If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Waukegan, IL, you will need an excellent criminal defense attorney to help you win your case. Regardless of whether you have been charged with a minor misdemeanor or a felony charge, you should always seek legal representation from an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney who can advise you on how you should proceed.
Criminal allegations can be daunting and frightening for the accused and can often cause severe stress. Coming up against prosecutors is not easy, particularly if you have little knowledge of the criminal justice system in Waukegan. You must have a solid criminal defense strategy for your criminal case to prevent spending time in prison, paying huge fines, or having a permanent criminal record.
We have a team of experienced criminal defense attorneys at Hirsch Law Group who can help you win your case. Our law offices represent clients facing criminal charges for all types of crimes. Our criminal defense lawyers are highly experienced in criminal defense law and have been successful in murder cases, sex crime cases, traffic violation cases, and other criminal offenses in Illinois.
Our managing attorney and other criminal lawyers in the team have worked as former prosecutors in Illinois, so we know how both sides of the system work. Our priority is to treat your case compassionately and provide aggressive representation to ensure the best outcome.
Do I Need to Hire a Waukegan, IL, Criminal Lawyer?
If you have been charged with a crime in Illinois, you have a constitutional right under the Sixth Amendment to have an attorney. Usually, the court will assign you a public defender if you have not already hired a criminal defense lawyer. However, in most cases, public defenders are overloaded with cases and cannot designate sufficient time and effort for your case.
As such, it is strongly advised that you hire an experienced Waukegan criminal lawyer as soon as possible to avoid a criminal conviction. Trying to navigate the criminal legal system alone, without the backing of an attorney, can be extremely difficult. In most cases, you will be against prosecutors who have built a robust case to ensure a conviction. You must present a solid criminal defense to the court to prevent a criminal conviction or harsh penalties.
A criminal defense lawyer will be able to take over your case entirely on your behalf and do all of the hard work for you. From the get-go, they will investigate the facts and evidence of your case, explain how criminal defense law works, speak with any witnesses to the alleged crime, negotiate with the prosecutor and judge for a plea bargain, and build an airtight criminal defense on your behalf.
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At Hirsch Law Group, we understand the gravity of criminal charges and the stress they can bring to an individual’s life. We are committed to providing our clients with the best defense strategy to help them win their cases. So, don’t hesitate. Contact us today at 815-880-1134 and schedule a free consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys. We are here to help you!
Depending on the particular crime and the seriousness of the crime, those who are convicted can face serious penalties such as lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines, probation, community service, and a permanent criminal record.
If you are facing criminal charges in Waukegan, IL., you should speak with a Waukegan personal injury lawyer about your case. They can explain how the criminal legal system works and offer you legal advice on your case.
Penalties for criminal convictions in Waukegan, Illinois, vary massively. If you are convicted of a crime, a judge will hand out a penalty after considering the following factors:
Type of crime – Most crimes have statutes that set out the minimum and maximum sentences that can be handed out for a conviction. Serious and violent crimes have much harsher penalties than minor crimes and misdemeanors, such as traffic violations. The judge will consider the sentencing guidelines for the crime when handing out a sentence.
Aggravating factors – If additional factors, known as aggravating factors, worsen the crime, you will face a harsher sentence. Examples of these factors include hate crimes against members of a protected group, vulnerable victims such as children and older adults, serious harm, whether actual or threatened, an organized crime such as membership of a gang, abuse of power for those in a position of higher authority, and use of a firearm.
Mitigating factors – Your sentence may be reduced if certain factors lessened your responsibility or made your intention less harmful. Examples of mitigating factors include provocation, lack of consideration, law-abiding citizen before committing the crime, unlikely to re-offend, the crime was not violent, having an intellectual disability, and having compensated the victim in some shape or form.
Criminal history – The defendant’s previous criminal history is another significant factor. A first-time offender will likely receive a lighter sentence than someone with a criminal history. Repeat offenders often face increasingly severe penalties due to the persistence of unlawful behavior, reflecting a lack of respect for the law and posing a potential ongoing risk to the community.
Victim Impact Statements – Judges also often consider statements from the victims of the crime. These statements can give the judge a better understanding of the harm caused by the crime and can influence the severity of the penalty.
