Do A Lot Of DUI Cases Go To Trial?
Around ninety-five percent of cases do not go to trial. If someone was backed into a corner after getting a refusal, it was their third time, they got a felony and they were being offered a conviction, then the person would not have anything to lose unless they ended up with a judge who would hammer them for the trial. The person should try their issues if they have any try-able issues, although most people don’t because most cases involve breathalyzers, which are obvious, or they would be refusals. The person staggering around and puking on himself would also make it quite obvious.
The person would not go to trial if it was very obvious, although the person should try to get a good trial attorney if the case was in the grey area, because a lot of people who do DUIs take them because they are easy money, but they really do not know what they were doing. There are attorneys who offer $200 or $300 per court appearance, although by the time they continued the case 20 times in court, the client would have paid them twice what they would have paid a decent attorney. That is how those attorneys work, they just keep continuing the case.
Can A Person Get A DUI For Just Illegal Drugs Or Is It Even Prescription Drugs?
A person could get a DUI from prescription drugs or anything that impaired their ability to drive normally. They could have a prescription for Narcotics for pain, but if they were driving and were all over the road, then they would be considered a danger and the public would not care why they were not performing normally. If someone should not be out on the road, then they should not be out on the road, and they can’t make the excuse that they had a really bad backache so they took three common form of narcotics. Someone who was driving all over the place would still get a DUI. Marijuana is a very common drug that people really ought to give some thought to as well, because the problem with marijuana is that it would be detectable in the person’s system for at least 4 weeks.
Someone who smoked 3 weeks ago might get pulled over for speeding. If the person had just been smoking, then the officer might think the person was drunk if he saw his bloodshot eyes, so they would ask the officer to test him. He would blow double zeros but the officer would look him and say that he still thought there was something wrong with the person so he would suspect that the person was using some other substance. They would have the right to ask the person to take a blood test and a urine test, and if the person refused any one of the three, even if they had done the other two, then it would still count as a refusal. If someone smoked 3 weeks ago and then gave urine test, it would come up positive for marijuana so the question would not even be whether it was affecting the person at that time. It would not matter to the law if the person was not under the influence at the time, because the substance would have been found in his blood. That is an automatic violation of DUI law.
A person smoking at any time during the month during which they were charged and had to take a urine test would result in an automatic DUI, although the law is bound to change soon because medical marijuana is now available to people legally, but they have not figured out a way to do it. The marijuana laws in the state are not well developed. If someone got a marijuana DUI, then their idea is to give the person a suspension and put the breath machine in their car for the 6 months or 12 months, even though it would have nothing to do with drinking. The person would be able to smoke as much as they wanted every day and still pass the breath machine, because it would not be able to check for drugs from their breath.
Are Drug Related DUIs Harder Or Easier To Defend Than The Alcohol Ones?
It would be pretty hard to defend on the marijuana side because they are really not supposed to consider whether or not the person was impaired. The fact is, they would say there was a presumption that the person was under the influence if they tested positive for anything and that would make it harder to defend. Alcohol cases are easier to defend because it is not so black and white. If the person blew a 0.08, then they would be presumed intoxicated. However, it would be a rebut-able presumption, because if a 300 pound defensive lineman blew at 0.08, and passed the sobriety test with full dexterity and was not impaired, then it would not matter what he blew because it would be a rebut-able presumption. It can get very tricky, and there are not many judges who would do that unless the person had an expert come in for $10,000 to say what a joke the machines are, which is what some of them do.
How Long Does The DUI Process Take From Start To Finish?
Most DUIs would not go to trial unless the person was backed into a corner and had no choice, but this would depend on what the evidence was. If the evidence indicated that the person blew a 0.20, then it would be silly to go to trial because if someone wasted the judge’s time by trying to tell him that the person was not drunk when they blew .20, and the judge had to miss something else he wanted to do and he felt the defendant wasted the courts time with an obvious guilty case, then he would sentence the person very harshly.
The average length of a typical case would be about three months. They may not give a court date in Illinois for maybe five or six weeks. The person would file a motion to throw off, or rescind the suspension which is something that would happen within 30 days and win or lose, they would set it for trial after another 30 days. There can be other factors, like whether the officer was around or even if they just wanted more time, but on average it would take about three to five months for a DUI.
Have You Handled Any Unique Cases?
I have handled all kinds of cases, criminal and DUIs. Juries can vote very unpredictably; most juries are quite clueless, so they tend to throw in their version of what they think the law should be, even though they have been instructed not to. We never know what is going on because there could be someone who was absolutely as guilty as guilty could be, and it would seem so to everybody including the judge, but in the end the verdict might come back as not guilty.
I have seen cases where I thought the person was clearly not guilty, but then for whatever reason, the judge and the jury would find him guilty. It can be very surprising because it is not always common-sense, and we can’t know what these people are thinking and they will not tell. I used to go and talk to the juries after verdicts when I was the state’s attorney, because I wanted the input. I was learning and they would tell me that they found D, E and F, and I would be surprised because the questions would have been regarding the issues of A, B and C, and the explanation they would give would be that they did not think those issues were really important. There are all kinds of variables that come into it, but sometimes there are cases we think are slam dunks and then we lose, and other times we win when we should not have. In 38 years of doing this I can safely say that I have seen most different kinds of cases, if not all.
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