Here is an interesting news item: an orthopedic surgeon, who according to the Chicago Tribune headline has had seven previous DUI citations (I’ll get back to that in a moment), received a sentence of six years in prison from a Rolling Meadows Judge after being found guilty last April.
This is what the Tribune said about his background:
According to court records and authorities, Malik pleaded guilty to DUI in DuPage County in 2002 and again in 2007. He was also cited for DUI in Cicero in 2004 and in Franklin Park in 2005; though in the Cicero case, the DUI was stricken from his record after a probationary period, and in Franklin Park the DUI charge was later dropped.
Authorities said he was also charged with DUI in Wisconsin in 2007.
Some of this didn’t make any sense to me, so I did a little sleuthing myself. As far as I can tell, the doctor received court supervision in DuPage County for one DUI in 2002, had another in 2004 (Cicero) that may have been reduced to reckless driving, and was convicted of another in DuPage County in 2007. I suspect that he was found not guilty of the one in Franklin Park. I could not verify the Wisconsin case.
What that means is that this was the doctor’s sixth DUI arrest. Of those, he was found guilty of three. None of the previous Illinois cases were felonies (and from what I know about Wisconsin law, I doubt that the Wisconsin OWI was a felony either).
A fourth DUI in Illinois is a Class 2 Felony, and the sentencing range is anywhere from three to seven years.
So by getting six years, the doctor received a result at the high end of the sentencing range. This is where his other arrests, even though they did not result in convictions, may have played a factor, as the Judge may have felt that the Doctor was a danger to the public.
Also, my sleuthing disclosed that the Doctor was found guilty after a jury trial. This is all speculation, but my guess is that faced with a bad case and a minimum sentence of three years, the Doctor chose to take a gamble with a jury. One problem with that strategy is that Rolling Meadow juries are not traditionally sympathetic to drunk drivers. Perhaps he thought that they might be impressed by his medical degree, but I guess they weren’t.
Here are the facts of the case, according to the Tribune:
Malik, 64, of Oak Brook, was found guilty in April of aggravated DUI and criminal damage to property stemming from an arrest last July when authorities said he sideswiped a parked car with his Lincoln LS in Franklin Park and then drove onto a lawn in Schiller Park, where he struck a garage, two fences and some landscaping blocks, according to prosecutors and police records.
Here are the highlights of the sentencing, from the article:
The judge was apparently not persuaded to offer leniency to Malik by a several character witnesses who spoke on the doctor’s behalf, including another physician who is also in alcohol recovery, a lawyer and a retired DuPage County judge.
With credit for good behavior and for time served in jail and in treatment, Malik is likely to be released from prison in less than three years, officials said.
For more than three decades, Malik had affiliations with Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, as well as Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist LaGrange Memorial Hospital. Malik stopped seeing patients at those locations by 2014…
“It’s not as though the defendant has not been given a chance or two or three. But this is his seventh time,” Judge James Karahalios, noting that Malik’s salary at his last job at $520,000. “He could have hired a driver.”