1749 South Naperville Road, Suite 105 
Wheaton, IL 60189 
Map & Directions

Call To Schedule An Appointment
(630) 260-9647

What Makes a DUI an Aggravated Offense in Illinois?Any conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will come with serious consequences, but the punishment can be even more severe if you are convicted for an aggravated DUI. Unlike a standard DUI, an aggravated DUI is certain to be at least a Class 4 felony and may come with mandatory prison time, larger fines, and longer driver’s license suspension periods. What constitutes an aggravated DUI in Illinois? There are several ways that your DUI charge can become aggravated:

  1. Third DUI Conviction: If you have been convicted for DUI twice before, a third or fourth conviction will be a Class 2 felony. There is a minimum 90-day jail sentence if you also had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16 percent or greater and a minimum $25,000 fine if you also had a passenger who was younger than 16. A fifth DUI conviction is a Class 1 felony, and a sixth DUI conviction is a Class X felony, which is the highest class of felony.
  2. Injury or Death to Another Party: A DUI incident that results in injury can be a Class 4 felony but only if the injury caused great bodily harm in most cases. The charge is a Class 4 felony if you cause any harm to a passenger who is younger than 16 or to another person while in a school zone. A DUI incident resulting in the death of someone else is a Class 2 felony, with the minimum prison sentence being three years if one person died and six years if two or more people died. You may be able to get the charge reduced to a reckless homicide involving alcohol if prosecutors cannot prove that you were legally intoxicated, but that charge is still a Class 3 felony.
  3. Second DUI Conviction: Even if a conviction would not be a third DUI, a second DUI conviction can be aggravated depending on other circumstances from the DUI incident. A DUI conviction is a Class 3 felony if you were previously convicted of reckless homicide involving alcohol or a DUI resulting in great injury or death. A second DUI conviction is a Class 2 felony if you were transporting a passenger younger than 16 during your second arrest.
  4. License and Insurance: A DUI conviction is a Class 4 felony if your driver’s license was suspended or revoked, you did not have a valid driver’s license, or you knowingly drove without auto insurance.

Contact a Wheaton, Illinois, Criminal Defense Lawyer

Preventing a DUI conviction can save you from years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, and a criminal record that follows you for the rest of your life. A DuPage County criminal defense attorney at Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, understands the importance of your case and how to contest a DUI charge. To schedule a consultation, call 630-260-9647.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

Posted in Criminal Law, DUI, DuPage County criminal defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyer | Tagged , , ,

What Happens If You Violate an Order of Protection?One of the likely consequences of being accused of domestic violence is having an order of protection against you. Also known as a restraining order, it can prohibit you from:

  • Being within a certain distance of the petitioner
  • Attempting to contact the petitioner
  • Entering your shared home
  • Seeing your children without supervision

The court may grant your accuser an emergency order of protection before you have been charged with any crimes if the court is convinced that you may be an immediate threat. You will get the opportunity to defend yourself against the accusations before the court decides whether to grant a long-term order of protection. Regardless of your opinion of the order, it is important that you comply with its terms. Violating an order of protection will result in criminal charges and possible jail time.

How Does a Violation Occur?

The order of protection should give you a detailed explanation of what type of interaction is not allowed with the petitioner and their dependents. The petitioner can contact the police if they believe you have violated the terms of the order. Directing a third party to make contact with the petitioner on your behalf may also be a violation of the order. The responding officer may arrest you if they believe the allegation against you is credible.

What Are the Penalties?

Violating an order of protection is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, which can result in up to one year in jail and a fine of as much as $2,500. If you have previously been convicted of domestic battery or violating an order of protection, the charge becomes a Class 4 felony, which is punishable by one-to-three years in prison and a fine of as much as $25,000.

What Are the Defenses?

To be guilty of violating an order of protection, the prosecution must prove that you knowingly committed the violation. You could argue that:

  • You had not yet been notified of the order
  • Your contact with the petitioner was accidental
  • The terms of the order were unclear and open to different interpretations

In some situations, the petitioner falsely accuses the defendant of violating the order, which you can disprove by presenting the truth and showing that the accusation lacks supporting evidence.

Contact a DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you dispute the domestic violence accusations against you and the terms of the order of protection, you need to voice your concerns to a lawyer and not your accuser. A Wheaton, Illinois, criminal defense attorney at Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, can get to work on contesting the order of protection and the criminal charges against you. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-260-9647.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-3.4

Posted in Criminal Law, Domestic Violence, DuPage County criminal defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyer | Tagged , ,

Using Discovery to Obtain Evidence in a Criminal CaseOne of the most important steps when gathering evidence for a criminal defense trial is the discovery process, which is obtaining evidence that the prosecution possesses. A law enforcement agency conducted an investigation into your case, which the prosecution will use as evidence in trying to prove the criminal charge against you. Some of the prosecution’s evidence may be impossible for you to obtain on your own, such as a police officer’s bodycam video footage from a DUI stop. You have the right to see that evidence before your trial in order to potentially use it as part of your defense strategy.

Sharing Requirements

The defense is responsible for requesting the evidence from the prosecution, and the prosecution must comply in a timely fashion. The prosecution does not have to provide evidence to the defense without a request unless it is material exculpatory evidence, meaning evidence that clearly shows that the defendant is innocent. The court may deny a discovery request if it believes that disclosing the evidence may put someone at substantial risk of harm or the usefulness of sharing the evidence does not justify the burden it would cause someone. A discovery violation happens when the prosecution willfully or unreasonably impedes the defense’s access to evidence by not responding to discovery requests or tampering with evidence. If the court determines that a discovery violation has occurred, it can order that the related evidence be excluded from the trial or dismiss the case.

Types of Evidence

According to Illinois’ court rules, the evidence that prosecutors must share if requested during discovery includes:

  • Tangible objects
  • Audio or video recordings from the arrest
  • The names and addresses of witnesses that the prosecution will use
  • The criminal records of the prosecution’s witnesses
  • Prerecorded or written statements from witnesses and experts
  • Official statements made by the defendant during the investigation
  • Minutes from the grand jury testimony

The prosecution is not required to turn over evidence of a sensitive nature, such as the names of informants, information of national security, or records that contain the opinions or theories of the state or its investigators.

Contact a Wheaton, Illinois, Criminal Defense Lawyer

The evidence you obtain during discovery may be helpful or harmful to your case, depending on how you interpret it. A DuPage County criminal defense lawyer at Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, knows what types of evidence are most important to obtain during discovery and what to look for in the evidence. To schedule a consultation, call 630-260-9647.

Source:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/SupremeCourt/Rules/Art_IV/ArtIV.htm

Posted in Criminal Law, DuPage County criminal defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyer | Tagged , ,