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Man charged with DUI after accident causes death to woman and unborn son

Normal, Illinois resident Lance Pitsch, 27, was charged with aggravated driving under the influence that resulted in death and reckless homicide in Christian County. The charges come after he caused a vehicular accident on Illinois 48 near County Road 600 North in Morrisonville at approximately 3:20 p.m. on Friday, October 21. The crash resulted in the death of 25-year-old Jessica Tyson Ragan and her unborn son.

Ragan and the unborn child, who she planned to name Jovian when she gave birth in December, succumbed to mortal injuries at Taylorville Memorial Hospital around 4:20 p.m. the same day as the accident. Pitsch was also airlifted to a hospital, but he was able to appear in court on Monday, October 24. His next day in court will take place on October 31, and his bond was set at $500,000.

Our attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices, who provide legal services for our clients in Champaign-Urbana and other areas of Illinois, handle criminal defense cases such as car accidents and wrongful death suits.


Illinois’ new law about marijuana-impaired driving requires stiffer evidence for conviction

Local attorney Jeff Hall said that a new law in the state of Illinois regarding marijuana and impaired driving, has only slightly reduced the legal dangers – including longer prison terms – of causing a fatal vehicular accident after taking the drug.

Four individuals have been convicted since 2012 of causing a death while driving under the influence of marijuana in Tazewell County.

Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz said that the new DUI law regarding marijuana – which requires prosecutors to prove that a driver was impaired by marijuana at a time of an accident – is the right application of a DUI law. The DUI law regarding marijuana prior to this amendment did not require prosecutors to prove that the drivers were indeed impaired by marijuana, meaning the four convicted of DUI in Tazewell County may or may not have been improperly convicted.a

Our criminal defense lawyers at the Bruno Law Offices in Champaign-Urbana, who belong to the premier criminal and driving under the influence defense firm in central Illinois, understand that each criminal case is unique and has its own intricacies, and that is why we pay special attention to each and every one in order to win each and every one. Call our offices today at (217) 328-6000.


DUI arrests in Decatur are second-highest in the state of Illinois for 2015

Independent non-profit organization Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists has reported that the Decatur Police Department in Illinois has made the second-highest number of driving under the influence arrests in the state in the year 2015, with 405 arrests.

The Carol Stream Police Department and the Rockford Police Department each placed first when it comes to DUI arrests, both garnering 470 arrests, the Annual Illinois DUI Arrest Survey for 2015 showed.

Other city and town police departments included in the top 10 for most number of DUI arrests in Illinois comprised of Springfield, Naperville, Peoria, Normal, Cicero, Elgin, Aurora, and Fairview Heights police departments.

Our Champaign-Urbana criminal defense lawyers at the Bruno Law Offices can help you protect your legal rights in court and fight the criminal charges that were brought against you so that you could get back with your normal way of living. Call our offices today at (217) 328-6000.


Plea agreement gets man charged with aggravated DUI over four years in prison

On Tuesday, April 5, forty-two-year-old Phillip Morris, of Charleston, Illinois plead guilty to an aggravated driving under the influence charge for allegedly driving while intoxicated in December 2012 with an 11-year-old child aboard his vehicle.

Morris was sentenced to over four years in prison and ordered to pay over $26,000 in fines and court fees as part of his sentence due to the DUI conviction. His methamphetamine possession charge on Sept. 28, 2013 was also dismissed due to the agreement.

Coles County Circuit Judge Teresa Righter accepted the terms of the plea agreement as offered by Assistant State’s Attorney Bryant Hitchings and defense lawyer James Roytek as the basis for Morris’ sentencing.

Our attorneys at Bruno Law Offices in central Illinois have attained success in defending thousands of serious criminal and DUI cases in the state and federal courts. If you need legal advice or representation in your criminal case, do not hesitate to speak with a qualified member of our legal team at the Bruno Law Offices by calling our offices today at (217) 328-6000.


Former Illinois State University student guilty of aggravated DUI

Former Illinois State University student Joshua Dunn was found guilty of driving under the influence on Thursday, October 1 in Bloomington and is facing up to 29 years of imprisonment for his part in the January 2015 accident that claimed the life of another ISU student, Benjamin Allison.

Dunn was also accused of leaving the scene of the accident.

Assistant State Attorney Jeffrey Horve noted that the need to prove that Dunn was impaired while driving at the time of the incident was unnecessary because “the evidence is clear based upon People’s Exhibit # 7 that when blood was drawn for [him], [he] did have cannabis in [his] system”.

While Horve noted that the family of the victim and those involved in the case were granted a small measure of closure with the guilty verdict, he went on to lament the fact that “There are no winners in this case. The Allison’s lost their only son and for them, this will never be over.”

