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Chicago attorney Harold L. Wallin has tried hundreds of cases to verdict; including criminal, DUI/traffic, personal injury and administrative hearings. http://www.illinoisduilawyer.com/

Suspended Prison sentence for Pirates’ Kang upheld by S. Korean Court

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From BleacherReport.com:

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang had a suspended two-year prison sentence upheld in a South Korean court Thursday, which will further complicate his efforts to rejoin the MLB team during the 2017 season.

The Associated Press (via USA Today) reported the Seoul Central District Court denied Kang’s appeal after he asked for a reduction in punishment. The conviction on fleeing the scene of a crash and driving while drunk has prevented him from re-entering the U.S. based on visa issues.

In December, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported it was the third DUI-related issue involving Kang since 2009. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington admitted the team was unaware of the previous arrests before signing the infielder in 2015.

Even if Kang obtains permission from South Korea to travel to the Unites States to play baseball, it is unclear whether the United States will grant him entry given the current administration’s tougher stance on visas.

Victim impact panels are coming to Kankakee County in DUI cases

Victim Impact Panels, which have been a long staple of DUI sentencing in Cook, DuPage and Lake Counties, are now coming to Kankakee County.

For those not familiar, the concept of a Victim Impact Panel is that DUI (or other serious traffic) offenders are required to attend a presentation where victims of drunk driving accidents talk about their stories.  The speakers might be someone seriously injured by a drunk driver, someone who lost a family member or significant or the drunk driver, who talks about the damage he or she has done and the penalties he or she received.

From the Kankakee Daily Journal (article by Allison Shapiro):

“We think that when you look at DUI offenders, we want to make sure they clearly realize the impact that their crime has, not only on our community as a whole and their own families, but on victims of DUI offenses,” said Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe. “We hope that this additional perspective makes people think twice before driving drunk or recklessly.”

Staff from the MADD Illinois office, as well as volunteers, told participants the stories of how their lives had been changed by someone’s reckless behavior. One of the speakers was Zach Jones, a Limestone native who became an activist after he was severely injured by a drunk driver in 2012.

“It’s great to be able to bring something back to the community I’m from. It’s something that hopefully will help keep people safe in the future, keep from happening to other people what happened to me,” said Jones, now the program coordinator at MADD Illinois. “It’s a great thing, it’s something positive for the county to use to try to move forward and keep this from happening.”

Read the entire story here:  http://www.daily-journal.com/news/local/kankakee-county-launches-first-dui-victim-panel/article_4808a5ed-ab6c-5ddc-b3ab-b9f7319297ee.html

Do What I Say, Not What I Do: Drivers Ed Teacher arrested for 2d DUI in school lot

From local Patch:

JOLIET, IL — A driver’s education teacher police said was found passed out drunk behind the wheel of a driver’s ed car parked outside the main entrance of Joliet Central High School stepped down from his job.

Nestor Nowak, 46, resigned Monday night, said Joliet high school district spokeswoman Kristine Schlismann. Nowak had been on leave.

A Joliet Central employee found Nowak slumped over the steering wheel of a white Ford driver’s ed car the morning of April 6, police said. Fearing that Nowak was suffering from some medical issue, police said, the employee called for an ambulance.

Nowak was taken to Presence St. Joseph Medical Center. A blood draw showed his alcohol content was more than three times the .08 percent legal limit for driving, police said…

Nowak was able to work as a Joliet high school district driver’s ed teacher in spite of pleading guilty to drunken driving in July 2014. He was sentenced in that case to a year of court supervision.

Read the full story here at:  https://patch.com/illinois/channahon-minooka/s/g4igm/driver-s-ed-teacher-resigns-amid-scandal?utm_source=alert-breakingnews&utm_medium=email&utm_term=weather&utm_campaign=alert

 

Why did Sycamore police not charge an Elgin cop with DUI?

Questions are being raised about the unusual treatment given to an Elgin police officer who was arrested, but not charged with, DUI by Sycamore police.

From the Northwest Herald:

Police Chief Glenn Theriault has been on administrative leave since April 10 as the city investigates why an Elgin police officer arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence was released without charges.

Records obtained by the Daily Chronicle through the Freedom of Information Act show a Sycamore officer was building a driving under the influence case against Elgin Police Sgt. Mark Whaley after an early morning traffic stop Saturday, April 8. Whaley, who has been a police officer for almost 23 years, was handcuffed and driven to the police station, where he was processed. Theriault, who worked with Whaley on the Elgin police force, also went to the police station that night.

