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IL DUI lawyerAlthough blood testing or breathalyzer tests in traffic stops are generally acceptable under Illinois law, a recent Illinois supreme court ruling suggests that this rule is subject to a bit more interpretation. As such, it is important to remember the need for experienced and aggressive legal defense from a skilled DUI attorney. Even in cases that face charges of any kind, there might be ways to tone down any fines or sentences depending on the circumstances.

People v. Eubanks

On December 21, 2009, Ralph Eubanks was allegedly driving a borrowed car and hit Maria Worthon and son Jeremiah. According to testimony at the time, Eubanks was driving between 80 or 90 miles per hour without his headlights. Maria died in the accident and her son suffered severe injuries. Ralph wound up with consecutive sentences that summed to 40 years. However, these charges were reached because the prosecution relied on blood and urine tests that were taken hours after the arrest without a search warrant.

After receiving these charges, Eubanks got the First District court to reverse his aggravated DUI conviction, remanded the first-degree murder conviction, and more on account of Illinois’ favorable stance on warrantless chemical testing to be facially unconstitutional. The Illinois Supreme Court then reached a peculiar conclusion in which they agreed to let Eubanks receive a new trial in which his DUI test results could not be used as evidence, but they consequently expanded the possible exigencies that could allow warrantless DUI testing. Although this ruling favored Eubanks and helped him receive a lesser sentence, law enforcements’ definition of exigency was expanded significantly.

Contact an Aurora DUI Attorney

With shifting interpretations of the Illinois Vehicle Code’s justifications for warrantless DUI testing, it is more important than ever to get a highly-capable Aurora DUI attorney to defend you if you face such charges. At The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, you will get access to experienced legal defense and a deep, intimate understanding of Illinois law. To schedule a free consultation, call 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

https://www.isba.org/ibj/2020/01/lawpulse/shouldvegottenawarrant

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IL DUI lawyerAs COVID-19 changes how we live, some laws are changing or being created so that businesses can adapt accordingly. Staying informed on these changes is important, since they will give you more options with which to safely enjoy time with family and friends during the coronavirus pandemic, and they can help keep your favorite local businesses afloat, too! A recent and drastic change in alcohol laws gives you some new freedoms as a driver. If you are wrongly accused of breaking these new laws or you are charged with having an open container of alcohol in your vehicle, it is still very important to reach out to a trusted DUI attorney to thoroughly defend your rights.

The New “Cocktails to Go” Law

Up until recently, alcoholic beverages purchased at a restaurant or bar had to be consumed on the premises and nowhere else. However, as so many businesses face economic hardship due to COVID-19, the Illinois legislature is trying to make appropriate and necessary adjustments to help support the economy while keeping people safe. For that reason, you can now order ‘cocktails to go.’

If you imagine yourself sipping from a margarita on your way home, you have the wrong idea. Since restaurants have largely been operating on a “delivery or takeout” model, the Illinois government expanded the law to include liquor so that bars were not excluded from customers’ business. This means that you can go pick up mixed drinks and drive home with them, or a delivery driver has the right to drive them to you. The key tenet of this new rule that will prevent people from being charged under ‘open container’ laws is that the drinks must be in sealed and tamper-proof containers. This way, it should be immediately obvious whether or not a driver is abiding by the new rules or breaking them to drink and drive.

The “cocktails to go” law also requires that delivery drivers be 21 or older. When they arrive to drop off an order, they must verify the customer’s age, just the same as if they were at the bar themselves. Also, delivery drivers are required to take note of the customer’s level of intoxication.

Contact an Aurora DUI Attorney

With changes in alcohol and driving laws, you need a skilled attorney who can understand how to navigate a changing legal landscape to defend against open-container or DUI charges. At the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, you will meet an experienced Aurora DUI attorney who will aggressively defend your rights. To schedule a free consultation, call 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-pritzker-cocktails-to-go-bill-20200602-4ebzrzzfnbc2lgslv7wzvr5sfi-story.html

 

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Posted on in DUI

IL DUI lawyerThere is a more severe DUI penalty in Illinois known as aggravated DUI that can be issued as a result of the nature of the offense. A driver can also be charged with aggravated DUI if they have three or more DUI violations on their driving record.

