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Bananas have nothing to do with this post

Here at Excessive Bail (TM), we get beat up from time to time commenting on judges lowering the boom on seemingly minor criminals.  Call it the Napoleon Complex applied to judges or what have you, but we are known for making fun of judges for giving a defendant a three year sentence for stealing a candy bar. In a stunning reversal of this trend we are now going to make fun of a judge giving too light a sentence.* Earlier this month the secretary of Bernie Madoff was sentenced to six years in prison.  Now to be honest that sentence is about right if you believe that some fraudsters secretary was actively involved in the criminal fraud.  However, the judge, as many judges do, felt like sentencing someone wasn’t enough … they felt they should explain why on the record.

The prosecutor asked for 20 years

The defense attorney asked for 8 to 10

The judge gave her six.

Why? Because the defendant was short.  Literally.  4 foot six inches short. Now there are a lot of reasons to reduce a sentence.  This isn’t one of them.  If your logic is that a person is short and may be abused by the system because of their stature, then you don’t send them at all.  If you send them for six instead of 20 I think you have to explain why a short person can do six but can’t do 20. Just sayin

Law Dude, Ray Flavin, is a DUI attorney who represents drivers that have been charged with DUI in McHenry County Illinois. His law offices are located across the street from the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock, IL.

*Query whether this is actually a reversal because we are still making fun of judges sentences.  So there’s that.

Speed_Limit_25tn

So this Lake in the Hills DUI Attorney took a look at last year’s DUI counts.

A quick review of the 2013 DUI counts shows a couple of things.  The leading municipality for our county is Bull Valley followed by Crystal Lake and then there is Lake in the Hills.

As a Lake in the Hills DUI attorney I find it interesting how the DUI numbers come out.  Last year according to AAIM, Bull Valley wrote 160 DUI tickets, Crystal Lake wrote 111, and Lake in the Hills wrote 90.

The interesting part for me is that Bull Valley has 6 officers, Crystal Lake has 65 and Lake in the Hills has 39 officers.

So doing the math, as AAIM does, arrest rate per officer sounds something like this:  Bull Valley 6.67 DUIs per officer, Crystal Lake 1.17 DUIs per officer, and Lake in the Hills 2.31.

Now this could just suggest that some smaller departments have higher ratios because they don’t have a lot of staff.  These days, commonly, even the secretary at the police station is a sworn officer (for reasons that I will never understand).

What can we draw from this?  You have some Bull Valley officers (just a few of them) writing a lot of DUI tickets.  You have a large staff at Crystal Lake.  And at Lake in the Hills, maybe the secretaries aren’t sworn officers.

In any case you would be wise to not try to make it home driving through Bull Valley.

As an interesting side note, I think most of the DUI arrests in Bull Valley arise from a speeding charge.

Law Dude, Ray Flavin, is a Lake in the Hills DUI attorney who represents drivers that have been charged with DUI in McHenry County Illinois. His law offices are located across the street from the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock.

Alcohol

What is the Legal Limit in Illinois for DUI?

There isn’t one.  Does that surprise you?  When a person takes a Breathalyzer after a DUI stop in Illinois the law says:

1.  For those who blow over 0.08 there is a presumption that the person was under the influence.

2.  For those who blow 0.079 to 0.051, there is no presumption that the person was under the influence of alcohol.

3.  For those who blow under 0.05 there is a presumption that the person was not under the influence of alcohol.

Do you see the sneaky thing they did there?  Normally, in America a person is presumed to be not under the influence (not guilty), unless the state proves that they were under the influence at trial.  However, if you look at the middle presumption (that is that there is no presumption), the state just papered over one of your rights: to be presumed not guilty, and took it away.

Interestingly, it is the first presumption that people assume establishes a “limit” of 0.08 in Illinois.  It does not.  The jury may be told that they may presume that the person was under the influence, but that presumption may be rebutted by the defendant at trial.  Of course, that would be a pretty interesting trial where the defendant established that his alcohol tolerance was so high that at 0.08 he wasn’t under the influence.   One has to think that the jury might be predisposed to finding someone guilty who had such a big alcohol problem.  So at the very least it would be an uphill battle to say the least.

So it turns out there is no Legal Limit in Illinois, just a bunch of people who think there is one.

Law Dude, Ray Flavin, is a Bull Valley attorney who represents drivers that have been charged with DUI in McHenry County Illinois. His law offices are located across the street from the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock.

Dexter

Isn’t that cute, a teenager in the state legislature.

