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November 2012 Archives

Boxing Champion Semajay Thomas, Represented By Erickson & Oppenheimer, Ltd., Beats Murder, Makes Emotional Return

CHICAGO, IL-(Marketwire - Jul 16, 2012) - Two-time U.S.A. National Boxing Champion and Chicago native Semajay Thomas triumphantly returned to the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center last Sunday as a free man dreaming of a world title.


Reckless homicide (commonly referred to as Vehicular Homicide) is where a death results from the reckless driving of a motor vehicle. Under Illinois law, the reckless homicide statute is the same as involuntary manslaughter- but where driving a car is involved. Said another way, reckless homicide is the unintentional killing of a person while driving a vehicle- or although you didn't mean to kill anyone, your reckless conduct while driving caused a death.

Dui: Under The Influence Or Presumed Impaired?

In a recent decision, the Illinois Supreme Court distinguished between the six various ways a person can be charged and found guilty of DUI in Illinois. "Four ways require proof that a driver's ingestion of alcohol or drugs impaired his ability to drive. Two ways do not." In the two ways that do not, the law presumes the defendant is impaired. The two ways that do not are listed in the DUI statute as Sections 11-501(a)(1) and 11-501(a)(6).

Dui Roadside Safety Checks

The Chicago Police are employing so called "road-side safety checks" with increasing regularity. Road-side safety checks or DUI roadblocks are temporary stations set up by Chicago Police to search drivers in order to find drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. The Chicago Police also utilize this technique under the guise of a seat belt check. At a seat-belt check you do not have to roll down your window; the officer is supposed to merely look into your car and determine if you are wearing a seat-belt. It is not cause for him to search your car or ask you for your license and insurance. If you are wearing your seatbelt (which you always should), he is required to simply wave you on.

Dui Arrest And Your License

When you are arrested for DUI in Chicago or anywhere in Illinois, your license will be automatically suspended. The suspension does not start immediately, but kicks in 46 days after you are arrested. If you take the breathalyzer or give blood or urine and your blood/alcohol is above .08, your license will be suspended for six (6) months. If you refuse to take the breathalyzer or give blood or urine, your license will be suspended for twelve (12) months. The suspension is separate and distinct from your DUI criminal case and the lengths of suspension listed here pertain to a first time DUI offender.

Cocaine, Crystal Meth, Cars And Cops: Dui & Drugs

Driving Under the Influence does not just mean driving under the influence of alcohol. Driving under the influence of drugs (including legal prescription drugs) is illegal in Illinois. Although central nervous system stimulants such Cocaine, Crystal Meth and Dexedrine speed up the operation of the brain and spinal cord, they do not improve or enhance the performance of the brain and spinal cord. They cause the brain and nervous system to work harder but not better. In fact, because the brain and nervous system are working in over-drive, they are more prone to mistakes. Cocaine, Crystal Methamphetamine and Benzedrine significantly increase the heartbeat, respiration and blood pressure of the user. Stimulants can all cause nervousness, irritability and an inability to concentrate and think clearly.

Dui Law In Illinois

5/11-501. Driving while under the influence of alcohol, other drug or
drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds or any combination

§ 11-501. Driving while under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds or any combination thereof.

Dui Sentencing: Toughest In The Nation

Illinois law imposes some of the toughest DUI Sentencing in the United States and the sentencing gets tougher every year. And as the sentencing gets tougher, it gets more complicated. Recently, the Illinois legislature made it much easier for the Chicago Police to charge a DUI offender with felony DUI or Aggravated DUI. Your DUI arrest will qualify as a felony if 1) it is your 3rd offense, 2) you are driving on a suspended or revoked license or have no valid license, 3) you are driving without insurance, 4) the DUI results in bodily harm to a child under 16 years of age, 5) the DUI caused death or great bodily harm to someone (including your passenger), 6) the driver has prior reckless homicide or similar offense involving a death on an ATV, boat or snowmobile, 7) the DUI results in the injury to someone 16 or younger, 7) the DUI results in an accident with injuries in a school zone, 8) DUI while operating a school bus with children onboard

For a first offense, DUI is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a potential penalty of supervision up to a year in jail and a fine of $0 to $2,500. There are mandatory fees and fines imposed by the legislature which include a DUI Tech fee of $750 and a Roadside Memorial Fund fee of $50. However, if your blood/alcohol is .16 or greater, there is a mandatory 100 hours of community service and a mandatory minimum fine of $500. If you have a passenger under 16 years old, you are subject to 6 months in jail or 25 days community service in a program that benefits children. There is a mandatory fine of $1000 to $2,500.

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