Whaley later was released without even a traffic ticket because of lack of evidence, according to the police report.

The report shows Whaley, 46, declined field sobriety tests and declined to provide a breath sample at the Sycamore police station. It does not say whether Whaley was issued a DUI ticket or read the “warning to motorist” that could have triggered a suspension of his license for a year for refusing chemical testing under Illinois law.

Cellphone records show Theriault had three early morning phone conversations with an Elgin police commander and later helped to ensure that a $500 administrative towing fee was waived for Whaley, bypassing a hearing process prescribed by city code.

“Tough position for you and all last night,” read a text sent by Theriault hours later to the arresting officer, Luke Kampmeier. “I’m thinking of the rock-and-glass houses story.”

“A valuable experience for me, albeit unpleasant,” Kampmeier replied. “Tonight we will stick to parking tickets.”

,,,

The episode began around 1:40 a.m. Saturday, April 8. In his report, Kampmeier – who joined the force out of college in 2014 – wrote that he stopped a silver 2005 Ford F-150 pickup on Somonauk Street near High Street after he saw the driver almost cause a traffic crash at the intersection of State and California streets. Reasons given for the stop were noted as “fail to signal, overtake on right, no front license plate.”

In his report, Kampmeier wrote that the driver, Whaley, smelled strongly of alcohol. His speech was “thick-tongued,” his eyes glassy and bloodshot, his movements “slow and deliberate.”

Whaley told Kampmeier he had recently dropped off his wife and child downtown, then changed his story to say he was in the area for training and had one beer in Sycamore before driving, according to Kampmeier’s report. A story by the Daily Herald about Whaley saving a boy’s life with CPR in 2011 said he lived near DeKalb at the time.

After Whaley refused field sobriety tests, Kampmeier arrested him on suspicion of DUI, records show.

A second officer, Blake Powers, a 2016 police academy graduate, searched Whaley’s vehicle and found an unopened bottle of Miller Lite near the passenger seat, according to police reports.

You can read the whole story here.  Normally, in this situation, the person will be charged with DUI.  Often in Sycamore, the police will seek a warrant to obtain a blood draw.  Getting released without being charged is a rare gift indeed.  We should all be so lucky.

Lake Co. Sheriff charged with perjury for testimony in DUI case

From the Chicago Tribune (reported by Jim Newton):

Deputy Sheriff Justin Hill, 28, of Kenosha, was indicted by a Lake County grand jury Wednesday on three felony counts of perjury, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office…

According to Sgt. Christopher Covelli of the Sheriff’s Office, inconsistencies were allegedly discovered in Hill’s testimony during a court hearing on the potential statutory summary suspension of a DUI defendant’s driver’s license. The testimony was allegedly given by Hill on Nov. 2.

Covelli and Jim Elliot, deputy chief of the Sheriff’s Office of Professional Standards, said the Sheriff’s Office is working with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office to determine whether any other cases in which Hill was involved could be impacted.

According to Elliot, each DUI case in which Hill was the arresting officer or was involved would be reviewed individually, and the State’s Attorney’s Office would decide whether each case would move forward based on all evidence involved.

Elliot said he does not believe there will be any blanket dismissal of cases in which Hill was involved. He added that he was unsure how many cases were to be reviewed.

A spokesperson for the State’s Attorney’s Office said Wednesday the number of cases was not immediately available, but would soon be released.

Following the Nov. 2 hearing, the Sheriff’s Office was notified Nov. 23 that “inconsistencies with Hill’s testimony (that) potentially resulted in perjury” had been discovered, according to Covelli.

Hill was placed on administrative leave and relieved of his police powers following an investigation by the Office of Professional Standards, Covelli said.

Harold Wallin named one of Chicago’s Top 20 Criminal Defense Lawyers, again

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For the second year in a row, the people at the website Expertise.com named Harold L. Wallin as one of Chicago’s Top 20 criminal defense lawyers.

According to their website, Expertise reviewed 599 attorneys as part of their process.  It states “that [o]ur goal is to connect people with the best local experts. We scored criminal defense lawyers on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analysed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best criminal defense lawyers in Chicago, IL.”

Expertise.com’s Selection Criteria:

  • 1. Reputation

    A history of delighted customers and outstanding service.

  • 2. Credibility

    Building customer confidence with licensing, accreditations, and awards.

  • 3. Experience

    Masters of their craft, based on years of practical experience and education.

  • 4. Availability

    Consistently approachable and responsive, so customers never feel ignored.

  • 5. Professionalism

    Providing service with honesty, reliability, and respect