Carol Stream Criminal Defense Attorney
Hire a Team Focused on Obtaining Favorable Results
Almost anyone can be picked up for a crime—even the innocent. In fact, (https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/03/29/crime-law-criminal-unfair-column/70630978/) experts estimate that most of the population commits a crime of some sort, often without even knowing it.
If the police have accused you or a loved one of committing a crime, you might be in shock and not know what to do next.
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. The state might also offer you a plea deal, which looks promising because you think it will make the case go away quickly. Unfortunately, however, accepting the first deal on the table often results in significant and unforeseen consequences that could have been completely avoided had you hired an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
By getting an experienced team of legal professionals on your case, you may find that you can get the charges reduced or even dropped. If you’re facing a criminal charge, you need an aggressive defense attorney—and you need one now.
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. Although a plea deal might be the best resolution possible, you won’t know until you met with a lawyer who can analyze your case. Your attorney can test the strength of the state’s evidence and determine the best course forward. No one else has your best interest at heart—not the police, not the judge, and certainly not the prosecutor. You need an independent advocate in your corner to look out for your best interests.
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.
At Martin & Kent, L.L.C., we have handled over 10,000 criminal matters and have seen every type of case come through the door, large or small. Our experience runs deep, thanks to our decades working as prosecutors and our combined 40+ years of experience. Our attorneys have decades of experience in the criminal courts of DuPage County, including Carol Stream.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call Martin & Kent, L.L.C., on our 24-hour hotline at (630) 474-8000.
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:
Theft, traffic offense, and misdemeanors—no crime is too small to warrant the best criminal defense possible. We even take cases that are too hot for other Carol Stream criminal defense lawyers to handle: sex crimes, juvenile crimes, and domestic violence situations. We know what the prosecutor needs to prove and are always one step ahead of them.
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, or elsewhere in DuPage County 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
There are many reasons to fight criminal allegations. For one, your reputation is on the line. People in the community will look at you differently if you are convicted of a crime. But an arrest or conviction also carries more tangible consequences.
These 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:
- Your ability to get a job. Employers can run criminal background checks on applicants. Although there is a social movement to get employers to overlook criminal history, most businesses are very much interested in it.
- Not being accepted into higher education programs.
- Ineligibility for federal financial aid.
- Having to register as a sex offender.
- Difficulty finding housing to rent. Your ability to find a place to live. Landlords routinely run criminal history checks on their applicants.
- Immigration consequences for non-citizens, including detention and deportation.
- Not being able to obtain or maintain a professional license.
- Your ability to obtain a loan. Lenders want to know about your criminal history, and you cannot lie.
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.
To protect our clients, we sometimes seek an expungement of an arrest or conviction. This wipes out the criminal record so that no one (apart from law enforcement) can see it. As a result, you do not need to report the offense when applying for an apartment, loan, or job. You can legally deny that the conviction ever occurred under most circumstances, allowing you to move forward with your life without the past holding you back.
We Will Protect Your Legal Rights
You would never know it based on media coverage, but criminal defendants have powerful rights that prosecutors and judges must protect. For example:
- Illinois requires that the interrogation of criminal suspects be video recorded in most situations.
- The Constitution requires that police have a search warrant before searching your home, and they must have probable cause before they search your person.
- The Constitution requires that police officers give you Miranda warnings before they start a custodial interrogation and that they stop all questioning when you state you want a lawyer.
- Rules of evidence prevent criminal defendants from being convicted by unduly prejudicial evidence, such as proof that they have committed the crime before.
Even more fundamental than all of these rights is the right to an unbiased jury of your peers who must find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before you can be punished.
At Martin & Kent, L.L.C., our Carol Stream criminal defense attorneys aggressively protect all of these rights—and many more. Prosecutors dread seeing us across the courtroom because they know that we will not sacrifice our clients’ rights to cut corners. Instead, we defend each case as aggressively as possible and force the state to follow federal and state constitutional rules.
Probation and Parole
In addition to defending criminal suspects, the lawyers at Martin & Kent, L.L.C., also help parolees and probationers navigate the terms of their release. To avoid prison, you probably agreed to extensive conditions, such as:
- Checking in with your parole/probation officer on a regular basis
- Undergoing regular drug testing
- Not owning a firearm
- Paying restitution to your crime victims
Any misstep—no matter how minor—could land you in jail. To keep that from happening, you need an attorney who can build a case to explain how the violation was not your fault. For example, some of our clients have missed their appointed check-ins because they were in jail or the hospital. Others failed a drug test because their prescription drug caused a false positive. Regardless of the situation, you need to act quickly to preserve your parole or probation.
We also excel at obtaining early termination and release. There may be situations where you can wrap up your probation or parole early and get released from the court’s conditions, allowing you to move on with your life. If you would like to meet with a Carol Stream criminal defense attorney to discuss early termination, please contact us today.
Skillfully Preserving Your Rights
If you have been accused of a crime, you need to act fast. Building a defense starts from the first moment you speak to a police officer, and criminal suspects who delay can only harm their cases by doing so. 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. Our criminal defense attorneys think like prosecutors. 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. And we know that nothing is more important than acting fast to protect your rights.
Trust our qualified team to defend you. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today at (630) 474-8000! To meet with a Carol Stream criminal defense attorney from Martin & Kent, L.L.C., please call us any time of day or night at (630) 474-8000. Our consultations are confidential and there is no risk to meeting with us. We have obtained thousands of favorable outcomes, including dismissal of charges, acquittals, and favorable plea deals. Avoid delay—we are ready to hear from you.