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DUI Prosecution and the Statute of Limitations

Posted on in DUI

DUI, Kane County criminal defense attorneyWhen a person is pulled over on the suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), the next step is being taken into police custody until officers feel the individual is sober enough to make it home safely. In most cases, a citation is issued upon release which includes a date for a mandatory court appearance. All too often, however, defendants appear on their required date in court only to discover that their case is not actually on the docket. How does this happen? The answer may be found in what occurs after the issuance of the citation.

Behind the Scenes

Keep in mind that a county prosecutor’s office has a multitude of cases to review each day. Your case, while extremely important to you, is just one of many being processed at any given time. The date on the citation is often an arbitrary date, generally at least a month or two months after the incident initially occurred. It is presumed that this time is sufficient to accomplish the necessary steps, including:

  • Police drafting an official report including witness statements, examination of evidence, video footage, and a written report;
  • The arresting agency filing the report with the prosecuting agency, usually the State’s Attorney’s office in the local county, and
  • If there is evidence to create a case, the prosecutor filing and sending a notification to all relevant parties including a revised court date, replacing the one on the original citation.

Statute of Limitations

If you happened to be one of the unfortunate few who arrives at your court date listed on your citation only to discover your court date has changed, you will receive a form stating that you did report as requested. You will also likely be told to wait patiently, and your new court date will arrive by mail.

While waiting and diligently checking your mailbox, you may start to breathe a sigh of relief, hoping with a small shred of optimism that perhaps they forgot and the whole incident "blew over." This situation is not likely, however, as prosecutors rarely let anything just slip through the cracks. A statute of limitations exists that allows charges to be filed for up to 18 months from the date of the original arrest. If it has been two or more years since the original arrest and you still have not heard from the court, there may be an outstanding warrant your arrest.

We Can Help

If you have been charged with DUI, you should consider consulting with a defense attorney as soon as possible. A conviction can be life-altering but may be preventable in many cases with the proper representation. Contact an experienced Elgin DUI defense lawyer. Call The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=5100000&SeqEnd=6000000

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