CAN POLICE ARREST ME FOR DRIVING ON A REVOKED LICENSE EVEN IF I DID NOTHING ELSE WRONG?

The U.S. Supreme Court says that they can under certain circumstances.

In Kansas v. Glover, an officer ran a check on a truck’s license plate which revealed that the truck’s owner, Glover, had a revoked license.  Assuming Glover was the driver, the officer stopped the truck.  The court held that a stop on this basis did not violate Glover’s constitutional rights: “When the officer lacks information negating an inference that the owner is driving the vehicle, an investigative traffic stop made after running a vehicle’s license plate and learning that the registered owner’s driver’s license has been revoked is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”

While an officer must still have a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing before making a traffic stop, an officer’s commonsense inference that a truck’s owner was likely to be its driver was enough.

While this case came from Kansas, the ruling still applies in Illinois.

If you have been charged with driving on a revoked license or similar offense, contact an experienced traffic court attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for your best possible defense.  The Supreme Court itself has said that its ruling is a narrow one. Your stop may not be legal if the officer had information contradicting his suspicion that a vehicle owner must be the driver.  Even if the stop was reasonable and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

 

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WHAT ARE THE GROUNDS FOR OVERTURNING A DUI –RELATED SUSPENSION OF MY DRIVER’S LICENSE?

When you are arrested for DUI in Illinois, the Secretary of State automatically suspends your driver’s license on the 46th day after your arrest.  You may be able to overturn that suspension, particularly on a first offense.  Illinois law sets out four specific grounds upon which to fight:

(1) Were you properly placed under arrest?

(2) Did the arresting officer have probable cause to believe that you were driving while under the influence?

(3) Did you refuse to take the breathalyzer or other chemical test? and

(4) Did you fail the test if you took it?

Your best chance at winning your license back may depend on your acting quickly.  Your suspension could be automatically overturned if the State misses certain deadlines.  Otherwise, an experienced DUI attorney may be able to present one of the above four arguments in its most favorable light.

If you have been charged with DUI or a similar offense, contact a DUI attorney immediately. An experienced attorney can help you through often confusing court procedures and probe for weaknesses in the state’s case.  Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com

Source:  People v. Stoffle

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

 

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CAN POLICE SEARCH MY CAR WITHOUT A WARRANT?

The answer is yes, if the search falls under the “automobile exception” to the warrant requirement.

Because automobiles are mobile, a driver could easily take off with the evidence before police have time to get a warrant. Therefore, the automobile exception allows officers to search your car without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe your car contains evidence of criminal activity. The search may include any interior compartment of the vehicle that might reasonably contain a particular type of contraband. For example, an officer looking for open alcohol cannot search a coin box.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately.  Did the police have probable cause to believe your car contained evidence of criminal activity?  Did the police search areas other than those that might reasonably contain the contraband?  If police went beyond the limits authorized by the automobile exception, an attorney may be able to bring a motion to suppress the results of any unlawful search.

Note that determining whether a police search violated the law is very fact specific, and different judges can weigh those facts very differently.  Therefore, it is important to have an attorney who is familiar with the courthouse and can better present your particular situation.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

Reference:   People v. Davis

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

 

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DO POLICE NEED A WARRANT TO GET MY BLOOD TEST RESULTS FROM A  HOSPITAL?

After having too much to drink, you were involved in an auto accident and taken to the emergency room.  The nurse was very friendly while taking a sample of your blood.  The hospital had your blood tested for alcohol which showed you were way over the legal limit. The police then got the results and charged you with DUI.

Did the police violate your constitutional rights by getting those results without a warrant?

The answer is no, as long as the nurse was not acting as an agent of the police.

A blood test is a search within the Fourth Amendment and thus requires police to obtain a search warrant before drawing your blood. The warrant requirement, however, does not apply to searches conducted by private individuals performed independently of the police. Often, a blood test is necessary before the hospital can treat you.  If the test was not medically necessary and the police were leaning on the nurse to perform it, however, you may be able to prove that the search was illegal.

If you have been charged with DUI or a similar offense, contact an experienced attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense.  Were the police asking or badgering the hospital to perform a medically unnecessary test? If so, an attorney may be able to petition the court to suppress your test results.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

See our related blog: Can Police See The Results of My Hospital Blood Test? and Can the State Use the Results of a Forced Blood or Urine Test? It Depends on who’s Doing the Forcing

Reference: People v. Deroo

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

 

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CAN I BE CONVICTED OF DUI WHEN THE CAR WAS OFF?

The answer is yes.

In Illinois, you may be guilty of DUI if you are in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. To convict you, the state need only show that you had the capability or potential of operating the car.

To determine actual control, courts look at factors including whether you are in the driver’s seat in possession of the ignition key and whether you have the physical capability of starting the engine and moving the vehicle. Illinois courts have convicted drivers based on the following:

  • Defendant was zipped in a sleeping bag inside the backseat.
  • Defendant was pushing his car down the road with no one else present.
  • Defendant was staggering near a smoking vehicle which was registered to him.
  • Defendant was slumped on the passenger side of the vehicle.
  • Defendant’s head was on the driver’s side door with legs extended across the front seat.
  • Defendant was standing outside the open driver’s side door of a truck even though another person was nearby, and there was no proof as to who owned the truck.

If you have been charged with DUI, contact an experienced attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for your best possible defense. An attorney may be able to raise doubts about whether you were actually in control of the vehicle. Even if you were in control, can the state prove you were under the influence of alcohol? How well did you do on any field sobriety tests? Does the police video show you driving safely? Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

Sources: People v. Cox and People v. Davies.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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CAN POLICE SEARCH MY CAR AFTER THEY IMPOUND IT?

