosecuted for child endangerment.
On way or the other, you need to understand that it really is a pretty challenging situation and one where you will need help from industry experts. We are, of course, talking about getting in touch with a qualified DUI attorney who will have the skills and the expertise to help you. Should you add child endangerment to the process, that will put you in a fairly disturbing situation, and you need to do something about it. A good DUI lawyer will have what it takes to provide you with all the guidance, information and facts you will need to really make the best of your situation.
Having criminal records could prove to be detrimental for any future career – after all, seeing how we have all sorts of online databases, it was only a question of time until a database of people with criminal records would appear. And now any potential employer, any licensed agency even, will be able to browse through your criminal records by simply entering your name and your data of birth into the system.
Despite the fact that a law was issued stating that any public sector companies were banned from asking people about their previous criminal records in their job applications, it does not necessarily imply that the private sector companies should obey this legislation as well. While there are some “ban the box” regulations, which are meant to really prohibit the business from asking about criminal records, it does not always work and cannot be applied to all the cases.
Sure enough, having criminal records will not look great and will turn into an obstacle for anyone, who is searching for decent employment opportunities. Well, the only viable option is turning to expungement. In case that a person was convicted of probation or perhaps was earlier discharged, there is a way for him or her to have those criminal records expunged. This basically means that your “guilty” plea will be replaced with the “not guilty” one.
In case that you have managed to determine that your case is eligible for expungement, there is a whole lot of paperwork ahead of you. Furthermore, you will be required to appear in court. Therefore, in case that you are hoping to get the best results possible, you will need to make sure that you have a qualified as well as genuinely experienced legal representative alongside you. In case that your criminal records (regardless of whether it was a felony or a misdemeanor) will be successfully expunged, no potential employers will have any questions about them and will not even be allowed to ask something on that matter.
Of course, there are certain conditions for the expungement. First of all, the person must have completed the probation successfully or perhaps the probation was dismissed to begin with. The person must not be serving any sentence, must not be serving probation and must not be charge with any current crimes. Furthermore, in case that person was convicted for a felony and is now in prison, serving his or her sentence, he or she will not be eligible for the expungement. People who were convicted for committing sexual crimes, are not eligible for expungement as well.
More information about criminal record and defense options can be found here: https://www.chicagoduilawyer.net/
It is a well-known fact that most people have sturdy belief in the modern justice system and think that it cannot let them down. Unfortunately, experience clearly demonstrates different. Should we consider the justice department and particularly its law enforcement division, certain problems and issues are going to arise in no time at all. Needless to say, the Chicago police is working hard in order to keep the crime rates at a minimum. Nevertheless, their determination and their eagerness to apprehend potential criminals at times goes too far. Hence, innocent people and law abiding citizens are often turning into actual victims of the police actions. Chances are, you have heard about cases when the law enforcement officers simply intrude in other people’s residences, their offices, without having any permission or even a warrant. In some cases, people who were simply walking down the street are being stopped and interrogated by the law enforcement officers on the spot, without any obvious reasons whatsoever. Some police officers go as far as pulling over completely random vehicles and performing searches inside, without even asking permission from the vehicle owners. The police is using its authority to turn people’s houses and their offices upside down without permission and such actions must not be allowed to take place. Hence, it is very important for you to remember that we have the Fourth Amendment and the Constitution that protects our rights against such outrageous behavior.
In case that you or perhaps your loved ones were unlawfully victimized by the law enforcement officers, who used their authority in order to search your house, your office, your car or to stop you on the street, interrogate and search you, it is very important to make sure that you get in touch with a qualified as well as genuinely experienced Chicago criminal lawyer at the earliest opportunity. Only a skillful attorney will have what it takes to really make sure that the Fourth Amendment is functioning properly and is therefore protecting you against any such actions of the law enforcement officers. This basically means that the attorney will have what it takes to prove that the police officer was abusing his or her power when he or she intruded into your house, your office, stopped you on the street or performed a random search of your vehicle due to the suspicion of DUI.
In fact, the Fourth Amendment may act as an all-powerful instrument in case when the law enforcement authorities are abusing their power. Still, in order for you to use that very tool properly, you will need help from a qualified as well as genuinely experienced legal representative. A good attorney will have what it takes in order to make sure that the court will drop all charges, even if you made some confessions, since the law enforcement officers were not acting in line with the legal boundaries and without any warrants. Hence, in case that you have reasons to believe that the law enforcement officers had no right to intrude in your life and had no permission to do that, it is best to consult your lawyer first in order to make sure that you are going to come up with the ideal defense strategy that would be based on the Fourth Amendment. Whether you are guilty or not, the police must not be allowed to abuse its power in any form. Hence, it is important for you to use your constitutional rights properly in order to defend yourself from such behavior and you will need to work with a Chicago criminal defense lawyer for the best outcome possible.
