The People of the State of Illinois V. Michael D. Canulli

Fourth District Appellate Court – (2004) Held – Law Enforcement May Not Rely Upon Nor Use Lidar Laser As Evidence To Measure The Speed Of Vehicles In The State Of Illinois

(Leading case on the use of Lidar Laser units to measure speed of vehicles)

The People of the State of Illinois v Michael D. Canulli 341 Ill.App.3d 361, 792 N.E.2d 438, (4th Dist. 2003)

In Canulli Attorney Canulli was ticketed for speeding while passing through Lincoln, Illinois mid morning as part of a pre arranged Illinois State Police “speed trap”. Taking exception to the use of Illinois State Police resources for such purposes and he travelled to Lincoln, Illinois on two consecutive days for the trial which involved numerous Illinois State Police and other witnesses. After having been found guilty of speeding Attorney Canulli brought an appeal in the 4th District Appellate Court challenging the use of Lidar Laser as evidence to measure the speed of vehicles. The Appellate Court held that, as a matter of first impression, laser evidence to measure the speed of vehicles constituted new or novel evidence, and thus a Frye hearing had to be held before the evidence could be admitted. Attorney Canulli’s conviction was thereafter reversed and throughout the State of Illinois, law enforcement could no longer to use Lidar Laser units to issue citations for speeding in the State of Illinois.

This opinion was featured on the front page of the Chicago Sun-Times Tribune November 6, 2009 “How To Beat A Speeding Ticket”.


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