After you were arrested for DUI, the officers impounded and searched your car. The search yielded several capsules of an illegal narcotic. The officers did not have a warrant. You are now charged with possession with intent to deliver as well as DUI. Was the search of your car legal?

The answer is generally yes. Officers are allowed to perform an inventory search without a warrant. The search, however, must satisfy three criteria:

  1. The original impoundment of the vehicle must be lawful;
  2. The purpose of the inventory search must be to protect the defendant’s property, to protect the police against allegations of theft or damage, or to protect the police from danger; and
  3. The inventory search must be conducted in good faith and not as a pretext for an investigatory search.

If any of the three criteria are missing, you may be able to suppress the evidence from the search.

For example, in People v. Davis, Illinois law required police to impound a defendant’s vehicle for driving on a revoked license without proof of insurance. However, the police never asked the defendant for his insurance. As a result, the court found the original impoundment of the vehicle was not lawful.

If you have been charged with a DUI or a criminal offense, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for your best possible defense. Did police have probable cause to arrest you? Was the search of your vehicle legal? Even if the police acted lawfully and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you can on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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WHY DO I HAVE TWO DUI TICKETS?

It was bad enough you were arrested for DUI. But now that you are looking at your tickets, you realize you have two tickets for DUI.

Are you in twice as much trouble? What does it mean?

Under Illinois DUI law (625 ILCS 5/11-501), there are seven different types of DUI. An officer can charge you with a combination of driving while over the legal limit of .08 (the 501A-1 ticket) AND driving while under the influence (the 501A-2 ticket).

The state can prove driving over the legal limit through a breathalyzer, or less commonly, a blood test. On the other hand, you can be found guilty of driving while under the influence without scientific testing.

The good news is that even if you have been charged with two counts of DUI, you will not serve two separate sentences. If convicted, the same sentence will cover either or both counts together.

If you are charged with any type of DUI offense, you are best advised to contact an experienced DUI attorney early on to preserve any defense that you may have. As with most criminal charges, the state must prove all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Was the breathalyzer recently certified according to law? Does the police video show that your driving was steady, and you did well on field sobriety tests? Did the police have probable cause to stop you in the first place?

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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CAN THEY SUSPEND MY LICENSE BECAUSE OF A DUI DURING THE QUARANTINE?

The answer is yes.

While many offices of the Secretary of State are closed for business, the DUI unit in Springfield is still at work. Fighting a suspension during the quarantine has become more difficult as court dates are postponed. However, the situation is not hopeless.

If you are charged with DUI, your license will generally be suspended for at least six months, starting on the 46th day after your arrest. It is important to act quickly. Your lawyer may still be able petition the court to block that suspension. If successful, you could still save your driving privileges along with substantial fees and inconvenience.

If you have been charged with DUI or a similar offense, contact an experienced attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. Did the police have probable cause to stop you? Did they issue the appropriate warnings at the appropriate time? Can the state prove you were driving? How well did you do on any field sobriety tests? Even if the police acted lawfully and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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HIGH SPEED CRASHES MEAN BIG TROUBLE

The roads were clear so you zoomed ahead. But your high speed made it difficult to brake when the car in front of you stopped suddenly, and so you crashed. The police came to the scene, and you are now facing criminal charges.

What can happen to you? What can you do?

If you were involved in a high speed accident, you may be looking at serious consequences. Even if there were no witnesses, you can be charged with misdemeanor speeding (625 ILCS 5/11-605.1) based on accident reconstruction evidence. If you were speeding in a school or construction zone, you can be charged with a special speed limit offense (625 ILCS 5/11-605). If someone was seriously injured or killed, you may well be looking at reckless homicide charges (720 ILCS 5/9-3). If you left the scene of the accident, you can be charged with that (625 ILCS 5/11-401).

Depending on the offense, you can be hit with anything from a Class B Misdemeanor, punishable by 6 months in jail to a Class 1 Felony, punishable by 4 to 7 years in prison.

If you are charged with any of the above offenses, contact an experienced defense attorney immediately. Do not try to talk your way out of your situation. More often than not, your attempt at a reasonable explanation will instead help the state to convict you.

An experienced attorney can review your situation in order to present your defense in its most favorable light. Is there video of the accident? Did the police witness anything personally? Were you actually at fault? Are the conclusions made by the state’s accident reconstruction expert reasonable? Is it worth hiring your own? Can the state prove all the elements of your offense beyond a reasonable doubt?

Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, your situation may not be hopeless. An attorney, who is respected in the courthouse, may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

See our related blogs:

2014 Update to Illinois Speeding Law

Update to Illinois Speeding Law: The Crackdown Continues

“I Didn’t Know I Hit Anyone”: Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Illinois

Reckless Homicide in Illinois

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY DUI CASE WHILE COURT IS CLOSED?

Courts throughout Illinois are closed due to the COVID-19 quarantine. Any guess about when they will open is merely a guess at this point.

If you already have a case in court, rest assured that it will be dealt with in time. If anything, many defendants will benefit from the delay. For one thing, older cases tend to weaken in time. The arresting officer may not recall the details of the event clearly. Witnesses may not be available to come to court at a later date or may have moved on to other matters.

Many court watchers believe that the quarantine could motivate prosecutors to offer more lenient terms for plea bargains, if only to lessen the growing backlog of cases. If so, this will be done strictly on a case to case basis.

If you have been arrested during the quarantine, do not hesitate to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can still handle certain matters during the quarantine such as reviewing the conditions of your bond for work reasons or by serving a subpoena for evidence before potentially beneficial evidence is lost or destroyed. The court is still holding bond hearings, preliminary hearings and arraignments—all early procedures in a felony matter.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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