Traffic Attorney

Can I be charged with a DUI for Sleeping in My Car?

Can I be charged with a DUI for Sleeping in My Car?

With the fourth of July just around the corner, a question or attorneys get is “Can I be charged with a DUI for Sleeping in My Car?” In Illinois you can be convicted for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) when your sleeping in your car or sitting in your car without the engine running.  Under Illinois law, the phrase “actual physical control” means that a person was in the vehicle with the ignition key and able to exercise physical control over the vehicle by starting the engine and causing the vehicle to move. It is not necessary that you be actually driving the vehicle to be guilty of DUI.  “Actual physical control” is defined as simply having the keys to the car in your possession.

This means if you are in your car and have the “ability” to start the car and cause it to move, you can be charged with DUI. If the car is parked, the engine is off, the keys are on the floorboard, and you are asleep, you still may be considered to have the “ability” to start the engine and cause the car to move.

DUI cases involving parked and disabled vehicles present unique facts. An attorney that primarily practices in DUI and Criminal Defense may be able to have the case dismissed.  As each case is unique Attorney Steve Hanna and Jonathan Ruud offer a free consultation to review your specific facts.


For any Drunk Driving, DUI, OWI, or DWI case in Rock Island, Scott County, Quad Cities, or the surrounding area, contact the Law Offices of Hanna & Ruud, LLC at (309) 797-9000

To learn more about our legal services and how we can assist with your criminal law matter, give us a call: 309-797-9000

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Police Unlawfully Extended Traffic Stop in Cannabis Trafficking Arrest

“Thulen yelled “[h]ey, no talking” at defendants, a plain example of “the use of language or tone of voice indicating that compliance with the officer’s request
might be compelled.” Id. at 553. Not only was Thulen’s statement made in a loud and controlling voice, but the substance of that statement was in the nature of an order, dictating what defendants may or may not do. Moreover, the order was accompanied by Thulen gesturing for Lee to come to him and, later, a direction that Lee look at Thulen. In a short span of time, toward the very beginning of the purportedly consensual portion of the stop, Thulen had thus made a number of demands of Lee. A reasonable person would not believe that he was allowed to leave the scene completely if he was not even allowed to speak to his friend.”

People v. Lee, 2018 IL App (3d) 170209 (2/5/18)Criminal Defense lawyer
The trial court properly suppressed evidence discovered while the police unlawfully
extended a traffic stop beyond its scope. After pulling over the vehicle for a traffic
violation and issuing a citation, the officers asked the occupants to wait while they
summoned a drug-sniffing dog. The State conceded that the officers lacked probable cause
or reasonable suspicion to extend the stop, having only a hunch that defendant was
transporting cannabis, but argued that any encounter after the issuance of the citation
was consensual because the officers told the defendant and his passenger they were free
to go. Analyzing the encounter under factors found in United States v. Mendenhall,
446 U.S. 544 (1980), the Appellate Court noted that the officers commanded the
defendant to stop talking and ordered him over to his car, actions which would cause
a reasonable person to believe he was not free to leave.

Criminal Defense lawyer

“There’s no crime necessary. They can seize the cash and property if they suspect there may be a crime” Civil Asset Forfeitures

Quad City attorney calls forfeiture laws “legal theft”

“Legalized theft is what it really amounts to because they really don’t need that much to go on and then they can seize somebody’s assets. Then, that poor individual has to try and get their assets back and sometimes it can be next to impossible. It stacks the deck so unbelievably in favor of the government,” Hanna said.


Illinois now the 21st state to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed SB 2228 on July 29, 2016, removing criminal penalties for those found in possession of 10 grams or less. Law enforcement may no longer arrest or jail a person in possession of that amount, and the infraction does not result in a criminal record. This change vastly improves the previous law by replacing criminal penalties with a fine of between $100 and $200. The DUI law also improved, eliminating the possibility of a conviction based on metabolized forms of THC, unrelated to impairment.
The state’s medical cannabis program also saw improvement this year. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed SB 10 into law, extending the medical cannabis pilot program to at least July 2020. The state program will also add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of qualifying medical conditions, and streamlines the physician’s role in the qualification process for patients.

Overall, it has been a positive year in Illinois. Criminal penalties for possession of 10 grams or less just disappeared, and the medical cannabis program is improving!

Source: Marijuana Policy Project