Address 1200 Harger Road, Suite 830, Oak Brook, IL 60523
630-472-9700Available 24/7
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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7


Posted on in Chicago criminal defense lawyer

By now we have all heard the story and the apology of the Oscar-winning actress, Reese Witherspoon, about her embarrassing behavior during the recent DUI arrest of her movie-agent husband, James Toth.

According to CNN, Witherspoon was in Atlanta working on a movie entitled "The Good Lie".  While there, she was charged with disorderly conduct for interfering with the arrest of her husband on a drunk driving charge.

According to the arresting officer’s account, Witherspoon began to hang out the window of the car and say that she did not believe that he was a real police officer.  In response, the officer asked her to sit down and be quiet.  As the squad car video showed, Witherspoon did not follow the officer’s instructions.  Instead, she exited the passenger side of the vehicle that was being driven by her husband and continued to engage the officer.  She even attempted to avoid being handcuffed by the officer.

All’s well that ends well.  Witherspoon’s lawyer worked out a deal with the prosecutor in which Witherspoon will go through a pre-trial intervention program to avoid getting a conviction on her record, an Atlanta Municipal Court spokesman said.  However, she needn’t have gone through the embarrassing situation at all if she had followed some simple rules.

To avoid being placed in a similar situation, the passenger of a vehicle should not speak to an investigating officer, unless spoken to.  Never exit the vehicle or make furtive movements that might make the officer fear for his/her safety.  Follow the officer’s reasonable instructions.

Section 11-203 of the Illinois Vehicle Code provides, in part:  “No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any police officer, fireman, or school crossing guard invested by law with authority to direct, control, or regulate traffic.”  Disobeying the orders of a police officer may result in a petty ticket for which a fine is the only penalty imposed.  Or, it may result in a Class A Misdemeanor or Felony charge for Resisting Arrest or Obstructing Justice.  Penalties for a Class A Misdemeanor and a Felony include jail time.

It is never a good idea to challenge the officer on the scene.  Your best opportunity to challenge the officer is in court as witness to the event, and not as defendant.

If you have been charged with a Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest or Obstruction of Justice, you need representation by attorneys who regularly defend against these charges like the Chicagoland attorneys at Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.  To learn more, contact them at 630-472-9700 or CLICK HERE.

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