If you are facing criminal charges in Cook County, IL, you are probably extremely worried about your future. Being convicted of a crime means a lot more than jail time, fines, and probation. With a criminal record, you will face difficulty getting employed, accessing housing, getting loans from a bank, and much more. To the criminal justice system, your case is just another number that needs to be passed through as soon as possible. However, to you, a criminal conviction will have serious repercussions for the rest of your life.
The only way to ensure that you do not fall victim to the criminal legal system, and to the tactics of the state prosecutor, is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The criminal defense lawyers at Hirsch Law Group have seen firsthand how unfair the criminal justice system is towards defendants. Our lawyers have worked as former prosecutors, and we use this unique experience to fight against the system and protect the rights of our clients.
Regardless of the type of criminal charges that you are facing, you should always ensure to have strong legal representation by your side. Our criminal defense attorneys will investigate your case, build a strong criminal defense on your behalf, and provide aggressive legal representation throughout all stages of your criminal case. We care about your future and we want to protect it at all costs.
Call our criminal defense law firm today at 312-967-0275 to schedule a free consultation.
How Does The Criminal Justice System Work in Cook County, IL?
Many people who are charged with criminal offenses have no prior knowledge or experience with the criminal legal system. In many cases, people are unaware of the serious consequences of a criminal conviction and do not prepare sufficiently to fight against their criminal charges.
The first thing you should know is that the criminal legal system is built against the accused. The prosecutor and police officers involved in your case will do almost anything in their power to secure a conviction. Their priority is getting your case through the court system as quickly as possible. Most public defenders, due to their massive workload, will not have the time to build up a strong defense strategy on your behalf, and will likely ask you to make a plea deal, which is what the prosecution wants.
This however means that you plead guilty, which results in a permanent criminal record. If you lack knowledge and experience with the system, it is easy to fall victim and wind up with a criminal record. This is why you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney, to ensure that your legal rights are protected at all costs.
Depending on the particular circumstances of your case and the criminal charges that you are facing, there will likely have been an initial investigation into your case. During the investigation stage of criminal cases, police officers and the prosecution will gather evidence against you to try and secure a conviction. This can include speaking to witnesses, speaking with victims, checking for physical evidence, consulting surveillance cameras, and setting up traps.
Once the police and criminal prosecution have sufficient evidence against you, they will arrest you and bring formal criminal charges against you. The prosecution must bring forward sufficient evidence to a Judge to get an arrest warrant, and without enough evidence the warrant can be invalid.
It is important that your rights are respected during your arrest and that both the prosecution and police officers do not violate your rights. The arresting officer must read you your Miranda rights and allow you to stay silent until you speak to a lawyer. They will try and use tactics against you in the police station to try and get a confession from you, as their priority is securing a conviction.
Once you have been arrested, you should request a criminal defense attorney immediately, and stay silent until you have received legal advice. We have seen many criminal cases in which a person was coerced into confessing at a police station before they requested a criminal defense attorney, which resulted in a criminal conviction.
Following the arrest and questioning by police, your case may be brought forward to a Judge. At this point, you will have consulted with your criminal defense lawyer about whether or not you will plead guilty. If you decided to plead guilty, your criminal defense attorney should have arranged a favorable plea agreement that ensures a low sentence and reflects your level of guilt.
If you decide to plead not guilty, your criminal case will be brought forward to a jury trial, at which stage it will be up to the Judge and jury to decide on your culpability. If you go to a criminal trial, it is vital that you have strong legal representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Criminal trials can be extremely tough, and you may face a much harsher sentence if you are found guilty.
The lawyers at Hirsch Law Group have significant experience fighting cases at trial and we have former prosecutor experience, meaning that we know the tactics they will use against you. Our criminal defense attorneys have what it takes to secure a not-guilty verdict at trial.
Criminal Offenses in Cook County, IL
If you are a citizen of Cook County, you are required to abide by local state criminal laws and federal laws. Illinois criminal law is built up of statutes and laws that criminalize particular acts, such as possession of drugs, assaulting another person, and car theft. If you violate any of these laws, you are subject to the jurisdiction of criminal law, which can result in you facing punishment, such as time in prison, fines, community service, and probation periods.
The penalties you face for a particular crime generally depend on the level of seriousness, whether there were victims, where the crime took place, and if you have a previous criminal record. Crimes are divided up into misdemeanor offenses and felony offenses, according to their severity level.
Generally, misdemeanor offenses are regarded as less serious than felony charges. As such, the penalties for a misdemeanor conviction are typically less severe than those for a felony conviction. However, if you are convicted of a misdemeanor you will still receive a criminal record and you may have to spend time in jail, depending on the crime you are convicted of. Some misdemeanor offenses in Illinois include:
- DUI, aggravated speeding, and other traffic-related offenses
- Domestic violence
- Minor drug offenses such as possession of a low-schedule controlled substance
- Probation violations
Although the penalties for conviction of a misdemeanor are less severe, you could still be faced with jail time, fines, probation periods, and community service. An experienced Cook County criminal defense attorney from our firm can help try to get your misdemeanor charges thrown out or reduce the penalties substantially.
Felony offenses are regarded as more serious than misdemeanor offenses and as such, the penalties for a conviction are far more serious. If you have been charged with a felony in Cook County, it is important that you seek help from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Felony criminal cases can result from any of the following crimes:
- Serious drug crimes such as trafficking and possession of large quantities
- Sex crimes, including rape and aggravated sexual assault
- Murder and manslaughter
- Violent crimes
- Armed crimes
- Financial crimes, including racketeering, fraud, Ponzi schemes, and money laundering
- Aggravated battery or assault
If you are convicted of a felony offense in Cook County, IL, the penalties can be quite severe. You could be looking at a lengthy prison sentence, massive fines, long probation periods, a serious criminal record, and much more. Hiring an experienced criminal lawyer is extremely important with all felony criminal cases, and you will need a strong defense strategy to ensure that you do not fall victim to the criminal legal system.
