Monday, May 21, 2012

SUMMER CAMP MUSIC FESTIVAL 2012, 2013, & 2014: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO STAY OUT OFJAIL


By Jeffrey R. Hall of Hall, Rustom & Fritz LLC

SUMMER CAMP MUSIC FESTIVAL 2014 IS SCHEDULED FOR MAY 23, 24, & 25, 2014, PRE-PARTY: MAY 22ND

COUNTIES TO LOOK OUT FOR WITH HEAVY POLICE PRESENCE

PEORIA
WOODFORD
TAZEWELL
STARK
LASALLE
PUTNAM

HALL, RUSTOM & FRITZ LLC SUMMER CAMP CLIENT UPDATE:

CASE DISMISSED!  2012 SUMMER CAMP CASE ALERT:  November 8, 2012:  4 Counts of a Class 3 Felony DISMISSED.

FACTS:  A client stopped on his way to the Summer Camp Music Festival had his vehicle searched and drugs were found.  Client was charged with 4 counts of Class 3 felonies (Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substances).  Attorney Jeff Hall filed a motion to quash and suppress evidence and a hearing was held.  Attorney Hall argued the following:  The State Trooper that pulled over the driver unreasonably prolonged the stop and detention longer than the time reasonably necessary for the trooper to conduct the legitimate activities normally associated with a routine traffic stop (trooper waited 24 minutes for the drug sniffing dog to arrive at the scene).  The judge agreed and granted the motion.  Based on that ruling, the prosecutors had to dismiss the case.  The Summer Camper was looking at a maximum 5 year sentence in the Illinois Department of Corrections. 

Summer Camp at Three Sister's Park in 2011
**ALERT: HALL, RUSTOM & FRITZ LLC WILL DISCOUNT LEGAL SERVICES BY 25% IF YOU WERE ARRESTED ON YOUR WAY, AT, OR LEAVING SUMMER CAMP MUSIC FESTIVAL.  EMAIL ATTORNEY JEFF HALL AT jhall@hallrustomfritz.com to inquire and/or set an appointment.**

During the weekend of May 24th through the 26th in 2013, thousands of music lovers will transcend the beautiful lawns of Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois and listen to their favorite bands.  

Having first been held in 2001 with around 1,000 in attendance, the festival has grown to over 15,000 attendees, hosting more than 100 bands on 6 stages over 4 days.  With any large crowds, you'll have many different types of people converge on the area.  While most are law abiding citizens, some choose to participate in illegal activities, such as drug usage, drug dealing, sexual abuse of minors, etc.  

In 2011, out of nearly 20,000 people, only 61 arrests were made - 31 resulted in felony charges.  To read more about 2011 arrests, click: Summer Camp Arrests 2011.  That is a significantly low number.  Nevertheless, it's still important to remember that Summer Camp has a police presence that you may not witness firsthand until it's too late.  

 In 2012, there was an increased number of arrests.  To read more about 2012 arrests, click:  2012 Summer Camp Arrest Numbers.  One of the 10 cases dismissed was a case that Hall, Rustom & Fritz LLC attorney Jeff Hall challenged and the judge dismissed four Class 3 Felony drug charges against a citizen visiting the Summer Camp Music Festival in 2011.

If you are planning on attending, whether you are from the area or a different State, there are certain things you must keep in mind if you choose to break the laws of Illinois.

First, I should state this article is not intended to teach you how to break the law and get away with it.  Its purpose is to inform you of the risk you are taking if you choose to attend the Summer Camp Music Festival and participate in illegal activities.

Police are increasing their presence each year at and around the festival.


If you are planning on driving to the festival, make sure your mode of transportation abides by all the laws in Illinois.  Route 29 is a state highway that is routinely patrolled by the Illinois State Police, Peoria County Sheriff's Department, Peoria Police Department, and Chillicothe Police Department. If you are driving a vehicle that draws attention, plan on being noticed by the police.  Moreover, be prepared to possibly stop through vehicle safety checkpoints.  Police strategically place checkpoints at locations that could lead to arrests.  If you are driving through one of these checkpoints, turning to avoid the checkpoint may draw attention to your vehicle.  It's best to remain law abiding and aware of your rights.


