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How to Beat a DUI

You thought you were driving just fine. The traffic cop currently on your tail begs to differ. You completely flubbed the field sobriety test, and you just blew a .09 BAC on the Breathalyzer. Now what? You’re in big trouble, and it will go from bad to worse very quickly unless you get the highly skilled and experienced attorneys from Bruno Law Offices on your side. If you haven’t called them already, stop what you’re doing and call them right now at (217) 328-6000.

Can I Really Contest a DUI Charge?

Your driving privileges, your job, and your liberty are now in serious jeopardy. This is no time for amateurs. The prosecutor brings – and wins — hundreds of DUI cases every month. A substantial percentage of those wins are obtained against first-time DUI offenders. That doesn’t have to happen to you. There are ways to beat a DUI charge or to negotiate lesser charges and penalties but trying to do it yourself is like taking a knife to a gunfight. Your Bruno Law Offices attorney can bring the heavy artillery and level the playing field, so you have a chance to contain the fallout from this unfortunate incident before it costs you everything.

The first thing you need to know is that, under Illinois law, you are presumed innocent, and the prosecutor has to prove every element of the DUI charge against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If your attorney from [firm name] helps you prevent the prosecutor from making his case, you can be acquitted of the charges—that is, found not guilty. So how, exactly, do the attorneys at Bruno Law Offices convince the judge or jury that there is reasonable doubt about whether the prosecutor made his case? While every matter is unique and is decided on its own specific facts, the attorneys at Bruno Law Offices have helped many clients in similar circumstances. We have found the following strategies helpful if the situation warrants these strategies.

  • Challenge the basis for the traffic stop. A police officer must have a reasonable basis to pull you over and detain you. That means the officer has to identify specific behavior that shows you violated a traffic law or some other law. While weaving from side to side in your own lane without actually leaving the lane may look bad, it is not illegal. If you can demonstrate that you did not commit any traffic violation before the officer pulled you over, the court may find the arrest unlawful and refuse to admit any evidence obtained during the arrest.
  • Attack the reliability of the field sobriety test. In many cases, the officer cites your “failing” the field sobriety test as the basis for demanding that you submit to a breathalyzer test. The truth is, there are some people who couldn’t pass the field sobriety test even when stone-cold sober. Numerous factors influence how an individual driver performs when asked to stand on one leg or touch his nose with his finger. A driver suffering from an injury, obesity, diabetes, old age, or on heavy medication might appear to be intoxicated when doing these “tricks” on the side of the road with other cars zipping by at high speeds. If you can prove the officer misjudged your condition and therefore should not have made you submit to the breathalyzer test, any results obtained from that test may be excluded from evidence.
  • Contest the validity of the breathalyzer results. Breathalyzer units are sophisticated but sensitive devices. Each manufacturer establishes its own protocols for operating the unit so that the results may be considered valid. If the unit operator does not faithfully adhere to those requirements, the unit will produce inaccurate readings. The Illinois Supreme Court recognized more than 30 years ago that breathalyzer tests are not “flawless.” Where a variance of .01 percent BAC one way or the other could determine whether you’re found guilty or innocent, it’s worth it to rigorously challenge how both the unit and the operator performed. If the court excludes an adverse breathalyzer result from the case, the prosecutor may have to dismiss the charges against you.
  • Undermine the results of any blood tests. Like the breathalyzer unit discussed above, the equipment used to measure the alcohol concentration in the driver’s bloodstream must be properly calibrated and operated in full compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions to reliably produce valid results. If the prosecutor cannot prove that the blood test results are scientifically valid, the court may not admit the evidence, and the case is over.

Contact Us

If you find yourself arrested for or charged with a DUI, don’t panic. You don’t have to go through this alone. Call Bruno Law Offices at (217) 328-6000 today to set up your initial consultation. You can’t afford not to.


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.

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Bruno Law Offices
301 W Green St
Urbana, IL 61801
Tel: (217) 328-6000
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