Consequences of a Criminal Conviction in Cook County, IL
In addition to the initial serious penalties of a conviction, such as jail time, fines, and probation periods, those convicted will receive a permanent criminal record. With a criminal record, life can be a lot more difficult due to background checks. feelings of ostracization from society. When you leave prison or finish your probation period, you will be subject to many background checks from employers, government agencies, education institutes, and more. Your record will be publicly available until you qualify to get it expunged or sealed within the state.
If you apply for a job, an employer is a lot less likely to hire you with a conviction on your record. Some types of employment specifically do not hire those with a conviction, such as education and state jobs. Although it is still possible to get employment with a criminal background, it will be a lot more difficult. You will also face difficulties applying to banks or financial institutions for loans, as they are less likely to grant loans to those with a criminal background.
Further, it can be extremely difficult to access public housing if you have a criminal background. If you are already in public housing, you may be evicted once you are convicted of a crime, which can cause extreme difficulties and upturn your life. With a felony conviction, you will also have some legal rights revoked, such as the right to bear arms and the right to vote in elections.
As such, if you are facing criminal charges, it is important that you do everything that you can to avoid getting a permanent criminal record. The best way to protect your future and ensure the rest of your life is not impacted by a criminal record is by hiring one of our experienced Cook County criminal defense attorneys.
What Can a Criminal Defense Attorney in Cook County, IL Do For Me?
The primary jobs of criminal defense lawyers are to ensure that you do not fall victim to the criminal legal system and that you get the best result possible for your case. In doing this, they must ensure that your rights are protected at all costs, that your opinion is listened to, and that all possible avenues for your defense are explored. Under criminal law, you reserve the right to retain an attorney, and usually, the court will appoint a public defender to your case if you do not hire legal counsel.
However, if you want to ensure that you get the best possible representation for your case, it is advised that you hire an independent legal team. A lawyer that has the requisite time to dedicate to your case will be able to call out the prosecution on any false allegations or arguments, get a fair plea deal, or try and get your charges thrown out completely. Some ways that an experienced criminal lawyer can help you include:
When it comes to criminal defense law, your attorney should always carry out an in-depth investigation into your criminal case. In many cases, a lot of the evidence brought against a defendant does not have enough substance to secure a conviction. However, without questioning by a lawyer, this evidence can easily get through and result in a conviction. As such, a good criminal lawyer should examine all evidence put forward by the prosecution, go through police reports, speak with any witnesses to the scene, and check that all evidence seized by police is legally valid.
A good criminal defense attorney should have significant negotiation skills. Your attorney should be negotiating with the prosecution to either get the charges thrown out or to get you a fair plea agreement. They should also have the skills necessary to negotiate in court on your behalf and fight to ensure that you get a fair criminal trial.
Build a Criminal Defense Strategy
By using the evidence obtained during the investigation stage and by speaking with those involved in your criminal case, your Cook County criminal defense attorney should build a strong criminal defense strategy on your behalf to prevent you from being convicted. The strategy they will build for your case depends on the particular circumstances, including whether there is sufficient evidence, whether you have an alibi, or whether you acted in self-defense.
When facing criminal charges, you are coming up against a system that is not built in your favor. Without a strong Cook County, IL criminal defense attorney, you are taking a huge risk on your freedom and your future. Contact the criminal defense lawyers at Hirsch Law Group today to discuss the potential defense strategies that could be used in your case.
Serving the Following Towns in Cook County, IL:
- Arlington Heights
- Elk Grove Village
- Oak Park
- Rolling Meadows
- Des Plaines
- Blue Island
- Oak Lawn
- Park Ridge
- Hoffman Estates
- Mount Prospect
- Chicago Heights
- Forest Park
- Melrose Park
- La Grange
- Evergreen Park
- Oak Forest
- Franklin Park
- South Holland
- Palos Heights
- Morton Grove
- Elmwood Park
- Hazel Crest
- River Forest
- Calumet City
Contact a Cook County Criminal Defense Lawyer at Hirsch Law Group!
The criminal process can be extremely tough for those accused of crimes. Whether it relates to drug offenses, violent crimes, traffic-related offenses, or petty offenses, the top priority of police officers and the prosecution is getting criminal cases through the process as soon as possible. The justice system does not take into account the future consequences of a criminal conviction on a person, and they do not care about your future.
As such, it is important that you take matters into your own hands and ensure that your legal rights are protected. The best way to ensure that you do not fall victim to the criminal legal system and that your life is not severely impacted by a conviction is to get legal help from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
At Hirsch Law Group, we have been helping Cook County clients defend their charges for over 15 years, and we have a combined legal expertise of over 100 years. Our aggressive criminal defense attorneys are proud to serve and protect the rights of those accused of crimes and build strong defense strategies to prevent a conviction. We can help you build a defense strategy for any type of criminal offense you have been charged with and our criminal defense lawyers have the skills necessary to get a favorable outcome in your case.
Our criminal defense practice extends throughout 13 counties in Illinois and we are highly experienced with Illinois criminal law. We want to protect your future, protect your rights, and guide you smoothly through the legal process.
Call our criminal defense law firm today to schedule a free consultation at 312-967-0275.