Many people make the mistake of thinking that misdemeanor charges are not a “big deal” simply because they are less severe than felonies. The truth of the matter, however, is that such charges can have a dramatic impact on your future. They can result in jail time, fines, and a permanent criminal record which may disqualify you from employment. Furthermore, a conviction may result in more serious consequence for future crimes. It cannot be stressed enough that you should contact an attorney when facing such charges. Our misdemeanor defense lawyer represents Chicago area defendants and others in Cook County, Illinois.
Misdemeanors are offenses which may be punished by up to one year in jail and by the imposition of fines. If a crime carries a maximum sentence of more than one year then the defendant will be charged with a felony. Illinois will punish a Class A misdemeanor with up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. A Class B charge can result in a six month sentence and a $1,500 fine while a Class C case carries a maximum sentence of thirty days and a fine of $1,500. All Illinois misdemeanors carry an 18 month statute of limitations. This means that once a crime has been committed then a case must be brought against the defendant within a year and a half.
Misdemeanor cases are heard by the Municipal Court. Once a defendant is charged then there will be an arraignment at which one will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. A trial date will then be set. The defendant will be provided with “discovery” by the prosecutors. The discovery will include police reports, witness statements, as well as any other evidence which the accused is entitled to receive. At trial the defendant may elect to have the case decided by the Judge or a jury. This is a complex process and the rules of courtroom procedure apply; you should retain an experienced attorney to assist you.
Michael J. Brennan is a Chicago criminal defense lawyer representing those accused of misdemeanors. Once retained Michael will attend your arraignment and make any necessary requests to the Judge (such as a request for release pending trial). He will analyze the discovery to determine whether the police violated your rights against search and seizure or if you made statements which can be excluded from Court. Our office will file Motions To Suppress any such evidence. Michael will investigate the scene of the incident, hire an investigator if necessary, and ensure that you are prepared for trial. A former prosecutor, our attorney has tried many cases before juries, is familiar with jury selection, and will guide you through the process. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.
Our office assists with a wide range of cases including charges of domestic violence as well as those involving drug charges.
Michael is a former prosecuting attorney with over thirty years of experience. He is familiar with the Court process and aggressively defends the rights of defendants while providing the highest level of service. He promptly returns phone calls, quickly responds to emails, and makes himself available to answer questions. Do not risk your future with a lesser experienced lawyer. Contact our office today.