Our Criminal Defense Lawyers Have Your Back

Being accused of a crime is bad enough, but if you are convicted, our criminal defense attorneys know that your life could be changed forever.

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 at 630-305-0222.

Why You Need A DuPage County Criminal Attorney

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:

  • Incarceration
  • Fines, penalty assessments and other costs
  • Registration as a sex offender
  • Driver’s license suspension or revocation
  • Permanent criminal record
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)
  • Required completion of classes and/or counseling
  • Probation.
This is no time to go it on your own. Make sure you hire a knowledgeable and experienced dupage county criminal attorney who can fight for your rights and your freedom. Contact wolfe & stec at 630-305-0222 today.

GET YOUR CRIMINAL DEFENSE HELP

  • SHOULD I GET A PUBLIC DEFENDER?
    If you can’t afford a private attorney, Illinois law states that a Public Defender will be appointed to provide legal representation in the areas of criminal, misdemeanor, juvenile justice, child protection, paternity, appeals, post-conviction and traffic cases. Unfortunately, the public defense systems may not be capable of providing the defense you deserve.  According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in 2007, about 73% of county public defender offices exceeded the maximum recommended limit of cases (150 felonies or 400 misdemeanors). Under pressure, public defenders may be quick to accept inadequate plea bargains and will not be able to devote the time and individual attention necessary to give you the best outcome possible and keep you out of jail.
  • SHOULD I REPRESENT MYSELF?
    Representing yourself in a criminal case is rarely a good idea. If you are even considering going pro se, look at the punishment you might face if convicted – the more severe the potential punishment, the more important it is that you are represented by counsel. If you do represent yourself, be aware of the work involved.  You will have to properly fill out forms and attend hearings, meet all deadlines, know the laws, understand legal terminology and follow the rules of the court.  If you do go to trial, you will have to produce and examine witnesses and make opening and closing arguments in your defense. The consequences of making a mistake can ruin the rest of your life.
  • WHAT MAKES A GOOD CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY?
    An experienced DuPage County criminal defense lawyer will know the laws, the courts, the prosecutors and the judges, and how to examine the individual facts of your case and determine the best way to launch your defense. A good attorney will take care of paperwork, file everything properly and on time, and be capable of negotiating with the prosecutor and getting you the best deal possible. If your case does go to trial, a good attorney will find expert witnesses, and know how to present your case and how to advocate for your best interests in court. If your case doesn’t turn out in your favor, a good attorney will know how to file an appeal and get your sentence reduced. And a good criminal attorney should be someone you can relate to, who understands your situation and makes you feel relaxed and confident of achieving the best outcome of your case.

Criminal Defense Services

Our criminal defense attorneys at Wolfe & Stec have extensive experience handling complex criminal cases and are trusted and respected in the community. We handle a broad range of cases throughout Illinois, including:

What Are Your Rights?

If you are arrested for a crime in Illinois, it’s important to know your rights so you can avoid making mistakes that may inadvertently lead to a conviction. Many naïve suspects say too much and their words are twisted by a prosecutor and used against them. That’s why it’s so important to say nothing until your DuPage county criminal attorney is by your side. You have the following rights:

  • Arrest warrant - Anyone faced with a criminal arrest has a right to ask to be shown an arrest warrant and be informed of what the criminal charges are. However, you can be arrested without a warrant if the police have probable cause. An arrest warrant articulates the crime(s) you allegedly committed, and this is an essential document that your DuPage County criminal lawyer will use to create a strategy for your defense.
  • Miranda rights - After being arrested, you should be read your Miranda rights informing you that you have the right to remain silent and not answer questions. It is a very good idea to say as little as possible when you’re arrested and not to struggle physically with law enforcement when they take you into custody. Doing these things could hurt your defense later.
  • Right to an attorney – You have the right to ask to consult with a DuPage County criminal lawyer before you say anything, as anything you do say can be held against you. You should immediately request an attorney, because law enforcement is required by law to grant this request immediately when you ask.
  • Right to a preliminary hearing - If the arrest is for a felony offense, any charges must be approved at a preliminary hearing by a judge or grand jury to authorize probable cause for the charges. Typically a preliminary hearing, which is sometimes also called a “probable cause hearing,” is very soon after the arrest. This prohibits law enforcement from detaining suspects indefinitely.
  • Bond - If probable cause is found, you have the right to a bond hearing where a judge will determine a dollar amount of bail, which allows you to remain out of custody until trial. Typically a bond can be cash or it can be an amount posted by a bail bondsman on your behalf.

An experienced criminal lawyer in DuPage County can guide you through all of these steps and advise you as you go. That’s why it’s so important to have a highly experienced attorney who has seen and done these things multiple times before. For a free consultation with a DuPage County criminal defense attorney, call Wolfe & Stec at (630) 305-0222 for a free consultation.

