Our Criminal Defense Lawyers Have Your Back

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

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 you, and you need someone 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 ensure you are treated fairly. We offer support and aggressive legal representation to our clients.

If you've been charged with a crime in Woodridge or in DuPage County, contact Wolfe & Stec at 630-305-0222.

Why Choose Us?

 

When you are arrested for a crime, the full power of the state lines up against you. The police have decided you are guilty, and many prosecutors look to make a case against you rather than looking for the truth. At Wolfe & Stec, we start standing up for your rights from the moment you contact us.

Our dedicated Woodridge criminal defense attorneys understand the ins and outs of the judicial system and have thorough knowledge of the law. Along with their passion for helping people, they have the tools necessary to combat the charges against you.

Marc Wolfe has taken over 300 cases to verdict in his 30 years representing clients in the greater Chicago area and the state of Illinois. He has represented clients facing state and federal charges for very serious crimes. Attorney Natalie Stec shares Marc's passion for defending people accused of crimes. She is a dedicated, passionate litigator with significant criminal defense experience in misdemeanor and felony cases.

Our Woodridge criminal defense lawyers have helped clients facing dire consequences win in court. If you are facing criminal charges, count on the team at Wolfe & Stec to help protect your future. Call us today at 630-305-0222.

What Can We Do for You?

 

For our criminal defense attorneys, your case is much more than just the next file on their desks. We strive to partner with our clients by asking questions about their cases and life circumstances. Our criminal defense lawyers' compassion for other people drives them to take on the State when it brings charges against people who don't deserve to have their lives turned upside down.

We also want and encourage you and your family to ask questions of us. Facing criminal charges is frightening, and we want you to understand every part of the process. You deserve the peace of mind of knowing that your attorneys care about you as a person, because that's what drives them to fight so vigorously on your behalf.

"In today's society, people may be charged with crimes they did not commit. The process is being abused, and people are being bullied to do things they don't want to do in the face of pressure. I provide good solid representation to overcome this pressure." - Marc Wolfe.

Why You Need A Woodridge Criminal Defense Attorney

A criminal conviction in Illinois means a criminal record that will be with you forever. It will negatively impact your educational and career aspirations, family relationships, housing situation, and any immigration benefits. Depending on the crime and your situation, you might face the following:

  • 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. Hire a knowledgeable and experienced Woodridge criminal attorney who can fight for your rights and freedom. Contact Wolfe & Stec at 630-305-0222 today.

Frequently Asked Questions of Our Woodridge Criminal Defense Lawyers

  • Can I use a public defender instead of a private attorney?

    You can use a public defender if you qualify, but unfortunately, they often have no choice but to exceed the maximum recommended caseloads of 150 felony or 400 misdemeanor cases per attorney. Our attorneys have the time and resources to stand up to the pressure prosecutors bring toward quick plea bargains that aren't in your best interests.

  • Should I represent myself?

    You have the option to represent yourself, but making mistakes has dire consequences. Count on experienced criminal defense lawyers who meet court deadlines, complete paperwork properly, follow the court's rules, examine witnesses, and make arguments that help prevent ruining your life.

  • What makes a good defense attorney?

    A strong Woodbridge criminal defense attorney knows Illinois law and judicial procedures inside and out. They understand how to judge the facts of your case and find and question witnesses that most benefit your defense. They are compassionate and project confidence to you and to the court.

  • What is the statute of limitations for crimes in Illinois?

    The statute of limitations, or the time frame in which you must be charged for a crime, varies according to categories. For misdemeanors, it is 18 months, and for felonies three years. There are exceptions to these rules for some serious crimes, so you should consult our criminal defense attorneys to learn more about your specific situation.

Felony Offenses in Illinois

 

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 longer, and many carry mandatory minimum jail sentences.

Illinois has several classes of felonies, with severity depending on the circumstances. For example, punishment for drug possession depends on the type and amount of the drug. Class 4 felonies such as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or possessing 30.1 to 500.0 gm of marijuana can lead to 1-3 years imprisonment and fines up to $25,000.

A class 1 felony, such as kidnapping, sexual assault, and possession of cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine can lead to imprisonment of 4-15 years and fines of up to $25,000.

People convicted of felonies are sentenced to state or federal prison, and certain felonies are punishable by death. In federal court, the fines and time in prison following conviction increase drastically. Class A felonies at the federal level can lead to possible life imprisonment and fines of up to $250,000.

Misdemeanor Offenses in Illinois

 

Misdemeanor criminal charges have a maximum sentence of one year in jail or less, with no mandatory minimum jail time for most charges. They can include fines of up to $2,500. Misdemeanor convictions also affect your professional and personal life. For many misdemeanors, a second or subsequent offense increases the risk of a jail sentence.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys know the best way to handle misdemeanor charges is with the same aggressive approach as felonies. Having a misdemeanor on your record can present many challenges in life, and it is in your best interests to speak to a skilled, experienced attorney who will fight to reduce or eliminate the charges against you.

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 Woodridge 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 Woodridge 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 Woodridge criminal defense lawyer in DuPage County 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 Woodridge criminal defense attorney, call Wolfe & Stec at (630) 305-0222 for a free consultation.

Start Your Defense

The experienced and seasoned Woodridge 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. Our criminal defense attorney at Wolfe & Stec can explain your rights as you move through the criminal justice process.
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 Woodridge 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 Woodridge 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 criminal defense 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
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Our Woodridge 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 County 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.
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Incarceration in county jail or state prison

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Fines, penalty assessments and other costs

incorrect list icon

Registration as a sex offender

drivers license icon

Driver’s license suspension or revocation

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Permanent criminal record

car locked icon

Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)

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Required completion of classes and/or counseling

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Probation

If you have been accused of any criminal charges, get help today from our defense lawyer 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 Woodridge 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 Woodridge 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

Attorney Marc Wolfe

Marc Wolfe has been representing clients in criminal matters in Chicago and the entire State of Illinois for over 30 years. Mr. Wolfe has tried over 300 cases to verdict and represents clients facing investigation or prosecution for a broad range of state and federal criminal offenses, including murder, embezzlement, sexual abuse, drugs, marijuana and white collar crimes. [ Attorney Bio ]

What Happens When Arrested for a Sex Crime?

January 25, 2024 / Criminal Defense

If you are facing arrest for a sex crime, you may be concerned about what happens. When arrested for a sex crime in Illinois, you begin the process that can eventually result in being found guilty of your charges or being released. Throughout this process, it is essential for you to have an experienced sex … Continue reading What Happens When Arrested for a Sex Crime?

Woodridge Illinois Law Firm

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

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