Remember the following: 

Update 2013:  IF YOU SEE SIGNS FOR POLICE ENFORCEMENT ZONES AHEAD, IF YOU PULL OFF AT THE EXIT BEFORE, THERE WILL LIKELY BE POLICE AT THAT EXIT READY TO STOP YOU OR APPROACH YOU.  Law enforcement become more creative with ways to trick you to fall into their trap.  For example, they will set up "Safety Check Enforcement Zones" to make sure you are wearing your seatbelt and your car is properly equipped.  They'll put the signs up just before the exits for a REST AREA.  Not wanting to go through the safety zone, vehicles pull off to the rest area.  Here, the officers will have drug sniffing dogs that will walk directly up to your parked vehicle, signal to the officer the dog has sniffed narcotics, and they will search your vehicle EVEN WITHOUT YOUR APPROVAL.  Be smart.  DON'T TRAVEL WITH NARCOTICS.  Chances are, you will be caught.    
 

MAKE SURE YOUR VEHICLE IS PROPERLY REGISTERED, THE DRIVER HAS VALID DRIVING PRIVILEGES, AND THE VEHICLE IS COVERED WITH A VALID INSURANCE POLICY.  Police officers can randomly check your driver's status.  If you are from out of town, they could access your information in their vehicle computer systems.  Even if you are obeying all other traffic laws, they can run your name in the computer and if they determine your vehicle is not properly registered, they can pull you over to investigate.  Prior to driving into Illinois, make sure you have all your relevant documentation in an easily accessible location, such as your glove box.  Place your valid registration and proof of car insurance together so you do not have to search for the documentation.  

MAKE SURE YOUR VEHICLE HAS PROPERLY WORKING EQUIPMENT, SUCH AS ALL HEADLIGHTS AND TAILLIGHTS WORKING PROPERLY.  In Illinois, the license plate must be securely fastened in a horizontal position so as to prevent the plate from swinging. Further, the plate must be fastened to your vehicle at a height not less than 12 inches from the ground, measuring from the bottom of the plate, in a place and position to be clearly visible and shall be maintained in a condition to be clearly legible, free from any materials that would obstruct the visibility of the plate, including, but not limited to glass covers and tinted plastic covers.  See 625 ILCS 5/3-413 of the Illinois Vehicle Code.  If your State does not require a front license plate, it would still be advisable to place a front and rear license plate since Illinois law requires both to be displayed.  Moreover, if your State allows for glass or plastic covers, it's advisable to remove them prior to entering Illinois.  It's likely not enough evidence to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; however, it's enough to get you pulled over and you want to get to the festival, not sit inside a jail cell all weekend and then venture back to Peoria County for numerous court dates.


MAKE SURE ALL YOUR PASSENGERS, INCLUDING THE DRIVER, ARE WEARING THEIR SEAT BELTS PROPERLY.  It is perfectly lawful for a police officer to pull a vehicle over if the officer reasonably believes any of the passengers are not wearing their seat belt properly.  This means the belt must be properly affixed with the shoulder harness across the chest and the waist belt properly buckled. REMEMBER:  BUCKLE UP ALL PASSENGERS!


DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING DANGLING FROM YOUR REAR-VIEW MIRROR.  In Illinois, an officer has lawful authority to pull your vehicle over if he/she suspects that whatever you have dangling from your rear-view mirror is obstructing your view.  While it may not be enough evidence for the State to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt that a pine-tree air freshener obstructed your view, it is enough to justify the stop.  After they stop you, if they suspect other crimes are afoot, they can and will investigate. 


OBEY ALL TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.  Remember the following laws when driving into Illinois.  If you forget these laws, you are simply giving the police reasons to pull you over.

    • Do not enter an intersection or cross over the stop line if the light is red.  Police can pull you over if your vehicle is as much as 1 inch over the stop line while the light is red. 
    • Do not speed in excess of the posted speed limits, even if it's 1-2 mph over the limit.  Speeding is a strict liability offense, meaning, if the police observe your vehicle traveling even 1 mph over the limit, that is enough to pull you over to investigate.
    • Signal at least 100 feet before turning at an intersection. This is an easily forgotten law.  It's better to signal early than too late.
    • Make a complete stop for at least 2 seconds at the stop line before a stop sign.  No rolling stops!  
    • Make sure to signal EVERY lane change.  
    • Make sure you are not following another vehicle too closely.
    • Remember Scott's Law:  If you see a police or emergency vehicle on either side of the roadway, you must, prior to passing, reduce your speed and, if able to be done safely, change lanes into the adjacent lane furthest away from the emergency vehicle.

