Martin & Kent, L.L.C. Martin & Kent, L.L.C.

attorneys

Chicago Criminal Law Blog

Woman, 19, accused of DUI after fatal car accident

A 19-year-old Illinois woman was charged with aggravated DUI on Sept. 11 after she was accused of causing a fatal car accident outside a Cook County church. The crash reportedly occurred at about 2:30 a.m. in the 1000 block of West Roosevelt Road in Chicago.

The woman allegedly drank wine and smoked marijuana before getting into her 2005 Nissan Altima. She lost control of the vehicle while traveling nearly 90 mph and collided with a concrete median planter. The caused the vehicle to go airborne and come to a rest on its top. A rear wheel became detached from the vehicle and crashed through the window of the historic Holy Family Catholic Church. A witness reportedly saw the woman driving dangerously while ignoring multiple traffic devices.

Authorities seize cocaine, marijuana in drug bust

It was reported on Sept. 11 that several Illinois residents were charged after authorities seized a large number of drugs and a handgun from an Aurora residence. A 41-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man were both taken into custody following the bust.

A search warrant was executed by the Aurora Police Department Special Operations Group and the DuPage Metropolitan Enforcement Group at a residence located in the 400 block of Grove Street. During the execution of the search warrant, the authorities found 5 grams of cocaine, about 18 pounds of marijuana and a .40-caliber handgun. Authorities noted that the handgun was within reach of the 41-year-old woman when they entered the residence.

Woman charged with DUI after alleged hit and run

On Sept. 2, an Illinois woman was charged with DUI after she struck a car parked in the Riverside Police Department parking lot before fleeing the scene. Authorities were alerted to the incident at about 6:53 p.m. by the individual who owned the car that had been damaged in the incident.

Officers were able to catch up to the vehicle near the intersection of First Avenue and Plainfield in Lyons. During a traffic stop, the police noted that the female driver had the odor of alcohol coming from her breath. When questioned, the accused woman said that she was unaware that she had struck another vehicle. After standard field sobriety tests were taken, she reportedly voluntarily told the officers that she was coming from a wedding and that she had not had much to drink.

Illinois man faces possession charges following traffic stop

A man remains in police custody following a drug-related incident that occurred on Aug. 29 in Illinois. He is facing charges of alleged possession with intent to deliver 15 to 100 grams of methamphetamine.

The incident, which began as a traffic stop for alleged speeding, took place on Interstate 72 near milepost 33. The charged man, a resident of Quincy, was taken to the Pike County Jail after a K-9 with the West Central Illinois Task Force alerted law enforcement officials to the presence of narcotics in the stopped vehicle. After the air sniff, officers discovered an ounce of methamphetamine, packaging materials and drug paraphernalia during a search of the vehicle's interior.

Search and seizure questions could lead to evidence suppression

It was reported on Aug. 31 that an Illinois attorney and prosecutor intended to reconvene a motion hearing to determine whether the search of a vehicle involved in a homicide and meth case was valid. The judge noted that he had heard no testimony to justify the opening of the bag that allegedly contained the meth byproduct without a search warrant.

The defendant in the case was taken into custody in July 2016 after he was accused of being involved in a crash that killed a 71-year-old man. He was facing charges for a Class X felony as well as for possession of meth, driving under the influence of drugs, and felony reckless homicide.

Falsely accused? You can fight back with a strong defense

There is nothing much worse than finding out that someone you care about has claimed that you did something you didn't or blown a situation out of proportion to get you into trouble with the law. Sometimes, when people fear getting in trouble themselves, they actually take the first step and blame the other party, so that person has to be on the defensive.

If that is what has happened to you, don't worry. There are many different ways you can defend yourself and clear your name. It is not fair to you to have to defend yourself for something you didn't do, but with patience and evidence to support your claim, it's possible to have the case dropped or to win in court. In some cases, you can later file a lawsuit against the person who made false allegations against you, so you can recover losses that resulted from their claims.

Drunk driving deaths decreased after implementation of DUI laws

Since the state of Illinois implemented its DUI legislation in 1997, the number of fatalities caused by drunk driving accidents has decreased by approximately 43 percent. Even so, the director of the Illinois Department of Transportation noted that drunk driving still occurs in the present day.

The law was passed after a Jacksonville couple's daughter was killed by a drunk driver in 1984. In a press release, the father said that the legislation was responsible for saving lives and for reducing the number of people who decide to get behind the wheel after drinking. Due to the couple's efforts, Illinois became the 15th state to implement DUI laws. Since then, all U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have implemented DUI laws that are regularly enforced.

Chicago gang member detained on drug, weapons charges

On August 21, a member of one of the largest Latino street gangs in Chicago was taken into custody in McHenry County on numerous drug and weapons charges. According to Spring Grove police, the 23-year-old man is a documented member of the Maniac Latin Disciples. News sources say that the man could face up to seven years in prison if he is convicted.

Officers initially detained the man in a gas station parking lot located in the 2200 block of Route 12 in Spring Grove. Preliminary reports indicate that the man was in possession of less than 15 grams of cocaine and between 100 and 500 grams of marijuana when the incident took place. He also had a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun in his vehicle without an owner's ID. He was taken to the McHenry County Jail where he remains on $75,000 bond pending a Sept. 13 court date.

Man stopped with 50 pounds of marijuana

Illinois residents might be interested in learning that a man was allegedly driving with 50 pounds of marijuana hidden in his car on Aug. 14 in Fox Lake. According to the Lake County Sheriff's Office, deputies pulled the man over around 12:30 p.m. on Route 59.

Authorities report that the man, who is from California, was stopped because his registration was not visible on his vehicle. When they approached the car, deputies reported that they smelled the odor of marijuana. Upon a search, the deputies reportedly found marijuana worth an estimated street value of $150,000.

Drug scheduling and the DEA

Many Illinois residents are likely unaware of the history of drug laws in the United States. The Controlled Substances Act, signed by President Richard Nixon in 1970, was an attempt to simplify what had been a complex system of over 200 laws. With the CSA in place, drugs were classified under five different schedules. This classification meant that adding or removing drugs from a schedule did not have to involve changing a law. States also have an easier time creating criminal statutes since they can simply refer to drugs by schedule number instead of name.

The schedules range in severity from 1 to 5 with Schedule 1 drugs being those that are considered the most harmful and with no medical benefit. Marijuana is included as a Schedule 1 drug despite studies examining its medical benefit along with heroin, ecstasy and LSD. Schedule 2 drugs include morphine and cocaine. Vicodin and anabolic steroids are both considered Schedule 3 drugs. Xanax, Ambien and Valium are all Schedule 4 while Lyrica and cough suppressants are Schedule 5.