Jerald Novak Mon, 06 Jun 2016 17:40:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What to do When Stopped at a DUI Checkpoint This Summer Wed, 02 Jul 2014 06:36:37 +0000 read more →]]> Summer is here and that means vacations, parties and an influx of drinking for some people. Over 900,000 people are arrested every year for DUI and DWI charges with over 1.4 million arrests occurring in 2010 alone, and there is always a noticeable spike in DUI arrests in the summer and around holidays such as the Fourth of July. Due to the increased amount of inebriated people during summer, police have set up numerous DUI checkpoints along many roads and in many waterways to help crack down on offenders. If you’re stopped at one of these checkpoints this summer, remember these important facts and tips to protect your rights, avoid further charges and stay safe.

Be Polite

Getting stopped by the police for any reason can instantly make anyone angry, but lashing out at the police or being severely uncooperative only hurts your case, and it may prompt the police to take action against you if you get out of hand and this can only lead to bad things (i.e. more charges). You’re not obligated to do everything that law enforcement tell you to do when you’re stopped at a checkpoint, but you can politely decline instead of fighting or immediately refusing. Remember, you’re also fully within your rights to merely stay silent.

When Asked, Hand Over Your License and Registration

Legally, you’re required to hand over any proper documentation such as license and registration when asked for it by a law enforcement officer. It’s a good idea to wait until they ask to see it instead of immediately getting it out. Unprompted movements, especially to a glove compartment or pocket, may seem like you’re reaching for a weapon, which can cause a lot of trouble and confusion.

Taking Field Sobriety Tests

Some field sobriety tests are unreliable and inaccurate, which may cause them to result in false charges and arrests. Under the law, you can refuse field sobriety tests (FST). A Breathalyzer is semi-accurate way of determining if a person’s blood alcohol level is within the legal range for driving. This means they can both work for you and against you. Breathalyzer tests can result in false charges or arrests (if you have GERD or Acid Reflux is can cause a false reading), but if your BAC or blood alcohol content is above the legal range it will become evidence against your case. You’re technically allowed to refuse a breathalyzer test, but it’s not recommended. Refusing the test may not be illegal, but it does result in punishments such as immediate suspension of your driver’s license and possibly fines due to the implied consent laws.

Write Out a Detailed Account of the Events

As soon as you’re able to do so, write out an account of the events that took place before, during and after the arrest. Be as detailed as you possibly can. Even the smallest of details can mean a world of difference when you meet with a DUI defense attorney. It can also be incredibly helpful to have this timeline if your memories of the event start to become muddled.

Contact a DUI Defense Attorney Immediately

You always have a right to legal representation, and it is in your best interest to exercise that right as soon as possible in this situation. An excellent DUI attorney should tell you what you should and shouldn’t do during the DUI stop and will give you instructions on how to proceed, like going to the hospital to get an independent blood test done. By getting the advice of a DUI attorney prior to answering any of the police officer’s questions you are more than likely giving yourself the best chance to fight the charges. Not exercising your right to legal representation can severely hinder your case, and it may result in additional charges and harsher punishments.

Post provided by Arizona DUI Defense Lawyer, David Michael Cantor. In over 25 years David and his team have over 1,600 documented DUI Victories in the State of Arizona.

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DRASTIC Defenses to the Breath Test in a DUI Case Tue, 31 Dec 2013 06:11:05 +0000 read more →]]> If you have been stopped and charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI), the law enforcement agency probably used a breath test to measure your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and determine how impaired you may have been. Many elements go into whether or not a breath test delivers an accurate measurement of blood alcohol content (BAC). The acronym DRASTIC provides a way to think of some of them.

Drift: The state will present breath machines as being very technologically advanced, accurate and reliable. But all devices are subject to what is known “drift.” Drift is what happens as any machine moves away from proper calibration. While the speedometer on a car may be accurately calibrated when it leaves the factory, heat, vibration and wear and tear on the parts cause the accuracy to degrade with time. So too do the settings on a breath machine drift away from the factory specifications over time.

Radio Frequency Interference (RFI): All police use large numbers of powerful radios, with many county sheriffs broadcasting far beyond their county boundaries. RFI can interfere with breath machines, and we do not know if the RFI level is critical until the machine tells us with a warning light.

Accuracy: If there is RFI affecting a breath machine, it is like a warning light on the dashboard of a car; the light only comes on when the problem is so great that immediate action must be taken. The warning light on the breath machine may only turn on well past the point in time when the machine has produced unreliable readings, but no one knows when that happened or how many false positives the machine produced.

Substantial Compliance: The problem with arguing that problems with drift, RFI and accuracy have caused inaccurate readings is that the police only need to keep the breath machines in “substantial compliance” with the manufacturers standards. This means the machine only has be “pretty close” or “close enough” for its measurements to be treated as valid. The standard becomes kinda-sort-of-close-enough.

While no law-enforcement officer would want to use a gun, vehicle or radio that was only “kinda-sort-of-close-enough” to proper operational standards, law enforcement wants you to accept that standard when it comes to the operation of a breath machine, a machine that it will use to potentially take away your liberty.

Technology and Training: Technology is everywhere, and from cell phones and microwave ovens to supercomputers and satellites, we depend on machines, but as we rely more and more, we begin to understand that many machines are essentially computers. We all have had issues with computers picking up bugs and viruses, and having software conflicts and problems that make them unreliable at times. Does the officer have the proper training and is he licensed to operate that technology? As the complexity of the computer systems increases, the need for ever more sophisticated operator training becomes necessary.

Information: The best information you can have is not to submit to testing.

Compliance: If you comply with its test, you have made the state’s case against you. If you refuse the test, you can obtain a conditional license after 30 days, and resume driving for the rest of your sentence, should you be convicted. By taking the test, you may provide the state with the evidence it needs to convict you of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). By not taking the test, you remove the possibility of the state using questionable evidence against you.

Illinois DUI Attorney, Jerald Novak, Certified in Field Sobriety Testing and Instruction Tue, 31 Dec 2013 05:11:51 +0000 read more →]]> Jerald Novak is the first and only Defense Lawyer in Lake County, Illinois, to be certified as both a field sobriety test instructor and practitioner.

Illinois DUI attorney Jerald Novak was recently certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) as both a practitioner and instructor of standardized field sobriety testing. By becoming certified as a field sobriety test instructor, Novak is able to aggressively defend his clients charged with a DUI by thoroughly and accurately analyzing the field sobriety tests. In doing so, he often discovers errors and inconsistencies in the state’s case against his clients.

“I am actually certified to teach police officers how to correctly perform the battery of field sobriety tests,