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McHenry and Elgin Criminal Defense Blog

The many ways an Illinois DUI can impact your life

Statistics nationwide tend to correlate an increase with blood alcohol content (BAC) and the potential for a serious motor vehicle crash. In order to reduce the rates of serious accidents that cause injury, death and property damage, states have created laws intended to regulate the use of alcohol before driving a motor vehicle. In Illinois, the name for impaired driving is driving under the influence (DUI), and DUI charges can carry harsh penalties.

The simplest way to avoid a DUI may be calling for a cab or using an app like Lyft to arrange for a sober driver to pick you up and take you home. Of course, there are also medical and social reasons why a person who isn't chemically impaired can end up charged with a DUI. Understanding the potential consequences of a DUI charge can determine how best to handle your situation

3 tips for avoiding a tipsy Halloween crash

Driving under the influence is against the law, but most people already know that. The problem that some people run into is not knowing that their holiday goodies contain more alcohol than they thought. With bowls of drinks mixed with vodka, rum and other alcohol, Halloween can become a dangerous holiday quickly.

It's important to know how much alcohol is in the drinks you're having. See a punch bowl from which you want to get a drink? Ask the host if it contains any alcohol and be aware that another guest could have slipped some in. Here are some tips for avoiding a tipsy drive on Halloween.

Pulled over? Here's what to do if you've been smoking marijuana

Imagine driving home from your friend's house. You've been smoking marijuana, which isn't legal yet in Illinois. While marijuana is legal in other places, the only thing that matters is your own state laws.

You didn't smoke enough to be driving under the influence, so when you were pulled over, you were surprised that the officer asked if you'd been smoking marijuana. What should you say? Would it be best to be honest?

Decriminalization of marijuana doesn't mean you can't get charged

The term "decriminalize" confuses a lot of people when it comes to marijuana law in Illinois. Many people believe that state decriminalization means that it's no longer possible to go to jail for marijuana. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

While some people who use marijuana will escape criminal prosecution under the state decriminalization law, many more people could still be subject to arrest and prosecution. Decriminalization means that those who get caught by law enforcement in possession of a small amount (ten grams or less) of natural state marijuana won't face jail time.

Top Ten Ways to have a Constructive and Positive Relationship with Your Attorney

The first question most people ask when meeting with a prospective attorney, is something along the lines of "what is going to happen to me?" or "what can I do?". For anyone in a situation requiring legal representation, it can be a stressful process, with many uncertainties. In my experience, as both a Prosecutor and a Criminal Defense Attorney, I've noticed that the hardest pill to swallow for most clients, is the fact that their fate and the ultimate outcome of their case must be placed in the hands of their attorney. When faced with the question, "what can I do?", the simplest answer is trust the lawyer you have chosen to be your representative. If you are not willing to follow the instructions of your attorney, then you are essentially throwing away the money spent on their services. Would you make a doctor's appointment for an illness, pay for an appointment and pay for medication, and then dump all the pills down the drain? Your Attorney's role is to be both an advisor and a representative in the court room. Your attorney's job is to look out for your best interests. That being said, not all attorneys are created equal. If your lawyer tells you to do something that seems wrong or illegal, get a second opinion. If your lawyer tells you to get treatment for your addiction, or stay away from a protected party...listen. The only way to have some semblance of control over the outcome of your case is to cooperate with your lawyer. In the hopes of facilitating a constructive attorney client relationship, I have assembled a quick easy to read top ten list.

When can police search my car?

These days, it seems like every day there is another news story that makes it look like the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution means less with each passing year. However, the law is still the law, and according to the law, there are specific circumstances under which law enforcement may search your vehicle.

It is vital to know when police can search your vehicle and when they cannot, and when you may be able to use a police officer's violation of procedure to your advantage in court.

Marijuana possession still carries risk in Illinois

Because of increasingly lax cultural attitudes about marijuana and a state-wide legal shift toward decriminalization of marijuana, many in Illinois believe that they are no longer at risk for prosecution if a law enforcement agent discovers that they are in possession of marijuana. This, unfortunately, is not true.

Many people still face arrest, citation, and even incarceration over simple marijuana possession. It is important to note, as well, that possession and possession with intent to sell are viewed very differently by courts and law enforcement. If you or someone that you love has been arrested or charged with a marijuana offense, it's critical that you seek legal assistance from an experienced attorney.

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Elgin Office
2400 Big Timber Road
Suite 108
Elgin, IL 60123

Phone: 224-276-6641
Fax: 224-856-5557
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McHenry Office
4310 W. Crystal Lake Road Suite C-D
McHenry, IL 60050

Phone: 815-322-9678
Fax: 815-344-8922
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One Court Place
Suite 100
Rockford, IL 61101

Phone: 779-203-9049
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