Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Confidentiality of Consultations

During initial (usually free for most cases) consultations, some potential clients will ask if consultations are confidential.  The short answer is “yes.”  Even though these people have not become clients yet, their statements are not disclosed to anyone outside the office without permission from the potential clients.

Rule 1.18 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct states:

(a) A person who discusses with a lawyer the possibility of forming a client-lawyer relationship with respect to a matter is a prospective client.

(b) Even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues, a lawyer who has had discussions with a prospective client shall not use or reveal information learned in the consultation, except as Rule 1.9 would permit with respect to information of a former client.

Jeremy Richey

On Being Treated Unfairly

Some potential and current clients I talk to feel the police and the state’s attorney’s office are treating them unfairly.  This is frequently not the case.  If a guilty person wrongly feels the State is treating him unfairly, in my experience, the case usually fits in one of the following categories:

  1. The Routine. Sometimes the questioning defendant is simply being treated exactly the same as thousands of defendants before him.  He may not understand this because the sentence seems harsh now that it is being applied to him, he may have heard stories (either false or involving different circumstances) of the State treating others better,  or he simply does not realize that this is how things work in cases like his.  Regardless of the reason,  the defendant is not being treated particularly worse than anyone else.
  2. On the Radar.  Trouble begets trouble.  Sometimes a particular person gets on the radar of police or prosecutors.  As a general rule, the more criminal history the person has, the harsher the sentence he will receive.   The key here is to simply quit violating the law; a judge or prosecutor will not be sympathetic to the suggestion that a person’s misdeeds should be ignored since the State is watching the person closely.
  3. But, You Did That. Not all crimes are equal.  A person possessing a Class C misdemeanor amount of marijuana will get a slap on the wrist (in the grand spectrum of things); a person trafficking pounds of pot will not be treated so lightly.  Child molesters are universally reviled.  It is always a terrible idea to stick a gun in a person’s face.   Serious consequences follow the commission of serious crimes and being a first offender probably won’t count for too much.

Now, of course, there are some cases where the State does, in fact, treat the defendants unfairly.  It does happen.  The most obvious example of this is where an innocent person is charged with a crime.  But, often times a defendant’s feelings about being treated unfairly are just wrong.

Jeremy Richey

OUI vs. DUI: More Differences

In a previous post on watercraft OUI vs. motor vehicle DUI, I discussed some differences between the two offenses.  Here are a few more differences:

  • Second OUI Is a Felony, but Second DUI Is a Misdemeanor.   A person’s third DUI in a motor vehicle may be charged as a Class 2 felony.   OUIs differ from the DUIs in this regard in that a person’s second OUI may be charged as a felony if the person’s first OUI resulted in a conviction (no supervision).  625 ILCS 45/5-16(A)(4)(a).
  • Different Field Sobriety Tests.   The field sobriety tests that work for motor vehicle DUI investigations don’t work well in the aquatic environment (except for the HGN test a/k/a the eye test).  As such, different tests are typically administered.  In a DUI case, the three typical tests are the HGN test, the Walk-and-Turn test, and the One-Leg Stand test.  In an OUI case, the three typical tests are the HGN test, the Alphabet test, and the Hand Pat test.
  • Conservation Police.  With OUIs, you are probably being investigated by a conservation police officer.  While experiences may differ elsewhere in the state, every OUI I have handled has been investigated by the Illinois Conservation Police.

Jeremy Richey

Quotes for Lawyers

Lawyers put some thought-provoking quotes in their emails — often in a signature block.  Here are a few favorites of mine that I have seen.  I have not verified the accuracy of the attributed sources or the quotes, but I still like the ideas these quotes convey.

  • “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly, one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” — Sherlock Holmes (A Scandal in Bohemia)
  • “If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.” — Red Adair
  • “If you want to converse with me, first define your terms.” — Voltaire
  • “I […] never could make a good impromptu speech without several hours to prepare it.” — Mark Twain

Jeremy Richey

Anatomy of an Illinois Statutory Citation

To the uninitiated, the citation form for Illinois statutes can be mystifying. For example, the citation for the per se DUI offense in Illinois is 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(1).

But, after you understand the parts of the citation, it is easy to use the information in it to locate the statutory text on Illinois General Assembly website.

Let’s break down our example citation.

625: This is the chapter of the Illinois Compiled Statutes that we start looking in. Lawyers, police officers, and frequent speeders will recognize this chapter as the vehicle chapter.

ILCS: Illinois Compiled Statutes

5: This signifies Act 5 of the chapter. After we locate the proper chapter, we next look for the act that our statutory text resides in.  This particular act is also known as the Illinois Vehicle Code.

11:  This is the chapter of the act.  If you are wondering, this is the second time we have used the word “chapter.”  This is part of the citation is also called a chapter.  I wouldn’t worry about this label, however. We don’t really need to worry about it since it is also part of the section number (see below).

11-501. Section 11-501. This is the precise section of the text we are looking for.

(a): This is the subsection of the section where the per se law is located.

(1): This is the paragraph of the subsection. It is also the home of our per se DUI law.

So, if you are on the Illinois General Assembly website and trying to find the per se DUI law, you will click on the link for the Illinois Compiled Statutes and then use the numbers of the per se citation to navigate to the text that you are looking for.

Jeremy Richey

Taking a Road Trip

Today, while reading a police report in a DUI case, I tried to decide if the traffic stop preceding the DUI arrest was lawful. After some brief legal research, I jumped in my truck and took off down the road. I wanted to see the exact stretch of road that the police officer wrote about. It is common for me to do this. I do this because sometimes there is a big pay off by going out and investigating the actual scenes where things take place. But, doing this takes time. Which leads me to the point of this post. If you are lawyer shopping and have one or more free consultations scheduled, consider asking the lawyers you meet how often they go out to incident scenes. The question might shed light on the type of representation you will receive.

Jeremy Richey

Illinois Zero Tolerance Penalties

What are the suspension periods for drivers under 21 who violate the zero-tolerance law?

1st failure of testing: 3 months

1st refusal: 6 months

2nd failure of testing: 1 year

2nd refusal: 2 years

Source: 625 ILCS 5/6-208.2

Jeremy Richey

Jeremy J. Richey, Attorney at Law
© Jeremy J. Richey and The East Central Illinois Criminal Law & DUI Weblog, 2008-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.