Ex-Cop Lisa Staples Set For Trial On Second DUI

Trial is scheduled to begin for former Champaign police detective Lisa Staples on Tuesday, May 17 at 9 a.m. in courtroom K. Staples received her second DUI after she rear-ended a car while driving an estimated 80-90 miles per hour. Her attorney Tony Novak says his client is innocent of the charges.

On May 2, 2011, a hearing took place before judge Jeffrey Ford. A continuance requested by Novak was dismissed by the judge. Judge Ford said he had worked for six years in traffic court and had never seen a case take more than four months to reach a resolution. With the initial accident taking place December 19, 2010, it will be six months when the trial commences. Judge Ford is certainly making sure this case follows standard procedure as the courts received much public criticism after Staples was given a sweetheart deal for her first DUI.

Another case where Staples has been charged with four additional counts for lying on an application for a new driver’s license and Illinois state ID card is being dealt with separately.

The News-Gazette’s March Schenk has not been present for any of the court hearings for Staples’ second DUI.

For the original story on Staples’ second DUI see this link.


guilty plea entered

In court this morning, Lisa Staples decided to enter a guilty plea rather than go to trial. As part of the agreement, she is to serve a minimum of 18 days in jail. She will pay restituion for the two young girls involved in the accident which will be paid by her insurance company. She was to report to probation immediately where a SCRAM unit will be put on to monitor her breath alcohol content. She is also to submit to a substance abuse evaluation. "I expect a truthful evaluation," Ford told her in court. After the evaluation, sentencing will be finalized by judge Ford on June 13 at 8:45 am.

As part of the agreement, four charges of filing a false application for a Driver's License and state ID was dimissed.

The NG's Mary Schenk was present for the hearing.


NG on Staples

Staples pleads guilty in DUI case

URBANA – A former Champaign police detective who admitted she drove while drunk will have to wear an alcohol-monitoring bracelet until her sentence is imposed next month.

Lisa Staples, 41, whose last known address was on Frank Drive in Champaign, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to misdemeanor DUI for driving while drunk on Dec. 19.

Staples hit a sport utility vehicle driven by a Mahomet teen from behind about 9:30 p.m. on County Road 1600 N near Bondville.

Staples’ attorney, Tony Novak of Urbana, and Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Larson negotiated an agreement that calls for Staples to serve 180 days in jail with 160 in remission, two years of probation, a $1,000 fine, restitution of $1,609 to the two teens in the vehicle, 150 hours of public service and the dismissal of felony charges of knowingly making a false application for a drivers license.

Because Staples has not yet had a substance abuse evaluation, Judge Jeff Ford conditionally accepted the agreement pending the outcome of the evaluation. He set sentencing for June 13.

Staples remains free on bond. As a condition of her bond, Ford ordered her to use no drugs or alcohol and to wear an alcohol-monitoring bracelet starting Wednesday.

SCRAM bracelet

More about the SCRAM bracelet can be found here. Interestingly, Staples was caught tampering with her ankle bracelet after her first DUI conviction.


Lisa Staples locked up

After a court hearing this morning, Lisa Staples was taken to serve 18 days in the Champaign county jail.

In court, she appeared unrepentant.

The NG's Tim Mitchell was also present.


NG on Staples

Former Champaign officer starts jail sentence for DUI


URBANA — A former Champaign police detective began serving time Monday morning at the Champaign County jail for driving while drunk.

Lisa Staples, 41, pleaded guilty on May 17 to misdemeanor DUI for driving while drunk on Dec. 19. About 9:30 p.m. that day, she hit a sport utilty vehicle, driven by a Mahomet teen, from behind on County Road 1600N near Bondville.

On Monday, Judge Jeff Ford sentenced Staples, whose last known address was on Frank Drive in Champaign, to 180 days in jail and two years of probation. She was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $1,609 in restitution; to serve 150 hours of public service; to complete all treatment and counseling recommended by her substance-abuse evaluation; to wear an alcohol-monitoring bracelet after she gets out of jail and to attend self-help sobriety meetings for 26 weeks.

Ford said Staples will serve at least 20 days of the 180-day jail sentence, with credit for two days already served. The remaining 160 days are held in remission, meaning that Ford can impose as few or as many of them as he sees fit should she violate the terms of her probation.

In addition, Ford ordered her not to work at any business that sells alcohol, meaning she must leave her job as a restaurant manager at Jupiter's at the Crossing in Champaign.

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