Being convicted of a crime in Illinois can have a major impact on your life. You could have to spend time in jail, pay a large fine, go on probation for a long time, and have a permanent stain on your criminal record. If you are convicted of a felony charge, it is almost impossible to get your record expunged, so your future education and employment opportunities may be limited.
To prevent being convicted of a crime in Crystal Lake or to at least minimize the penalties you receive, you should always seek legal advice and assistance from an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney. Criminal law can be difficult to understand if you are not legally qualified and do not have experience building criminal defenses.
As such, a criminal defense attorney can help you by taking on your criminal case, explaining complex criminal legal issues, and building a strong defense on your behalf. At Hirsch Law Group, our criminal defense lawyers are highly experienced in all aspects of criminal law, and we have helped thousands of clients win their cases in Crystal Lake. Our managing attorney, Gordon H. Hirsch, along with other attorneys on the team, has worked as a former prosecutor, so we are well versed on both sides of the criminal justice system.
If you need an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney that will fight aggressively to ensure that your rights are protected and that you get a fair result in your case, Hirsch Law Group is the right law firm for you.
Criminal Defense Lawyers at Hirsch Law Group
When searching for a criminal defense attorney in Illinois, you want to be represented by somebody with experience, unique skills, passion for their job, qualifications, and enough availability to take the time necessary for your case. A guilty verdict can result in serious penalties and can have a damaging impact on your life.
For this reason, it is important that you have a criminal defense attorney with the skills necessary to get you a favorable outcome for your criminal case. At Hirsch Law Group, our passion is protecting the rights of the accused in criminal cases. Our criminal defense lawyers are highly skilled in not only criminal law, but also in multiple practice areas.
We value attorneys with vast and varied experience, which is why we have several former prosecutors in our firm. In fact, one of our attorneys, Mark Hitt, has worked as a former felony prosecutor and now practices as an aggressive Illinois criminal defense attorney. Because of this, our lawyers know the ins and outs of the prosecutor’s office and they can predict arguments that the prosecution may make in your case.
On top of this, our full-service law firm, which deals with criminal defense law, personal injury law, and all types of legal issues, has been ranked among the 40 best law offices in Illinois state on Expertise.com. A number of our attorneys have also received awards and recognitions through various legal enterprises. So, you know that you are receiving the highest standard of legal care possible when choosing us as your criminal defense attorneys.
Criminal Law in Crystal Lake, IL.
In Illinois, there are laws and statutes set out by the local and federal governments that criminalize certain acts. This body of law, known as criminal law, serves to protect citizens against harm or danger and punish those accused of crimes for their alleged criminal acts.
Criminal law sets out punishments and sentencing guidelines for each crime, and the severity of the penalty depends on the seriousness of the crime and certain factors such as aggravating factors, mitigating factors, and a previous criminal history. In order to reduce the sentence you receive or to avoid a conviction completely, you need to have a strong criminal defense.
In general, there are two categories of crimes, misdemeanor charges and felony charges:
Misdemeanor Criminal Charges
As noted above, crimes in Illinois are categorized depending on their level of seriousness. There are two main categories, felonies, and misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are regarded as the less serious of the two categories and a misdemeanor conviction imposes lighter penalties on those convicted. However, misdemeanor charges should still be taken seriously as they are added to your criminal record
Some common examples of misdemeanors include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI).
- Domestic battery.
- Non-payment of traffic tickets.
- Minor theft.
- Aggravated speeding.
Misdemeanors are divided into categories depending on their severity, A, B, and C, with Class A being the most serious. If you are convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, you could face up to one year of jail time, two years of probation, and a maximum of $2,500 in fines.
For a Class B misdemeanor conviction, you could be looking at up to 6 months of jail time, two years of probation, and $1,500 in fines. The penalties lessen to 30 days jail time, two years of probation, and $1,500 in fines for class C misdemeanors.
Depending on the type of misdemeanor you are convicted of, you may also have to do community service, have your driving privileges revoked, pay restitution to the victims, or attend substance abuse classes.
Felony Criminal Charges
Felony criminal charges are regarded as more serious than misdemeanor charges and as such, they impose more severe penalties on those convicted. If you receive a felony conviction, you will have a permanent criminal record, as expunging felony charges is almost impossible, except for in certain circumstances. A skilled Illinois criminal defense attorney can help you get your criminal record sealed, however, which is almost as effective as expungement.
