All posts in Real Talk


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.

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.


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.



Nancy Grace reprimanded by the courts

Next time your grandma gets finished watching the Laurence Welk Show, puts on her bifocals, and flips on Nancy Grace for her “evening news” it might be worth watching for a few minutes (or until Nancy starts frothing at the mouth).  I’m not saying it will be easy. In fact, I know it will hurt.

Nancy Grace is a horrible person. She demonstrates that to the entire world on T.V. and Twitter.  She’s horrible because she ignores your presumption of innocence.  She’s a troll for thinking everybody ever charged anywhere is guilty.  She’s an idiot for not caring about science or reason, especially when it comes to things like narcotics and the war on drugs.

How, then, can Nancy be so popular?  Not because of the psychotic-looking, thousand-yard-stare she takes on when she’s getting ready to get worked up.  It’s clearly not because of her “long” career as an “ethical” prosecutor.  Is it because of Dancing With The Stars? Nah. She couldn’t move her hooves well enough to beat Rikki Lake.

She’s popular because she follows the same tried-and-true, pathetic formula that will make anybody  in the world of criminal justice popular: She panders to victims.  When you pander to victims, and do it well, the public will love you. Even if you victimize the victims in the process.

She certainly didn’t invent victim pandering. Long before your grandma started watching her show, politicians had perfected the art.  Want to get elected? Say you’re tough on crime. Want to beat the guy who’s already saying he’s tough on crime? Say you’re tougher on crime, and you’ll listen to the poor victims that nobody is ever wanting to help.  Want to be a lawmaker that’s popular with the constituents? Pass a law- any law- that somehow deals with giving the “victims” a better voice. Or a bigger voice. Or stronger voice in “the system.”  Even if the law really does nothing.

It doesn’t matter how bullshit the law or claims of toughness on crime may be.  It happens in because it works.

That’s why little, scared, old people love Nancy. She’s looking out for the meek, voiceless victims.

What Nancy does, better than any of the other victim panderers, though, is demonstrate how absurd victim pandering is, and just how blindly the sheep will follow anybody masquerading as a victim advocate.

Imagine a poor, defenseless little baby. You know, one so young she can’t walk, can’t talk and can’t even fire the brain synapses enough to form a bad thought.  Hell, let’s pretend it’s even your baby. Now pretend somebody tried to kill your baby by putting it in the clothes dryer.

Pretty morbid, no? Horrible, yes? Not very funny, right?

Here’s how champion of victim’s rights, and national media celebrity Nancy Grace chose to describe that poor kid to the world:

That’s right. She just joked about a little kid- a victim- being stuffed in a dryer and put on permanent press.  The result? 139 of her twitter followers shared it, and 52 marked it as a favorite tweet. Who the hell would do that?

Don’t ask me. I think it’s despicable.  Nancy obviously doesn’t, though.  “Dryer Baby” was only one, in a long line, of her crass characterizations of the people she claims to protect. Let’s never forget “Box of Babies”

Or anymore of her horrid, victim-preying descriptions.

Therein lies the most pathetic, non-nonsensical part of victim pandering. That’s the idea that, if you can convince people to believe you will cater to victims, nobody will care about any of the details-  Even if you’re mocking victims and their tragedies in the process of pretending to protect them.  Nancy Grace does it every night, and your grandma loves it.  That’s the Nancy Grace effect.

 Matt Haiduk is a criminal defense lawyer in Illinois. He doesn’t like Nancy Grace… even a little bit.
Urban dictionary

Mockingbird Marketing should be ashamed.

People can think lawyers are scumbags all they want. Certainly, some of my colleagues are dirtbags.  As a whole, though, I think lawyers are cut from the same cloth as the general public- 95% of lawyers are more worried about running an ethical practice than they are making as much money as possible.

I wish I could say that for legal marketing agencies. If you’re unaware, there is no shortage of vultures constantly calling and emailing law firms in hopes of gaining marketing contracts.  They’ll sell everything- from writing and creating ads, putting you up a web page, and even ghost-writing blog posts for a generous monthly fee.

If you want a sample of some of the boring, ridiculous, or generally ineffective drivel they post, just do a google search for “lawyer blog.” If the first few links are worth reading, keep clicking. It won’t take long.

Some of them are even willing to put the unsuspecting lawyer’s money into programs that blatantly violate (and eventually get their client’s web presence banned or penalized) google’s terms of service policy.

When you’re a lawyer, if somebody else is publishing words on your account, you better make damn sure you know what they’re doing. Because, as Popehat famously writes, especially in the law, “when you outsource your marketing, you outsource your reputation and ethics.”

A few months back I started to follow the blog of Mockingbird Marketing.  Even though, obviously, I try to avoid these people, the blog had some interesting information.  Despite his obsessive (but, seemingly justified) attacks on Findlaw he seemed to be trying to do things the “right way.”  At least that’s how his “Mockingbird Marketing 10 Commandments” made it sound. Number 5 was refreshing:

5.  White Hat to a Fault

Don’t engage in unethical marketing – we are in business for the long term, as are our clients.


As the Bishop, and reformed pimp, Don “Magic” Juan has remarked, though, “The game is to be sold, not told.”  Mockingbird Marketing’s “Commandant #5″ is a much sales bullshit as… probably the rest of his commandments.  Last weekend he posted something called, “I Lied to Get”  He is an admitted liar.

The short version is that he schemed up some ridiculous story about a band in London needing the domain name, and had some sort of straw purchaser email the owner with a sob story.  You can read her (the original owner’s) version to get the important details.

Various comments on the Mockingbird Marketing site are defensive of the deceptive tactic.  They echo his original response to the allegations of unethical marketing in that, “it’s all business.”  In a strict business sense, that’s true.  If this was a dispute between Coke and Pepsi, the tactic would likely be a good one.

Despite what the general public thinks, however, attorneys have to live to a heightened standard that leaves no room for this sort of dishonesty.

That’s where there is no escaping the Popehat quote. When you outsource your marketing to Mockingbird, you’re outsourcing your ethics to an agency founded on lies about a band in London.  You go ahead and do that. I don’t want any part of it.


Matt Haiduk is a criminal defense lawyer who practices in the greater Chicago metro area.


I apologize for not posting a lot lately.  The jury brought in a guilty verdict on a DUI case, and that always has me thinking:  Why did they do that?  I become a little introspective.  The City of McHenry has an officer who has been on the force for 16 years, 13 of those on the night (DUI) shift.  He is trained to train people how to do field sobriety tests.  My client did well on the tests but the jury still found him guilty.

Under Illinois law a person is under the influence if their ability to think and act with ordinary care has been affected by consumption of any amount of alcohol.

It’s funny to listen to attorneys during trials because prosecutors will emphasize the words ANY AMOUNT of alcohol, and defense attorneys will emphasize ORDINARY CARE.  Very predictable.

However, in cases that have no chemical testing and no admission to being intoxicated, it should be very difficult for the state to prevail because of the burden of proving the case rests on them.  But, sometimes they win anyways.  Attorneys will think about losses 10 times more than they do wins.

In cases that have very light evidence of intoxication, I believe that there is a bias against the defendant.  Here’s what I mean:  the jury is more likely to consider the arrest as some evidence against the defendant where the evidence is thin.  That thoughts of “Well the police officer was there, and I wasn’t” creep into their minds.  They may forget that the burden is on the state to show that the defendant is guilty 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.