A son of former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, charged with aggravated driving under the influence, has violated his court-ordered curfew three times but a Lake County judge refused a prosecutor's request to jail him.
Michael P. Ditka, 49, today pleaded not guilty to the charge, which stems from his arrest on April 20 while he was sitting in a car in the parking lot of his Deerfield apartment complex. Ditka has denied that he was driving the car and says he was targeted by police because of his famous name.
The DUI charge was upgraded to a felony in May because Ditka had two previous drunken driving charges against him in Lake County, records show. Court documents from Cook County also show that the younger Ditka had another prior DUI arrest in Cook County.
In court today, Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Money told Judge Brian Hughes that Ditka has violated his 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew on three separate occasions since it was ordered May 19 as a condition of his bail.
“It may be in his best interest to be remanded to the Lake County Jail,” Money said. “He needs to be aware that there are consequences for his actions.”
Ditka’s attorney, Charles Schneider, however, noted that the hours of his client’s curfew were recently changed, and he questioned whether pre-trial services was aware of that fact when it found that Ditka had violated curfew.
Hughes declined to order Ditka to jail, but ordered him to meet with pre-trial services officials to ensure that he is aware of the conditions of his curfew.
Ditka is expected to appear back in court on July 28. He could face 7 years in prison if convicted.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun