Madelyn Daley
Attorney at Law

US Local 618-509-9724

Belleville Criminal Defense Blog

Illinois woman charged with aggravated DUI

A woman in Illinois is facing two counts of aggravated DUI following an accident on an interstate ramp. The woman was driving with two passengers and apparently lost control of the vehicle, causing the car to roll over.

The front-seat passenger, who reportedly was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle and suffered serious injuries. Both passengers are expected to survive. The driver reportedly declined medical care and is currently being held on $20,000 bail. She is set to appear in court in mid-July.

Defending against violent crimes in Illinois

Crimes against a person, or crimes involving offensive, unwanted touching, harassment or intentional bodily harm, will typically result in criminal charges in Illinois. Assault, battery, kidnapping, rape and harassment are all against the law and could result in significant jail time, probation, fines and other consequences upon conviction. Successfully defending against these serious charges may save you from these consequences and allow you to resume your normal life.

The criminal defense strategy used for each case will depend on the specific facts of the case. However, there are some general strategies that are effective to fight violent crime charges. For instance, many assault and battery charges have been dropped when the defendant's attorney argued that the defendant acted in self-defense. If you can establish that you could not escape the situation, did not provoke or instigate and acted due to a reasonable, real and perceived fear of harm, the self-defense strategy could be successful. You could also argue that you acted while under duress in a situation like, for example, if someone was holding a gun to your head.

A DUI charge doesn't guarantee conviction

Many people who are arrested for driving under the influence are concerned about having a conviction on their criminal record. However, there are many ways to have the charges dismissed. A criminal defense attorney in your area can inform you on possible defense strategies you can use to potentially have your charges dismissed.

One common defense strategy used in Illinois DUI cases is establishing that the traffic stop was invalid. When an officer stops your vehicle, the law requires that the officer has reasonable suspicion that you or your vehicle was involved in a crime of some kind. In most cases, that means the officer observed you violating a traffic law (e.g. speeding, running a stop sign) or observed a mechanical violation (e.g. broken taillight) on your vehicle. However, if an officer stopped you without reasonable suspicion, they have violated your Fourth Amendment rights and the traffic stop will be considered unlawful. That means that your attorney can file a motion to exclude any evidence of your intoxication that was gathered during the unlawful stop.

Illinois man charged with assault following wife's death

Our readers may have seen recent news articles that report that an Illinois Department of Corrections prison guard was recently charged with felony third degree domestic assault following the death of his new wife, who was also a prison guard. His bail was set at $100,000. The couple, who apparently had been married since May of this year, allegedly attended a Cardinals-Cubs game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. According to the man, he and his wife had argued during the game.

The woman was found dead at the bottom of a nearby parking garage, and the man was seen straddling her body when police arrived. According to court documents, the man was allegedly agitated and seemed to be intoxicated at the time.

Felony drug charges can result in serious consequences

If you are accused of committing a drug-related crime, you could face criminal charges in the state of Illinois. Minor drug crimes, such as possessing a small quantity of marijuana, will generally result in misdemeanor charges. However, more serious drug crimes, such as possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, typically result in felony charges.

Under 720 ILCS 570/402, anyone convicted of a drug crime in Illinois can face jail time, as well as serious financial penalties.

CDL violations place your future at risk

Your job as a truck driver with a CDL license is important to you. With it, you pay your bills, meet other obligations and prepare for the future. Unlike many other workers, you do your job in public, driving among smaller vehicles where the slightest mistake may mean tragedy. This is why the rules related to your profession are strict and include stiff penalties.

Among those penalties are high fines and the risk of losing your CDL license. Without your license, you cannot make a living, so it is important that you protect yourself if you ever face charges related to traffic violations.

The benefits of a DUI plea bargain

If one has been charged with a DUI, an Illinois criminal defense attorney can evaluate the case and help determine what the next steps should be. Many DUI cases end before trial, when the defendant agrees to enter into a plea bargain. In some cases, the prosecuting attorney on the case may offer to reduce the severity of the charge or lighten the sentence one face, if one accepts a plea deal and agree to plead guilty. In other cases, one may agree to plead guilty to the charges in exchange for a lighter sentence, if the evidence is significant.

Plea bargains come with positives and negatives, and a DUI defense may or may not be as effective as these bargains. Accepting a plea deal can be very beneficial to many defendant, as it means that they will have less serious offenses on their record and often, less serious penalties.

Student arrested for sexual assault after fraternity incident

Under 720 ILCS 5/11-1.20, using force or threat of force to commit a penetrative sexual act against someone else is considered sexual assault. The law also states that if someone commits a penetrative sexual act against another person, despite knowing that the other person does not have the ability to consent to the sexual activity. Criminal sexual assault is a Class 1 felony in Illinois and can result in up to 15 years in jail upon conviction. A criminal conviction can also have a long-term affect one's future, particularly, for a young person who is just starting their career.

An Illinois college student, just a few days away from graduation, was charged with criminal sexual assault following an alleged incident at a fraternity house. The 22-year-old student apparently committed a sexual act against a now 22-year-old woman, who had reportedly been drinking and was unable to consent. The alleged victim reported the incident to police but apparently decided not to pursue criminal charges. The student confirmed that the woman was in the fraternity house the night of the incident, but denied having sex with her.

Illinois car dealership employees facing felony drug charges

Two men reportedly were charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver after the DEA found heroin on the lot of their used car dealership in Illinois. The owner of the dealership and another employee were taken into custody after DEA agents raided the dealership and found a kilogram of heroin inside one of the lot vehicles. According to the state's attorney on the case, one kilogram of heroin could be worth $200,000 to $300,000 on the street and could cause a significant number of deaths. The men are now facing 15 to 60 years in prison and are currently being held on $300,000 bond.

Most drug possession crimes can be broken down into two main components. First, one must have simple possession of the controlled substance on one's person or stored in a place to which one has immediate access or control of. If a drug is proven to be in one's possession, prosecutors will look for evidence of the second component: the intent to distribute, sell or deliver the drug. This evidence may include large quantities of the drug, weapons, large amounts of cash or items generally relating to drug distribution (e.g., scale, baggies).

Field sobriety tests are not always accurate

We often hear about how the accuracy of Breathalyzer results depends on various factors such as whether the officer at the scene administered the test correctly and properly calibrated the Breathalyzer device. However, field sobriety test results can also be inaccurate for a number of reasons.

Roadside field sobriety tests are a way for officers to determine whether an Illinois driver has been driving while under the influence. If an officer suspects drunk driving, her or she may ask the motorist to submit to a field sobriety test. The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) typically consists of the three parts: horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk-and-turn, and one-leg stand. The HGN test requires drivers to follow a moving object with their eyes. The walk-and turn requires a driver to walk along a straight line and turn on one foot, and walk back. Finally, the one-leg stand requires drivers to stand with one foot in the air for 30 seconds. The officer will observe the driver's balance, coordination, and various other factors to determine whether the driver has passed or failed. If the driver fails, he or she may be given a Breathalyzer test and may eventually be arrested for driving under the influence.

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