If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, you are probably frightened and unsure of where to turn. While punishments for misdemeanors are not as severe as those for 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 effects on your life and your future are too important for you to fight misdemeanor charges on your own. You need a criminal defense lawyer experienced with these cases on your side to fight for your rights and your freedom.
The skilled and compassionate Illinois criminal law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., understand what you are going through and the seriousness of your situation. We offer aggressive representation for clients facing criminal charges. We know the tactics prosecutors use to try to get convictions, and have a proven track record of success defending clients accused of both misdemeanors and felonies. We will do everything possible to vigorously fight for you.
The experienced and seasoned Woodridge misdemeanor defense attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., understand how serious any criminal charges are and offer aggressive representation for our clients from the start. 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. We are skilled litigators and will work with you to fully understand the facts surrounding your case. We will thoroughly investigate your case and be your strong advocate in the courtroom. Often, we are able to find ways to have your charges lowered or dismissed.
When you have us on your side, we will:
When our defense lawyers take on a criminal case, we gather information quickly and look at all defense options. Based on the facts, we make a decision about the best legal strategy and start taking steps to build your defense. We handle your defense right – right from the start.
Misdemeanor offense criminal charges in Illinois 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:
Our misdemeanor defense lawyers are fully prepared to handle all misdemeanor charges. We know how important this is to you, and you can count on us for the best defense possible.
According to the Illinois code of corrections (730 ILCS 5/) misdemeanors are classified as Class A, B, or C, according to severity. Punishments vary according to classification and the circumstances of the crime.
A class A misdemeanor in Illinois is the most serious and is punishable by:
(730 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/5-4.5-55)
Some examples of Class A Misdemeanors are:
A class B misdemeanor conviction is punishable by:
Examples of Class B Misdemeanor crimes include:
A class C misdemeanor is the least serious, but can still result in punishment of:
Some examples include:
If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor, our misdemeanor lawyer may be able to get you 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 cannot 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 have 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.
You should get a lawyer for a misdemeanor, as misdemeanors are still considered serious crimes. If your case is not handled properly, penalties can include up to 364 days in jail, fines, and up to two years of probation. Not only that, a conviction will bring a criminal record that will follow you and negatively impact your professional and personal life, including your educational and career aspirations, your family relationships, your housing situation, and immigration benefits.
Your lawyer will handle the many steps and procedures that must be followed — filing papers in a timely manner, and making court appearances and arguments. Making a mistake can make the difference between being found guilty or not guilty, being sent to jail and going free.
With consequences so severe and life-changing, it pays to get legal assistance. An experienced Illinois criminal law attorney know the courts, the judges and the system, and how to plea bargain and negotiate and when to take your case to trial. Your attorney will do everything possible to fight for your rights and your freedom at every step of the court process and is your best chance for staying for out of jail.
Your lawyer will examine the charges and evidence and come up with the best strategy to get the charges dropped, reduced, or prevail at trial. Maybe the chain of evidence was done incorrectly or the police forgot to read you your Miranda rights. Perhaps the Illinois statute of limitations of 18 months has expired and you may no longer be subject to criminal prosecution. Your lawyer will look for weaknesses in the case against you and will do everything possible to fight for your rights and your freedom at every step of the court process. Your lawyer is your best bet for staying out of jail.
Illinois law is complicated, and a criminal record for a misdemeanor will affect you for the rest of your life, but the experienced legal team at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are here to help you fight these charges. 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.
Our attorneys can work with experts such as investigators or reconstruction specialists to examine the evidence prosecutors are using, to find flaws in their case against you. For example, there may be:
Our Woodridge criminal defense lawyers will be there for you throughout the entire legal process, walking you through each step of your defense and ensuring that you are fully prepared. Time is of the essence, so call Wolfe & Stec as soon as possible after an arrest.
If you don’t know what your rights are, the chances are that police and prosecutors can trip you into saying or doing something that can be used against you. When you hire our Woodridge criminal defense attorneys, we will make sure you know your rights so you can avoid making mistakes. These include:
The Woodridge criminal defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec are aware that rights violations or improper procedures may be reason to have your case dismissed before it ever gets to trial, and we will look for any mistakes made by law enforcement or the prosecution that can have your case thrown out.
When you are accused of a crime in Illinois, the consequences can change your life forever, so it’s natural to be afraid and unsure of where to turn. Having a highly skilled Woodridge criminal defense lawyer on your side from the start can reduce your anxiety and the chances of your making a mistake. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can go to work to build your case while evidence is still available and witnesses can be found.
At Wolfe & Stec, our attorneys will make sure that no stone is left unturned in building your defense. We will work with you, answer your questions, and keep you informed about your case through every step of the process.
After the police broke into our client’s house, we successfully suppressed the evidence and the case was subsequently dismissed.
We have tried many aggravated battery and domestic batter cases. Our most recent success was our client was charged with attacking and stabbing the victim in their home. After conducting extensive discovery, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing all the factors contained in the case, we were able to get the cause dismissed.
We handle numerous first and repeat DUIs and have excellent success in acquittals or reductions of charges with minimum impact for our clients. As members of the NACDL, we have numerous expert witnesses available to rebut the vast resources of the prosecution and receive favorable rulings.