I was looking at videos on YouTube and I searched How to Beat a Bull Valley DUI. I like to look at the latest DUI attorney advertising, just to see what is being said out there. And Bull Valley is very near the city where my office is located in Woodstock, IL.
It occurred to me that the general public might not understand a basic fact of the law of Illinois (or insert your state here). When a person “beats” a DUI, it doesn’t mean that they weren’t driving under the influence. Recently one of my clients was pulled over because a “white car” had left the scene of a disturbance. They stopped her car (because it was white) and discovered that she was figuratively drunk out of her mind. But the police officers did not have a valid reason to stop the car. (I don’t believe I have to explain to you here that police officers can’t pull over cars just because they are white). So the municipality dismissed the case on the date we had the case set for hearing.
However, when I look at these … “We can “beat” the DUI sites” they really fail to mention what happens if the police officer had a good reason to stop the car. Of course, there is nothing wrong with taking a case to trial and putting the state to its evidence (provided that you don’t have to pay a “trial tax*”). A local high volume attorney took two such cases to trial and lost thus the drivers received convictions (that the judges later changed) for first time DUI cases. When a driver gets a conviction in Illinois their license gets revoked. So I am pretty sure the tensions ran high at the high volume place until the judge relented and changed his mind about convicting the drivers who chose to go to trial on their DUI cases.
But how many DUIs can be beat? I know from time to time our local state’s attorney loses his mind and insists that there be “no deals” in DUI cases. Of course he ends up losing a lot of cases when he does that. He begins to rethink that “no deals” position just as the newspaper discovers that the state’s attorney seemingly can’t win any DUI cases. It is during those times when many DUI cases are sent to trial that it is exposed how many DUI cases would fail at trial. And it turns out that a surprising number do fail at trial when taken to trial.
But the question that I a most interested in, because I am a lawyer, how many DUI case results are changed by a lawyer? If you ask the lawyers the answer is all of them. However, if that is true, “Then, Why do we run a DUI system that is so gamey, that it matters what attorney you choose?” And, “Why do we allow the criminal justice system to operate in such a way that it matters what attorney you hire?’ (Or what 5 attorneys you hire if you are O.J. Simpson).
It would be interesting to do some scientific analysis to see if judges impose trial taxes, and whether it makes a difference which attorney you hire for a particular DUI.
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. He is one of those lawyers.
*A trial tax, is an addition to the sentence by a judge of a defendant who took their case to trial, rather than enter a negotiated plea. The term is mostly theoretical because we can never know what they would have been sentenced to if they had not went to trial because that was before the judge knew fully about the case.