Felony charges can be brought at the federal or state level, depending on the crime in question and the level of seriousness. If you committed the crime across multiple states, on federal property, or to a degree of seriousness that warrants investigation by a federal organization, then you will be charged by the federal courts. You will need an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are facing federal felony charges in Illinois.
Examples of felony criminal charges include:
- Drug crimes, such as trafficking, manufacturing, and distribution of a controlled substance.
- Violent crimes, such as aggravated assault, aggravated battery, murder, manslaughter, and domestic abuse.
- Sex crimes, including sexual assault, rape, abusive sexual conduct, and sodomy.
- White-collar crimes, such as fraud, embezzlement, racketeering, and money laundering.
- Theft crimes.
- Crimes that endanger others, such as hijacking or kidnapping.
If you have been charged with a felony in Crystal Lake, it is important that you seek legal advice from a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A criminal conviction can stay on your criminal record permanently and you may be sentenced to many years in a federal or state prison. Criminal defense attorneys can fight to ensure that your life is not seriously impacted by a criminal conviction.
Penalties For a Criminal Conviction in Crystal Lake
Penalties for criminal convictions in Crystal Lake, IL, vary significantly depending on the type of crime you have been convicted of and the gravity of the crime. Before imposing a sentence on a convicted person, a judge will consider whether there are any aggravating factors, such as vulnerable victims or organized crime, whether there are mitigating factors, like mental disability, and whether the accused has a previous criminal history.
All of these factors will impact the severity of your sentence, in addition to the skills of your criminal defense attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Illinois can help reduce your sentence significantly by using their unique skills and the circumstances of your case.
Narcotics violations can be tried as misdemeanors, state felonies, or federal felonies, depending on the drug found in your possession and the quantity. Although Illinois has legalized the use of marijuana for personal and medical use, the law still takes a tough approach to the use of all other types of controlled substances.
Drug possession penalties are as follows:
- A maximum sentence of 50 years in prison for possession of Schedule I narcotics.
- Fines of up to $200,000.
- For a misdemeanor, jail time of up to 30 days and fines up to $1,500.
Drug trafficking penalties include:
- From 12 to 120 years in prison, depending on the schedule of drugs and the quantity.
- Fines of up to $1 million.
Drug manufacturing penalties include:
- Imprisonment for up to three years.
- A maximum fine of $25,000.
If you have been charged with a drug crime, it is important that you seek legal representation as soon as you are taken into custody. The penalties for these crimes are serious and you could end up spending a long time in prison if you do not have a criminal defense lawyer to help you.
Many citizens of McHenry County will have at some point, received speeding, parking, or traffic tickets. Although these crimes may not seem serious, they can result in huge fines, revocation of driving privileges, and in some cases, time in jail.
For first-time traffic tickets, the fine can range from $120 for a parking or speeding ticket, to $25,000 for a more serious traffic violation, such as reckless driving. For subsequent traffic violations within a short time period, the fines can increase massively and you may get your driver’s license revoked for a period of time. If you commit more serious traffic violations, you can get your driver’s license revoked permanently.
If you are found driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could be charged with a misdemeanor. If convicted, you may have to spend time in county jail in addition to large fines. For subsequent DUIs, you risk being charged with a felony and having a permanent stain on your record.
Financial crimes or white-collar crimes are crimes that typically involve large amounts of money, such as fraud, embezzlement, wire fraud, bribery, money laundering, racketeering, and Ponzi schemes. These charges can be brought against those in a position of power, such as CEO’s, or they can be brought for minor crimes such as putting the incorrect name on a prescription to obtain drugs in a pharmacy.
Even though these crimes are not violent in nature, the penalties can be severe. In some cases, you can be charged with a first-degree felony, and sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. In general, these crimes are charged as follows:
- First-degree felony – Fines of up to $10,000 and a maximum sentence of 30 years.
- Second-degree felony – Fines of up to $10,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
- Third-degree felony – Fines of up to $5,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 5 years.
- First-degree misdemeanor – Fines of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to 1 year.
- Second-degree misdemeanor – Up to $500 in fines and jail time of 60 days maximum.
Contact our law office for a free consultation if you have been charged with a white-collar or financial crime. We can help get your charges thrown out or your penalties reduced significantly.
Of all crimes a person can commit in Illinois, murder is up there with the most serious. As such, the penalties for murder are extremely harsh and a guilty verdict of first-degree murder can result in life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
If you have been accused of murder, it is extremely important that you contact a Crystal Lake IL criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Anything that you say in these cases can be used as evidence against you, so it is important that you receive legal guidance from the moment you are taken into custody.
