Bloomingdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

Former Prosecutors Representing You Against Criminal Charges

Whether you have past experience with the criminal justice system or not, an arrest and criminal charges can be frightening and stressful. When you face any type of criminal charge, your future—including your finances and your freedom—is uncertain. A criminal conviction can make it difficult for you to obtain employment, keep your job, find a job, or get an education. It can also have a significant negative impact on your relationships with friends and family members. The criminal process in Illinois is not defendant-friendly and often favors the State. This is especially true if a defendant does not have qualified defense representation.

If police officers arrested you on criminal charges or if you are the subject of a criminal investigation, you cannot afford to let the legal process play out. There is too much at stake. You need the proactive and strategic representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

The law partners of Martin & Kent, L.L.C., are former felony prosecutors with more than 40 years of collective experience in the Illinois criminal courts of DuPage County and Cook County. We know the tactics that prosecutors use to try and obtain convictions against criminal defendants, and we know how to combat those tactics effectively. We regularly represent citizens of Bloomingdale and surrounding communities, including Roselle, Medinah, Hanover Park, Glendale Heights, Carol Stream, and Wheaton. If you have a pending criminal case, timing is critical. Call our office right away to discuss how we may help you obtain the best possible result in your criminal case.

Handling More Than 10,000 Criminal Cases and Counting

Criminal cases can vary widely in Illinois, and the State Police reported the following offenses for a single year in Bloomingdale and DuPage County:

  • 10,192 for theft crimes
  • 1,335 for burglary
  • 170 for robbery
  • 6,060 for drug-related crimes
  • 375 for aggravated assault
  • 2,460 for domestic-related assaults
  • 344 for motor vehicle theft
  • 111 for rape
  • 39 for arson
  • 10 for homicide

Illinois law divides crimes into two main categories: felonies and misdemeanors, depending upon the seriousness of the offense and the potential penalties that a court may impose upon conviction. Most felonies are punishable by more than one year of jail time, while misdemeanors are typically punishable by one year or less in jail, along with fines and other penalties.

Even though misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, a conviction can still result in severe legal and personal consequences, including jail time, in some instances.

When you retain the legal team at Martin & Kent, L.L.C. to represent you, you can rest assured that your criminal case is in good hands. Our attorneys focus on thorough, result-oriented legal representation throughout the entire process.

We have experience defending clients on every type of criminal matter, from misdemeanors to major felony crimes. Rest assured that our skilled defense lawyers can capably represent you no matter what charges you are facing, including:

