Articles Posted in DUI and Drivers License

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Chicago Crimlaw-education-series-3-1467430inal Defense Lawyer Michael Rosenblat wins fourth not guilty verdict in a row.

Mr. Rosenblat’s most recent not guilty came on May 13, 2016 when the judge found the defendant not guilty of domestic battery.  The alleged victim claimed that the defendant pushed a heavy object into her knocking her to the ground.  In order to prove its case, the Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney called two witnesses to testify, the alleged victim and a Chicago Police Officer. Mr. Rosenblat’s cross-examination of the complaining witnesses exposed the fact that she could not see who caused the object to be pushed into her.  The cross-examination also uncovered many inconsistencies in her testimony that defied common sense.  The defendant was found not guilty without the defense calling a single witness.

On March 30, 2016, Mr. Rosenblat’s client was found not guilty of aggravated robbery, a charge that carried a maximum sentence of up 30 years in prison.    The complaining witness added facts in his testimony, which he never told to the police even though he was interviewed multiple times.  Mr. Rosenblat’s cross-examination of the victim’s prior inconsistent statements showed that he was not credible. Mr. Rosenblat called several witnesses in the defense case in chief, including the defendant.  Defendant was found not guilty of all charges.

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police-on-the-scene-1172422-sChicago – The Supreme Court in the case of Narvarette v. California, 188 L.Ed. 2d 680, April 22, 2014, ruled that an anonymous report of a traffic violation justified the stop of a vehicle.  In this case, a five to four opinion, the majority opinion is written by Justice Thomas and the dissent by Justice Scalia.  This case concerns whether an anonymous tip to 911 can justify the stop of a vehicle under the Fourth Amendment.

Here are the facts.  A 911-dispatch center for the California Highway Patrol received a 911 call that a pickup truck ran the caller off the road.  The caller gave a description of the vehicle, license plate number, and location.  The dispatcher relayed the following:  “Showing southbound Highway 1 at mile marker 88.  Silver Ford 150 pickup.  Plate of 8-David-94925.  Ran the reporting party off the roadway and was last seen approximately five [minutes] ago.”  Officers found the truck, followed it for about five minutes, did not observe any traffic violations, and pulled the truck over.  When approaching the truck the officers smelled marijuana and a search found 30 pounds of it.

The defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence, asserting that the police lacked a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity when they stopped his car.  The defendant lost at the trial court level and on appeal to the California Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court denied review. Continue reading

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The Illinois vehicle code has been amended effective November 28, 2013 to permit the Illinois Secretary of State to issue temporary driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.  625 ILCS 5/6-105.1.  In order to receive or be issued a temporary driver’s license the person applying must have lived in Illinois for more than a year, be ineligible for a social security number, and he or she cannot provide proof authorizing the person presence in this country from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. They must however present a valid and unexpired passport or an unexpired consular identification document.  If the application is approved the Illinois Secretary of State will issue a temporary driver’s license.

These temporary driver’s licenses will be good for three years.

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Not in Illinois.  In Illinois for a person to be found guilty of DUI all the state needs to prove are the following:

1.  That the defendant drove, or was in actual physical control of a vehicle; and

2.  That at the time the defendant drove or was in actual physical control of a vehicle, the defendant was under the influence of alcohol.  Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction Criminal 23.14

This recently became an issue in the news because lawyers for three people convicted of murder in New York claimed that they were too drunk to know what they were doing and therefore their convictions should be reversed.

Being too drunk is not a defense because the State does not have to prove the defendant guilty of “intent.”  There is no intent to drive drunk like there would be in a charge of residential burglary which is a specific intent crime requiring the defendant to have the specific intent, the mental state, to commit a felony or theft.  A person under the law is said to act with intent when he engages in conduct and has a conscious objective to accomplish that result.  720 Illinois Complied Statutes 5/4-4.  So voluntary intoxication is a defense to a specific intent crime.  DUI is not a specific intent crime.

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