The defense hopes to make a case for extraordinary circumstances that may lead to probation, rather than the maximum penalty.


Judge reduces sentence of DUI convict from seven years to 180 days

On August 3 , Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis resentenced Danville native Jessica Young, 33, a woman formerly sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of aggravated driving under the influence after a fatal accident, to 180 days in jail plus four years of probation. As of August 3, Young was granted 148 days of credit for her time already served.

Judge Tom Difanis came to the conclusion that “extraordinary circumstances” existed in Young’s situation that qualified her for a community-based sentence. Young’s former legal counsel, Ed Piraino, presented evidence to the court from Young’s mother and grandmother about how the two have had difficulties raising Young’s daughter and son, both of whom have had been having emotional problems because of the incident.

Our attorneys at Bruno Law Offices in the Champaign-Urbana area specialize in representing clients who are facing criminal charges. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, feel free to contact a member of our legal team today by calling our office at (217) 328-6000.


Judge reduces Champaign man’s sentence for third DUI conviction

Champaign County Judge Richard Klaus decreased the sentence he gave to 32-year-old Champaign resident Robeson Graham-Bailey for his third DUI conviction due to additional evidence that previously was not heard, according to the News-Gazette on May 27.

Graham-Bailey was originally sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison, but Klaus knocked three years off of this term.

The third DUI stemmed from Graham-Bailey’s erratic driving in downtown Champaign in May of last year, which earned him an aggravated DUI conviction in January 2015.

Our attorneys at Bruno Law Offices in Champaign are experienced at providing comprehensive and aggressive representation for those charged with a DUI. In this situation, especially if the charge is not your first, it is critical to enlist the help of a dedicated criminal defense team. To discuss your case and begin building a defense that challenges every aspect of the case against you, call our offices at (217) 328-6000 today.


Sentence reduced for aggravated DUI offender

Twenty-five-year-old Philo, Illinois resident Katie Daly walked out of a Champaign County courtroom on February 20 in relief after Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis sentenced her to 30 months of probation in connection with an aggravated driving under the influence charge, The News-Gazette reported.

Difanis reversed an earlier ruling made by Judge Richard Klaus – who oversees the county’s felony cases – in March 2014 that Katie Daly should be sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison for pleading guilty to aggravated DUI and admitting that she caused the death of her 19-year-old cousin, Annie Daly, on Oct. 6, 2013 for drinking while driving.

Difanis, along with the Fourth District Appellate Court, ruled that Klaus’ sentence was an “abuse of discretion.”

According to police investigators, Annie Daly was thrown from a John Deere Gator utility vehicle driven by Katie Daly around 3 a.m. on their way home from a party and succumbed to mortal injuries at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, where she was taken for treatment.

The attorneys of Bruno Law Offices work for the best possible result from our clients’ cases who have been charged with DUI-related offenses. Call our offices at 217-328-6000 today to learn how we may put our experience to work for you.


Amanda Bynes charged with DUI in Los Angeles

Hollywood actress Amanda Bynes, 28, was taken into police custody on the early morning of Sunday, September 28 on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, the California Highway Patrol said in a statement released last Monday, September 29.

According to the statement, a patrol officer stopped Bynes in the middle of an intersection in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, California at around 4 a.m. Bynes had remained relatively out of the spotlight since 2012 when she was coping with various substance abuse and personal challenges. Her previous erratic behavior and series of previous DUI incidents shocked fans of the former Nickelodeon child star.

DUI, if convicted, may result in steep fines, license suspension, and/or jail time. If you have been charged with driving under the influence in the Champaign/Urbana area of Illinois, call our attorneys of Bruno Law Offices to see if we may defend you: 217-328-6000.


Woman charged with DUI denied bail for violating terms of probation

Fifty-nine-year-old Illinois resident Leslie Thurow has been ordered to be held without bail for violating terms of her probation. The probation came from Thurow pleading guilty to an aggravated DUI charge just days prior.

According to Cook County records, Thurow struck an unidentified state trooper as she was driving along Interstate 294 in the northbound lanes of the Tri-State Tollway near Berkeley on the Saturday afternoon of August 30.

After pleading guilty to the aggravated DUI charge, Thurow was given a $450,000 bond, but the bond was forfeited.

Thurow’s current charges, which are all felonies, include leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, aggravated DUI in a personal injury accident, and aggravated DUI.

Assistant State Attorney Sean Brown said the trooper involved suffered a broken shoulder blade, vertebrae, arm, ribs, and knees due to the accident.

If you have been accused of committing a crime in Champaign or other areas in Illinois, contact our attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices. Talk with us about your rights and legal options for criminal defense by calling our offices today at 217-328-6000.

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