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.
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?
Illinois has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and penalties for violating them can be severe. If you are caught violating concealed carry laws, punishments can range from a misdemeanor for a first offense to a class 3 felony for a subsequent offense, which can be punishable by five years in prison … Continue reading First Steps to Take After Being Charged with Carrying a Concealed Weapon
The right to a speedy trial is a fundamental principle in our criminal justice system. According to the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial.” The amendment guarantees a trial within a set period of time, and it prevents the prosecution from unnecessarily … Continue reading What Does a Speedy Trial Mean?
In Illinois, crimes are classified according to how serious they are. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, which are broken down into five classifications, from most serious to least: Class X, Class 1, Class 2, Class 3 and Class 4. Although a Class 4 felony is the least serious of all felony charges, it still … Continue reading What Is a Class 4 Felony in Illinois?
There can be life after prison, although the road to get there is usually difficult and badly needs reform. Consider the case of an Illinois man, now heading to Stanford University after having served 15 years of a 30-year prison sentence for marijuana trafficking. Jason Spyres, now 36, was caught with 38 pounds of marijuana … Continue reading Illinois Man Shares Experience to Highlight Possibilities of Reform
Marijuana laws have become much-debated issues among Illinois lawmakers and candidates for office. Legislators recently approved a bill that allows medical marijuana to be used in place of prescription painkillers and also eliminates requirements for patients to get fingerprints and criminal background checks. While this would make it easier to possess marijuana legally, Governor Bruce … Continue reading Marijuana Laws Continue to Drive Conversation in Illinois
The Illinois criminal justice system is not equipped to handle inmates with mental health issues. Despite the fact that people struggling with mental illness need treatment, in our society too many of them wind up in jail, putting a strain on both those that have the mental health problems and those without them. Estimates from … Continue reading Our Justice System Can’t Cope with Mental Illness
Judges and juries are often swayed by what they think is the scientific reliability of the so-called “forensic sciences” such as analysis of handwriting, fingerprints, hair, bite marks, and blood spatter patterns. No wonder. It can be very impressive when people who claim to be experts in forensic science fields testify as to their conclusions … Continue reading Validity of Bloodstain Patterns Called into Question
DNA genealogy systems are increasingly being used to link perpetrators with a crime. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operates a central DNA database for the country, and Illinois is considering joining the eleven states that already use the process to help their police departments identify criminals. And it’s not just the perpetrator’s DNA that may … Continue reading Genealogy Testing: A New Frontier for Criminal Investigations?
Driving under the influence of prescription medications can be as deadly for drivers as driving under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol. Consequently, even if the doctor prescribed your medication, both prescription and over-the-counter drugs could potentially lead to a DUI. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Roadside Survey, more than 22 … Continue reading Can Legal Medications Result in a DUI?
When children commit terrible crimes, should they be punished for most or all of the rest of their lives? Is our criminal justice system providing what children need to rehabilitate and become useful members of society? How much prison time is too much for crimes committed at an age when brains and judgment are not … Continue reading Illinois Supreme Court to Hear Youth Crime Case