Archive for the ‘Chicago lawyer’ tag
December 14th, 2013 at 5:47 pm
After having a few too many drinks, you decide to drive home. You are extremely careful to stay on the right side of the yellow line, and you keep the car within the posted speed limit. However, despite your best efforts, a siren appears behind you. A police officer comes to your window, asks if you have been drinking. Even though an experienced Illinois DUI lawyer would tell you not to admit to having consumed alcohol, you inadvisably admit to having had a few drinks at dinner. The police officer asks you to step out of the car, and then asks you to submit to a field sobriety test. The police officer determines that you failed the test, and the police officer places you under arrest for DUI.
The police officer is going to ask you to submit to a test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). This could take the form of a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test, or any combination of the three. You have a right to refuse to take any test. But should you?
Immediate Results of Refusal
Every driver is deemed to have given their implied consent to be tested for alcohol or drugs if they make use of the public roadways of Illinois. Refusal to take the test will result in a suspension of your driver’s license for 12 months minimum. If this is not your first time refusing a test, your driver’s license will be suspended for 3 years. What’s more, the fact that you refused the test can be used against you at your trial for DUI. However, an attorney can help you successfully fight both the DUI charges and license suspension.
Should You Refuse Anyway?
Conventional wisdom states that you should never give the police any evidence that could be used against you at trial. However, DUI is a unique problem, in that by withholding evidence from the police by refusing a test, your driver’s license is automatically suspended. What should you do in this scenario?
Once you are arrested, if you know that you are likely to fail any chemical test, you should likely refuse the test. Your license will still be suspended, but an Illinois DUI attorney may be able to attack the suspension, or get you a restricted driving permit to allow you to drive to get to work or pick up groceries. Further, you will not have provided the police with evidence to build their case.
No matter what you decide to do, a DUI arrest must be dealt with quickly, preferably by an attorney with experience. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, contact an experienced DUI attorney today.
November 19th, 2013 at 4:57 pm
Melvin Brown, 69, has been charged with aggravated DUI in an accident that caused bodily harm after allegedly perpetrating a three-vehicle crash that injured nine people, including four police officers, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Brown was driving a Nissan Ultima southbound on South Indianapolis when he struck a parked but unmarked police car parked for a traffic stop. The impact caused a chain reaction—the squad car was pushed into a Chevy Tahoe, and an additional squad car that was assisting in the traffic stop, Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Jose Estrada told the Sun-Times. In addition to the aggravated DUI charge Brown is now facing, he was also charged with two misdemeanor accounts of DUI and “for negligent driving and failing to stay in his lane.”
Four police officers were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries that they sustained in the accident. Two other people who sustained injuries in the accident were “taken in critical condition to Stroger Hospital; one was taken in critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.”
While four police officers were injured in this DUI-related incident, it’s not always that police are on that side of the DUI charges. According to the Huffington Post, in 2011 the Chicago Police Department finally ratified a contract that will stated “Chicago Police lieutenants and captains to random alcohol testing in general, mandatory drug and alcohol testing whenever they fire their weapons, and won’t be allowed to drink four hours before going on duty.”
The contract, now about halfway into its duration, was initiated after the Chicago Police Department came under fire for a series of incidents in which police were accused of behaving badly when intoxicated, or perpetrating crimes while intoxicated for which they were later acquitted. “The Chicago Police Department denies these incidents spurred the contract changes,” reports the Huffington Post.
If you or someone you know has been accused of a DUI and are facing a date in court, the most important step you can take to protect yourself is to seek the counsel of an experienced legal professional. Contact Ramsell & Associates Attorneys at Law today.
August 3rd, 2013 at 12:16 pm
A mother and her son were killed in 2011 in a grisly driving while intoxicated accident on the Northwest side of Chicago. The responsible driver, Richard Strum, 37, was this month sentenced to 15 years in prison in connection with the deaths. Also involved in the crash were the woman, Claudia Delia’s, stepson, Zack Marvin, “a high school sophomore whose vision and hearing were permanently damaged on the left side of his head, forcing him to give up his dream of becoming a Marine,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Also in the car were Delia’s son Hauk Marvin, 3, whose leg was broken, and 16-year-old family friend Chris Dias, who suffered a broken pelvis. According to the Tribune, “the group had been headed for an end-of-summer camping trip in Wisconsin.”
Strum, according to the Tribune, was a Chicago resident but had not had a valid license since 2003. Despite this, he continued to “drive and rack up tickets.” It wasn’t booze that was found in his system, however—Strum received the heavy-handed sentence after “a urine test found cannabis in Strum’s system,” despite the fact that “his attorney argued that the amount of cannabis detected was minuscule and could have come from secondhand smoke,” according to the Tribune. Jurors apparently didn’t see this as reasonable cause that he wasn’t totally at fault, and “convicted him on multiple counts of aggravated DUI and reckless homicide.” In an apology that Strum read in court this month from the defense table, he stuck to his story that he wasn’t actually under the influence of anything at the time of the accident. The Tribune reports that Strum told the jury that “I was driving too fast that day. It was my stupidity that caused the accident, not the use of booze or drugs.”
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “drugged driving always have lagged behind alcohol-related driving legislation, in part because of limitation in the current technology for determining drug levels and resulting impairment.” It’s likely that stricter drugged driving laws will continue to be passed as technology makes testing for drugged driving on site easier.