Southern Illinois Criminal Defense Blog

Illinois' man's drug charges could bring prison time

Facing criminal accusations can be an incredibly stressful experience. Defendants often worry about the impact that a criminal conviction may have on their lives. This is especially true for Illinois defendants who are facing drug charges, which can carry severe consequences, including hefty fines and even years in prison.

Bond is set at $500,000 for a 35-year-old Illinois man in police custody on multiple criminal allegations. Accused of unlawfully possessing a firearm and possession of cocaine with the intent to deliver, authorities claim that this is not the first time he has been involved with illicit activity. Reportedly, past convictions include aggravated vehicular high jacking and multiple controlled substance possessions.

Drunk driving charges might have spiked during Labor Day patrols

Holiday weekends are usually times for friends and loved ones to gather together, but excessive police patrols can sometimes throw a wrench in these types of plans. Illinois police implemented special patrols over the Labor Day weekend in hopes of spotting potentially impaired drivers. Unfortunately, police are only human, and no matter how well-intentioned these patrols might be, some drunk driving charges are not always appropriate.

The Labor Day patrols put officers on the road mainly late at night, with one patrol starting at about 9 p.m. and running until 6 a.m. Officers were not only looking for signs of inebriated drivers, but also for those who might have been violating other rules of the road, such as failing to wear a seatbelt. However, it is possible that having officers on the lookout for certain signs from drivers might cause them to perceive that such behavior is happening, even when it is not.

Illinois man sentenced in holiday drunk driving crash

Illinois residents feel the effects of alcohol differently. Some people can have one drink and start slurring their words. Yet, others can have a pitcher of beer and walk a straight line. The factor that binds these two types of individuals, however, is that neither should necessarily get behind the wheel of a car after drinking because they risk being arrested for drunk driving or for being involved in an alcohol-related accident.

One Illinois man was involved in both, but he told the court that he did not feel as though he was intoxicated when he got behind the wheel that night even after several beers. Yet, somehow, he ended up crashing into another vehicle on Illinois 158 on Dec. 19, 2016. The head-on collision led to the death of the 68-year-old woman in the other vehicle.

Drunk driving lingo: Revoked and suspended are not the same

Facing charges for being impaired behind the wheel? In addition to the possible criminal penalties associated with drunk driving here in Illinois, you may also be facing some sort of sanctions regarding your driver's license. Before you find out what will happen, it may be helpful to know that a revoked license is not the same as a suspended license.

If your case is like most, your license may be suspended. In most DUI cases, the suspension is definite, which means that it continues for a certain amount of time and until you have paid the appropriate fees. If your license is suspended and you drive during the term of your suspension, you could end up with even more legal trouble. In addition, your car insurance could be raised or cancelled. Your insurance company may not allow you to have coverage, and if it does, it will more than likely be quite expensive.

A primer on Illinois drunk-driving checkpoints

It seems self-evident that drunk-driving checkpoints (sometimes called roadblocks or saturation enforcement) should be illegal. If police need probable cause to pull a driver over for DUI, then why is it O.K. to stop a driver when there's no probable cause?

On the other side of the argument, supporters of drunk-driving checkpoints say they serve public-safety purposes: roadblocks deter drunk driving and raise the public's awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving. 

The other half of drunk driving: Drugged driving

Illinois law enforcement agencies and advocacy groups spend a significant amount of time making sure that drivers understand not to drink alcohol and then get behind the wheels of their cars. Drivers are given breath tests and field sobriety tests to determine impairment. However, drunk driving is not the only crime for which an individual could be arrested. Drugged driving could also result in an arrest and possible charges. 

Most Illinois drivers know that using illegal drugs and then driving could have serious legal repercussions. The use of most drugs will affect an individual's driving in some manner. For example, methamphetamines or cocaine are known to cause reckless and aggressive driving, while marijuana can slow a person's reaction time.

Car accidents lead to drunk driving charges for some drivers

Sometimes, Illinois residents get into their cars without realizing that they may be too impaired to get behind the wheel. The effects of the alcohol may not have really hit until the car is already in motion. Then, a car accident occurs, and an arrest for drunk driving follows soon thereafter.

For instance, the Illinois State Police recently reported an arrest made on a recent Wednesday. An accident had occurred in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 64. The occupants of a vehicle involved in the crash had already gotten out of it. The vehicle was sitting in the left lane.

Drunk driving charges filed after accident on I-88

One of the first factors many Illinois police officers look for after an accident is the possibility of impairment on the part of one or more drivers involved. Depending on the circumstances, officers may administer breath tests at the scene or obtain consent for a blood test from either the individual or a court. The results of those tests could result in drunk driving charges filed against one or more people.

On a recent Sunday, an accident occurred on Interstate 88 here in Illinois. Officers ended up arresting one driver involved who they say was intoxicated at the time. In fact, his blood alcohol concentration was said to be .316. This is nearly four times the state's legal limit of .08.

What constitutes possession in Illinois drug charges?

If the answer to this question is important to you, you may have run up against authorities and the Illinois Controlled Substances Act. You may need to know what constitutes possession when it comes to any drug charges you may face. Understanding the difference can make exploring your options regarding the resolution of the charges less of a challenge.

First, it may help to know that the law includes both actual controlled substances and their analogs. In addition, Illinois differentiates between just possessing an analog or a controlled substance and being in possession of it in order to deliver or manufacture it. This distinction is crucial since the penalties for the latter form of possession are much harsher.

Field Sobriety Tests: Can I just say no?

You usually avoid these kinds of things. But Sarah was a good friend, and she made work better and fun each day. So when they announced the office happy hour celebrating her promotion, you knew you had to go.

The wine flowed freely and although you don’t usually imbibe, you found yourself consuming a couple of glasses of wine. On the way home, you were stopped for speeding ever so slightly. When you rolled down your window, the officer said he smelled alcohol and demanded that you step out of your vehicle. Are your required to comply?

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