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Abe Lincoln has a sad :(

You might remember our article about Senator Menendez.  It’s here if you forgot.

As it turns out the same Senator that wanted our hero Edward Snowden to be indicted, got indicted himself.  It’s funny how he was so self righteous about Edward Snowden, and for telling us what treason was or was not.  But, now that it’s the future we can discover the pontificating senator was actually the one in need of being indicted.

I have a theory.  If a congress-critter stands up and declares something should be illegal, you can bet the farm that person does the exact thing he wants to make it illegal for you to do.

If a new congress-critter stands up and tells us how he is against illegal immigration, no doubt some undocumented alien cleans his/her/its house.  While this theory has turned out to be amazingly accurate, I still haven’t figured out why this occurs.

Our state legislature proclaims each year (sometimes more than once) that they are going to do something about the “DUI problem.”  I know what you are thinking.  Do that many legislators have serious drinking problems?

This probably explains why are laws are such a crap load of undecipherable tripe.  I want a new legislature that only has a few goals:  fewer more understandable laws, that effectively deal with our problems as humans living together.

Of course that would put me out of a job.

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.

 

Andy Taylor and Opie

So most states, including our beloved Illinois, have laws against the possession of hypodermic needles.  I think the idea at the brain trusts we call state legislatures went something like this:

Well, drugs are bad, mkay.

And we need to do something to keep these bad drugs from people.

So they began brainstorming, and soon discovered that it was just drizzling.  And they came up with:  let’s ban the instrument (they call it paraphernalia) that drug users use to get the drugs into their bodies.  Now I don’t want you to think too hard about how dumb that is, because its pretty damn dumb.  I haven’t done a study on how many people don’t do drugs because they can’t find the needles (because they are illegal), but I can assure you, the number is ZERO.

But, what does making drug needles illegal do?  It allows the police to arrest people when they find these “illegal” things, and it makes needles more valuable to drug users, because it might be hard to find needles when you want to get high … because they are illegal.  So instead of buying brand new shiny needles to put drugs in their arms (or wherever), drug users share needles.  And in the same way they share HIV.

In Indiana, Mike Pence, their governor has suspended the prohibition on distributing needles to addicts for 30 days because they are suffering a little HIV outbreak.  He said that distributing needles goes against his conscience, but he is making this exception because of the HIV outbreak.

As long as we have Einsteins like the good governor running our states, I will continue to have a rich source for articles about how dumb our legislators are, and in a confounding paradoxical way … I will be happy.

We could wait for Gov. Pence to take a millennium or so to figure out that writing bad laws have consequences, but he wouldn’t figure it out.  You see government people like him think when they follow their conscience that makes everything alrighty (I am pretty sure they heard that in a bed time story and latched on). And that’s why our laws will continue to be fucked up.  Forever, amen.

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.

Dexter

So we all know that ignorance of the law is not a defense to a crime.  However, what would be your guess if a police officer doesn’t know the law and arrests you based on law that only exists in his head?

If you guessed that would be just fine then you should become a Supreme Court Justice.

I had a case where a driver only had one functioning tail light on his car.  And, to my surprize when I looked up the law, Illinois law said that all you had to have was one functioning tail light.  The judge disagreed.  He cited that the purpose of the law was public safety and it was more dangerous to drive around with only one tail light.  Of course he made that call with no scientific basis, but that’s the way it goes in traffic court.

I had always thought that the judge got it wrong there, however it turns out that the Supreme Court just heard a very similar case from North Carolina.  And they found that it if an officer makes a “reasonable” mistake about the law, then they can stop your vehicle for that mistaken belief.

So, now I think the judge (in my case) and the Supreme Court got it wrong for this reason.  Ignorance of the law is no excuse.  If we are going to have a set of rules that we write down somewhere, and that we will allow no mistakes for us common folk not knowing what the law is, then what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander.

If we choose not to have it that way, then we tacitly admit that a person, even a trained officer can’t know the law, and well if he can’t know the law then perhaps we need simpler laws.

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.

 

 

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.

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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