Articles Posted in DUI

DUIThe Village of Schaumburg has announced that it has come up with a plan to equip all of their police squad cars and motorcycles with cameras. The cost will be $334,620. The funding source will be grants from various sources. There will be no additional cost to the Village. The Village has hired CVS Office Technologies to provide 40 in camera systems for the Department’s police cars and motorcycles. The cameras will be able to capture events that happen inside the vehicles and outside the vehicles. The videos can be used in court to prosecute cases or to defend police officers from claims of excessive force or improper behavior. According to the Schaumburg Police, even though the cameras can be used in prosecutions, they believe that the evidence captured by cameras benefits police officers 90% of the time. Most of the criminal cases that will involve video evidence will be DUI cases.

It sounds like this will be a work-in-progress for the village. Police officers will have the ability to turn on and turn off the cameras when they want. However, the cameras will also have the ability to automatically capture significant events on its own. As the program takes effect, the village will enact policies and procedures that will govern and how the cameras are operated.  Schaumburg has been criticized for being behind the curve when it comes to camera technology inside their vehicles. The current outdated system has been criticized for being ineffective because it is too sensitive. It has been known to activate every time a vehicle hits a pothole. Prior to that, the village abandoned their VHS camera system because it simply did not work. The police department believes that this new system, and the modern technology it employs, will put the Schaumburg Police Department near the front of the pack when it comes to cameras inside their vehicles. The Village has signed up for the maximum maintenance plan with CDS Office Technologies, which will last five years. When it comes to squad car cameras, five years seems to be the maximum amount of time that such technology is considered to be current. It would appear that after five years, the village would be looking to upgrade the cameras inside their vehicles.

James Dimeas is an award winning criminal defense attorney and author with more than 24 years of experience aggressively representing his clients in criminal cases.  If you have a criminal case in Illinois, contact me in Chicago (312-229-5500), DuPage and Kane (630-504-2096) or Lake (847-696-6458) for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal options.

imagesqtbnANd9GcQqR4Dz_uJGafmoHScPDeNzYZcWF8nOZr5yYXTErMMwySXKQFF9The Cook County State’s Attorney Deferred Prosecution Program is a diversion program for adult felony defendants without a prior felony conviction that have been arrested for non-violent crimes. Participation to the program is at the sole discretion of the State’s attorney.

The program placed the defendant into a 12 month intensive  program. Upon completion of the program, the State will then dismiss the case. The Defendant can then file to have the arrest record expunged upon dismissal. In Cook County, due to delays, it takes 6  to 12 months to have the arrest record expunged after the Petition to Expunge is filed.

However, only probationable  offences of  Theft, Retail Theft, Forgery, Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle, Burglary, Possession  of Burglary Tools, Possession of Cannabis, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Methamphetamine are eligible for the program.

On April 21, 2009, we published an article about the Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona v. Gant.  In this case, The Supreme Court severely limited police officers power to search vehicles after an arrest. In Arizona v. Gant, the defendant had been pulled over for a traffic violation.  The police officer determined that he did not have a valid license and placed him under arrest.  The defendant was handcuffed and placed in the back of the police vehicle. The officer then searched the vehicle and discovered a gun and drugs. The Supreme Court ruled that the search of the vehicle was unreasonable and ruled that the evidence seized in the search had to be suppressed. The court held that in order for the police to search the vehicle the defendant had to be close enough to the vehicle as to pose a risk that he could grab a weapon out of the car or that the police had a reasonable belief that they would find evidence related to the reason that the defendant had been arrested.

Today I used this case to win a motion to suppress on an Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon By a Felon charge at 26th and California. The facts of my client’s case were very similar to the facts in Gant. The defendant was pulled over because his license plate light was not working. The officer asked my client for his license but he could not produce one because it had been revoked for a prior DUI. The officer testified that he placed handcuffs on my client and put him in the back seat of his squad car. There was a passenger in the front seat. A check of the passenger’s name revealed an outstanding traffic warrant and he was handcuffed and placed in the back seat of the squad car as well. The officer then proceeded to search my client’s vehicle finding a loaded handgun in the back seat area of his vehicle. The state argued that this search was actually an inventory search and that the officer was following Chicago Police procedure. However, the officer admitted that he did not produce an inventory report and could only state that “miscellaneous” items were retrieved from the vehicle in the inventory search.

The court found that an inventory search would be an exception but that what the officer testified to could not be deemed to be an inventory search. The officer did not produce an inventory report and could only remember that “miscellaneous” other items were found. Since the defendant and his passenger were in handcuffs in the back seat of the squad car, and the only reason for the arrest of the defendant was that he had no driver’s license, the police needed a warrant to search the vehicle.  My Motion to Suppress was granted and all the evidence seized by the police as a result of the illegal search of his vehicle will not be admitted at trial.  This effectively destroys the state’s case.  Without the gun, they have no case.  The case has been continued but the state will be forced to dismiss the case.