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Komie and Associates

Wrongful DUI Conviction Overturned on Appeal

Attorney Stephen Komie Wins Drunk Driving Case in Illinois Appellate Court

It took six years, but Mr. Cox's unbelievable battle is almost at an end. On January 23, 2000, Mr. Cox was arrested for Driving under the Influence of Alcohol. On November 3, 2000, the State's Attorney upgraded the charges to Felony DUI.

There was one little problem, the Illinois Supreme Court had declared the statute Mr. Cox's was charged with, unconstitutional, a year earlier. The Circuit Court and the State's Attorney refused to acknowledge the rights afforded a person under our Constitution and considered this ruling a mere technicality, likely the Illinois Appellate Court did not.

Mr. Cox's attorney, Stephen M. Komie, argued what would seem to have be common sense: "The cops can't charge and convict a person with an unconstitutional statute."

The argument fell on deaf ears with the trial judge, who was quoted as saying, "It is not modern practice to be hyper-technical about the numbering and letter designations in the statutory language."

However, today, in a unanimous opinion, the Illinois Appellate Court universally agreed with Stephen Komie, who argued the statute was void ab initio, or from the beginning, once the Illinois Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. Because of this, Komie argued, the Circuit Court did not even have the authority under the Illinois Constitution to hear the case, a concept known as subject-matter jurisdiction. The Appellate Court found the trial court was without the subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case and reversed the conviction.

On his reaction to his client walking on the unconstitutional charges, Mr. Komie said, "[W]hile it may seem unbelievable, without this reversal by the Appellate Court, Mr. Cox would have had to live the rest of his life as a convicted felon. The irony is, he would have been convicted of violating a void and unconstitutional statute."

Contact the Chicago, Illinois law firm of Komie and Associates for DUI defense and appeals. We handle serious criminal cases throughout the state.

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