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Consequences for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in Illinois

Joliet DUI LawyerMany people immediately think of alcohol when they hear that someone has been arrested for DUI. However, there are a great many drivers who are charged with DUI who are accused of being driving under the influence of drugs, not alcohol. Drugs – both illegal and prescription – can affect a driver’s brain chemistry, interfering with the driver’s motor skills, perception, attention, reaction time, and judgment. Consequently, drugged driving is against the law.

DUI Testing for Drugs

Illinois law prohibits a driver from driving while under the influence of drugs. In order to test for the presence of drugs in a driver’s system, law enforcement usually needs to obtain a blood or urine test from the driver to detect what drug or drugs are in their system.

There are certain requirements those tests must meet in order to be introduced as evidence against the driver. Failure to meet those requirements could be grounds the driver’s defense lawyer could use to possibly get the charges dismissed. For example, if the driver was not given the opportunity to call an attorney prior to consenting to the test, that could be grounds for ruling the test results inadmissible.

If a driver is pulled over by a police officer, the officer can still use the same field sobriety tests that would be used if a driver of driving under the influence of alcohol. The standard field sobriety tests that police officers use are the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, the Walk and Turn, and the One Leg Stand.

Searching the Vehicle

After a police officer arrests a driver for DUI, the officer may conduct a search of the defendant as they place him or her into custody. If this search reveals any illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia, the driver will most likely face additional charges, such as possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, in addition to the DUI charges.

Conviction for DUI in Illinois

Illinois penalties for DUI convictions are harsh. Even a first-time conviction carries the possibility of jail time because the crime is charged as a Class A misdemeanor. This means if you are convicted, in addition to the loss of your license, you could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Penalties also include mandatory substance abuse classes and possibly drug rehabilitation.

Contact a Will and Grundy County Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested for DUI, you need a skilled Will County DUI defense lawyer advocating for you and ensuring your rights are protected. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation and find out how our firm can help.

Understanding Assault and Battery Charges in Illinois

Joliet Assault Many people think that “ assault and battery ” charges are one in the same, but under Illinois law, the two are different and separate charges. Battery is when an individual causes bodily harm to another individual, knowing that the contact is offensive or harmful, and they do not have the legal right to do so. The legal definition of assault is when an individual knowingly places another individual in fear of being battered.

This means that a person can be charged with assault even if there was no physical contact between the accused and the alleged victim; only that the victim was in fear that imminent harm or threat was coming from the offender.

Understanding the Different Classifications of Charges

The most common forms of battery that individuals are charged with usually involve hitting or punching, however, battery can also be any other type of offensive physical act. For example, an individual who rips a backpack off another individual could be charged with battery.

Under certain circumstances, police can charge individuals with the more serious offenses of aggravated assault and aggravated battery. One criterion for aggravated charges is the location where the crime took place. Charges could be elevated if the offense occurred on public property, a place of worship, a sports venue, or an amusement or accommodation place.

Charges can also be elevated if the offender concealed their identity during the crime (i.e. wearing a mask or hood), used a firearm, motor vehicle, or other deadly weapon crime, or recorded the crime in order to disseminate the assault.

The status of the victim can also result in elevated charges if they fall into any of the following categories:

• Community policing volunteer
• Corrections officer
• Disabled person
• Elderly person
• Firefighter or other first responder
• Park district employee
• Police officer
• Private security
• Process server
• Sports coach
• State employee
• Teacher
• Transit employee
• Utility worker

Harsher Penalties for Aggravated Offenses

If convicted, the penalties for elevated charges are more severe. In Illinois, assault is charged as a Class C misdemeanor. This means that if a person is convicted, they face up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,500.
Aggravated assault may be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction means up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. In some cases, the charge is classified as a Class 4 felony, leaving the defendant facing one to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000. If the defendant has a prior conviction of aggravated assault, the court can extend the prison sentence to three to six years.

Contact a Will and Grundy County Defense Attorney

If you are facing charges of assault or battery, you need a skilled Will County criminal defense lawyer advocating for you and ensuring your rights are protected. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation and find out how our firm can help.

What Are the Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Illinois?

Resisting ArrestWhile the police are charged with upholding the law and maintaining safety in the community, people may be unsure about how to respond when interacting with officers. Encounters with police officers can quickly take a turn for the worse, especially if an officer believes a person is being uncooperative or is refusing to follow their instructions. In some cases, a person may face charges of resisting arrest, which can result in a variety of serious penalties. Whether these charges are filed along with other offenses or on their own, it is important to understand the applicable laws and the options for defense.

Actions That May Constitute Resisting Arrest

The language used in Illinois law to address resisting arrest is very broad, and the determination of whether a person’s actions violated the law will often be left up to the interpretation of a judge or jury. The offense of “resisting or obstructing a peace officer” may apply in any situation where a person knowingly resists arrest or obstructs the performance of a police officer or correctional institution employee who is performing authorized acts within their official capacity.
There are a wide variety of actions that may fall under this definition. While actions such as running away from police officers, engaging in physical altercations, or refusing to comply with instructions are most likely to be considered resisting arrest, other seemingly minor activities could also lead to these types of charges. Officers may claim that a person resisted them physically when they were performing a search, asking the person to put their hands behind their back or lay down on the ground, or putting on handcuffs. Even arguing with an officer or complaining about their use of force may be considered an obstruction, and this could lead to charges for bystanders or others who were not involved in an initial arrest.

Resisting arrest or obstructing a police officer is generally charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which can be punished by a jail sentence of up to one year, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. If a person’s actions caused a police officer to suffer an injury, they may be charged with a Class 4 felony, and they may be sentenced to up to three years in jail, fined up to $25,000, or both. A person who is convicted of resisting arrest will be required to serve a minimum sentence of 48 hours in prison or 100 hours of community service, and they will not be eligible for probation that would reduce this sentence.

Contact Our Will County Resisting Arrest Lawyer

Charges of resisting arrest or obstructing a police officer can be very serious. In some cases, they may be added on to other charges, or a person may need to respond to these accusations even if they are not charged with any other criminal offense. To successfully defend against these charges, it is important to work with a lawyer who can gather evidence such as statements from eyewitnesses or other information that will fully explain the circumstances surrounding the arrest. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. can provide a strong defense in these cases, helping those who have been accused of resisting arrest respond to these charges and avoid being convicted whenever possible. To arrange a free consultation and ensure that you will be able to defend against these charges, contact our Joliet resisting arrest defense attorney at 815-740-4025.

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