The Degree of Cooperation With Law Enforcement – If the accused cooperates with the police and the court, it may result in a lesser sentence. This cooperation could involve providing information that helps solve the case or other open cases, testifying against co-defendants, or pleading guilty to avoid a trial.
Restitution and Victim Impact Statements – The judge may also consider whether the accused has tried to compensate the victim for their loss (restitution). In many jurisdictions, the victim or the victim’s family can present a victim impact statement during sentencing. This statement provides the judge with a firsthand account of the trauma and damages the crime has caused, which can significantly influence the final penalty.
Societal Impact – Some crimes might have a broader impact on the community beyond the immediate victim(s). In these cases, judges might consider the societal implications of the crime and how a particular sentence might act as a deterrent for similar offenses in the future.
Rehabilitative Potential – Lastly, the judge might consider the defendant’s potential for rehabilitation. Suppose the defendant is likely to be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society. In that case, the judge might opt for a less severe sentence or consider alternatives to imprisonment, such as probation or community service. On the other hand, if the defendant is deemed a danger to society and unlikely to be rehabilitated, the judge might impose a stricter sentence to protect the community.
A good Waukegan criminal lawyer can help ensure that the penalty you receive is minimal and that a criminal conviction does not impact your freedom. Schedule a free consultation with our law firm today to discuss how we can reduce your penalty in Waukegan, Illinois.
Many people are unsure about the difference between felony and misdemeanor charges in Illinois. In general, misdemeanor charges are regarded as less severe. However, you can still face time in prison and have to pay fines if convicted. Felonies, however, are considered to be much more serious crimes.
A felony charge can be brought at the state or federal level. For a charge to be brought to the federal level, the crime must meet a certain level of seriousness that warrants investigation by a federal agency and trial in a federal court. For example, if you traffic drugs across state lines, have involvement in a criminal organization that spreads across multiple states, or traffic/produce child pornography, you can be charged with a federal felony.
Some white-collar crimes are also charged at a federal level, mainly when they involve a large organization, have been committed across state or country lines, or have impacted individuals in more than one state.
In reality, many crimes criminalized under state law are also considered crimes under federal law. However, the federal government or governmental bodies will charge defendants in the abovementioned situations. At the state level, felonies are divided into certain classes depending on their level of seriousness.
Class X felony charges are regarded as the most serious types of felonies. The minimum sentence for a Class X felony conviction is six years and can extend to 60 years in certain circumstances. If you are convicted of a Class X criminal conviction, you are not eligible for probation or conditional release.
This category’s crimes are usually aggravated or involve a firearm or weapon. Some examples of crimes in this category include aggravated criminal sexual assault, vehicular hijacking, aggravated discharge of a firearm, and aggravated kidnapping.
If you have been charged with a Class X felony, you should seek help from an experienced Waukegan criminal lawyer as soon as possible. You will need a strong criminal defense to fight a serious criminal charge of this nature.
Crimes in this category are regarded as grave crimes by the court system; however, the penalties are slightly less severe than felonies in Class X. If you are convicted of a Class 1 Felony, you will be looking at a minimum of 4 years in jail and up to 30 years depending on the circumstances of your case.
Examples of felonies in this category include criminal sexual assault, second-degree murder, and residential burglary. Working with a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Waukegan can help you build a strong case to reduce your sentence or potentially dismiss the charges.
Penalties for a Class 2 felony can range from 3 years to 7 years in prison, which can extend to 14 years for an extended term. Like all other felony criminal convictions in Illinois, it will stay on your criminal record permanently, except in certain situations.
Common examples of Class 2 felonies include robbery, unlawful purchase of a firearm, aggravated domestic violence, and aggravated domestic battery.
Felonies in this category are considered less severe than the categories listed above. However, they still carry a prison sentence of 2 to 5 years if convicted. This period can extend to 10 years in certain circumstances.
Some crimes considered Class 3 felonies include narcotics charges such as meth possession under $5,000, aggravated battery, reckless discharge of a firearm, and aggravated stalking.
Although still serious crimes, Class 4 felonies are the lowest-level felony you can be convicted of. Often, crimes not yet categorized into felony classes will be charged as Class 4 felonies. The penalties for a conviction of this nature can include 1-3 years in prison, extending up to 6 years in some instances, fines of up to $25,000, 1 year of supervised release, up to 30 months of provisional release, or probation, or periodic imprisonment up to 18 months.
