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Posted: 1/4/2003 5:19:30 AM EST
Hi there. Just got off the phone with a friend of mine who got arrested last night for a DUI. Let's just say she doesn't think as much as she should. Anyhow, according to her, she got pulled over and she failed the field test. They then told her she had to take breathalyzer - she didn't have a choice. (I doubt this, since she was drunk). So, she blows a .243 or something in that area. What she was doing driving is beyond me. They tell her they're arresting her on the 'Village Law', not the state and that she should consider herself very lucky that this is what they are doing. I've never heard of such a thing - I only thought there was one type of DUI and that was it. Can any LEOs here help me understand this? What, if any, are the pros and cons to this? Thanks -
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 5:32:00 AM EST
It's a jurisdiction thing. In WI Towns, Villages, and Cities can have municipal courts for citation type offenses. These courts don't have to include a lot of the fees that Circuit Courts do in there fines and fees. Counties, and State law enforcement must got through the Circuit Courts for all their citations, and include all the fees with the fine. Municipal Courts seem to have fine/fees that total between 60-75% of the Circuit Court fine/fees. That might be what they meant.
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 8:06:32 AM EST
Around my parts I would not call her lucky. I have heard that officers are encouraged to write traffic tickets under a local ordinance violation because more of the % of fine money is returned to the village where the offense occurred. I'm not sure if that is true or not, but most officers I know still write tickets under state laws. Many officers have a choice when they cite people for violations of the law. They can cite under a local ordinance violation, or a state law. Many towns have adopted the Illinois Vehicle Code and have incorporated it into their local ordinances. Sounds like your friend was cited for DUI under a local ordinance violation. In the area that I'm in, being charged with a local ordinance v. a state charge for DUI is not much better. The Warning to Motorist(suspension of driver's license)still applies, big fines, lawyer fees, and car insurance jacked up. In the area that I'm in, the local ordinance DUIs and the state charged DUIs all go to the same courtroom to see the same judge. So, most of the time that means you get whatever the judge is giving out that day reguardless of state or local charges. Oh ya, can not forget that the burden of proof for a local ordinace violation is lower than a state charge. .243 or so, thats not just one too many. An expensive night out. IMO get a local lawyer that has done DUIs before in that area, and get the best plea agreement available.
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 5:56:12 PM EST
In short, she was charged with a municipal violation not a state violation. The fines are usually lower. Also, where I live, municipal charges are easier to get dropped or reduced than state charges. In most states it is not required to blow in the BA but, if you don't, you get your license suspended for much longer. Also it doesn't mean that a person will not get convicted if she refuses. Most get convicted where I live even if they refuse.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 5:49:42 AM EST
Here in the northeast the state receives the lion's share of fines connected with moving violations and the municipalities receive the lion's share for non-moving violations. So, when you go to the local magistrate, they like to knock down the speeder to a traffic summons, killing two birds 1. reducing your expensive point laden ticket to a fine therby making Joe voting public happy; and 2. keeping the $$ local.
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 11:59:23 PM EST
From what I know about ordinance violations in Illinois, they are not technically criminal charges. They fall more in the civil category. The only way I know of that it becomes criminal is if the person misses court dates etc. Then they issue a city warrant and the charges can be refiled with the state. If that's the case, it may be better off for her, since the violation won't go on her criminal or driving record. Bottom line is have her contact a local attorney.
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 9:22:29 AM EST
Thanks for all the replies. She has gotten a lawyer and is going to see what happens. Thanks again!
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