So in West Virginia, a beautiful state with wonderful people, a teenager got elected to the state legislature.  Now if you know me, if I were a famous legislator I would run my dog for the legislature (that’s how I roll folks).

And it would be about the same thing.  Another ineffective legislator to say yes to the majority nut jobs who are running the legislature today.

In the article, they talk about how this is somehow the new face of the Republican Party in West Virginia.  It isn’t.  In the case where my dog won a seat on the legislature the outcome would be about the same.  My dog’s inability to understand what was going on would just add to the power of the majority to get things done (and the people from the district my dog represented would be poorly represented, unless of course they loved what the majority was doing).

It is funny to me that this kind of thing is celebrated.  Those people who depended on their legislator to stand up and say, “Hey, I don’t think the police should be able to search your car because you weren’t wearing your seat belt!” would not be heard.  Those parents with teenagers who are now serving minimum mandatory sentences for relatively minor drug crimes, would have no voice to stop the legislature from running over the run of the mill Joe six pack.  When the state attempted to needlessly sell its assets like state parks to private enterprises, my dog couldn’t stop or at least stand up to the majority.  There would be literally an empty space sitting in the legislature, allowing all of the bad ideas to pass through unmolested.

I guess you could argue that the legislature is already sold to the highest bidder, so does it really matter?  But the thing that keeps on eating away at me is that the average person in the state might look at this and think, “Look at that go-getter, you get’em little teenage girl.”  without realizing that there’s really nothing cute about it, and it wouldn’t be cute even if it were my dog sitting in that seat in the legislature (eventhough my dog is adorable).

Law Dude, Ray Flavin, is a McHenry County attorney who represents drivers that have been charged with DUI in McHenry County Illinois. His law offices are located across the street from the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock.

 

 

Bull Valley Attorney has to review piles of paper

If you have recently had a DUI in Bull Valley, here are some of the things the attorney will want you to bring to the first meeting with your Bull Valley Attorney.

First, he or she will want you to bring all of the paperwork that the officers gave you after the arrest.  There are many errors that an officer can make on this paperwork that will void the suspension or the DUI.  They will want to spend sometime reviewing that paperwork.  This should include a copy of your tickets, your notice of statutory summary suspension, your warning to motorist, the bond sheet and the tow sheet.  It is good to look at the tow sheet to determine how fast the tow truck showed up.  I have had DUI arrests where the police officer called for the tow BEFORE he got out of the car to meet the driver.

Secondly, he or she will ask you to go to your local DMV and pick up a driving record for COURT PURPOSES.  The Secretary of State will charge you $12 for this (because they can).  This document will be very helpful in determining whether you have a clean driving record, or if you have had prior DUIs on your record what outcome shows on your record.  This is the same document that the prosecutor will be looking at, so your attorney will want to see it first.

Lastly, he or she will take a look at any other paperwork that helps determine a timeline for what happened that night.  Restaurant receipts, ATM receipts etc.  may help determine when the driver was where, and make the police officers story either less accurate or may undermine it entirely.

Law Dude, Ray Flavin, is a Bull Valley attorney who represents drivers that have been charged with DUI in McHenry County Illinois. His law offices are located across the street from the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock.

ray

So there are 8 eight people running for three seats on the City Council.  Ray Flavin, a Woodstock DUI Attorney (that would be me) has decided not to run for Woodstock City Council because it would present some conflicts of interest with his representation of drivers charged with DUI by The City of Woodstock.

While it would not be by any means the majority of my DUI work, I live in Woodstock and it is my home turf, and if being elected to City Council would present a problem with representing those drivers I will have to bow out.  If you are voting in the election I would strongly recommend a vote for Dan Hart for one of the seats at City Council.  With all of the recent problems with police staff changes and recent headline news, I think having someone who is familiar with the problems would benefit the citizens of the City of Woodstock.

Personally, this Woodstock DUI Attorney wishes they would reconsider their “no deals” DUI policy with regard to statutory summary suspensions.  It causes a fair number of cases to be tried which otherwise would lend themselves to creative negotiations.  I believe it wastes both court resources and attorney time to not simply consider each case on a case by case basis.

It is important for members of the City Council to be aware of the police department policies and procedures, and serving on the council may have given me an opportunity to address some of that, however there are some fine people running so I am not as worried as I would be.  Last time three people ran for three seats and the time before I think they had to appoint someone because there was a vacant seat that no one ran for.

Law Dude, Ray Flavin, represents drivers that have been charged with DUI in McHenry County Illinois. His law offices are located across the street from the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock.

 

 

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