Examples of crimes in this category include identity theft, some drug crimes, and selling stolen property online.
Although Class 4 felonies are the least serious of the different categories, a felony conviction will stay on your criminal record permanently and can affect your future employment and education prospects. You should seek the legal services of an experienced Waukegan criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you are facing felony charges. The sooner you act in these cases, the better chance your case will have.
When you hire a criminal defense attorney, you want to ensure they have the requisite experience and skill set to win your case. Facing criminal charges can be daunting, and most people who have been accused of a crime want their lawyer to get them the most favorable outcome possible and relieve them from the stress they feel.
There are specific skills and assets you should look out for when trying to find the best criminal lawyer in Waukegan for you:
Relevant experience – You should always ensure that the attorney you hire has adequate experience dealing with criminal law. A good criminal defense attorney will have an in-depth understanding of how the criminal law system works, will be able to analyze different aspects of the law, and will be up to date on all recent statutes and judgments. Added experience is also always desirable, such as experience as a former prosecutor or with different aspects of the law.
Availability- Your criminal defense lawyer should dedicate all the necessary time and effort to your case and not rush through it to collect a paycheck and leave. In many cases, a public defender will be overloaded with cases and be unable to dedicate sufficient time to your case. As such, you must hire a criminal defense lawyer who does not deal with too many cases at once and always has time to discuss your case with you.
Qualified – An experienced criminal defense attorney should be qualified to represent clients adequately. Ensure that your criminal lawyer has a law degree from a reputable law firm, is recognized by the Lake County Bar Association, and whose qualifications are up to date.
Trial experience – On top of experience with criminal law, your defense attorney should have sufficient experience bringing cases to trial with both judges and juries. Although you may want to avoid a trial, if you choose to plead not guilty or your lawyer cannot reach a settlement with the prosecutors, you will need to bring your case to trial. As such, you should ensure a highly experienced trial lawyer, such as the criminal defense lawyers from our law firm.
Understanding – Facing criminal charges is an extremely personal experience. For most people, you want to have a criminal defense attorney who understands your point of view and believes your story. A lawyer who understands and listens to your situation can then use the information you give them to build up a solid criminal defense on your behalf.
Good communication skills – Criminal defense lawyers sometimes fail to communicate with their clients about how their case progresses because of the client’s lack of understanding of criminal law. However, an experienced criminal defense attorney should communicate with you at all stages of the case to ensure that you are up to date. You must always be kept in the loop and have input into the decisions being made on your behalf.
Flexible – Your attorney should be flexible and willing to adapt to the changing circumstances of your case. A good criminal lawyer will always have different strategies to give you the best chances of success. They should be able to adjust their approach depending on the evidence and developments of your case. This flexibility is crucial for a criminal defense lawyer who can adapt to any situation.
Effective negotiator – A good criminal defense attorney should have excellent negotiation skills, as most cases rarely go to trial and are resolved through plea bargaining instead. A skilled negotiator will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case to determine the best course of action, whether it be negotiating a plea deal or taking your case to trial.
At Hirsch Law Group, our criminal defense lawyers are highly experienced in what they do. We know the importance of having a lawyer who fights aggressively for your case and deals with all legal issues. If you need a skilled criminal defense lawyer, you should schedule a free consultation with our law office today.
If you have been charged with a crime in Waukegan, IL, you should first contact an experienced Waukegan criminal lawyer. Legal representation from the first stage of your case is the best way to avoid a conviction and serious criminal penalties.
The lawyers at Hirsch Law Group have what it takes to win your criminal case in Waukegan, IL. Our law office has extensive experience helping clients with their criminal cases and protecting their rights as defendants. We know how important it is to have a robust criminal defense when facing criminal charges, and we will do everything it takes to win your case.
Our lawyers are highly experienced in criminal law, and we have team members who have worked as former prosecutors and some registered with the Illinois State Bar Association. Our law firm guarantees the highest professionalism and care regarding your case. We will analyze the evidence in your case and work tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome.
Our criminal defense lawyers are available to answer any questions you may have about the legal process and your rights as a defendant. We will help you make the most of your defense case and fight for your legal rights.