Some penalties for a murder conviction include:
- First-degree murder – Up to 60 years in prison, with the possibility of life imprisonment if there are aggravating factors. There is no possibility of parole with first-degree murder convictions.
- Second-degree murder – From 4 to 20 years in prison, with the possibility of 4 years probation.
For cases of manslaughter, when there was no intention to kill the person, the charges are as follows:
- Involuntary manslaughter – From 2 to 7 years in prison, depending on whether there were aggravating factors.
- Reckless homicide – From 2 to 7 years in prison, depending on whether there were aggravating factors.
A murder conviction is one of the most serious convictions an individual can receive in Illinois. Ensure to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer so that you can make informed decisions about your case and have a strong criminal defense to help prevent spending the rest of your life in prison.
How Is Bail Determined in Criminal Cases in Crystal Lake, IL?
If you are charged with a crime in Crystal Lake, you will be held on bail to await your trial. This means that you will be required to stay in a county jail unless you can pay the bail amount set out by the judge presiding over your case. Once you appear in court for your trial, this money will then be refunded.
The judge holds discretion over the amount of bail that should be applied in your case. When deciding on this amount, they will usually consider the following factors:
- Your financial situation.
- Whether the bail amount is oppressive.
- If you have the means required to meet the bail bond.
- If you are charged with a drug crime, the street value of the drugs will be taken into consideration.
It is important to note that bail can not be granted in all cases. If the judge determines that you are a flight risk, you pose a risk to the public or to the victim, or with certain weapons and felony charges, they will not post a bail amount. As such, you will have to remain in the county jail until the end of your trial.
Criminal defense lawyers can also have a huge impact on the amount of bail determined by the judge. If you have good representation, your attorney will argue your case to the judge, explain that you are unable to meet the bond requirements, and try to get the bail reduced.
What Can an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney Do For Me?
As a defendant in a criminal case, you are in an extremely vulnerable position. Usually, it is your rights and freedoms that are on the line, and a guilty verdict could result in these rights and freedoms being taken away. Because the stakes are so high in criminal cases, it is extremely important that you have a skilled criminal defense lawyer by your side.
Some things a criminal defense lawyer can do for you include:
- Investigate your case – The first responsibility of a defense lawyer is to communicate with you about your case, listen to your story, and investigate all evidence and aspects of the case. This includes speaking to witnesses, examining police reports, and researching the law thoroughly.
- Recommend a defense strategy – Once a thorough investigation has taken place, your lawyer should come up with a strong defense strategy to get your charges thrown out or reduced substantially. They will then recommend this strategy to you and get your opinions on it.
- Negotiate a plea bargain – If your lawyer believes there is sufficient evidence against you for a conviction, they will suggest negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecutor. This means that they will try to negotiate a lower charge with a lesser sentence, to avoid going to trial.
- Fight your case at trial – Once a strong criminal defense has been built, and you have communicated effectively with your lawyer, they will then fight your case at trial. This includes bringing forward motions to the judge, cross-examining witnesses, presenting evidence to a judge or jury, and trying to prove your innocence. A criminal trial can be high-pressure and require a lot of skill, which is why you should hire a criminal defense lawyer with experience.
A criminal conviction can have a permanent effect on your life, whether this is some time spent in prison, a permanent criminal record, or a tarnished reputation. As such, hiring a criminal defense lawyer is the most important thing you can do to avoid your rights and freedoms being taken away.
Contact a Crystal Lake Il Criminal Defense Lawyer at Hirsch Law Group
If you have been charged with a crime in Crystal Lake, IL., you should speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Facing criminal charges can be extremely daunting and often, those accused, are ill-advised on the options available in their case.
The most important thing in any criminal case is having good representation. A lawyer that is highly experienced in criminal defense law will be able to guide you through your case and take away any worries you have. At Hirsch Law Group, our Illinois criminal defense attorneys are ready to take on your case completely and fight aggressively on your behalf.
Our law office has a team of super lawyers that can help minimize your sentence, reduce your penalties, or get your charges thrown out completely. We offer a free consultation for you to receive legal advice on your case with no strings attached. Our priority is protecting your rights as a defendant and ensuring that you are not treated unfairly by the criminal justice system.
Schedule a free consultation with our law firm today by calling 815-880-1134.