Friday, October 28, 2011

Chicago DUI Attorney Comments on Being Between a Rock and a Hard Place

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here, here, and here about Driving While License Suspended/Revoked when the basis of that Suspension or Revocation is a DUI.

Things can go from bad to worse whenever one is charged with a DUI.  It is especially important, even if your DUI charges are dismissed to make sure you pay any reinstatement fees or else you could find yourself facing jail time, or even worse prison time with a felony charge.  No.  I don’t mean jail time or a felony charge for the DUI; I mean jail time or a felony charge, as my clients frequently say, “just for driving.”

This week I’ve already represented three people facing time in prison, not for the offense of driving drunk, or for causing an accident where someone died or was seriously injured, but “just for driving.” The best way to avoid this charge is to stay away from cars, even as a passenger, without a valid driver behind the wheel.

This particular offense is especially difficult, considerably more difficult than many DUI’s, drug charges, battery charges, or gun charges to try and win.  All that is required to be charged with the offense is driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle.  That means you could be sitting in the car listening to music or even sleeping in the car can get you charged with the offense.  That legal definition put an awful lot of folks between a rock and a hard place.
Still this week, none of the folks I represented are going to jail or prison.  Now they all know just how serious this offense is.  It is far better to avoid being charged than it is to have to defend a charge of Driving While License Suspended/Revoked when the penalty could be years in prison.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicago DUI Attorney Still Thinks It Isn't A Good Idea to Take the Field Sobriety Tests

This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here and here about Field Sobriety Tests and why it’s probably not a good idea to take them.

Still, she sees grounds for a strong defense where the accused apparently danced and sang, going above and beyond what she needed to do to prove her sobriety, the ABC test.***

From the

Bamberg police stopped a 21-year-old Main Highway woman who was driving erratically on U.S. 78 and Middle Street on Oct. 1.
 The driver had allegedly made several radical driving corrections, causing an officer on foot in the area to have to run to the curb to avoid her oncoming vehicle.
 When officers approached the vehicle, they could smell alcohol, and the driver's eyes were red, watery and glossy, the report said. When asked if she had been drinking, the woman said she had had two beers.
 Several field sobriety tests were conducted on her, including the alphabet test. According to the report, she told officers she sang the "ABC song" to her baby every day, and she then proceeded to recite the alphabet while singing and dancing.
 She was arrested for driving under the influence. 

In all of the DUI cases I’ve had, I’ve seen exactly one, where my client was charged with a DUI and the officer said in the arrest reports that my client passed the Field Sobriety Tests.  I know you are scratching your head wondering how he got charged with a DUI if he passed the Field Sobriety Tests.  That’s why I don’t see how they help you, only hurt you because face it, most of us, right now, stone cold sober couldn’t stand on one leg  and count to thirty out loud without putting our leg down.

*** In Illinois, the ABC test is not a standardized Field Sobriety Test