970 McHenry Avenue, Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC

Call Today for Your FREE Consultation

Call Us800-338-3833 | 815-338-3838

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in McHenry County criminal defense attorney

Can the Police Search My Car Anytime They Want?In recent years, there has been a great deal of public debate about the power and authority given to police officers in various situations. Among these concerns is the issue of conducting a search for illicit drugs, unlawful weapons, or other illegal items. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution promises American citizens the right to be free from “unreasonable searches and seizures” of their homes, papers, effects, and persons. The same amendment also specifies that all warrants must be based on probable cause and must describe in detail “the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.” If you are facing charges based on evidence found during an illegal or unreasonable search, an experienced criminal defense attorney could get the case against you dismissed.

Consent Trumps Everything Else

Most people will never have the police come to their house wanting to conduct a search. It is much more common, however, for such a situation to develop during a traffic stop. If you have been stopped by the police and the officer wants to search your vehicle, he or she will almost certainly start by asking for your permission. If the officer obtains your clear consent, the search becomes lawful, and you will no longer have the option of challenging the evidence based on an unreasonable search.

Keep in mind that the officer might not use the word “search” or even ask for your consent in a clear manner. He or she might say something to the effect of, “I’m sure you don’t mind if I take a quick look around, right?” As a citizen, you always have the right to refuse to consent when an officer asks to search your car. Refusing will not always prevent the search, but you will retain the ability to challenge the validity of the search later.

...

What Are the Risks When Refusing a Breath Test in Illinois?As the state of Illinois continues to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown, more and more people are starting to venture to the state’s bars and restaurants once again. This means that patrons again have access to establishments that sell alcoholic beverages. If you decide to go out and enjoy a few drinks with a small group of friends, you should know that police departments around the region are on the lookout for drunk drivers. As a result, you could be stopped and asked to take a breath test to make sure that your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is under the legal limit. Regardless of how much you have had to drink, refusing a breath test under certain circumstances could lead to serious consequences.

Illinois’ Implied Consent Laws

When you drive on the public streets and highways of Illinois, state law presumes that you have given your “implied consent” to submit to BAC testing. In the course of a traffic stop, the officer may request a preliminary breath test as part of his or her efforts to determine if there is probable cause to arrest you for driving under the influence (DUI). If the officer establishes probable cause and arrests you, you will be asked to submit to an evidentiary BAC test.

There is an important distinction between the two types of testing. Preliminary BAC testing is not generally admissible as evidence in court, and you can refuse a preliminary BAC test with no formal consequences. Of course, your refusal is likely to make the officer look a bit harder for other indications that you are intoxicated. Once you are arrested, however, things change dramatically. If you refuse an evidentiary BAC test subsequent to an arrest on suspicion of DUI, you will almost certainly lose your driver’s license.

...

McHenry County, Crystal Lake, Crystal Lake IL, criminal defense, attorney, lawyer, Driving under the influence is a criminal offense and is treated seriously under Illinois law because of the danger it poses to yourself, your passengers, and other users of the road. First-time DUI offenses are no exception, though penalties are typically less severe in recognition that the behavior may indicate a one-time lapse in judgment rather than the start of a pattern of endangerment. If you have not been convicted of a DUI before, you may be concerned about the penalties you could face if it does happen to you.

Consequences for First-Time DUI Offenders

If a law enforcement officer suspects you of driving under the influence of alcohol or another substance, they may pull you over and ask you to submit to a field sobriety or blood alcohol content (BAC) test. If you refuse a chemical test, or if the results indicate impairment above the legal limit, you can be arrested and may face consequences including:

  • Court Supervision: First-time offenders may be sentenced to supervision instead of being convicted, which allows you to avoid some of the penalties for DUI and for the charges to be dismissed if you comply with the terms of the supervision order.
  • Fines and Court Costs: If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you can face the consequences of a Class A misdemeanor, including a fine of up to $2,500. You will also likely be responsible for paying for court costs associated with your trial.
  • Jail Time: Class A misdemeanors can carry a sentence of up to one year in county jail, which may be reduced due to good behavior.
  • Suspended or Revoked License: Your driver’s license can be suspended after a DUI arrest or court supervision order, and it will be revoked for at least a year in the case of a DUI conviction. First-time offenders will often be required to install a BAC ignition interlock device in their vehicle during a suspension. You may apply for reinstatement of your license at the end of the suspension or revocation period.
  • Court-Ordered Programs: For a first-time DUI offense, you may be required to participate in a drug or alcohol treatment program or a DUI education program as part of your sentence.
  • Increased Penalties for Exacerbating Factors: Even if you are a first-time offender, you can face higher penalties and sometimes felony charges if your BAC is 0.16 or higher, if you have a child passenger in your vehicle at the time of arrest, if you are driving under the influence in a school zone, or if your impaired driving causes an injury or fatality.

Contact a McHenry County DUI Defense Lawyer Today

Many first-time DUI offenders can avoid being charged with the full extent of the possible penalties with the help of an experienced defense lawyer. At Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, we can help you obtain supervision or negotiate for a fair sentence. For a free consultation with a Crystal Lake DUI defense attorney, call 815-338-3838.

...

What Are Your Rights When You Have Been Arrested?With people around the world protesting police mistreatment of people of color, this is a good time to educate yourself about your rights if a police officer arrests you. By understanding your rights, you can avoid saying or doing something that could be used against you in a criminal case. There are rules that all officers in the U.S. must follow during an arrest to ensure that the arrestee’s constitutional rights are not being violated. Unfortunately, some police officers violate the rules, which can result in unlawful arrests or harm to the arrestee. Proving police misconduct during your arrest could lead to the charges against you being reduced or dismissed.

Miranda Warning

Leading up to and after your arrest, a police officer may ask you questions in hopes that you will provide information that can be evidence in a criminal case. It is in your best interest to not provide the officer with any information other than identifying yourself. After your arrest, the officer is required to read the Miranda warning to you before they ask more questions. The Miranda warning informs you that:

  • You have the right to remain silent
  • Statements you make to the police can be used as evidence against you
  • You have the right to request an attorney before speaking to the police
  • An attorney will be assigned to you if you cannot afford one

If no one reads your Miranda warning, any statements that you make in response to police questions after your arrest will be inadmissible as evidence in court.

...

Why a Driver’s License Revocation Is More Severe Than a SuspensionLosing your driving privileges is a cumbersome penalty that you can face for various infractions in Illinois. People often refer to a driver’s license suspension and a driver’s license revocation as if they are the same thing. Both have the same result of making it illegal for you to drive unless you receive a Restricted Driving Permit. However, a driver’s license revocation is more severe and will make it more difficult for you to regain your driving privileges. You will need the help of an experienced license reinstatement lawyer in order to get your license back.

What Is the Difference Between Suspension and Revocation?

When your driver’s license is suspended, you still possess it but it is temporarily inactive. You could have a definite suspension, in which your license is suspended for a set amount of time, or an indefinite suspension, in which reinstatement of your license is dependent upon meeting conditions such as paying fines. Once the conditions for ending the suspension have been met, you will automatically be eligible for reinstatement of your license.

When your driver’s license is revoked, it has been terminated so that it no longer exists. To regain your driving privileges, you will need to apply for a new driver’s license after a set waiting period. The Illinois Secretary of State’s office must grant permission for you to reinstate your license, which it will determine at a hearing. In order to receive permission, you may need to show that you will not be a danger to yourself or others if you are allowed to drive.

...
Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
Back to Top