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Honest Cop’s Honest Mistake Reverses Will County DUI Conviction

A Bollingbrook police officer’s admittedly mistaken interpretation of a traffic statute means that a Plainfield man will avoid an aggravated DUI conviction. This after an appeals panel in the 3rd District ruled that the 2018 stop that predicated John Rice’s arrest should not have taken place. The decision vacates sentences based on priors totalling nine years behind bars.

Officer Marjory Higgens flagged Rice for making a lane change in an intersection, which she believed ran counter to the rules articulated in the Illinois Vehicle Code. Rice volunteered he’d been drinking and was cited for several violations, including driving on a suspended license, after failing a roadside sobriety test.  A judge in Will County denied Rice’s motion to suppress the dashboard video of the arrest based on Fourth Amendment protections even as there is no basis under law for the stop. 

However, the appellate panel concurred that the stop should not have taken place. Judges cited case law and testimony by Higgens that she erred in going after Rice for improper usage. While commending the cop for her good faith admission, the panel wrote that the statute’s clear language omitted grounds for the state’s claim that Higgens’ mistake of the law was reasonable.

The DuPage County DUI Attorney at The Chicagoland Law Firm defends clients in courts around the state, including in Will County. Our experienced team of legal professionals help clients to avoid custodial sentences, including those that result from mistakes made by arresting officers. To learn more, contact our offices in Downers Grove and downtown Chicago for a free consultation. We are your best defense.

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