West Chicago Criminal Defense Attorneys

Accused of a Crime? We Can Help Protect You and Your Rights

Criminal Defense Lawyer in West ChicagoIf you are facing a criminal case, the defense lawyers at Martin & Kent, L.L.C. will put you first, and was zealously fight for each one of our clients. We navigate every step of the criminal justice process for you, so you don’t have to carry the burden of serious criminal charges alone. Let our legal team provide the legal support you need during this stressful time. We can offer you legal guidance and work on defense strategies that can best help the outcome of your particular case.

If you are currently facing criminal charges in West Chicago, you should contact us today for a free consultation to find out how we can help you. Our experienced West Chicago criminal defense lawyers can represent you at criminal hearings and trials, including at sentencing hearings and probation violation hearings in criminal courts in Kane County, DuPage County, and throughout the state of Illinois.

Statistics indicate that thousands in Illinois face criminal accusations each year, including the following for a recent year:

  • Property crimes = 267,385
  • Theft = 199,926
  • Burglary = 50,008
  • Motor vehicle theft = 17,451
  • Violent crimes = 47,663
  • Aggravated assault = 27,520
  • Robbery = 15,299
  • Rape = 7,240
  • Manslaughter and murder = 685

This means that thousands of Illinoisans require skilled criminal defense assistance each year, and our firm is ready to help.

That includes in West Chicago, where 25 violent crimes and 346 property crimes took place in one recent year (including seven sexual assaults, five robberies, and 13 aggravated assaults).

Our Practice Areas

We are well-known for the variety of criminal cases that we handle, often obtaining dismissals or not-guilty verdicts for our clients. We have handled over 10,000 criminal cases, giving us the insight and experience needed to take on any criminal charge. We can assist clients facing the following types of charges:

  • Murder
  • Defending felonies
  • Defending misdemeanors
  • Battery
  • Sex crimes
  • Drug crimes
  • Shoplifting and retail theft
  • Burglary and residential burglary
  • DUI
  • Juvenile crimes
  • Expungements

No crime is too difficult for us to handle. Even if you think you don’t need an attorney on your side, a conviction for any offense can affect your future in many ways. This is why consulting with a West Chicago criminal defense attorney immediately after an arrest is critical to minimize the consequences of your case.

The Burden of Proof in Illinois Criminal Cases

At trial in Illinois criminal cases, the state prosecutor handling your case has the burden of proving all of the elements of the underlying crime. The defendant, on the other hand, is not legally required to prove anything at trial and does not even have to testify in court.

In the case of a specific intent crime, such as robbery or burglary, the prosecutor must be able to prove intent on the accused’s part. In the case of robbery, for example, the prosecutor must show that the robber intended to take certain property from the alleged victim’s person’s presence, using force or threat of force.

The prosecutor must also prove the elements of an Illinois criminal charge “beyond a reasonable doubt”—or beyond a doubt based on common sense and ordinary reason. This is an especially high standard.

Proving all of the elements of a criminal offense beyond a reasonable doubt, especially the intent element, can sometimes be difficult for prosecutors. If the prosecutor fails to satisfy the required burden of proof in the case, a criminal defense attorney can argue for a complete dismissal of your charge.

Legal Defenses to an Illinois Crime

In addition to the prosecutor’s failure to meet his or required burden of proof, a West Chicago criminal defense attorney may be able to assert other legal defenses on your behalf at trial. The type and number of available defenses available to you depend largely upon the specific offense for which you face charges. Common defenses available in West Chicago criminal cases include the following:

  • Insanity – In cases where the accused lacked the mental capacity necessary to develop the specific intent to commit a particular crime
  • Duress – In cases where the accused (or a loved one of the accused) was threatened with death or grievous bodily harm if he or she did not commit the underlying criminal offense
  • Entrapment – In cases where a criminal investigator, police officer, or other law enforcement agent unduly and unlawfully coerced the accused into committing the crime, and the accused would not have committed the crime absent the undue coercion
  • Self-defense or defense of others – In cases where the accused had to stand his or her ground and use an amount of force proportionate to the force used against him or her
  • Unlawful search or seizure – Where a police officer or investigator did not obtain a validly issued search warrant or did not have the necessary probable cause to engage in a lawful search which ultimately led to the incriminating evidence
  • Unlawfully obtained statements – Where a police officer or investigator obtained a statement in violation of the accused’s Fifth Amendment constitutional right against self-incrimination, and the statement, as well as any evidence obtained from the communications, is subject to suppression

If you are currently facing criminal charges in West Chicago, or if you are already in the midst of criminal proceedings, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Martin & Kent, L.L.C. can begin developing a strong defense to your criminal charge.

Felony versus Misdemeanor Criminal Charges

The State of Illinois classifies criminal offenses into felonies and misdemeanors. Generally speaking, felonies are crimes that are punishable by more than one year in jail. Misdemeanors, on the other hand, are punishable by less than one year in jail and/or by other potential penalties, including fines and community service.

In some cases, an Illinois criminal defense attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor assigned to the case to reduce a felony charge down to a misdemeanor charge. Prosecutors may sometimes agree to other charge reductions. For instance, in a drunk driving case, if the accused is a first-time offender and does not have a prior criminal record, the prosecutor might be willing to reduce a DUI charge down to a reckless driving charge that would incur less serious penalties.

Illinois judges are given wide discretion when it comes to sentencing for felony and misdemeanor offenses. In some cases, prosecutors and judges may be willing to offer the offender a period of supervised or unsupervised probation, as opposed to jail time and other more serious penalties.

The skilled criminal defense attorneys at Martin & Kent, L.L.C. have excellent working relationships with West Chicago prosecutors. Our legal team may be able to convince a prosecutor to reduce your charge from a felony down to a misdemeanor, in order to reduce the potential penalties upon conviction. Our lawyers can also negotiate for a favorable plea deal on your behalf (i.e., in exchange for a guilty plea) or negotiate a less serious penalty on your behalf at a West Chicago criminal sentencing hearing.

The Impact of a Criminal Conviction in Illinois

Being found guilty and convicted of an Illinois criminal charge—no matter what it is—can potentially result in heavy penalties and other serious consequences. Those potential penalties imposed upon conviction can include:

  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • Probation
  • Community service
  • Restitution to the alleged crime victim

In addition to these legal penalties, a criminal conviction can have a serious and potentially lifelong impact on your personal life and circumstances. In addition to time away from your family, friends, and loved ones, it can be difficult to rehabilitate yourself following a serious criminal conviction. Since criminal conviction records are readily accessible online, a record can make it difficult for you to find a job, go to school, or find a place to live. This is because prior to making any employment, admission, or leasing decisions, applicants must usually pass a criminal background check.

The legal team at Martin & Kent, L.L.C., is well aware of these potential legal and personal consequences of Illinois criminal convictions, and our lawyers will do everything they can to try and minimize the legal and personal consequences for you.

Call Our West Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyers for a No-Cost Consultation

At Martin & Kent, L.L.C., our criminal defense lawyers have inside knowledge of the criminal justice system due to past experience as felony prosecutors, and we use this insight to challenge any arguments the prosecution might present in your case. Because we are so determined to obtain the best possible end result, we utilize the best possible strategies of defense in every case to try to prevent a conviction on your record. If the police arrested you in West Chicago—or anywhere in DuPage, Kane, and Cook County—and you face criminal charges, call our office right away at (630) 474-8000 for a free case evaluation. Let us fight for you today.