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Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyers

Police Officer’s Role in a DUI Arrest and DUI charge

I have been helping drivers around the Chicago and Schaumburg areas fight DUI charges for the past 17 years. The consequences of a DUI conviction may have a big impact over your life. Defending a DUI charge is not easy; however, an experienced DUI defense lawyer will help you fight for your case and even succeed in maintaining your driving privileges.

If you are stopped by the police for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, you have the option of refusing to take the breathalyzer test. In some cases, I advise that my clients refuse to take the tests. If you do so, the prosecution will try to use the refusal against you at trial by introducing the police officer’s testimony and will try to use the fact that you refused the breathalyzer as consciousness of your guilt. The officer’s testimony and the events that led to the traffic stop are essential to your case. The police officer must follow certain procedures before and after the stop. The officer must give consistent statements regarding the facts that led him or her to believe that you were driving under the influence of alcohol.

An experienced DUI lawyer will analyze the facts and the records in your case, and determine whether the officer followed the legal procedures. The officer’s credibility at trial also plays a major role in your defense. If you did submit to the test, and the results indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher, it is important to determine whether the officer followed the standard legal procedure in administering the test (the machine was functioning properly, the time passed between the stop and the test etc.). Small details may have a big impact in your defense. It is important that you choose an experienced DUI lawyer if you want to maintain your driver’s license.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you need assistance in defending a DUI charge.


- Posted by DUI lawyer John W. Callahan

Penalty in Illinois for Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License

I have been representing drivers in Illinois, around the Chicago, Barrington, and Schaumburg areas, in license reinstatement cases for almost two decades. If the police stopped you for driving with a suspended or revoked license, you need to know the following potential penalties for this offense.

Driving while your driver’s license, permit, or privilege to operate a motor vehicle is suspended or revoked is a class A misdemeanor. A class A misdemeanor may trigger a sentence of imprisonment of up to one year, in addition to a possible fine of up to $2,500.00. This law does not apply if you have a judicial driving permit, a monitoring device permit, family financial responsibility driving permit, probationary license to drive, or a restrictive driving permit.

A second or subsequent violation of this law is a class 4 felony or higher if the violation was the most likely cause of an accident that resulted in personal injury or death to another. If you are charged with a driving while suspended or revoked charge whether it be a misdemeanor or a felony you need to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will help you defend your case. One possible defense is proving that driving with a suspended or revoked license was necessary as necessity can be used as an affirmative defense.

If the Secretary of State revoked or suspended your driver’s license because of a violation related to involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide, and the police stopped you while you were driving with a suspended or revoked license, you will need to undergo a professional evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine whether you have an addiction to alcohol, drugs or intoxicating compounds.

Please note that your driver’s license, permit, or privilege to obtain a driver’s license may be subject to multiple revocations, suspensions, or a combination of both. A subsequent revocation or suspension does not lessen or cancel a prior revocation or suspension. Please contact our office if you need help in defending your case for a violation of driving with a suspended or revoked license.


- Posted by Schaumburg DUI lawyer John W. Callahan

Defending an Aggravated DUI Charge

I have been helping drivers around the Chicago and Schaumburg areas fight DUI charges for the past 17 years. An aggravated DUI charge is a very serious charge and a conviction will adversely affect your life for years to come.

The law in Illinois provides for several cases in which a driver commits an aggravated DUI. http://www.chicagocriminallaw.com/blog/2014/07/aggravated-dui-in-illinois.shtml. The penalties for this felony are harsh and therefore you need to take action and defend your case right after the incident that triggers the charge. http://www.chicagocriminallaw.com/blog/2014/07/what-is-the-penalty-in-illinois-for-aggravated-dui.shtml

If you have two DUI convictions at the time the police stop you for driving under influence, I believe you should not submit yourself to the breathalyzer test. This is the best option you have if you are stopped for driving under influence. The prosecution will use the evidence of the test at trial and your attorney will have difficulty in challenging the results of the test. Since this may be a potential third DUI conviction that triggers a felony sentence, you need to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible after the incident. If the police did not follow the required procedure, your attorney may get the case dismissed. If you have been involved in a car accident that resulted in serious bodily harm to another, body harm, or death, and the accident was a likely result of the driving under influence, you will need to prove that your alcohol level was not over the legal limit, and/or that driving under the influence of alcohol was not the likely cause of the accident (mechanic failure, third party caused the accident, bad weather conditions, or the victim’s negligence). A driving under influence charge includes driving under the influence of drugs or intoxicating compounds. Defending the charge is essential to avoid a conviction for felony. Depending on the drug involved, you have several defense options, including procedural defenses.
We have helped many drivers defend aggravated DUI charges and we understand the difficulties you are facing. Please contact our office if you need help with you case. We highly recommend taking action right after the incident that triggers the aggravated DUI charge.