If you were pulled over by the law enforcement authorities and the police officer has reasons to believe that you were driving under the influence of alcohol, the very first thing that you may be worried about would be how to answer the officer’s question “Were you drinking today?”.
With that said, it is very important to understand that the law enforcement officer cannot force you to answer any questions, including the above-mentioned one. You have every right to remain silent and you should politely notice that you are not going to answer any of the questions until your Chicago DUI attorney will be able to consult you. Furthermore, if you are certain that your BAC is below the .08% limit, you can always say that you had one beer and this explains the smell of alcohol in the car.
FST – Field Sobriety Tests are the following step for anyone who is suspected to be driving under the influence of alcohol. Despite the fact that you cannot consult your lawyer prior to submitting yourself to these tests, you do have the right to politely refuse to begin with. Now these tests, although quite straightforward, are also very subjective. The officer may want you to touch your nose with your finger, walk a straight line or recite the alphabet backwards. The officer may think that the results are inconclusive, so the FST may be used to arrest you. Hence, refusing to submit to these tests may prove to be wise. Do not forget that the results may also be used in court in order to convict you. Still, even if you refused and the officer still has reasons to believe that you are drunk, he will not let you go that easily.
The next step would consist of PAS – Preliminary Alcohol Screening. This is basically a breathalyzer test that is mean to determine if you were indeed driving under the influence of alcohol. Now, of course, before you were arrested, you have the right to refuse to submit yourself to the test. Nevertheless, in case you are certain that your BAC is genuinely elevated, you can take the test and then challenge the results of the screening later on.
Finally, in case you were already arrested, you will be required to submit yourself to the chemical testing in line with the “Implied Consent Law”.
You will have the choice between the breathalyzer test and the blood test. Although breathalyzers are most commonly used, the results are not necessarily accurate. Hence, in case you are certain that your BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is below the .08% threshold, it will make sense to benefit from the blood tests. After all, the blood samples taken from you will be specifically preserved and your legal representative will be able to test it again in the future. Should you refuse to submit yourself to any of the tests, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended for a year and this will add up to your following sentence.
One way or the other, in case you or your loved ones were charged with Chicago DUI and you would like to challenge the charges in order to avoid the harsh legal penalties, it will be important, crucial even, to make sure that you get in touch with a qualified as well as genuinely experienced DUI attorney in Chicago at the earliest opportunity.
Only a qualified Chicago DUI lawyer will have what it takes to challenge the charges and to make sure that you get a minimal sentence or that the case will be closed to begin with. Call our office at (888) 828-2305 or fill out contact form to request case review.
There is a large number of Illinois laws that are related to using, storing and transporting marijuana. The laws apply to all the areas – from legal medicinal usage of cannabis and up to illegal selling and transportation of marijuana.
With that said, some of the laws are not taking into consideration other legal regulations, which is making them somewhat controversial. On one hand, possessing less than one ounce of cannabis for personal usage is only a misdemeanor. Despite the fact that it is still a criminal offense, it is only punishable by a small $100 fine and no jail time is involved. On the other hand, there are laws that are meant to prohibit transportation of large amounts of cannabis across the federal border for the purpose of distributing it. There are also special medicinal laws that are allowing people with certain conditions to be using marijuana for medicinal purposes. In addition, these laws allow the caregivers of people with medical conditions to use the doctor’s permit in order to purchase marijuana under the so-called compassionate law.
Still, one way or the other, it is still against the law to be driving under the influence of marijuana. As the matter of fact, it is considered a DUI crime and is punished accordingly. Yet, it is somewhat challenging to determine how intoxicated a person under the influence of marijuana really is. The breathalyzer test in this case is completely useless and urine test needs to be correlated to the time when the person was impaired, which is also a difficult task indeed.
Moreover, in case some quantity of cannabis was found inside your vehicle, in a bag or even in a pipe, an entirely different laws apply. Still, your offense will go in your criminal records, so you will risk having to pay elevated prices for insurance, losing your job, ruining your reputations and so on. There are plenty of legal consequences that you will not want to be dealing with. Therefore, in case you or perhaps your loved ones were charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, it is very important, crucial even, to get in touch with a qualified as well as genuinely experienced legal representative at the earliest opportunity.
An interesting fact – it is not against the law in Illinois to possess a smoking pipe. However, in case there is some quantity of cannabis in this pipe, the law enforcement officers will have a reason to charge you with illegal possession of marijuana.
Some people are also questioning whether or not they may be charged with possession if cannabis is in the car and they are only passengers or it is in the vehicle, but not on them namely. It is important to understand that the person that was accused with possessing marijuana, should have had knowledge of its existence and, in addition, there is the law that does imply joint possession, when two or more people are found guilty for possessing the drugs.
