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dui, Crystal Lake Criminal Defense Lawyer, search. traffic stop, mchenry county attorney, law firmIf you get pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Crystal Lake, you will need the help of a DUI defense attorney. However, in the moment of the traffic stop, it is important to remember several things to prevent making a mistake or saying something that can be used against you later on.

Police Officers are Under a Lot of Stress

When they start making a traffic stop, police officers do not have a full understanding of what is going on. During training, police officers frequently hear harrowing statistics about fatalities during routine stops; 62 officers were killed during traffic stops between 2003 and 2012. It is important to remember that no matter how frustrated you are when you get pulled over, the police officer coming to your driver's side window does not know if you are waiting with a weapon. Making it exceptionally clear that you have no intention of hurting anyone is important. Keeping your hands on the wheel, in plain view, and not making any sudden moves can go a long way in putting the police officer at ease, which can make the whole situation much less intense.

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Posted on in Vehicle Searches

drug-dui-lawsIn 2013, Illinois joined several other states in allowing people to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. People who have qualifying medical conditions may register with the Department of Public Health and receive a card allowing them to legally buy and use marijuana in Illinois. Once a person is registered and issued a card, a person's status as a registered patient is also noted on his driving record. Permitting the use of marijuana also necessitated a change in the application of Illinois DUI laws to account for the possibility of drivers having marijuana in their system while driving.

Previously, Illinois DUI laws were zero tolerance laws when it came to a driver having marijuana in their blood, breath, or urine when operating a car. It did not matter whether a driver was actually impaired; if the presence of marijuana was detected, the driver could be charged with DUI. Marijuana may typically stay in a person's system for about 30 days. Therefore, a person could test positive for the presence of marijuana in his system while driving and thereafter be charged with DUI, even if he had not used marijuana in weeks. Since the law permitting the use of medical marijuana was passed, there is now a less stringent look at marijuana and driving for registered patients.

However, after the enactment of Senate Bill 2228 in July 2016, the law has been amended. To be sure, the bill amends the state's zero tolerance per se traffic law providing that the existence of THC from marijuana in blood at levels below five nanograms per milliliter “shall not give rise to any presumption that the person was or was not under the influence of cannabis.”

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Posted on in Vehicle Searches

police search primer, McHenry County criminal defense attorneyThe police in America often appear to wield an unchallengeable authority. However, the law in fact places numerous constraints on the police to protect the rights of citizens accused of crimes. One of the most important of these constraints comes from the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens from “unreasonable” searches by police. This means that there are limits to the ability of the police to look through a person's things. The full extent of the rules on when police may search are complex, but a short primer can help people more fully exercise their rights. The general rule is that police must have a warrant to perform a search, but there are important exceptions to this rule.

The Need for Warrants

The key point of the Fourth Amendment is that police must have a warrant to in order to perform a search. A warrant is a legal document provided by a judge that gives the police a right to enter a specific place in order to look for a specific item. In order to get a warrant, the police must demonstrate that there is “probable cause” to believe that a search will turn up evidence of a crime. If the officers can convince a judge of that, then they will receive a warrant, and they can search the premises.

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