Police Canine Units will be patrolling and they will walk around your vehicle to alert police to illegal drugs or contraband.

  • POLICE OFFICERS WILL ASK TO SEARCH YOUR VEHICLE.  If you are pulled over for a traffic offense, the police officer may have suspicions and will likely ask you if he/she can search your vehicle.  Please click HERE to learn more about your rights in Illinois if a police officer asks you if they can have permission to search your vehicle.  Police officers can search your vehicle under certain circumstances.  It is your job to know your rights and what response to give the police.  Under present Illinois law as of 2012, police officers can search your vehicle if they:

    • Have a valid search warrant
    • Notice something illegal in plain view in your vehicle
    • Have valid consent from the driver or someone with the authority to grant consent
    • Arrest and detain you for a crime.
    • The drug sniffing canine positively alerts to your vehicle 

HERE IS A VIDEO DEMONSTRATING SOME TACTICS USED BY OFFICERS TO FORCE A SEARCH OF YOUR VEHICLE.  NOTE:  In May, 2012, the driver in this video filed a federal lawsuit against the police officer involved here.  Learn more by clicking:  http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/collinsville-traffic-stop-video-results-in-federal-lawsuit/article_126347ca-992e-11e1-a621-0019bb30f31a.html
 
The conversation to search the vehicle occurs around the 7:30 minute mark.  The entire video is educational to watch but it is rather long (nearly 18 minutes).




 
  • IF YOU CONSENT TO THE SEARCH, IT IS INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT TO SUCCESSFULLY CHALLENGE THE SEARCH IN COURT.  For example, a typical interaction goes like this:  Officer:  "You don't have any bombs, weapons, or anything illegal in your vehicle, do you?"  You:  "No, nothing like that or illegal."  Officer:  "Then you wouldn't mind allowing me to search your vehicle?"  You: "No, I don't mind."  This is a consensual search and you will likely be unsuccessful in court if you challenge the search.

  • MAKE SURE THE DRIVER AND PASSENGERS PAY ATTENTION TO THE DRUG SNIFFING DOG WHEN WALKING AROUND THE VEHICLE.  According to a recent study, drug sniffing dogs would only signal accurately 44% of the time. Read the article summarizing the study done by the Chicago Tribune. You will want as many eyes watching that dog as you can.  If you choose to challenge the dog's signal, you will want witnesses to testify at the hearing on your behalf.  The more SOBER witnesses, the better for your case.

  • PAY ATTENTION TO HOW LONG IT TAKES FOR THE CANINE OFFICER AND THE DRUG SNIFFING DOG TO ARRIVE AT THE SCENE.  While a police officer is allowed to have a drug sniffing dog walk around your vehicle, they cannot do so if it "unreasonably prolongs the stop."  Courts have not set a fine-line time limit as to how long is "unreasonably prolonging."  Courts will look to see when the "business portion" of the stop concluded.  For example:  If you are pulled over and the officer gives you a warning ticket and says you are free to leave, then he asks if you will consent to a search, you then say "no" and they say they are calling the canine to the scene, a court would likely conclude the business portion of the stop ended when he gave you the warning.  Depending on when the business portion of the stop is concluded, the courts routinely give minutes on the clock.  If it goes beyond 10-20 minutes, you could likely be successful if you challenge on that basis.

  • ALWAYS REMAIN CALM, BE POLITE, AND ASK IF YOU ARE UNDER ARREST.  Under Illinois law, you have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions if you are placed under arrest.  Therefore, it is best that you establish whether or not you are under arrest as early as possible.  If the officer is not allowing you to leave, ask the officer if you are under arrest.  If he/she says you are not under arrest, then ask "Am I free to leave?"  If the officer says "no," you are arguably under arrest and your constitutional rights attach. Politely tell the officer that if you are not free to leave, then you'd like to speak to your attorney.

HERE IS A VIDEO DEMONSTRATING A PROPER WAY TO DEAL WITH A TRAFFIC STOP.  Note, most police officers do not act like this police officer in the video; Pay attention to the driver of the vehicle and watch how he acts and responds.  Disclaimer:  Not every stop will be exactly like this video demonstrates. Also, this video is cheesy.


Note the driver made no admissions of guilt and asked early on whether or not he was under arrest and/or free to leave.  Most police officers will check the identification of the passengers and run them for warrant checks as well.  This could take time depending on how quickly it takes the officer to locate each person in his/her computer system.  During this time, remain silent and obey lawful orders.