Nowadays, marijuana in Illinois is one of the legal prescription drugs along with Xanax, Valium or Diazepam, Vicodin, Norco, Percocet, Hydrocodone, Clonazepam, Oxycodone, and Soma. Still, despite the fact that these prescription drugs are legal, they are very often abused and some consider them to be the most dangerous as well as genuinely deadliest drugs out there.
Hence, the law enforcement authorities are working along with the pharmacists in order to determine whether or not people are using those drugs properly and not abusing them. A lot of drug addicts are doing their best to forge the prescriptions and all pharmacists are required to notify the police in case they suspect that something is wrong.
The vast majority of drug charges in Illinois are felonies. Of course, this implies some serious and harsh legal penalties that are going to have a very negative impact on your day to day living. We are not only talking about expensive fines, community service and such – people also face incarceration.
Therefore, in case you or maybe your loved ones were charged with marijuana possession or any other drug related crime, it is very important, vital even, to make sure that you get in touch with a qualified as well as genuinely experienced legal representative as soon as it is possible. A good law firm will need to be able to represent you and protect your legal rights in case you were charged with:
The worst thing about criminal drug related charges is the fact that they will appear in your personal records. This means that you may easily lose your job and will have trouble finding a new one. After all, you will be obligated to indicate your criminal records in the job application and it is rather difficult to imagine an employer that will be happy to work with a criminal. Hence, it is very important to do your very best in order to get the charges dismissed. This is the only way how you may avoid having criminal records and only a good law firm will be capable of providing you with actual results.
All things considered, only a good Chicago criminal lawyer will have what it takes in order to really approach the judge, the prosecution and the jury and to appeal to your civil rights during the whole case. Only a good lawyer will be able to provide you with professional representation based on his previous experience. Only a good lawyer will be able to help you minimize the possible legal damage or will even get the case dismissed.
Getting behind the wheel while being drunk is the worst idea one could ever have. Not only is such a driver posing a threat to himself and his passengers – he is also a threat for other drivers as well as their passengers and even the pedestrians.
With that said, unfortunately, the official statistical data clearly demonstrates a significant rise in DUI offenses. In addition, more and more people repeatedly break the DUI laws and these repeat offenders need to be dealt with properly.
This is why Chicago introduced two new bills that are meant to make legal penalties for repeated DUI offense even more tough than it already is.
One of the bills followed the well-known case of Anderson Sotomayer – one of the most irresponsible DUI offenders. The man was consequently arrested five times during a period of only two months. He was not only charged with driving under the influence, he was also arrested for improper passing, abandoning the scene of the accident without notifying the authorities and even failing to report the accident after colliding with a school bus. Later on, he also managed to hit a police car and afterwards a utility pole.
Supporters of the bill want to really toughen the penalties. For instance, in case you were charged for DUI for the second time, you will need to pay up to $10 000 in fines and will need to spend up to 18 months in jail. The bill will also require to suspend an individual’s driving privileges within 60 days after the seconf DUI offense. It will also allow the judge to impose a $10 000 bail.
There is also a second bill in play. This one is proposing to impose the installation of an ignition interlock device inside the vehicles of DWI offenders. Furthermore, it does not only concern the multiple DUI offenders, but the first time Chicago DUI offenders as well. An ignition interlock device is basically a breathalyzer that is being installed inside the car and it prevents your car from starting in case your BAC is above the legal limit (.08%).
Even though these bills may seem to be somewhat harsh at first, in truth they are welcomed and supported by a whole lot of social groups and organizations.
One way or the other, being accused of DUI is a serious business. Even if the above-mentioned bills are still in question, the current penalties are not too light as well. After all, you will need to pay expensive fines and fees, you may be required to perform community service, which basically implies hundreds upon hundreds of hours of unpaid labor and, more importantly, you may also be sentenced to spend some time behind bars, depending on the circumstances of the crime.
Therefore, if you or maybe your loved ones were charged with a DUI in Chicago, it is important to understand that the very first thing that you need to do is hiring a qualified as well as genuinely experienced legal representative. Indeed, only a good Chicago DUI attorney, who has the expertise and the understanding of the legal system will be able to approach the case properly.
Do not forget – a DUI offense, no matter how insignificant it may seem at first, will be left in your personal records, so it is very important to understand that it can have a genuinely detrimental impact on your day to day living. Multiple DUI offenses are even more severe, may imply more legal measures, and will have even greater impact on your life. You can lose your job, your reputation will be ruined and you will have trouble finding a job.
Hence, it is crucial to make sure that you have great legal representation that will be capable of minimizing the legal damage or will even get the case dismissed altogether. And returning to the above-mentioned laws – while they may seem a bit controversial, it is a good stimulation to quit drinking or at least to think before drinking and driving your vehicle at the same time.