All charges of aggravated DUI are tried as felony offenses with mandatory jail time, community service, and heavy fines as punishment.

When Is Aggravated DUI Charged?

It is considered excessive if a person drives their vehicle under the influence three or more times. Therefore, charges are boosted to aggravated DUI felonies for just even being pulled over and arrested.

However, there are other aspects that can turn a DUI charge into an aggravated DUI offense:

  • DUI is committed while driving a school bus with minors (under 18 years old) present
  • DUI results in great bodily harm or disfigurement to another person
  • DUI is committed when the driver does not have a valid license
  • DUI is committed when the driver does not have car insurance
  • DUI results in the death of another person
  • DUI is committed within a school zone and a crash occurs
  • The DUI driver leaves the scene of a crash that they caused

Aggravated DUI charges start at Class 4 felony which is punishable with a prison term of 1-3 years and a fine of up to $25,000. A driver could face higher penalties up to Class X felony punishable with a prison term of 6-30 years and fines of up to $25,000.

Other Punishments for Aggravated DUI

Like a normal DUI offense, aggravated DUIs go on a driver’s permanent driving record. This makes them at risk of even higher penalties if they repeat their offense. Drivers can also see their licenses suspended or revoked depending on the amount of DUI convictions on their record.

The Illinois court system could also make any DUI offender meet certain criteria before and after earning their license back:

  • Community service
  • Completion of a drug or alcohol program
  • Carry high-risk insurance for three years
  • Complete a suspension period before applying for a restricted license

On top of that, if a person is injured or killed during a DUI offense, the at-fault driver will be responsible for paying any compensation to the injured parties or the family of the deceased.

Illinois could charge a driver with reckless homicide if a death occurs during a DUI violation. This will revoke a driver’s license and see the driver in prison.

Contact an Elgin, IL DUI Defense Attorney

In DUI cases, the offending driver should always hire a lawyer who can build a defense against more serious punishment than necessary. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola have experience making sure their clients are treated fairly and that their rights are not violated. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County DUI defense lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

https://www.ncdd.com/illinois-dui-laws

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Posted on in DUI

IL DUI lawyerThe state of Illinois is strict when it comes to punishments for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. However, first-time convictions generally have penalties that help an offender not repeat the offense as opposed to sending them to prison.

First-time DUI convictions are considered Class A misdemeanors and come with revocation of the driver’s license for one year. Additionally, vehicle registration will be suspended for a set amount of time.

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) also plays a role in DUI penalties; if a first-offender has a BAC of over .16, they will have to pay a fine of $500 and participate in 100 hours of community service.

When Does Jail Become a Punishment?

First-time offenders should only be punished with jail time if their DUI offense occurs while they are transporting another person under the age of 16 years old. This is assuming no other charges are issued during the crime.

When a driver commits a second or subsequent DUI offense, then jail time becomes a mandatory part of the punishment. A second DUI conviction is charged as a Class A misdemeanor punishable as a five-day jail term - or 240 hours of community service - and a five-year revocation of driver’s license. Fine of $1,250 if BAC is over .16

Third and subsequent DUI convictions are considered “aggravated” offenses, for which the charges become felonies punishable with revocation of driver’s license, vehicle registration suspension, a 90-day mandatory jail sentence if BAC is over .16, and a fine of up to $25,000.

A jail term can also be added to punishments if other charges are issued during a DUI investigation. Charges that can lead to jail time include:

  • Endangering a minor passenger
  • Collision with another motor vehicle
  • Injury or death of another driver and/or pedestrian (vehicular manslaughter)
  • Fleeing the scene of an accident
  • Certain types of property damage (if the cost for repair is between $10,000 and $100,000)

DUI Defense Strategies

A common way to defend against serious DUI punishments is to refuse to take a breathalyzer test at the scene of the traffic stop. This will make it impossible to determine BAC at the time of the crime, however, if a driver refuses the test, their license will automatically be suspended for one year.

