Since 1988, firm founder and criminal defense lawyer Louis M. Pissios

Since 1988, firm founder and criminal defense lawyer Louis M. Pissios has been a dynamic and leading advocate for the preservation and protection of constitutional rights—before, during, and following an arrest—as well as the defense of formal criminal charges.

The pursuit of a successful defense strategy, coupled with one-on-one client interaction, has been the hallmark of our practice throughout the past forty years. Our firm is the choice for people seeking cutting edge criminal defense representation that is both personalized and high quality. Guided by the philosophy that the situation of every person facing criminal charges is unique, we tailor our defense strategies to the facts and circumstances of each case, as they apply to the law, in order to attain the best possible results for our clients. A creative and intensive approach to criminal charges can make a big difference in your case’s results, as does the lawyer you choose to represent you.

He would be more than happy to discuss your situation at a meeting in our offices, advise you of the costs involved, and provide you with valuable and practical advice on how best to address the accusations. From DUI charges or violent offenses to crimes related to theft or traffic, or even expunging your criminal record, there is no case too large or too small. In your free consultation, you will learn that our attorneys are not judgmental; instead, we have the utmost respect for your privacy and dignity. All contacts and conversations are strictly confidential, and we accept phone calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We care about our clients and understand the anguish and stress that a person charged with a crime experiences. Being charged with a crime is a nightmare, not just for the individual charged, but for his or her family as well. We will guide you through the legal process, answer your questions, and provide you with the highest quality representation. We welcome you to compare our reputation, experience, and results with that of any criminal defense lawyer. Our professionalism and skill help us to obtain the best results and satisfaction for our clients.

We provide representation to individuals facing criminal charges in Lake County, and McHenry County. Please call us at (847) 263-0001 or email him directly at lawyerlou@sbcglobal.net Our lawyers will answer your questions and take time to ensure that you feel comfortable in fully understanding your rights, your options, and the consequences of your decisions.

Lake County jail inmate dies: sheriff’s office

Lake County jail inmate dies: sheriff’s office

A 36-year-old inmate was found unresponsive in his Lake County jail medical unit cell Friday and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office announced.

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran and Undersheriff Ray Rose said a recently instituted new protocol regarding any jail deaths requires the Lake County Major Crime Task Force to conduct an independent investigation. The county has had four inmate deaths over the past five years, including one where a woman jailed for missing jury duty went on a hunger strike and died. The latest death brings the number to five.

An autopsy Friday afternoon by the Lake County Coroner’s Office revealed the preliminary cause of death appears to be natural causes, pending final toxicology results, according to a statement. There were no signs of internal or external trauma to the inmate’s body, the release said. The inmate’s name was not released.

The man was brought into custody on Feb. 29 after being arrested on an arrest warrant for failing to appear in court on charges of possession of a controlled substance. While in custody he told jail officials he was feeling ill from drug withdrawal. He was placed under the care of the jail medical unit, the statement said.

On Friday morning he was found unresponsive in his cell inside the medical unit. Staff began administering aid and an ambulance was summoned. He was transported to Vista Medical Center East, Waukegan, where he was pronounced dead.

The protocol of calling in the Major Crime Task Force was designed to initiate an immediate thorough independent investigation of the facts surrounding the death and produce increased transparency, the statement said.

The Lake County jail has been rocked by inmates deaths over the years that also prompted lawsuits.

In 2014 inmate Igor Karlukov, 36, of Palatine and a Ukraine national, was found hanging inside his jail cell after he used shredded pieces of a mesh laundry bag and a piece of copper wire from a set of ear buds to hang himself from a vent, despite the fact he was on special watch.

He had been told by a judge that he could face life in jail for charges related to a home invasion and domestic battery against his girlfriend.

Two of the jail’s inmates died in 2012.

Lyvita Gomes, 52, a native of Mumbai, India, who was living in Vernon Hills, launched a 15-day hunger strike to protest her incarceration for failing to appear for jury duty, then died of malnutrition and dehydration less than a week later.

Eugene Gruber, 51, of Grayslake, suffered paralyzing neck injuries while struggling with officers in the jail, then died months later after being transferred to a Chicago rehabilitation center.

The county agreed to settle a nearly $2 million federal lawsuit filed by Gruber’s family. The Cook County Medical Examiners Office in Chicago ruled Gruber’s death a “homicide,” but an investigation by the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office found no wrong doing on the guards’ part.

The Gomes family also filed suit.

In 2011, there was a jail death when Thomas Arvie, 50, of Waukegan, apparently suffered a stroke in his cell. He died Sept. 22, 2011.

In 2008, Curran spent a week as an inmate that garnered national attention.

