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Geneva Criminal Defense Law Blog

Illinois man was allegedly driving 81 mph in a 35 mph zone

A 34-year-old Illinois man was taken into custody during the early morning hours of Nov. 30 after allegedly driving 81 mph in a 35 mph zone. In addition to a speeding ticket, the Oak Park resident faces a raft of charges including driving while under the influence, drug possession, driving without insurance and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.

An officer from the Riverside Police Department says that radar equipment clocked the man's car traveling 46 mph over the posted speed limit on South First Avenue in the vicinity of Parkview Road at approximately 12:31 a.m. The vehicle was also being driven erratically, according to the officer. When he approached the vehicle after conducting a traffic stop, the officer says that he noticed a cup containing ice and liquid in the center console and detected the odor of marijuana emanating from the interior.

Illinois steps up seat belt and DUI enforcement for holidays

Close to 200 local police and sheriff's departments throughout Illinois will increase their traffic enforcement operations from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. With the support of federal highway safety dollars, the Illinois Department of Transportation has coordinated the activities of the state police and local law enforcement agencies to increase traffic patrols, write tickets for seat belt violations and arrest intoxicated drivers.

Working under the slogans Click It or Ticket and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, police officers will establish enforcement zones. They will check for drivers who aren't wearing their seat belts and children without proper car seats. Police want to send a strong message to wear seat belts, and they intend to write tickets. Individuals who travel in vehicles without proper restraints represent half of all people who die in traffic accidents.

When does DUI rise to a felony in Illinois?

Not all DUI charges are the same in their stakes here in Illinois. Some can cause a person to face especially severe potential consequences. Among these are charges of aggravated DUI. Aggravated DUI covers DUI offenses that fall into the felony, rather than misdemeanor, level. A conviction on felony DUI charges can expose a person to long prison sentences and significant fines.

So, what a person does regarding defense strategy can be extremely important when the drunk driving charges he or she is facing rise to the felony level.

Can they still unfairly take your assets after forfeiture law?

Earlier this year, House Bill 303 came into action. This new bill minimizes one of the biggest threats to both criminals and non-criminals arrested by the police: civil asset forfeiture. Before this year, law enforcement could seize any property that they believe played a part in your supposed crime. Many officers abused this system and seized hundreds of millions of dollars in the last decade, and the majority of assets they acquired were from low-income workers.

Thanks to the new law, the government must prove that the owner’s property was involved in the crime, there is stricter enforcement on what can count as evidence and the owner no longer must pay 10 percent of the property’s value before they can challenge the case in court. It serves as a major step forward in offering the arrested party more rights and less unfair treatment that could financially devastate them.

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