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Hinsdale Illinois Criminal Defense Blog

What Illinois law says about underage drinking and driving

Drivers in Illinois who are under the age of 21 are subject to a zero-tolerance drunk driving law. For a first offense, an individual will lose his or her license for three months, and the penalty increases to six months for refusing to take a alcohol test. Violating the zero-tolerance policy a second time prior to age 21 will result in a license suspension of up to a year.

Individuals who are 18 or older may be entitled to relief after 30 days. However, this requires the use of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device. Failure to make use of such a device is a felony that could result in jail or prison time as well as fines of up to $25,000. Underage drivers who are convicted of DUI could spend up to a year in jail as well as have their drivers license revoked for at least a year for a first offense.

Illinois man with 10 prior felonies sentenced

An Illinois man with 10 prior felony convictions has been sentenced to 201 months in a federal prison for possession of heroin and cocaine with the intent to distribute, threatening a federal official and mailing threatening letters to federal officials. The sentence was announced in a June 5 press release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. Court documents reveal that the man committed these crimes while under supervised release for a 2001 felony armed robbery conviction.

The man was charged with serious drug offenses in August 2018 when police arrived at his East St. Louis apartment to take him into custody for violating the conditions of his supervised release. When officers arrived, the man threw two large bags out of one of the apartment's windows. The bags contained about 90 grams of crack cocaine and 200 grams of heroin. Police say that they discovered more drugs when the conducted a further search of the residence.

Illinois Supreme Court takes up 'revenge porn' issue

The Illinois Supreme Court has heard arguments concerning "revenge porn," defined as the distribution of sexually explicit content without the subject's consent. The high court in the state is in the process of determining whether First Amendment protections allow an individual to make such images or videos in their possession available after a relationship sours.

An Illinois state law passed in 2015 made sharing private sexual content a class 4 felony if such material was shared without the subject's consent. Possible punishments include up to three years in prison. The case before the state Supreme Court involves a woman who allegedly distributed images that were sent to her then-fiancé by another woman. When the relationship ended, the woman claims that her ex attempted to defame her by questioning her sanity and claiming that she no longer performed certain household tasks.

Could you regain your license after an impaired driving charge?

People tend to focus on jail time and fines when discussing criminal acts, such as impaired or drunk driving. However, for offenses that involve a motor vehicle, those aren't the only penalties that can drastically change a person's life. The state may also suspend or revoke your license.

The more previous offenses you have on your record, the longer the suspension will be. Not being able to drive can cause all kinds of problems. You may have to beg friends or family for a ride to work, or you could find yourself dependent on expensive ride-sharing services or unreliable public transportation. That can strain your relationships or even endanger your job if you have trouble arriving on time.

The effects of low-carb diets on alcohol breath tests

Some people in Illinois on low-carb diets may blow false positives on alcohol breath tests. This happened to a man in Texas whose diet put him in ketosis. His attorney was able to get his DUI dismissed.

The reason is that the fat broken down during ketosis may release a byproduct, acetone, that becomes isopropyl alcohol when a person breathes it out. Not all breath tests can distinguish between this and ethanol alcohol although manufacturers say the types that police carry can. However, the attorney who got the Texas case dismissed says that there have been no studies proving that the devices can tell the difference if a person is breathing a mix of isopropyl and ethanol alcohol. If a person who is in ketosis has a small amount to drink, that person could appear to have an inaccurately high blood alcohol content.

Drug trafficking guilty plea leads to lengthy sentence

A statement released by the Office of the Illinois Attorney General indicated that a 31-year-old man from Aurora has admitted guilt on charges of heroin and cocaine trafficking. The court imposed a sentence of 19 years and six months in prison.

The charges were issued in July 2017 as a result of an investigation involving his conspiracy with two other men to sell cocaine and heroin in large quantities within Kane County. Agents from the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations stopped one of his co-conspirators, a 36-year-old man, in June 2017 while the man was transporting a large semi-truck tire. According to the attorney general's office, these agents found approximately 11 kg of heroin and 11 kg of cocaine concealed in the tire. The man driving the truck was arrested and subsequently sentenced to 19 years and six months. The third conspirator, a 35-year-old man, received a similar sentence.

Crime lab fails to identify substance thought to be cocaine

Prosecutors have filed revised charges against a 24-year-old man taken into custody on March 15 after forensic specialists from the Illinois State Police were unable to identify the substance found in his car during a routine traffic stop. A field testing kit used by Altamont Police Department officers at the scene identified the substance as cocaine. Media reports indicate that the substance has now been sent to another crime laboratory for further testing.

The man was originally charged with manufacturing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. He now faces a Class 3 felony count of manufacturing or delivering a look-alike substance and Class X felony counts of manufacturing or delivering more than 900 grams of a substance chemically similar to a controlled substance and trafficking a controlled substance. The man's attorney entered not guilty pleas to all three charges in a recent hearing and is scheduled to appear in court again on his behalf on May 30.

Man faces arson charges in grandmother's death

A 32-year-old Illinois man announced in court on March 26 that he had set the fire that led to the death of his 87-year-old grandmother several days earlier, on March 22. The man was appearing by video monitor from jail when he incriminated himself and said that he had done the act because of a mental disability.

The man is facing one charge of criminal damage to property, two charges of arson and two charges of aggravated arson. At one point, the judge reprimanded him for an outburst. She said people wanted him to keep quiet because they were trying to protect him. The man's brother and mother were present in the courtroom.

You should never accept Breathalyzer results at face value

Failing a Breathalyzer test is a frustrating and even scary experience for just about anyone, especially if they don't immediately see opportunities for building a defense. When a driver blows over the limit during a sobriety test, they may think that there is nothing they can do to fight the charges, since the Breathalyzer results clearly show that they were legally intoxicated.

In reality, there are many reasons to question the reliability of Breathalyzers, especially when their results can mean the difference between living your life freely or spending time in jail, losing your license, and facing significant fines, with a criminal record to boot.

House search leads to $1 million marijuana seizure in Illinois

Members of the Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force supported by officers from the Wheeling and Arlington Heights police departments reportedly discovered more than half a ton of marijuana during the search of a Chicago residence on March 5. Prosecutors from the Cook County State's Attorney's Office say that dealers could have raised more than $1 million by selling the seized drugs on the street.

Media accounts reveal that the marijuana was allegedly found in the garage of a Huron Street home, but they do not indicate what led police to believe the residence was being used to store or distribute drugs. Police say plastic bags containing about 1,129 pounds of vacuum-sealed marijuana were found inside several cardboard boxes. Police also claim to have discovered 1,688 liquid cannabis containers. A 38-year-old Chicago man was taken into custody at the scene in connection with the seized marijuana.

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Gene Ognibene Associates

Gene Ognibene Associates
103 Ogden Ave
Suite 202
Clarendon Hills, IL 60514

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