  • Domestic battery or assault – Domestic battery or assault occurs in the household when two or more individuals are living under the same roof. A battery involves a harmful or offensive touching by one person against another. When this occurs in a sexual context, it is referred to as a sexual battery. In the case of assault, an actual touch does not actually need to occur. An assault occurs when the accused places the alleged victim in reasonable fear or apprehension of a harmful touching. Generally speaking, words, by themselves, are not sufficient to rise to the level of an assault.
  • Sex crimes – Sex crimes refer to illegal sexual contact or coercion exercised by one person against another person. They can include indecent exposure, rape in various degrees, sexual assault, prostitution, and rape.
  • Juvenile offenses – A court can charge a person who is less than age 18 with a juvenile offense. Many juvenile crimes are the same or similar to those offenses with which a court could charge an adult. The main difference, however, is that the penalty imposed upon conviction is not as high as it would be if an adult had committed the same crime. Moreover, the state typically handles in juvenile court (i.e., the juvenile court system). Laws, regulations, and penalties that apply to juveniles are different than those that apply to adults. The legal team at Martin & Kent, L.L.C., is well-versed in Illinois juvenile law and regularly represents juveniles in their criminal cases.
  • Traffic violations – Traffic violations in Illinois cover everything from reckless driving charges to speeding and other charges that can result in a fine. If the traffic violation with which you have been charged is a misdemeanor or a criminal traffic violation, you must ordinarily appear in court to answer for the charge. The date and time of the court hearing are noted on the complaint or traffic citation.
  • Drug chargesCriminal drug charges are taken very seriously in Illinois, and a conviction can result in high penalties. Some drug charges are felonies, while others are only misdemeanors. You can be charged for illegal possession of drugs, as well as for possessing with intent to distribute or drug distribution/trafficking. The accused can be deemed in possession of an illegal drug even when the drug is not found directly on the accused’s person. If authorities find drugs in the accused’s general vicinity, such as in a motor vehicle where the accused was recently present, that may be enough to constitute constructive drug possession. When the accused is in possession with an unusually large amount of drugs in his or her possession, the State could charge the accused with possession with intent to distribute or with drug trafficking. The penalties imposed upon conviction for a drug charge usually depend upon the type of drug that the accused allegedly possessed or distributed, as well as the amount of the drug that the police discovered in the accused’s possession.
  • Drinking and driving (DUI) Police in Illinois can arrest drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol, otherwise known as a DUI, for driving a motor vehicle or being in actual physical control of that vehicle at the time of arrest. An arrest can occur if the driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher—or if the police officer determines that the driver is under the influence of alcohol. If the driver is convicted of DUI, he or she can face harsh legal penalties, including jail time. The accused will also be subject to a variety of administrative penalties, including a license suspension. The driver may also have to attend a driver improvement program. The potential penalties for DUI increase dramatically if the driver is a repeat DUI offender.
  • Fraud or white collar crimes – White collar crimes are so-called because professionals oftentimes commit them. These crimes usually involve some sort of theft or dishonesty, such as embezzlement or fraud. Although some white collar crimes are prosecuted under Illinois state law, others are prosecuted under federal law.
  • Shoplifting, theft or burglary Shoplifting, sometimes known as petty theft, is a type of larceny in Illinois. A person can be convicted of a theft crime if he or she obtains control over someone else’s property by deception or threat while intending to deprive the owner of the property on a permanent basis. When it comes to theft, the potential penalties imposed upon conviction typically depend upon the monetary value of the property that the accused stole. The accused commits burglary when he or she breaks and enters a structure while intending to commit a crime inside the structure. In the case of both theft and burglary, intent is a key element. If the accused can demonstrate that he or she lacked the necessary criminal intent for the crime, the charge may be subject to dismissal.

While some criminal offenses may be more serious than others, you should always take all criminal charges seriously. Even a traffic violation can result in costly fines, points on your driver’s license, and even the suspension of your license. Misdemeanors may not sound severe, though a conviction can result in fines, probation, or even jail time. You will also have a conviction on your permanent record, which can have far-reaching effects. In most cases, the only way to get a criminal charge removed from your record is to have your record expunged at some later date. However, not all charges and criminal records are eligible for expungement. Whether the state accuses you of a traffic offense or a violent felony, you should have a highly skilled defense lawyer handling your case.

An arrest can be a traumatizing experience, and afterward, it can be difficult to know what to do. You may feel that authorities violated your rights or that the police did not want to hear your side of the story. You may not know your rights or understand the criminal justice process. We will take the time to explain everything, and we will take steps to protect your interests and your future. Do not wait to call the criminal defense team at Martin & Kent, L.L.C., for help.

Possible Penalties of Criminal Convictions in Illinois

Our number one goal for our clients is to avoid a criminal conviction whenever possible. This is because the possible consequences of a conviction can be harsh and lasting. First, when you plead guilty, or a judge or jury convicts you at trial, the court will order a sentence. Such a sentence can vary widely depending on the severity of the crime and the details of your allegations. The following are some potential maximum court-ordered penalties for convictions in Bloomingdale:

  • Traffic Violations:
      • Fines and court costs
      • Points on your Illinois driving record
      • Possible suspension or revocation of your driver’s license if you have previous offenses
  • Misdemeanor offenses:
      • Class A misdemeanor
        • Two years of probation
        • One year of jail time
        • $2,500 fine
      • Class B misdemeanor
        • Two years of probation
        • Six months of jail time
        • $1,500 fine
      • Class C misdemeanor
        • Two years of probation
        • 30 days of jail time
        • $1,500 fine
  • Felony offenses:
    • First-degree murder
      • Life imprisonment
    • Class X felony
      • Six to 30 years in prison
      • Extended term of 30 to 60 years in prison
      • $25,000 fine
    • Class 1 felony
      • Four to 15 years in prison
      • Extended term of 15 to 30 years in prison
      • $25,000 fine
    • Class 2 felony
      • Three to seven years in prison
      • Extended term of seven to 14 years in prison
      • $25,000 fine
    • Class 3 felony
      • Two to five years in prison
      • Extended term of five to ten years in prison
      • $25,000 fine
    • Class 4 felony
      • One to three years in prison
      • Extended term of three to six years in prison
      • $25,000 fine

In addition to court-imposed penalties, a criminal conviction can affect your job and housing opportunities, reputation, family relationships, insurance rates, and much more. Many people fail to consider the long-term collateral consequences of a conviction, including loss of professional licenses, loss of scholarships and financial aid, sex offender registry, and much more. The best way to avoid such consequences is to avoid a conviction.

Our defense attorneys have numerous goals when it comes to defending against Illinois criminal charges. First, we argue for the court to dismiss your charges whenever possible or fight for an acquittal at trial. If our client decides to plead guilty, we skillfully negotiate with prosecutors to reduce the sentence, including:

  • Probation instead of jail time
  • Arguing against extended prison terms
  • Diversion programs

As former prosecutors, we know how the State’s Attorney’s office works and how to fight for the best possible outcome in each case. Never risk receiving a harsher result than you deserve—call our defense lawyers right away.

With You Through Every Step of the Criminal Process

The criminal process is a confusing one, and defendants do not receive much guidance from the courts regarding how to protect their rights and best interests. Our attorneys can help through every stage of your case, including:

  • Represent you in all communications with law enforcement and police questioning
  • Advise you of your rights, including the right to remain silent and to plead not guilty
  • Represent you at all court hearings, including your arraignment, bail hearings, settlement conferences, and trial
  • Inform you of all the implications of pleading guilty or not guilty and help you make an educated decision
  • Investigate the circumstances of your arrest to identify any violations of your rights
  • Examine all possible defense we may present in your case and gather evidence to support those defenses
  • Negotiate for a favorable plea agreement when appropriate
  • Present a compelling case at trial and/or sentencing when needed

Our firm also regularly handles other criminal matters, including:

  • Warrants – If you believe you have a warrant out for your arrest, do NOT ignore the matter, as police will arrest you. Instead, call our office, and we can find the best solution to cancel the warrant and represent you in the underlying criminal matter.
  • Probation violations – Illinois criminal courts take probation violations very seriously and can impose harsh consequences, including jail time. The process for defending against a probation violation is different from initial criminal cases, so you need a lawyer with experience handling this type of case.
  • Expungement – As discussed above, a criminal record can have many adverse effects on your life for years to come. Many people may qualify for an expungement of their record, which essentially erases information regarding past charges and convictions. We can advise you whether you are eligible and can help you through the expungement process.

At Martin & Kent, L.L.C., we know the criminal process involves much more than simply going to court for trial. We are there for our clients every step of the way, and we ensure our clients fully understand all of their rights and options.

Why Choose Martin & Kent, L.L.C.?

Our lawyers are equipped and ready to handle your case in the Bloomingdale area:

  • As former prosecutors, we know how to analyze the case against you
  • We have been selected to Illinois Super Lawyers
  • We are rated 10.0 Superb through Avvo
  • We have held leadership positions in professional associations
  • We offer a free, confidential consultation
  • We are available to clients 24/7

Any criminal charges, regardless of your guilt or innocence, can affect your freedom, your employment, your reputation, and your future. It is critical to work with attorneys who can guide you to the most favorable outcome, through motions, plea negotiations or in court.

Call our firm today to schedule your free consultation with a qualified Bloomingdale criminal defense lawyer right away.