Start Your Defense

The experienced and seasoned DuPage county criminal defense attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., understand the seriousness of your situation and offer aggressive representation for clients facing criminal charges. We know the courts and the criminal justice system and how to plea bargain, negotiate guidelines and recognize when to take your case to trial. When we take on a criminal case, we gather information quickly and look at all viable defense options. Based on the facts, we make a decision about the best legal strategy.

How Does The Court System Work?

IN ILLINOIS, THERE ARE PREDICTABLE STEPS A CRIMINAL CASE WILL TAKE. IT’S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THESE.

To be successful, good preparation is essential. The more you know up front, the less you will be surprised or caught off guard. Take a few minutes to review the steps that take place as you move through the court system. The more you know, the better.

1.

DiscoveryThe discovery phase allows your attorney the opportunity to review the prosecution’s evidence against you. This could include police reports, witness statements, videos or photos, physical evidence, or any other relevant information. Discovery can unfold gradually, and your attorney might not receive all the evidence until shortly before trial.

2.

Pre-trial PreparationDuring this phase, the defense attorney will begin locating and interviewing witnesses, developing a defense strategy, and securing evidence that may be presented at trial on your behalf.

3.

Plea BargainsAt any point before a verdict, the defense attorney, defendant, and prosecution may enter into negotiations regarding a plea bargain. The terms of the plea bargain will vary greatly, depending on the specific circumstances of the crime, criminal history, and the strength of the prosecution’s evidence. While no one who is arrested typically wants to plead guilty, sometimes if the prosecutor has a very strong case, the best strategy is to plead to a lesser charge through the plea bargain process. If needed, this is an option you can explore with your criminal defense lawyer.

4.

TrialIf the case proceeds to trial, you can elect either a bench trial or a jury trial. The jury determines the outcome in a jury trial, whereas a judge makes the final decision regarding guilt or innocence in a bench trial. While both sides will present evidence at trial, it is the prosecution that bears the burden of proof. The state must prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Remember, your attorney does not have to prove your innocence (a much higher burden of proof). Instead, the burden of proof rests on the shoulders of the prosecutor.

5.

VerdictAfter the prosecution and defense present their closing arguments, either the judge or jury will deliberate and then issue a verdict. If the defendant is found not guilty, the case is over. If the defendant is found guilty, the case will proceed to the sentencing phase.

6.

AppealNot in all cases, but sometimes there is an opportunity to appeal a verdict to a higher court (appellate court). If your DuPage criminal defense lawyer can find a technical mistake or some other miscarriage of justice, he or she may be able to file an appeal to overturn the verdict. This is determined on a case by case basis.

As you can see, there are many steps in the legal process from the day you are arrested until the day the case is completed. You don’t want to make a misstep at any point, nor do you want to be confused or mistaken in your testimony at any point, because such things could damage your case. Skilled DuPage County criminal lawyers can help you avoid mistakes. Call us today at (630) 305-0222.

Prosecuting Strategy

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.

Criminal Defense 101

Criminal Defense 101
Click To View Full Infographic

Our DuPage County Criminal Lawyers’ Defense Strategy

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...

  • Get copies of the arresting officers’ reports and statements made by prosecution witnesses
  • Review evidence against you that the prosecution proposes to introduce at trial.

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.

Possible Criminal Penalties In Illinois

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.

Incarceration in county jail or state prison

Fines, penalty assessments and other costs

Registration as a sex offender

Driver’s license suspension or revocation

Permanent criminal record

Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)

Required completion of classes and/or counseling

Probation

If you have been accused of any criminal charges, get help today by calling 630-305-0222.

Felony Or Misdemeanor Offense?

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 Offenses in Illinois

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 Offenses in Illinois

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 subsequent 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.

Put Your Trust In Us — We Are Skilled And Experienced DuPage County Criminal Lawyers

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.

Client Reviews

Fabulous & Straight Forward - Very Easy to Work With

Natalie is incredibly qualified and knowledgeable in her field. She is a straight shooter and gets the job done. When it comes to your case and the direction to take she is honest, ethical, and trustworthy.

There was never a question as to where we were in the process or where we were going. I trusted her with my case - completely. She was very easy to work with and kept me apprised of upcoming court dates and details regarding discussions with OC. I highly recommend Natalie as an attorney. 5 out of 5 stars

Worth Every Penny

Natalie is very quick to get back to me with any concerns that I may have. She keeps me informed on court dates and any hearings or work she's done. She's smart when it comes to the law. 5 out of 5 stars

How Do I Answer a Complaint in Illinois?

June 24, 2019 / Criminal Defense

When someone files a complaint against you in an Illinois court, you will be served with a summons that lets you know that a lawsuit has been brought against you and what you must do to respond.  In the lawsuit, you are called the defendant or respondent. The filer of the complaint is called the … Continue reading How Do I Answer a Complaint in Illinois?



3321 Hobson Road, Suite B
Woodridge, IL 60517
Phone: 630-305-0222

105 West Madison Street, Suite 1900
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-388-7882

Contact Us