According to a recent Illinois Appellate Court decision, the answer is no. Further, you could end up with additional criminal charges.
In People v. Hutt, an officer obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s blood and urine after arresting him for DUI. The defendant refused to give the samples. The state then charged the defendant with obstruction of justice. Under one definition of that offense, you obstruct justice when you knowingly destroy, alter, conceal or disguise physical evidence, plant false evidence or furnish false information with intent to prevent the apprehension or obstruct the prosecution or defense of any person. See 720 ILCS 5/31-4(a)(1).
The Court held that defendant’s conduct constituted obstructing justice. First, the court found that the blood and urine samples met the definition of physical evidence. Second, defendant’s actions “concealed” evidence. The court reasoned that a defendant can obstruct the legal process by failing to act as well as by taking obstructive actions.
If you are charged with obstruction of justice, DUI or a similar criminal offense, contact an experienced attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. As with most criminal defenses, the state must prove all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Did you knowingly conceal or disguise physical evidence? Perhaps you were not aware of the search warrant. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
(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.)