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Geneva Criminal Defense Law Blog

Why am I charged with an aggravated DUI?

When police pull you over on suspicion of drunk driving, they will attempt to establish probable cause for an arrest through observations, field sobriety tests and a portable breath test. If officers place you under arrest, you may end up at the police station or jail taking a breath test or at a hospital having your blood drawn in order to determine whether your blood alcohol concentration meets or exceeds the Illinois legal limit of 0.08.

In the absence of any other factors, you could face a misdemeanor DUI charge. However, a charge of driving under the influence can quickly turn into a felony depending on the circumstances that exist at the time of the arrest.

Domestic violence laws in the state of Illinois

In Illinois, domestic violence is a serious offense. The state has a legal right to prosecute Illinois residents who commit acts of domestic violence. Illinois has both criminal domestic violence regulations and laws pertaining to civil domestic violence. An act of criminal domestic violence focuses on harming a person by inflicting physical injuries. An act of civil domestic violence focuses on abusing a person in a physical, sexual or emotional manner.

According to the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986, domestic violence includes harming a spouse or ex-spouse, a girlfriend or boyfriend, a parent, a stepparent, a child, a stepchild, some other blood relation, a roommate, a caregiver, a person with a disability or a senior citizen. Battery is an act of physical harm perpetrated upon another individual but may also include making insulting remarks or provoking physical confrontations. A person who is the victim of domestic abuse has the right to apply for a restraining order.

Officers go undercover to promote worker safety

As part of Work Zone Safety Week, police in Illinois went undercover as construction workers. The goal was to increase awareness of the dangers that speeding and distracted driving can pose to people in work zones. They also cited drivers who were speeding or otherwise violating traffic laws. One officer who was monitoring traffic on Interstate 74 said that he cited nine drivers in a matter of minutes for speeding.

Typically, officers monitor construction and other work zones in their police vehicles, but that gives drivers time to change their behavior. When a driver isn't aware that an officer is nearby, he or she may be more likely to slow down or focus on the road. Those who are caught speeding in a work zone could receive a fine of $375 for a first offense and a fine of up to $1,000 for a second offense. A second offense could also come with a drivers license suspension of 90 days.

Attorney, others argue not all breath tests are accurate

People in Illinois who are on a low-carb diet that has put them into ketosis or who suffer from such conditions as acid reflux or diabetes could cause some types of breath tests for blood alcohol content to give inaccurate results. In Texas, an attorney got DUI charges dropped against a man who was in ketosis but who did not appear to be drunk during field sobriety tests. However, when he took a breath test, the device registered his blood alcohol content above the legal limit.

The problem is that ketosis and other conditions may cause people to breathe out isopropyl alcohol. There is some disagreement about whether some types of breath tests can distinguish between isopropyl and ethanol alcohol. One professor contends that home BAC tests, which use semiconductor technology to detect the number of molecules in a person's breath, may be unable to distinguish between the two types of alcohol.

Man taken into custody for 10th DUI

On April 13, Illinois police took a 55-year-old man into custody on his 10th drunk driving charge. Authorities say that he was driving a Hyundai southbound on Interstate 55 near milepost 261 when they conducted a traffic stop. While the complaint against him says that his blood alcohol content was above .08 percent, the exact amount was not disclosed.

There were also no details given as to why police believed that the man was impaired when they made contact with him. Authorities charged the man with two counts of aggravated driving under the influence, and each count is considered to be a felony. He was initially taken to jail, where his bail was set at $1 million. Although the amount is considered high for a drunk driving charge, the court noted his history of drunk driving when setting it.

Are you eligible for an expungement?

Everyone makes mistakes. But sometimes mistakes can have far-reaching consequences you might never predict.

Old criminal convictions, charges and arrests can stay on your record for years, making it difficult to land a job, rent property or even get a bank loan. Sometimes even a criminal charge can affect you in ways you might not think of, even if there was no conviction. Even if an old charge or conviction is affecting your life, there are ways to move forward.

Illinois man charged after rushing his daughter to a hospital

An Illinois man was taken into custody on April 4 after reaching speeds of 100 mph while being chased by police. The man admits that he was behind the wheel without a valid driver's license and ignored posted speed limits, but he says that he does not regret his actions as they likely saved the life of his daughter. The high-speed chase ended at the Touchette Regional Hospital where the 1-year-old girl was treated and released after choking on a penny.

Media outlets picked up the story after learning that the man was bonded out of a St. Clair County detention facility by a nurse from the hospital that treated his daughter. The girl's mother learned this when she visited the jail to see the man. She told reporters that a group of nurses had chipped in to raise the money needed to get the man released.

Rude gestures protected by First Amendment

Illinois residents may have been tempted to say rude things or make rude gestures toward police officers. According to a federal appeals court, that is not grounds for an officer to conduct a traffic stop. The case in question involved a female driver in Michigan who received a citation for a non-moving violation. She had allegedly been speeding at the time that the traffic stop was conducted.

Although it could be argued that the officer let the woman off easy, she returned the favor by extending her middle finger to the man. In response, the officer pulled the woman over again and wrote the speeding ticket, which she said was a violation of her First Amendment rights. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit agreed saying that while she may have been acting in an offensive manner, what she did was not illegal.

Protecting your ability to drive professionally after a DUI

For those who drive for a living, getting a DUI can come with devastating consequences. Even if a police officer pulls you over while driving in your personal vehicle and off the clock, a DUI conviction for first-time offenders can result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

Whether you drive a bus, semi-truck, private car, taxi or more, getting a DUI on or off the clock can be serious. When you hold your commercial driver’s license (CDL), the penalties can be swift and harsh, threatening your livelihood and ability to continue in your career.

Man charged with felony eluding after high-speed chase

A 20-year-old Illinois man faces a raft of charges including a felony count after allegedly attempting to elude police officers on the night of March 7. The Montgomery Police Department says that the man fled the scene at speeds in excess of 100 mph when officers pulled his vehicle over for speeding at the intersection of Reading Drive and Goodwin Drive at approximately 11:00 p.m.

According to the police report, the man pulled his vehicle over as instructed but then pulled away, ran a red light and headed toward central Aurora at a high rate of speed. Officers say that they abandoned the pursuit shortly after it started because the man's recklessness posed a serious threat to the safety of other road users.

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