Aurora, Illinois, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Protecting the Rights of Criminal Defendants Throughout Aurora, Illinois, and the Surrounding Areas
Get a Committed Team on Your Side
Facing a criminal charge can be one of the most confusing and overwhelming experiences to go through, but you don’t have to do it alone. Work with Martin & Kent, L.L.C. to retain a team of former prosecutors who possess the ability to tackle any criminal charge and a passion for protecting your rights. With more than 42 years of combined experience in thousands of cases, our Aurora criminal defense attorneys can provide the seasoned insight required for your case. Our attorneys are also former prosecutors and have a complete understanding of how prosecutors view and try criminal cases. Call now for a free consultation and let us assist you with defending your criminal case today!
Criminal arrests and charges occur each day in and around Aurora. The Aurora Police reported the following offenses in a recent year:
- Total crimes: 829
- Criminal homicide: 1
- Rape: 5
- Robbery: 8
- Aggravated battery/assault: 32
- Burglary: 61
- Theft: 701
- Motor vehicle theft: 21
A criminal charge can happen to anyone, even if you have not done anything wrong. The good news is that our defense team is here to help.
Burden of Proof in a Criminal Case
When it comes to criminal cases, state prosecutors will charge you with everything they possibly can, in order to try and obtain a guilty finding or conviction against you. In fact, many prosecutors will “over-charge.”
As a criminal defendant, you are not required to prove anything in your case. Rather, the state prosecutor must prove that you are guilty of the underlying charge or charges beyond a reasonable doubt. More specifically, the prosecutor must satisfy this burden with every element of every crime with which the state has charged you. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is an especially high burden to meet. In the event the prosecution fails to satisfy even one legal element of a criminal charge, it can result in a complete dismissal of that charge. In some instances, the court could dismiss your entire case.
Your attorney may also be able to raise a defense—or a combination of several defenses—on your behalf. At Martin & Kent, L.L.C. our legal team, which is made up of former prosecutors, understands the prosecution’s burden of proof. We will do everything possible to defend you in your case and raise the necessary legal defenses to help you obtain a favorable result.
Types of Cases We Handle
Our legal team has had the opportunity to work in a wide range of criminal cases. We are proud to represent the residents of Aurora and nearby areas against serious criminal allegations. Our firm is not afraid to represent tough cases, taking them to trial if necessary to seek a positive outcome.
We can advocate on your behalf in a broad scope of criminal charges:
- Drug crimes – Illinois drug crimes can be felonies or misdemeanors. The distinction depends primarily upon the type of drug at issue, as well as the amount of the drug which a police officer or investigator finds in your possession. Individuals may be charged with actual possession of a drug when the police recover contraband from the accused’s person or clothing. The accused can be charged with constructive possession if the drug is found in the accused’s vicinity and under the accused’s direct control. By way of example, if the police recover the drugs during a house raid, and the accused is present somewhere in the house, then the accused may be charged with constructively possessing the drug. In that instance, though, the accused may argue that he or she had no knowledge that the drug was in the house or that he or she did not have ready access to the drug.
- Violent crimes – Crimes of violence include crimes against the person, such as homicide. Homicides come in varying degrees, depending upon the accused’s intentions, and include varying degrees of murder and manslaughter. Assault and battery also fall within the definition of a violent crime. A conviction for an Illinois crime of violence may include time in jail, fines, probation, and other harsh penalties.
- Juvenile crimes – Juvenile crimes are criminal offenses committed by someone who is under the age of majority. Cases involving minors take place in juvenile court where the consequences imposed upon conviction are typically lower than in adult court. The penalties may include a combination of probation and community service, for example. Juvenile convictions typically carry lighter penalties than adult convictions because the law takes into account the juvenile’s immaturity and lack of physical and mental development. In some particularly egregious cases, a juvenile who commits a serious crime may be tried in adult court and be subject to adult penalties.
- Burglary and residential burglary – Burglary involves breaking into or entering a building or structure with the specific intention of committing a crime in that building or structure. Residential burglary is a type of burglary that specifically involves a home or other residence.
- DUI and traffic offenses – Drunk driving has the potential to cause serious motor vehicle collisions, injuries, and even deaths. Consequently, a DUI conviction is punished harshly in the State of Illinois. A DUI arrest and subsequent conviction can result when the accused is determined to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of at least 0.08 percent. The same is true if the police officer, based upon observations, determines that the accused is operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Less serious traffic offenses than DUI, such as reckless driving, can also result in criminal charges and significant legal penalties. Some traffic offenses require the accused to appear in court on a specific date and time, while others merely require the offender to pay a fine within a certain time period—or in the alternative, go to court and contest the matter.
- Shoplifting and retail theft – Shoplifting, otherwise known as retail theft or petty theft—is a type of larceny that involves taking or carrying away property from a retail store, with the specific intention of permanently depriving the owner of that property. If the accused does not harbor this specific intention, then he or she may be able to argue lack of intent as a defense to the shoplifting charge.
- Assault and battery – Assault and battery, like homicides, are crimes against the person. The accused can be charged with assault if he or she takes some action that causes the alleged victim to reasonably fear death or serious bodily harm. In some cases, assault may involve a deadly weapon, or it may involve an attack of a sexual nature. Battery, on the other hand, involves an intentional harmful or offensive touching.
- Weapons offenses – People are only allowed to possess and carry weapons if they have the proper permits and if they obey other laws and regulations. Weapons offenses in Illinois include illegal gun possession, possession without a permit, and concealing a weapon, among other charges. Since weapons have the ability to kill other people—even unintentionally—convictions for weapons charges carry with them significant penalties.
- Murder – Murder, or the killing of another person, is one of the most serious charges a person can face in Illinois. Murder charges come in varying degrees, depending upon the accused’s intent and whether or not the accused premeditates or deliberates on the crime.
In every case, our first and most important goal is to clear you of your charges. Our commitment to protecting your rights drives us to do the very best we can to help you, no matter how severe your charges. We can provide legal counsel, helping you understand your charges and answering your questions about the possibility of jail, what kind of fines you might need to pay, and how we can help you obtain an acquittal. When you choose Martin & Kent, L.L.C., you can be sure that our legal team will keep you informed as to all of your legal options, including the best options for your case.
Former Prosecutors Providing Your Defense
When choosing a criminal defense lawyer, it is important that you retain an advocate with firsthand experience in a variety of cases. This is especially true of serious charges, where a conviction may lead to years in prison and other consequences. At Martin & Kent, L.L.C., each of our attorneys has an impressive history in criminal cases, an asset that we consider invaluable.
Decades of representation have given our firm a deep understanding of both sides of the criminal process. This knowledge is bolstered by previous experience as prosecuting attorneys. Having seen many cases to verdict in both capacities, we know what it takes to secure a favorable outcome against most charges. We understand common types of evidence used in prosecution and can defend you against the toughest opposition.
40+ Years of Experience in Criminal Cases
Our firm, Martin & Kent, L.L.C., is recognized by the state of Illinois as a top firm for criminal defense. Numerous honors, including the former presidency of the Criminal Defense Bar Association and an Avvo Rating of 10.0 Superb, have secured our reputation throughout the legal community for providing top-quality legal service. With unyielding efforts to secure positive outcomes for our clients, our legal team is a force to be reckoned with at all stages of the criminal defense process.
Give us a call as soon as possible at (630) 474-8000! An Aurora criminal defense lawyer from our firm can discuss your case in a free, no-obligation consultation.