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finger to nose

No evidence for DUI arrest

A client recently approached me and told me that he received a DUI and there was “no evidence” for his DUI so therefore the DUI should be dismissed.  I told him that after practicing DUI law for 22 years that it was unlikely that there was “no evidence.”

He told me that he had been arrested for DUI while in a parking lot, so because he was not driving on the road, he was not driving under the influence.  I had to tell him that according to 11-501 (DUI Law) that a person could be arrested for being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle anywhere in Illinois.  That means that if you are driving a golf cart on a golf course you could be arrested for DUI.

He then explained that they had “no evidence for DUI arrest.”  I obtained a copy of his police reports and they indicated that he had taken three field sobriety tests and had admitted to taking prescription medication.   He also took a breathalyzer and scored 0.0.   I felt funny explaining to him how field sobriety tests are evidence.  Personally, I think field sobriety tests are total BS, but they are evidence that the judge or jury can consider.  The 0.0 breathalyzer will just ensure that they will charge him with a drug DUI rather than an alcohol DUI.

Lastly, in the report the officer recorded that the client had made a statement to his girlfriend (who had called the police), “Thanks babe, another DUI.”  That statement would be heard by the judge or jury when considering whether to find him guilty of DUI.

I am not sure whether it is television or the incomprehensibility of the law, but people need to understand that the State is going to take whatever evidence they have and try to make a case.  Can the jury find you guilty on that amount of evidence?  Sure, it’s entirely up to them.  Could they find you not guilty?  Once again, sure, that’s their job.

But thinking that there is no evidence, therefore they have to dismiss the case is just silly.

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.

Piles and Piles of Cash, that's the answer

Students who are graduated from college are often seeking opportunites to make money.  While there are many career opportunities I think there is one that is overlooked:  Forming your own non-profit group.  Imagine if you could form a group that got its money from a judge ordering someone to pay you.  So here are some money making ideas:  You could form a non-profit group that is against DUI;  You could open a drug and alcohol center;  You could form a “crime stoppers” non-profit group.

While you could make money at any of the three, I think you will find that the money for the non-profit group against DUI to be the most profitable.

In our county, the prosecutor recommends to the judge, and the judge sentences a person charged with DUI to contribute from $100 to $250 to a non-profit group against DUI.  So if you do the math: $250 times the number of DUIs (about a 1000) you arrive at the cool figure of $250,000.  But wait, there’s more!  That’s only for one county in Illinois.  If you can get four counties under your belt you are looking at a cool million … a year.   Not bad money for being against what everyone else is against!

And if you are really creative you might talk the judge into giving you more:

One of its founders, Pat Larson, tells the story of how a judge wanted to teach a drunken driver a meaningful lesson, so he ordered the offender, as part of his sentence, to fork over $1,000 to Larson’s group, Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Teaching meaningful lessons, all the way to the bank.

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.

PS: I guess Woodstock Crimestoppers is now defunct so there is a spot there to form a “non-profit” (you’re welcome)

Alcohol

So there’s this guy who advertises that he is a DRUNK DRIVING attorney.  Now I am not one to split hairs, but a couple of things:

First there is no such thing as DRUNK DRIVING.  The law says that you are Driving Under the Influence when your ability to think and act with ordinary care is impaired.  While I think you could reasonably argue what DRUNK DRIVING is, I am sure that you could not prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, because the definition you would create would be squishy and ill defined.

Imagine a person DRUNK DRIVING as you say, he/she is all over the road, red blood shot glassy eyes, smelled like alcohol had slurred speech and falls out of the car when officer opens the door.  You would say that guy is obviously DRUNK DRIVING, amIright?

But what if he/she was a terrible driver, it was late at night, (remember it is not against the law to drink and drive) he/she always talked like they had marbles in their mouth, he/she is a klutz?  Did you just prove them guilty BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT?  Nope.

I think that talking or advertising about DRUNK DRIVING invites sloppy thinking.  It invites us to guess whether a person was able to safely drive a car.  And guessing … however stated … is just that.  it is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

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.

Excessvie Bail screen shot

Here at Excessive Bail we don’t take ourselves too seriously.  We make fun of the impaired legislators of our State.  We whine incessantly about the terrible laws they write.  And we spend a lot of time showing you how actually terrible they are.  Laws that don’t accomplish the goal they were intended to accomplish, or even laws that do the OPPOSITE of what they are supposed to do.  We spend sometime showing you how certain laws make people rich (and we are talking about the criminal law).

We never expect to be honored in any way.  In some instances we wonder when we will be sued for millions of dollars that we will never have.  And we especially never expect to be ranked with Huff Po or any other reputable site.

But it happened (again).

http://www.criminaljusticedegree.com/great-sites-to-bookmark/

Thanks for reading.

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.

Propaganda comes in many forms

 

Cannabis DUI Law an Illinois tradition

Illinois has a long tradition of screwing up Cannabis DUI Law.  They do.  Past laws include requiring an Alcohol monitoring device in DUI arrests resulting from cannabis use.  That’s right, if you received a DUI because you were under the influence of canabis and wanted to drive during your suspension, the Illinois legislature would require you to get a device that doesn’t measure cannabis in your system.  Makes perfect sense.

They also had a law that didn’t require you to be “under the influence” of anything to arrest and convict you for a cannabis DUI.  You simply had to have ANY amount of cannabis in your system, even the smallest measurable amount, and you could be found guilty.

So they changed the law this year (again).  And the new confoundingly stupid law, and I am not making this up, is this:

A person who is arrested for a cannabis DUI will be required to take field sobriety tests for alcohol, or their license will be suspended.  I wish that I was making this up, but alas, this is Illinois isn’t it.  And they have a fine tradition of making unintelligle law about cannabis and DUIs, because they can.

Other states, just so you know, actually test to see whether you have an amount of cannabis or its metabolites in your system to a leve that it might impact your ability to think and act with ordinary care.  What a concept, measuring the level of an intoxicant to see if you are impaired.  Perhaps sometime after the year 2019 we will catch up, but I would have to say that’s doubtful.

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.

A lonely gavel in an empty courtroom.

So the Punching Judge is going to need a little defense.

http://news.yahoo.com/florida-judge-public-defender-fight-courtroom-argument-171001456.html

Criminal Defense work is challenging.  There is all of the the law that one must be familiar with, but there are other things like public relations and publicity.  Here we have a judge who apparently likes to “take it outside.”  We don’t know if he was drunk, high or if he suffers from a mental defect    (strike that, we know he suffers from some mental defect).  So, what to do while the public grows angry and decides to call for his resignation/incarceration?

It’s easy, let’s get him into some counseling and talk about how sorry he is.  And specifically how sorry he is about BEING HIMSELF.  While it will take awhile for the mysterious transformation to occur, from a snake to a butterfly, a lawyer/public relations person will help.  Along the way we will discover how in the past he had a drinking/abused as a child/rebuffed by women problem, but he is working through it because counseling can cure anything.

And it will be all for one thing … to save his job.

My suggestion is that they remove this stain from the bench.  However, there are those who would disagree.  Some of the public likes a rough and tumble judge.  They like to trade punches.  If you don’t like it they might punch you.  Of course this part of the public:  a) ends up in court a lot, and b) whine like babies when they get to court to meet the judge who is just like them.

I guess that’s always been my wish.  That people be tried by judges just like them.

I am going to miss the Punching Judge.

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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