Generally, in DUI cases, the State’s main witness will be the officer that arrested the defendant. Thus, if the officer is unavailable, the State’s case may fall apart, resulting in the dismissal of the defendant’s charges. This scenario unfolded in Albuquerque recently, when over a dozen DUI cases were dismissed after the officer-involved was fired when it was revealed that he made false statements and arrested people for DUI without cause. If you are charged with an Illinois crime, and you believe your rights may have been violated during your arrest, it is advisable to consult an experienced Illinois DUI attorney about your case.
The Albuquerque Arrests and Dismissals
It is reported that approximately nineteen DUI cases were dismissed after the officer that made the arrests in the cases was terminated for cause. Several other cases are currently under investigation to determine whether they should be dismissed as well. The officer’s termination arose after he arrested a woman for DUI without probable cause. The impetus for his false arrests was not disclosed, and he is currently appealing his termination. It was disclosed, though, that the officer violated procedure and made false statements in the course of the arrest that initially called his integrity into question. Thus, all of the pending charges in which he made the initial arrest are under scrutiny, as the evidence in those cases may be tainted as well.
DUI Arrests in Illinois
Under Illinois law, a person who operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or who drives with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher can be charged with a DUI offense. In Illinois, as in other states, a police officer must have reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed or a traffic violation has occurred prior to stopping a driver. If an officer stops a person without just cause, the stop may be unconstitutional, and any subsequent detainment may be considered a false arrest. Further, charges that arise out of an improper arrest may constitute malicious prosecution.
Additionally, any evidence obtained during the stop may be inadmissible, as it is considered the fruit of the poisonous tree. In other words, if the initial stop and investigation are unlawful, arguably any evidence obtained during the stop should be inadmissible at trial. In some instances in which it is later revealed that an officer falsified reports or statements in an effort to increase arrests, anyone convicted of DUI charges arising from arrests made by that officer may be able to have their convictions overturned.
Meet with a Trusted Illinois DUI attorney
If an officer fails to conduct an appropriate investigation or otherwise violates a person’s rights during a DUI investigation, it may call for a dismissal of the DUI charges. If you are accused of DUI in Illinois, it is advisable to meet with an attorney to discuss your options and the prosecution’s role in your case. Theodore J. Harvatin, of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC is a trusted DUI defense attorney who can assist you in fighting to protect your interests. Mr. Harvatin can be reached at 217.525.0520 or via the form online to set up a conference.