23 Aug 2014
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Update: Ditka Starts Effort to Dismiss DUI Charges

Lawyer begins questioning police officer. Next hearing set Nov. 17.

Update: Ditka Starts Effort to Dismiss DUI Charges

Testimony in an effort by of Deerfield to have charges pending against him for driving under the influence of alcohol dismissed began Thursday in Lake County Criminal Court in Waukegan. 

Ditka, son of former Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka, was while sitting in a car in a Deerfield parking lot according to his lawyer, Robert Ritacca. Ritacca claims Ditka was sitting in the vehicle with another passenger. 

Ritacca filed a motion to quash and suppress the testimony of the arresting officer claiming police had no right to approach Ditka, order him out of the car and or have him take a field sobriety test. 

“A police officer can encounter a suspect if there is probable cause, they are responding to a request or for community care,” Ritacca said. “The car was parked in a lot adjacent to his home. There was no key in the ignition.” 

Ritacca suggested this was not necessary to protect others. “It is a way to get around probable cause.” Should the judge rule in favor of Ditka, the case will likely be dismissed according to Ritacca. 

Ritacca began questioning the arresting officer in court Thursday. The hearing was continued until 1:30 p.m. Nov. 17 in Lake County Court in Waukegan for further testimony when the judge may rule. 

Assistant Lake County State’s Attorney Robert Mony did not return calls to Patch for comment. but has not offered an assessment of its chances of success. 

Ditka’s brother, of Deerfield, was arrested on similar charges Sept. 24 in Deerfield. He will next appear in court at 9 a.m. Nov. 16.

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