’Reasonable Suspicion’ enough for traffic stop

Supreme court: ’reasonable suspicion’ enough for traffic stop

“Reasonable suspicion,” not the more exacting “probable cause,” is threshold requirement for an investigatory traffic stop, the Illinois Supreme Court held in a recent DUI ruling.

In overturning a trial court’s order to suppress evidence in a Will County DUI case, the Illinois Supreme Court determined that a traffic stop was proper when the arresting officer witnessed the driver making slight deviations from his lane of traffic.

The trial court had granted the defendant’s motion to suppress based on arguments that the evidence of his insobriety and suspended license was the “fruit of an unlawful search,” and a divided appellate court affirmed that ruling. According to the high court’s opinion, the defendant argued that the officer lacked “probable cause” and therefore had no proper grounds to make the traffic stop.

In People v. Hackett, 2012 IL 111781, a unanimous supreme court overturned the appellate and trial court decisions and remanded the case for a trial based on evidence stemming from what the court held to be a justified “investigatory stop” of defendant’s vehicle. Reasonable suspicion, not probable cause, is the proper standard for an investigatory traffic stop, the high court held.

Assistant Appellate Defender Kerry Bryson said there was obviously some doubt in the minds of the trial judge and appellate panel about what justified pulling over a driver and investigating him and his vehicle.

“To the extent there might have been any question about that, the [supreme] court has made it clear that there shouldn’t be,” said Bryson, who did not handle this case. “To the extent that this is a concern, what clients ought to know moving forward is if they’re going to challenge the stop, the proper standard is…was there reasonable suspicion.”

‘[M]omentary crossings’ can justify stop

In affirming the motion to suppress, the appellate court relied on People v. Smith, 172 Ill.2d 289 (1986), in which a driver was convicted after driving in and out of multiple lanes of traffic for a “reasonably appreciable distance.” The appellate court distinguished Smith from the case at hand, stating that Hackett made only “momentary crossings” of a highway lane line and therefore the officer lacked reasonable grounds to make a stop.

The supreme court rejected the notion that the distance or length of time of the lane deviations made any difference in the enforcement of a statute that prohibits any improper lane usage.

“Although this court in Smith…mentioned the measure of defendant’s deviation into an adjacent lane and the distance he travelled therein, nothing in this court’s analysis indicated either was significant to the outcome,” Justice Karmeier wrote for the court in Hackett.

In this opinion, the supreme court’s analysis focused on “the loose terminology the parties and lower courts in this case have used with reference to the standards applicable to the fourth amendment issue presented for our consideration. The question we agreed to address…is ‘whether the appellate court erroneously found there was no reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop where the uncontested testimony showed defendant swerved twice across a lane divider of traffic.'”

The court explained that vehicle stops are subject to the Fourth Amendment’s “reasonableness requirement,” and the decision to stop a vehicle usually requires probable cause for an officer to believe that a traffic violation has occurred.

“However, as this court has observed, though traffic stops are frequently supported by ‘probable cause’…as differentiated from the ‘less exacting’ standard of ‘reasonable, articulable suspicion’ that justifies an ‘investigative stop,’ the latter will suffice for purposes of the fourth amendment irrespective of whether the stop is supported by probable cause,” the court wrote.

An opening for the defense?

Bryson said the Hackett case got interesting after the third district appellate court affirmed the motion to suppress “because it gave some support to challenging a traffic stop when there was just momentary drifting over the line.” But now it is clear that multiple deviations from a lane of traffic, even if slight in distance and time, are sufficient grounds for an investigative stop, she said.

“I think there’s a little more to it if you read [the Hackett decision] in depth,” Bryson added. “There has to be no reasonable explanation for the deviations” in order for an investigatory stop to be justified.

“If there is a reason for the deviation from the lane, then there might not have been reasonable, articulable suspicion to justify the stop,” Bryson said. “In some cases, there’s been no exploration of that aspect of the basis for the stop. I think that leaves this open as for what a defense attorney can be looking for as a way to challenge the stop.”

The supreme court bolstered its decision by pointing out that a police officer “can effect a lawful Terry stop without first ‘considering whether the circumstances he or she observed would satisfy each element of a particular offense.'”

Where, as in Hackett, a police officer observes multiple lane deviations for no apparent reason, an investigatory stop is proper, the court reasoned.

“For probable cause and conviction, there must be something more: affirmative testimony that defendant deviated from his proper lane of travel and that no road conditions necessitated the movement,” said the court. “An investigatory stop in this situation allows the officer to inquire further into the reason for the lane deviation, either by inquiry of the driver or verification of the condition of the roadway where the deviation occurred.”