Edwardsville Criminal Defense Law Blog

Peoria County police take woman into custody for DUI

At about 4:31 a.m. on Aug. 11, a Peoria County sheriff's deputy spotted a car traveling at an excessive speed westbound on Plank Road. The vehicle reached speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour as it made its way to Illinois Route 116 and into Hanna City. When the vehicle eventually came to a stop, officers made contact with the 34-year-old woman driver who offered to recite the alphabet in Greek.

However, officers noted that she was only partially able to recite the alphabet in English despite making multiple attempts to do so. It was also noted that she had trouble walking and maintaining her balance during field sobriety tests and that she had watery and glassy eyes. Furthermore, authorities said that the vehicle had an odor of alcohol coming from it.

Thinking ahead can help you avoid an Illinois DUI

You may be a very social type of person who loves to get together with friends to hang out, have a few drinks and enjoy your free time. On the other hand, perhaps you wouldn't classify yourself as the life of the party, but you're not opposed to having a glass of wine with your meal or a cold beer on occasion. Either way, if you imbibe alcohol and then get behind the wheel of your car to drive, you risk a DUI arrest.

You may think it all depends on whether your blood alcohol content exceeds the legal limit. Surprisingly, many sober people have faced DUI charges because situations like suspected DUI traffic stops often amount to a police officer's word against the driver's. Whether you're alcohol-free or you did have a drink or two before driving, you'll have your work cut out to try to avoid conviction if you face charges.

Changing drug laws can help to lessen inequality

Researchers and policymakers are paying increased attention to the effects that drug possession penalties may have on exacerbating racial and ethnic inequality in Illinois and across the country. According to a study, reforming the criminal penalties for drug possession convictions could help reduce inequality in the criminal justice system. However, the positive effects may be felt outside the justice system as drug law reform could also help to reduce inequality in the health sector.

The effects of felony drug convictions don't end with a criminal trial and sentencing. Long after the conviction, people may lose access to immigration status, jobs, housing, student loans or health benefits. The racial inequality in the criminal justice system, especially in drug possession cases, can be magnified further throughout society due to these ongoing impacts. Felony convictions are closely correlated to economic marginalization and social exclusion, and reducing the number of felony convictions could thus help improve health outcomes for a population.

6 men arrested in cocaine, heroin bust

On July 13, federal prosecutors in Illinois announced that six men are facing federal drug charges for allegedly operating a cocaine and heroin trafficking ring in Rockford. Two of the defendants were previously acquitted in the shooting death of a child.

According to authorities, five of the defendants, who range in age from 33 to 55, have been charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin. The sixth defendant, age 37, reportedly supplied drugs to the others when their inventory was running low. He also allegedly acted as a drug-trafficking mentor to one of the other defendants.

Overdose deaths can lead to prosecution of fellow drug users

With the opioid addiction crisis claiming more lives in Illinois than ever before, law enforcement and prosecutors have started targeting bystanders of overdose deaths with criminal charges. Addicts often share drugs or supply each other with small amounts. When deadly overdoses occur, prosecutors are increasingly charging associates of the victim with delivering drugs that cause death. In another state, prosecutions of this nature went from 15 cases in 2013 to 205 cases in 2017.

In one case, a 39-year-old woman, addicted to heroin, supplied her addicted neighbor with a small amount of heroin that turned out to be laced with fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic that frequently kills people. Although she was not present when the neighbor died, local authorities have charged her with third-degree murder.

Man faces drug-related charges

A 45-year-old Illinois man is facing charges of possession of a controlled substance, aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer, driving under revocation and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The charges are related to an incident that occurred on June 19.

The man was driving with a headlight out in the early morning hours. An officer spotted his vehicle and attempted to pull him over. Instead of complying, the man sped away, running a stop sign. He ran into a utility pole and two parking meters before exiting his car and fleeing on foot. He was detained not far from where the crash happened. According to reports, he was in possession of nearly an ounce of cocaine and more than $1,000.

Comedian sentenced in drug possession case

Illinois residents may know Artie Lange from his time on the "Howard Stern Show". In May 2017, he was taken into custody on charges of heroin and cocaine possession. In December 2017, he entered a guilty plea on a third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance charge. The cocaine possession charge was dropped as a condition of the plea.

Instead of jail time, he will spend four years on probation as well as conduct 50 hours of community service. Furthermore, he will be required to take part in an outpatient treatment program. The comedian was originally taken into custody after being stopped on Garden State Parkway when authorities noticed that his Range Rover was being driven erratically. When police made contact with him, they found a bag of heroin in his possession.

3 people arrested during alleged drug deal

On May 16, Illinois authorities arrested three people for allegedly participating in a drug deal. The incident took place in Aurora at approximately 5:15 p.m.

According to police, officers were dispatched to the intersection of Arbor Drive and Savanah Drive in response to a report of suspicious activity. Upon their arrival, they found an unoccupied Hyundai Accent with its windows down and doors unlocked. Purses and cellphones could be seen inside. Moments later, a Chevy Monte Carlo pulled up, and the officers attempted to pull it over, but the car continued driving until it reached a residence on the 2900 block of Savannah Drive. It then stopped, and the driver and a passenger reportedly jumped out and attempted to flee on foot. Two female passengers remained inside the vehicle.

Implied consent, preliminary screenings and Breathalyzers

In Illinois, if you are in physical control of a motor vehicle, the laws of implied consent legally bind you. This means that, when you obtained your license to drive in this state, you agreed to take a Breathalyzer, urine or blood test if a police officer arrests you on suspicion of drunk driving and asks you to take a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content level.

While you do not expressly commit verbally to implied consent rules, your consent is implicit in exchange for driving privileges. It's critical that you understand the possible penalties you could incur if you refuse to take a chemical or Breathalyzer test in certain circumstances. It's also a good idea to make sure you understand the difference between a preliminary alcohol screening device and a Breathalyzer device used to determine BAC. 

Illinois man accused of drug dealing after search of home

The U.S. Postal Service and the McHenry County Sheriff's Narcotics Task Force cooperated in an investigation that resulted in drug charges for a 22-year-old man from Elgin. Information from an unidentified source alerted them to deliveries of suspicious packages to an address in Cary. This prompted agents to obtain a search warrant and begin to monitor the Cary residence. A statement released by the Sheriff's office described how investigators followed a vehicle from the Cary location to a home on Logan Avenue in Elgin.

According to law enforcement, their search of the Elgin location revealed 14 pounds of marijuana, 21 pounds of cannabis edibles, 1 pound of cannabis wax and 11 grams of cocaine. Officers claimed to have found digital scales and packaging materials in addition to approximately $7,000 in cash. Investigators valued the seized drugs at $65,000.

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