IF POLICE OFFICERS SEARCH YOUR VEHICLE AND FIND ILLEGAL DRUGS, THEY CAN DETAIN YOUR VEHICLE AND THE PEORIA COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY'S OFFICE WILL INITIATE VEHICLE FORFEITURE PROCEEDINGS.  

 

  • Under Illinois' Drug Asset Forfeiture Statute, authorities can forfeit and take over ownership of your vehicle if you are found in violation of the Statute.  The statute can be read at:  Illinois Drug Asset Forfeiture Act.  It is fairly difficult to win your vehicle back in these hearings because there are only a certain number of defenses you can raise.  In Peoria County, they typically initiate vehicle forfeiture proceedings on nearly all vehicles seized under the law.

UNDERCOVER POLICE OFFICERS WILL BE PATROLLING INSIDE THE FESTIVAL.


  • BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS AND DO NOT TRUST PEOPLE YOU DON'T KNOW.  Summer Camp is a safe place.  Violent crimes are few and far between.  Drug crimes are more prevalent and you should be aware that an undercover police officer could catch you doing something illegal without you knowing.  Be careful as to who you interact with and try to enjoy the music in the company of people you personally know.

  • YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT.  ANYTHING YOU SAY WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU IN COURT.  Always remember your right to remain silent.  Nothing you say typically helps you.  Remain polite but do not forget your rights.  

  • IF SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS ARRESTED, THEY WILL LIKELY BE TAKEN TO THE PEORIA COUNTY JAIL.  If they are arrested on felony charges, they will likely spend the night in jail, depending on when bonding court is scheduled that day.  After the arrest takes place and the person is booked, the Peoria County Prosecutors review the police reports to determine if they are going to charge the case as a felony or a misdemeanor. If they charge it as a misdemeanor, they will likely be released at a pre-determined bond or on a Notice to Appear (NTA).  These bond amounts range between $100 and $500.  A Notice to Appear is basically a personal recognizance bond.  There is also a "Sheriff's Fee" around $22.50 that will be added to the total.  The jail is located at 301 North Maxwell Road, Peoria, IL 61604.  If you are going to bond out your friend or family member, you will need to go to the "bonding" part of the jail. There will be signs posted to direct you.


  • IF YOU ARE ARRESTED IN A NEIGHBORING COUNTY CLOSE TO PEORIA, HERE IS OTHER JAIL CONTACT INFORMATION FOR YOUR QUICK REVIEW:







  • IF YOU ARE ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH A FELONY, YOU WILL NOT BE RELEASED FROM JAIL UNTIL A JUDGE SETS YOUR BOND.  The authorities can hold you up to 48 hours without charging you.  Typically, a decision is made within 48 hours and you go before a judge - usually on video transmission from the jail to the courthouse.  Depending on the severity of the crime, you should plan on bonding out of jail between $500 and $10,000.  Make sure you have emergency contacts memorized in case your phone is not accessible.  You can obtain more bonding information about the Peoria County Sheriff's Department by visiting:  http://www.peoriacounty.org/sheriff.


IF YOU ARE ARRESTED, YOU SHOULD SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  Action can be taken immediately on your behalf so it's imperative you act quickly.



If you have further questions, please visit our website at www.centralillinoislawyers.com and complete our online submission form. Or, you can call our office at 309-699-4691 or email us at how@howlawfirm.com.


LEGAL DISCLAIMER: 

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form nor should the reader rely on the information listed above as true in all circumstances. This information is provided generally and any similarity between the information listed above and an individual reader's case is purely coincidental.

The attorneys at Hall, Rustom & Fritz LLC represent clients throughout the entire state of Illinois, including, but not limited to, the cities of Peoria, Morton, Washington, Pekin, Eureka, East Peoria, Dunlap, Metamora, Bartonville, Bloomington, Normal and any legal matter located in Peoria County, Tazewell County, Woodford County, Marshall County, Stark County, Henry County, Knox County and McLean County.

Article Author: Jeffrey R. Hall




Jeff Hall is managing partner at Hall, Rustom & Fritz LLC and concentrates his law practice in Criminal Law, DUI & Traffic law, driver's license reinstatement hearings and criminal record expungements.

If you have a legal question, email Jeff Hall.



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