Dupage County Lawyers
 

Chicago Misdemeanor Lawyers

REAL PROBLEMS. REAL SOLUTIONS.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor in Illinois, not only do you face consequences that could include jail, fines, and probation, but you will also have a criminal record that will follow you for life.

While not as serious as a felony charge, a misdemeanor can result in a maximum jail sentence of 364 days, and if you are convicted of a second or greater offense, your risk for jail increases. Plus, any criminal record, even for a misdemeanor, can negatively impact your professional and personal life, including your educational and career aspirations, your family relationships, your housing situation, and any immigration benefits.

The experienced and compassionate Illinois criminal law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., understand the seriousness of your situation and offer aggressive representation for clients facing criminal charges. We have a proven track record of success defending clients accused of both misdemeanors and felonies, and we will do everything possible to vigorously fight for your rights and your freedom.

We offer a free initial consultation.  If you have been accused of any criminal charges, get help today by calling 630-305-0222.

What is a Misdemeanor Offense?

Misdemeanor criminal charges are those that have a maximum sentence of one year in jail or less, usually with no mandatory minimum jail time for most charges, and which can include fines of up to $2,500. If you are a repeat offender, petty offenses can turn into misdemeanors.

Our seasoned lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., handle a broad range of misdemeanor offenses, including:

  • Assault and Battery — Assault charges involve verbal threats, such as threats to beat, kill or hurt someone. Battery charges involve physical contact, such as pushing, punching or hurting a person. Simple assault and battery charges may be considered misdemeanors, but these charges can become felonies in several instances.
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Domestic Violence
  • Driver’s license issues – Such as having your license suspended or revoked.
  • Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs — First-time offenders may face license suspension, fines and even a jail sentence.
  • Driving while your license is Revoked or Suspended
  • Drug possession – While possession of most drugs is a felony, possession of some, such as small amounts of marijuana or anabolic steroids, may be misdemeanors.
  • Fraud — May include white collar crime and related charges, such as bank, tax, computer, credit card, Medicare and identity fraud.
  • Prostitution and solicitation
  • Reckless driving and speeding
  • Shoplifting
  • Theft –Some thefts, such as petty larceny and identity theft, may be misdemeanors.

Misdemeanor Classification s and Punishments

In Illinois, misdemeanors are classified as Class A, B, or C, according to severity.

1) Class A Misdemeanors

A class A misdemeanor in Illinois is the most serious and is punishable by:

  • up to one year in jail
  • up to two years of probation
  • a fine of up to $2,500

(730 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/5-4.5-55.)

Some examples of Class A Misdemeanors are:

  • Aggravated Assault
  • Damage to Property
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • Endangering the Life or Health of a Child
  • Prostitution / Solicitation
  • Some types of Theft

2) Class B Misdemeanors

A class B misdemeanor conviction is punishable by:

  • up to 180 days in jail
  • up to two years of probation
  • a fine of up to $1,500

Examples of Class B Misdemeanor crimes include:

  • Certain types of Assault
  • Aggravated Speeding (30 mph or more over the posted speed limit)

3) Class C Misdemeanor

A class C misdemeanor is the least serious, but can still result in punishments of:

  • up to 30 days in jail
  • up to two years of probation
  • a fine of up to $1,500

Some examples include:

  • Certain types of Assault Charges
  • Disorderly Conduct

Misdemeanor Expungement

If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor, it may be possible to receive an expungement, which is the removal of criminal convictions and arrests from your record so that these do not show in background checks.

The process of expungement will often allow you to assert that you have not been convicted of a crime, and it removes evidence of an arrest and conviction from the public record. However, records can not always be expunged, and the law is complicated, so you should have legal assistance to pursue expungement.

In Illinois, there is a difference between “expunging” and “sealing” a criminal record. To be eligible for expungement, you must not ever have been convicted of a crime or violated a municipal ordinance. If you can get your records expunged, your name will be removed from public criminal records, and the records will be destroyed or returned to you.

Most misdemeanors are eligible to be expunged within 2 years of any court supervision, and most arrest records, dismissals, and other events can be removed from a criminal record even sooner.

If you were arrested and charged, but found not guilty, or acquitted or dismissed, then the case can be expunged. If you have been convicted, you will not be able to have your records expunged, but you may be able to have them sealed. Sealed records are not destroyed, but they are kept confidential. Law enforcement may still access the records, but the general public usually will not. Sealed charges may be reopened if the court so requests and if you are charged with the same offense again.

Some misdemeanor convictions qualify for sealing in Illinois, but many — including driving under the influence, assault, battery, and most sex offenses — do not.  If your convictions do not qualify for sealing, the only way to clear your record is to receive a pardon from the governor that authorizes the expungement of your record.

Statute of Limitations

In Illinois, misdemeanors have a statute of limitations of 18 months.  This means 18 months after the crime was allegedly committed, you many no longer be subject to criminal prosecution should someone decide to bring charges.

Put Your Trust In Us — Contact Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. For A Free Consultation

A criminal record for a misdemeanor will affect you for the rest of your life if you cannot get it sealed or expunged. Illinois law is complicated, and judges do not always interpret it consistently, so it makes sense to have the experienced team at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. on your side. Our goal is to either get the charges dropped or to minimize the negative impact of the situation as much as possible.

The criminal defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances. We know the judges and the court system and will aggressively explore every avenue for your defense.  We examine the facts, the individuals involved, and the evidence available, and can greatly increase your chances of getting the best results possible.

Don’t delay — contact us for help today at 630-305-0222 if you have been accused of any criminal charges. Our Illinois misdemeanor lawyers represent clients in DuPage County, Will County, Cook County, Naperville, Aurora, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Bolingbrook, and the Greater Chicagoland area in Illinois.  Your free initial consultation can be scheduled at our office.

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