A recent Illinois Supreme Court decision says no.
In People v Hutt, the defendant refused to let medical personnel draw his blood and refused to provide a urine sample despite a warrant authorizing these samples. Defendant was later convicted of DUI and obstruction of justice.
A person obstructs justice when, with intent to prevent the apprehension or obstruct the prosecution or defense of any person, he or she knowingly “destroys, alters, conceals or disguises physical evidence, plants false evidence, furnishes false information.” See 720 ILCS 5/31-4(a)(1).
The state argued that defendant concealed evidence by refusing to submit the samples. The court disagreed. Looking to the dictionary, the court defined “conceal” as preventing “disclosure or recognition of: avoid revelation of : refrain from revealing : withhold knowledge of: draw attention from: treat so as to be unnoticed.” While defendant took no action to comply with the search warrant, he also took no action to place his blood or urine out of sight or hide either from view. Therefore, the court reversed defendant’s conviction for obstructing justice.
If you have been charged with a DUI or criminal-related offense, contact an experienced attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. As with most crimes, the state must prove all the elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Even if the state’s evidence is airtight, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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