- Posted by Felony DUI lawyer John W. Callahan

Defenses for Cocaine Possession Charges

I have represented hundreds of clients in criminal defense drug cases in Illinois, around the Chicago and Schaumburg areas. As discussed in a prior article, possession of over 15 grams of cocaine is a class 1 felony which may trigger a sentence of four to fifteen years in prison. Check out this blog post on sentencing.
The most important step in your defense is to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after the arrest. You may not even have to defend your case on the merits if the police did not comply with the legal requirements before or after the arrest. The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right of due process, which means that the police may not perform unreasonable searches and seizures against a person. If the police obtained the evidence during an unreasonable search, the police may not use this evidence against you in court. The prosecution must prove that the substance is cocaine (they will have to send the substance for a lab analysis). If the drugs did not belong to you, you need to inform your attorney about this. It is important that you communicate to your attorney all of the facts surrounding the arrest. Our goal is to get the case dismissed and not go to trial. In the alternative, we will try to obtain an acquittal. Depending on the facts of the case, the third option is to try to obtain a plea agreement with the prosecution.
The police and prosecution have been pursuing possession of cocaine cases zealously due to the high probability of addiction. A possession of cocaine conviction may have a big impact on your future. This is why it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact our office. We have been successfully helping clients fight possession charges and we will gladly help you protect your rights.

- Posted by drug possession lawyer John W. Callahan

First DUI Offense

I have been handling driving under influence cases in Illinois for the past 17 years. One of the questions I often hear is regarding the consequences of a first DUI offense.

A person charged with a first DUI offense faces a class A misdemeanor in Illinois. A class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 (in addition to court costs). In general, the jail penalty is not very common on a first DUI offense. The Secretary of State will suspend your driver’s license shortly after the charge (46 days from the date of arrest). I highly recommend hiring an experienced DUI attorney who can help you obtain the best possible outcome given the facts of your case. The most common penalties for a first DUI offense are the suspension of driving privileges and court supervision on the DUI charge.

The suspension is temporary and the driver will obtain his driving privileges back at the end of the suspension period after paying the reinstatement fee. Illinois requires all first time DUI offenders to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Device (BAIID) in their car if the attorney cannot beat the suspension by filing a Petition to rescind the suspension. In order to obtain driving privileges during the suspension period, the driver must install a BAIID. The driver is required to blow into the device in order to start the car. The car will start if the blood alcohol level is below 0.025%. If the blood alcohol level is over 0.025%, the engine will lock and the BAIID will notify the authorities that the driver’s alcohol level is over the legal limit.

The consequences and the procedure after a DUI charge can be intimidating. Drivers facing a DUI charge should contact an experienced DUI defense attorney to obtain assistance in defending their rights effectively and quickly. Our goal is to avoid you becoming a statistic so please contact our office if you need an experienced DUI defense lawyer.


- Posted by DUI lawyer John W. Callahan

What is the penalty in Illinois for aggravated DUI?

I have been representing clients charged with DUI in Illinois, around the Schaumburg and Chicago areas for over 17 years. A person driving under the influence of alcohol will be charged with aggravated DUI, if one of the several aggravating factors is present. http://www.chicagocriminallaw.com/blog/
Generally, a person convicted of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or intoxicating compounds is guilty of a class 4 felony. The sentence of imprisonment for a class 4 felony is between one and three years. In addition, the court may also impose a fine of up to $25,000. The sentence varies depending on the aggravating factors. In case of aggravated driving under the influence without a driver license, the court will be more lenient if the driver was driving with a suspended or revoked license. If the driver was never eligible to drive or never had a driver’s license, the court will most likely impose a more harsh sentence (unless the driver successfully defends his or her case). Similarly, the court will be more lenient if the driver knew or should have known that he or she was driving without liability insurance. On the other hand, the sentence will be harsher if the person driving under the influence caused an accident that resulted in bodily harm to another. For example, if the accident caused great bodily harm to another person and the driver is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, the minimum sentence is one year (up to 12 years). If the driver was transporting a child under the age of 16 and the child suffered bodily harm, the Illinois law imposes a mandatory fine of $2,500 and 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children in addition to any other criminal sanction.
The penalties for aggravated DUI are among the harshest in the United States. If you are charged with an aggravated DUI, I highly recommend hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney who can help you understand your rights and design a plan to defend you case. Please contact our office if you need help in defending a felony charge for aggravated DUI.


