Monday, November 3, 2014

Chicago DUI Attorney Reminds You To Vote

Tomorrow is election day.  And like many people, I am busy.  My husband is busy.  We have to work.  I have to pack after work for a flight for a memorial service.  But we voted already.  We prefer to vote early so that nothing gets in the way on election day.

This year, we decided to vote by mail/absentee ballot.  If you do not already have a mail/absentee ballot you are not able to do so for tomorrow's election.  And please note, your ballot must be "postmarked before Election Day and received no later than 14 days after Election Day in order to be counted."  So that means your ballot must be postmarked no later than today ( this is for Chicago registered voters).  Otherwise you, or your authorized agent, can hand deliver it to the Board of Elections no later than 7 pm on Election Day.  Your ballot cannot be turned in at an Early Voting Site, nor can it be turned in at your actual Polling Place to be counted.

But why is voting important? In Cook County over seventy judges are on the ballot, many to be retained.  This is your chance to give voice to what you think is important.  And yes there are guides from an array of Bar Associations who are recommending, and in some cases not recommending which judges you should vote for and which judges should be retained  That said, it is a small, and important act for you to do your own research.  Some of the judges have been featured in the news for their own legal woes.  Some have been featured in the news for how they treat citizens who come to court to watch proceedings.  Still others have been featured for their actual rulings.  

You have the power of the Internet.  Yes.  Please take your guide on the judges, but go ahead and check the names for decisions they've made and to learn a bit more about them.

There are also, in the City of Chicago, referendums on the ballot.  One is about universal background checks for the purchase of guns.  Another is about medical cannabis dispensaries and whether local municipalities should decide where they are located.  There are even referendums about insurance companies paying for prescription birth control methods and increasing the minimum wage.  Finally, there is also a bill that would expand the rights of victims in court proceedings.  All of these are important.  You can take a bit of time before you vote and harness the Internet for more than sports scores or what happened on the Kardashians, you can research every candidate. You can research every referendum.  You may very well be like me and surprise yourself with your choices.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Chicago DUI Attorney Comments on DUIs Without Alcohol Consumption

This Chicago DUI attorney regularly gets told that you can't be charged with a DUI because no alcohol was consumed.  I've posted here, here, and here that this is not true.  Still it is clear that people really think you can't get charged with a DUI because there was no alcohol, perhaps there was marijuana, or another substance, but not alcohol.

Unfortunately, sometimes people find out the hard way that yes, you can be charged with a DUI when there was no alcohol consumed.  And yes, you can be found guilty of a DUI when there was no alcohol consumed.

With less than a month to go until her trial date, the Highland Park teen accused of huffing chemicals and getting into a crash that killed a 5-year-old girl has not reached a plea agreement with the state, according to the Lake County State's Attorney office.

In Illinois you can be charged with a Driving Under the Influence(DUI) charge for being impaired based on the consumption of alcohol, regardless of whether you submit to a breath test or not.

You can also be charged with Driving Under the Influence of marijuana, other illicit substances, prescription drugs, or a combination of any of the aforementioned with alcohol.

It happens every day.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Chicago DUI Lawyer Knows It Is Cold Outside, But The Courts Are Open

This Chicago DUI lawyer knows today is one to stay inside.  The windchill levels could make today, and the rest of the week, the lowest recorded temperatures on record for the city of Chicago.  How low you ask?  Schools are closed in the City of Chicago.   Public transportation is delayed.  Non-essential, excluding court personnel, County Services are closed.  Cook County Department of Corrections inmates will not have jail visits prior to Wednesday of this week. Additionally,  if an inmate is slated for release but lacks transportation and/or shelter, the inmate can choose to remain in custody.  But the courts are open.  Inmates will not be transported to any courthouse in Cook County today, except for Leighton, also known as 26th and California.  And yes, that courthouse is literally a couple of doors down from the residence of Cook County Inmates.

Now what happens if you have court today and can't appear?  If it is a civil matter, call the courthouse and get connected to your judge's clerk.  Some judges are automatically giving status dates.

If you have a criminal matter, this includes misdemeanor courts and traffic courts where there is the possibility of jail as a sentence, you should also call the courthouse, but I've been informed that no warrants will be issued for the accused if she or he is absent today.

I will update as I get additional information.

The most important thing you can do today is stay safe.

Note:  This post also appears today on Chicago Criminal Law Blog.