All those who are fighting a DUI charge can build a defensive strategy to avoid jail time and the first step should be to hire a lawyer. A professional knows how to build a strategy and make sure no unnecessary punishment is given out.

Contact an Elgin, IL DUI Defense Attorney

DUI traffic stops can be a complicated process and sometimes information can be mixed up. If you or someone you know is fighting a DUI charge with false information or unlawful treatment of the police, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola. A knowledgeable Kane County DUI defense lawyer can help make sure your rights have not been violated and protect you from serious punishment. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

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Posted on in DUI

b2ap3_thumbnail_DUI_20191014-235658_1.jpgIt is always a scary feeling to see red and blue flashing lights in your rear-view mirror, especially if you know you’ve had a few drinks before getting behind the wheel. A lot of people think that they will be arrested for a DUI offense if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit and so they refuse the necessary tests during the traffic stop.

It is within a person’s rights to refuse the breathalyzer test and the typical field sobriety test during the traffic stop, however, that would result in an automatic one-year suspension of a driver’s license and a possible arrest where the test will be administered at the police station.

However, an arrest is not usually made unless the officer knows for sure that a driver is drunk. How do they figure that out without a chemical or field sobriety test? They observe a driver’s behavior, movements, smells, and use techniques to properly determine the sobriety.

Driver Interview Process

A police officer starts observing drunken behavior before he/she even stops the vehicle. They look for signs such as swerving, uncontrolled braking or accelerating, and delayed reactions which could be evidence of driver drunkenness.

Then, they will perform a traffic stop to assess the status of the driver. The officer will sometimes not ask for the driver to get out of the car at first, but instead, they will conduct a driver interview. During this time, an officer will:

  • Look for signs of drunkenness: slurred speech, glossy eyes, alcohol smells.
  • Ask difficult questions or ask a driver for multiple documents at the same time.
  • Observe the motor skills of the driver. Whether or not they are fumbling for documents.
  • Ask questions while a driver is looking for their license to see how easily distracted the driver becomes.
  • Ask the driver to recite part of the alphabet or answer questions they would normally be able to answer.
  • Ask the driver to count down from 15 to 1.
  • Ask the driver to verify how many fingers the officer is holding up.

Depending upon the answers of the driver and the observations the officer collects, the officer will then ask the driver to exit the vehicle for a field sobriety test.

Typical Field Sobriety Test

It is within a driver’s rights to not perform a field sobriety test, but if the officer already has clear evidence of drunkenness, they can still perform an arrest without a test.

If a driver does accept the field sobriety test, there are three general exams the officer will ask the driver to perform:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: the officer will have the driver follow their finger with only their eyes. If the driver moves their head or has a “jerky” response in their eyes, they fail the test.
  • Walk-And-Turn: the officer will ask the driver to walk in a straight line for a number of steps, turn, and walk back the same amount of steps. If the driver has to use their arms for balance, makes an improper turn, stumbles, or cannot walk in a straight line, they fail the test.
  • One-Leg Stand: the officer will ask the driver to raise one foot off the ground with their arms at their sides. Then, the driver will count up from 1,000 until told to stop. If the driver falls over, uses their arms for balance, or cannot count, they fail the test.

Officers will fully explain and demonstrate each test before they ask the driver to perform the actions. If the driver does not follow the directions completely, they will fail the field sobriety test.

Often people refuse the field sobriety test because they can be inaccurate depending on the conditions of the road or the physical ability of the driver. Those who are unable to lift a leg and be balanced even when sober can fail the one-leg stand and face possible arrest because of it.

Contact an Elgin, IL DUI Attorney

Drivers who have been wrongfully arrested on a DUI charge or those who have refused a field sobriety test can face many consequences including the loss of a driver’s license, fines, and even jail time for multiple offenders. The lawyers of the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola can help defend a driver’s rights and build a defense to avoid any negative conviction. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County DUI lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

https://www.isp.state.il.us/docs/sfst_1day_refresher.pdf

 

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