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Traffic Laws and CourtsThe newsletter of the ISBA’s Section on Traffic Laws & Courts

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Newsletter articles from 2012

Analyzing People v. Smith: Is the key to improper lane usage what is in the officer’s mind? By Rachel J. Hess May 2012 Even though the case was decided more than 15 years ago, what actually constitutes a violation of improper lane usage is still hotly debated among the districts.
Community caretaking stop upheld By J. Brick Van Der Snick May 2012 IPeople of the State of Illinois v. Scott Mains, in an opinion released May 11, 2012, the Appellate Court reversed the trial court’s decision of granting Defendant’s motion to quash the arrest. 
DUI defense: A checklist for your file By Jeremy J. Richey May 2012 By using the checklist, you will be helping to ensure that your clients receive the quality service they deserve and nothing is forgotten.
A DUI with no accident or injury is not an “Emergency response” for restitution By J. Brick Van Der Snick December 2012 In People v. Allen, Defendant was able to successfully appeal the trial court's order to pay  emergency response restitution because his stop did not involve an accident and/or an injury response by the Illinois State Police.
Message from the Chair By Sarah Toney September 2012 A message from Section Chair Sarah Toney.
People v. Barwan, et al By David B. Franks March 2012 Three unrelated cases, involving the same issue, were consolidated for decision. Each of three defendants were charged by indictment with driving under the influence of alcohol.
People v. Kladis and the Illinois Supreme Court’s treatment of evidence spoliation by law enforcement By Mark T. Vazquez December 2012 Evidence spoliation stands as a significant obstacle to the truth-seeking function of the courts. The Kladis opinion addressed these concerns and recognizes that trial judges should have significant freedom to impose sanctions to deter such spoliation when it occurs.
People v. Price By David B. Franks March 2012 The arresting officer’s testimony regarding the size of the air freshener, how it swayed back and forth, and that it would have obstructed defendant’s view based on defendant’s sitting position, provided the arresting officer reasonable suspicion, based on a material obstruction, to justify the arresting officer stopping defendant’s vehicle.  
People v. Smulik By David B. Franks May 2012 The Appellate Court concluded that the anonymous tip in the matter at bar lacked predictive value. The Appellate Court concluded that the informant did not predict anything; the informant merely reported contemporaneous observations as to the description and location of a vehicle she was following.  
A primer on motions to vacate in traffic cases By Lisa L. Dunn September 2012 A properly pled §5/2-1401 petition to vacate can be a highly effective and expeditious means to “correct” your client’s actions from failing to appear in court and the resulting suspension of his driver’s license.
Relief from a mandatory revocation for causing death by violation of the vehicle code By J. Randall Cox September 2012 relatively new section of the Vehicle Code provides for the mandatory revocation of driving privileges if someone violates a provision of the Vehicle Code, and that violation proximately causes the death of another.
Rescinding a suspension bars charge of driving while suspended, says appellate court in People v. Elliott By Donald J. Ramsell December 2012 In the case of People v. Elliott, the defendant was stopped and charged with driving while license suspended. He had previously been arrested for DUI, and the statutory summary suspension had taken two days prior to his arrest for DWLS.
Review of People v. Hall By Donald J. Ramsell March 2012 In this case, because the defendant was a judge, the Illinois Attorney Generals’ office was brought in to handle the matter. Two weeks later, after the assistant attorney general learned that the blood samples were still at the hospital, they were ordered to be released to authorities for testing at the Illinois State Police laboratory. The samples did not contain a preservative.  
Sixty-two days means exactly that! By J. Brick Van Der Snick March 2012 A discussion of the ramifications of the People v. Clairmont & Fernandez decision.
Statutory summary suspension upon DUI charge to driver unintentionally stopped at checkpoint upheld By Mollie Townsend December 2012 In People v. Clements, the Appellate Court reversed the trial court’s decision to rescind the statutory summary suspension of Defendant’s driver’s license and to suppress evidence.
Summary suspension notice through the mail By Edward M. Maloney March 2012 Counsel should advise clients that if they receive a postcard indicating that they have a letter for certified mail, they should contact their attorney first before accepting and signing for the letter.
Uncounseled misdemeanor convictions may lead to felonies charges under People ex rel. Glasgow v. Kinney By Ted P. Hammel and Sarah M. Vahey September 2012 In the recent Illinois Supreme Court case of People ex rel. Glasgow v. Kinney, the Court held that prior uncounseled misdemeanor DUI convictions may be considered in determining whether a latter offense will be elevated to a nonprobationable Class 2 felony.
You think your client is going to lie on the stand—The classic dilemma of a criminal defense lawyer By Juliet Boyd March 2012 If faced by this dilemma, a lawyer should review the cases, the approaches and the rules of professional conduct. The lawyer must carefully analyze the facts of their situation. It may also be helpful to call the confidential hot line at the ARDC for advice or to pose a hypothetical to an experienced colleague. Unfortunately there is no simple resolution to this question.