After the officer stopped you for a traffic violation, she searched your car and found illegal drugs. As a result, you were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Sure there were drugs in the car, but does that mean you were driving under the influence?

The answer to this question is very fact specific. Before making an arrest, an officer must have probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence at the time of arrest. Finding narcotics does not justify an arrest after the fact. To determine if probable cause exists, an officer generally must have training or experience in drug detection. The situation can be further complicated if you suffer from some other medical condition. Can the state prove you were intoxicated rather than suffering the symptoms of your disease?

In People v Gocmen, the court held that the officer lacked the necessary training or experience to make a DUI arrest. Although the defendant was sweating, had pinpoint pupils and his heart was racing, the officer had not witnessed any of these symptoms himself. Furthermore, the officer could not distinguish whether these symptoms were caused by defendant’s diabetes rather than the opiates found in his car.

If you are charged with driving under the influence of drugs, contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. As with most crimes, the state must prove the elements of DUI beyond a reasonable doubt. If the officer lacked the necessary training, an attorney may petition the court to return your driver’s license, or in some cases, suppress the arrest.

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.)

About mdkeenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 17 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU and the Illinois State Bar Association. I serve as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. Se habla espanol.
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