CAROL STREAM CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
HIRE A TEAM FOCUSED ON OBTAINING FAVORABLE RESULTS
When you are charged with a crime, you could be sentenced to time in prison, ordered to pay exorbitant fines and court costs, and suffer other consequences detrimental to your growth as a person. By getting an experienced team of legal professionals on your case, you may find that you can get the charges reduced or even dropped.
Having a criminal charge on your record can weigh heavily on you, and it may be too chaotic to even think about what steps you should take to protect yourself. That is why Martin & Kent, L.L.C., can take charge for you. Our accomplished criminal defense team can help inform you of what your rights are and develop a tough defense strategy that caters to your specific case. Our attorneys have decades of experience in the criminal courts of DuPage County.
WE CAN FIGHT MISDEMEANOR AND FELONY CHARGES
Criminal charges can range between misdemeanors and felonies, depending on the severity of your case. When you speak with one of our Carol Stream criminal defense lawyers, all of the different possibilities and outcomes can be reviewed.
We may be able to defend you if you were accused of any of the following crimes:
- Assault and battery
- Shoplifting or retail theft
- Drug crimes
- Traffic violations
- Serious felony offenses
In addition, we may help you expunge your record, enabling you to clear your name long after your case was resolved. You should discuss your case with us right away to determine if you meet the eligibility prerequisites, or if you need legal assistance with any other criminal charges in Carol Stream, Wheaton, or the western suburbs.
POSSIBLE PENALTIES FOR CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS IN ILLINOIS
Illinois law sets out maximum—and sometimes, minimum—penalties for different classes of crimes. A court can also enhance a sentence if it finds that aggravating factors exist. Any criminal conviction will mean consequences that can affect your finances and often, your freedom.
Misdemeanor charges. Some common misdemeanor offenses include petty theft, possessing less than ten grams of marijuana, and a first offense of driving under the influence (DUI). Many people think that misdemeanors are not a big deal and they do not call a defense attorney. However, the law allows jail sentences for all classes of misdemeanors, as well as probation and fines. The following are the maximum penalties for misdemeanor convictions in Illinois:
- Class C – $1,500 fine, two years of probation, 30 days in county jail
- Class B – $1,500 fine, two years of probation, six months in county jail
- Class A – $2,500 fine, two years of probation, one year in county jail
No one wants to spend any time in jail and a Class A misdemeanor conviction could take up to a year of your freedom. Even if you do not receive a jail sentence, probation can still take a toll on your life. For Class A misdemeanors, a judge can require formal supervision, which will require you to report to a probation officer and adhere to strict conditions for up to two years. If you violate your probation, you may have to again go to criminal court and may face jail time.
Our criminal defense attorneys work to prevent any jail time or formal supervision for our clients convicted of misdemeanors. In many misdemeanor cases, we can get a sentence of court supervision. This does not involve any formal probation but instead, the judge defers the proceedings against you for up to two years. You may have to perform community service and you may not get into trouble with the law. If you successfully complete your supervision, the court can dismiss your charges and no conviction will go on your record. Do not risk unnecessary probation, fines, or time in jail. Call a defense lawyer who knows how to handle misdemeanor cases.
Felony Charges. Felony charges are significantly more serious due to severe penalties allowed by Illinois law. Drug possession (other than marijuana), aggravated assault, grand theft, manslaughter, and sexual assault are all examples of felony offenses. All classes of felonies can result in fines up to $25,000, as well as a potential prison sentence. Additionally, if a court finds there are certain aggravating factors present, a judge can extend the term of imprisonment beyond the maximum set by law. The following are possible prison sentences for felony convictions:
- Class 4 – One to three years, or an extended term of three to six years
- Class 3 – Two to five years, or an extended term of five to ten years
- Class 2 – Three to seven years, or an extended term of seven to 14 years
- Class 1 – Four to 15 years, or an extended term of 15 to 30 years
- Class X – Six to 30 years, or an extended term of 30 to 60 years
Not every felony conviction means you must go to prison, however. Judges can sentence defendants to probation for up to 30 months for Class 3 and Class 4 felonies, or up to 48 months for Class 1 or Class 2. Probation is not an option for defendants convicted of Class X felonies.
If you plead guilty or if a jury finds you guilty of a felony, the judge has discretion in determining your sentence. In cases involving plea agreements, a prosecutor may recommend a reduced sentence, such as probation in lieu of any prison time. Our attorneys regularly negotiate favorable plea bargains to minimize the penalties you face should you decide to plead guilty.
POSSIBLE COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES
The consequences of criminal convictions may persist long after you pay a fine and finish a term of probation or prison sentence. Having a conviction on your record can affect many aspects of your life, including your job, your reputation, and your wallet. The following are only some of the possible collateral consequences you may face:
- Ineligibility for certain jobs
- Finding it difficult to get hired for a new job
- Not being accepted into higher education programs
- Ineligibility for federal financial aid
- Having to register as a sex offender
- Difficulty finding housing to rent
- Immigration consequences for non-citizens, including detention and deportation
- Not being able to obtain or maintain a professional license
Job-related consequences are particularly serious, as you will likely lose your job if you have to spend time in jail. Employers often refuse to hire individuals with a criminal record and certain convictions can disqualify you from your chosen profession altogether.
Sex offender registry is another harsh and long-lasting consequence of convictions for many sex crimes. You must regularly report your personal information to the Illinois State Police, including your name, address, place of employment, and other identifying information. The police will then publish this information on a public website, where prospective employers, neighbors, friends and family, and anyone else can learn of your offenses. Needless to say, this can affect your employment, relationships, reputation, and more.
At Martin & Kent, L.L.C., we want you to appreciate all of the many possible consequences of a criminal conviction, so you understand the importance of avoiding a conviction whenever possible. We have many ways to fight for a dismissal of charges, including:
- Presenting all possible legal defenses
- Suppressing evidence due to 4th Amendment violations
- Challenging the reliability of the prosecutor’s evidence and witness testimony
- Negotiating for court supervision, which keeps your record clean
We can begin helping you from the time of your arrest and will guide you through every step of the criminal process until the resolution of your case. This includes representing you in all court hearings and communications with the prosecutor. As former prosecutors ourselves, we know how to best negotiate on your behalf for the most favorable outcome possible.
SKILLFULLY PRESERVING YOUR RIGHTS
You need a team that has proven successful at getting the right outcomes for clients. At Martin & Kent, L.L.C., we have had an innumerable amount of positive verdicts for clients throughout our years of Illinois criminal defense. We owe this to our experience as former prosecutors, our comprehensive knowledge of the courts, and our hard-hitting resilience when it comes to defending and representing clients. Your success is our success. That is why we work hard. It is our goal to get you the best possible outcome.
Trust our qualified team to defend you. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today at (630) 474-8000! We are ready to hear from you.