A criminal record will negatively impact many aspects of your life, such as your educational and career aspirations, your family relationships, your housing situation, and any immigration benefits. At this sensitive time, you need all the help you can get.
While our criminal justice system is founded on the idea that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, the reality is that people accused of a crime are often treated unfairly by their employers, communities and even loved ones. When you face criminal charges, it feels like the deck is stacked against, and you need someone that is on your side no matter what. Our team is proud to be on the side of our clients.
The criminal defense attorneys at Wolfe & Stec know how difficult life can be for someone facing criminal charges. More importantly, we know how to make sure you are treated fairly by our system. We offer support and aggressive legal representation to our clients. If you’ve been charged with a crime in DuPage County, contact Wolfe & Stec.
If you are accused of a crime in Illinois, your life could be on the line. A conviction will mean a criminal record that will be with you forever and negatively impact your educational and career aspirations, your family relationships, your housing situation, and any immigration benefits. Depending on the crime and your situation, you might face:
The prosecutor has the burden to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. To do this, the prosecutor will gather evidence against you, including police reports, witness statements, videos or photos, physical evidence, or any other relevant information. Prosecutors may negotiate with your attorney to see if they can come to a plea-bargaining agreement without having to go to trial. Terms of the plea bargain will depend on the specific circumstances of the crime, your criminal history, and the strength of the prosecution’s evidence. If there is no agreement or the crime was particularly heinous and the evidence against you is strong, the prosecutor may decide to take the case to trial.
Your criminal defense attorney does not have to prove you are innocent, only that there is reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. To do this, the defense attorney will gather evidence and interview you and any witnesses.
There will be a standard discovery procedure, where your defense attorney can:
Based on the evidence, your DuPage criminal attorney may attempt to reach a plea-bargain agreement with the prosecutor or decide to take the case to trial. If the case goes to trial, you and your attorney can decide whether you want a bench trial in front of a judge or a jury trial. In either case, your attorney will have to come up with opening and closing arguments and present evidence to instill doubt that you committed the crime.
We have been successful helping others in your situation and will do everything possible to vigorously fight for you and defend your rights. We offer a free initial consultation.
If you have been accused of any criminal charges, get help today by calling 630-305-0222.
According to the Illinois Criminal Code, crimes can be categorized as a misdemeanor or a felony, with felonies presenting the greatest threat to your life and liberty. Even an allegation of a felony offense can have a devastating effect on your reputation, livelihood and overall well being, and a conviction could lead to high fines and years of imprisonment.
Felony crimes fall into five categories, while misdemeanors are broken into three classes, depending on seriousness. A conviction on a felony charge usually carries a jail sentence of more than one year. For the most serious violent felonies, the sentences are significantly more, and many offenses have mandatory minimum jail sentences.
In Illinois, there are several classes of felonies, and the severity of the class depends on the circumstances of the crime. For example, when it comes to drug possession, punishment depends on the type and amount of the drug. A class 4 felony can be punished with imprisonment of 1-3 years and fines of up to $25,000. Examples of class 4 felonies in Illinois include Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and possession of between 30.1 – 500.0 gm of marijuana.
A class 1 felony can be punished with imprisonment of 4-15 years and fines of up to $25,000. Examples of class 1 felonies in Illinois include kidnapping, sexual assault and drug possession of cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine.
People convicted of felonies are sentenced to state or federal prison, and certain felonies are punishable by death. If a felony crime goes to federal court, the fines and time in prison for a conviction increase drastically. For example, a class A felony can be punished with possible life imprisonment and fines of up to $250,000.
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 can include fines of up to $2,500. Misdemeanor convictions will also affect your professional and personal life. If this is your second or greater offense, you are at increased risk for a jail sentence for many misdemeanor offenses in Illinois.
Misdemeanor charges include:
Though misdemeanors are considered “lesser crimes” than felonies, this doesn’t mean these charges should be taken any less seriously. They still go on your record and carry the potential of jail time. Experienced criminal defense attorneys know that the best way to handle these charges is with the same aggressive approach as a felony charge. Having a misdemeanor on your record can present many challenges in life, and it is in your best interest to speak to a skilled, experienced attorney who will fight to reduce or eliminate the charges against you.
When you are accused of a crime in Illinois, you need to hire the best criminal defense attorney that you can find. Your case may seem impossible, but with skillful representation you have a chance. Remember, the law places a heavy burden on the government, and you have to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The DuPage County criminal defense attorneys 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 work hand in hand with our clients throughout the criminal process. We explain all elements and processes of the case and develop an effective defense strategy. Our goal is always to minimize the negative impact of the situation and to focus on protecting your freedoms, liberties and rights.
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Attitudes toward drugs are changing, so it is not surprising that Illinois has some new drug laws you should know about in 2019 and that additional reforms are being considered. Many people now believe that the “war on drugs,” which threw so many non-violent offenders into jail in recent years, has created more problems than … Continue reading What You Should Know About Illinois Drug Laws in 2019
Hate crimes are criminal offenses in Illinois, but so is falsely accusing others of a hate crime, as actor Jussie Smollett is alleged to have done. Smollett was charged by a grand jury with felony disorderly conduct for falsely reporting a hate crime. According to reports from the Chicago Sun-Times, his accusers say he staged the crime … Continue reading The Jussie Smollett Case, Explained
Anyone arrested for a Class 3 felony in Illinois is facing serious charges and should fully understand not only what a Class 3 felony is, but what the possible consequences are if convicted. Illinois crimes are classified according to how seriously they are regarded. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, which are broken down into … Continue reading What Is a Class 3 Felony in Illinois?