While not as serious as 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 experienced and compassionate Illinois criminal law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., understand the seriousness of your situation and offer aggressive representation for clients facing criminal charges. We have a proven track record of success defending clients accused of both misdemeanors and felonies, and we will do everything possible to vigorously fight for your rights and your freedom.
We offer a free initial consultation. If you have been accused of any criminal charges, get help today by calling 630-305-0222.
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 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:
In Illinois, misdemeanors are classified as Class A, B, or C, according to severity.
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 punishments of:
Some examples include:
If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor, it may be possible to receive 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 can not 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 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.
In Illinois, misdemeanors have a statute of limitations of 18 months. This means 18 months after the crime was allegedly committed, you many no longer be subject to criminal prosecution should someone decide to bring charges.
A criminal record for a misdemeanor will affect you for the rest of your life if you cannot get it sealed or expunged. Illinois law is complicated, and judges do not always interpret it consistently, so it makes sense to have the experienced team at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. on your side. 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.
Don’t delay — contact us for help today at 630-305-0222 if you have been accused of any criminal charges. Our Illinois misdemeanor lawyers represent clients in DuPage County, Will County, Cook County, Naperville, Aurora, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Bolingbrook, and the Greater Chicagoland area in Illinois. Your free initial consultation can be scheduled at our office.