- Posted by DUI lawyer John W. Callahan

Aggravated DUI in Illinois

I have been representing clients charged with DUI in Illinois, around the Schaumburg and Chicago areas for over 17 years. In the State of Illinois, an aggravated DUI is a felony. Aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or intoxicating compounds occurs in any of the following situations:
• In case of a third or subsequent DUI.
• Driving under the influence a school bus with at least one passenger on board.
• The driver was involved in a car accident that resulted in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement of another person, and the DUI was the most likely cause of the accident.
• The person driving under the influence previously committed a crime relating to reckless homicide while driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or intoxicating compounds.
• The driver was involved in an accident while driving under the influence in a school zone when a speed limit of 20miles/hour was in effect (no minimum speed requirement) if the accident resulted in bodily harm (other than great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement) and the DUI most likely caused the accident.
• Driving under influence that resulted in death when the DUI was the proximate cause of death.
• Driving under influence during a period in which the defendant’s driving privileges are suspended or revoked for driving under influence or for reckless homicide.
• Driving under influence without a valid driver’s license.
• Driving under influence while the driver knew or should have known that the car was not covered by liability insurance.
• The driver who was driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or intoxicating compound was transporting a child under the age of 16, and the DUI was the cause of an accident which resulted in bodily harm (not great bodily harm) to the child.
• Driving under the influence while transporting a child under 16 years and the driver had a prior DUI conviction.
• Driving under the influence while transporting one or more passengers in a vehicle for hire.
If any of the aggravating factors are present, the driver will be charged with aggravated DUI and risks a possible conviction for a felony crime. Depending on the facts of the case, the driver may argue the following: that the DUI was not the proximate cause of the accident, that he could not have known that the vehicle was uninsured; that the police violated his constitutional rights. Please do not hesitate to our office if you have been arrested and/or charged with an aggravated DUI.


- Posted by DUI lawyer John W. Callahan

What is the penalty in Illinois for ecstasy possession?

As a criminal defense lawyer in the State of Illinois, I have represented hundreds of people charged with possession of drugs in the Chicago area.
Ecstasy is the informal name for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (also known as MDMA). Ecstasy is a stimulant drug that causes hallucinations. It is found in the form of tablets/pills and it is a very popular party drug.

Possession of ecstasy is illegal in the State of Illinois. If you or your child have been arrested for ecstasy possession I recommend you to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney because the penalties for this crime are harsh. Possession of ecstasy is a felony and the penalty depends on the number of tablets possessed at the time of the arrest. Possession of up to 15 tablets of ecstasy is a class 4 felony and it is punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison in addition to a fine of up to $25,000. Possession of more than 15 tablets is a class 1 felony which carries a more serious punishment than a class 4 felony. The sentence is between 4 and 15 years for possession of 15 to 200 tablets; between 6 to 30 years for possession of 200 to 600 tablets; between 8 to 40 years for possession 600 to 1,500 tablets; and between 10 to 50 years for possession of more than 1,500 tablets. The penalty for a class 1 felony may also include a fine of up to $200,000.

It is important to contact an experienced felony drug lawyer to give your son or daughter the best chance to eliminate or prevent a felony conviction from destroying their record.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office to obtain more information about your rights and to discuss a plan for your defense. Depending on the facts of your case, you may contest the legality of the search and/or arrest and whether the possession was illegal.

- Posted by felony drug charge lawyer John W. Callahan

What is the penalty in Illinois for cocaine possession?

As a criminal defense lawyer in the State of Illinois, I have represented hundreds of people charged with possession of drugs in the Chicago area.
Possession of any amount of cocaine greater than 15 grams is a class 1 felony. A class 1 felony triggers a sentence of four to fifteen years in prison.

The sentence depends on the amount of cocaine possessed at the time of the arrest. The sentence is no less than 4 years and up to 15 years for possession of 15 grams or more but less than 100 grams. The sentence is between 6 and 30 years with respect to possession of 100 grams or more but less than 400 grams. If the amount of cocaine is between 400 grams and 900 grams, the sentence is between 8 and 40 years. For 900 grams and up, the sentence is not less than 10 years but not more than 50 years. If the amount in possession is less than 15 grams, the charge will be a class 4 felony, which is punishable by one to three years in prison. Most of these charges are probation eligible if they are first time offenses. In addition to the above sentences, the penalties for cocaine possession may also include a fine up to $200,000.

The charges for possession of cocaine should be treated as a very serious matter because they can trigger a felony conviction. If this is your first incidence the chances of success are higher. In any case, I highly recommend hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer from the beginning of the process to help minimize the damage. Please contact our office if you need an experienced felony drug lawyer to help you navigate the court process.

- Posted by Chicago felony lawyer John W. Callahan

Medical Marijuana Impact on DUI

I have been representing clients charged with DUI in Illinois, around the Schaumburg and Chicago areas for over 17 years. Recent developments in the Illinois legislation regarding the lawful consumption of cannabis/marijuana may affect drivers charged with DUI.

The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program is a four year pilot program which went into effect on January 1, 2014. Under this law, patients may legally use marijuana for certain medical conditions after obtaining registry identification cards. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program may directly affect some drivers charged with DUI.

Under the Illinois Vehicle Code, any amount of cannabis in a driver’s breath, blood, or urine resulting from unlawful use or consumption may trigger a DUI charge. If the driver is a patient licensed under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Act and has a valid registry card, he or she is exempted from the above provision. The driver in possession of a valid registry identification card and less than 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis is presumed innocent. If the driver is functioning poorly or incompetently, he or she may still be charged with DUI.

The law does not specify what level of consumption determines impairment. This means that drivers cannot smoke any amount of marijuana and still drive without being charged with DUI. The impairment of the driver who consumed marijuana and has a valid registry card is a contested issue. An experienced DUI lawyer will be able to help drivers with state registry cards contest the charges.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you need help in contesting the above type of DUI charge.


- Posted by Schaumburg DUI lawyer John W. Callahan