Tag Archives: criminal charges

St. Charles crimes defense attorney

Being arrested and charged with a crime can be a shocking and overwhelming experience. In some cases, a person can be falsely accused of an offense. It is important to know that individuals accused of a crime are protected by the United States Constitution as well as other statutes. It is critically important for anyone who is facing criminal charges to remember that he or she is entitled to certain rights as a criminal defendant, in addition to being innocent until proven guilty. When a defendant’s rights are violated, it can dramatically affect the outcome of any future criminal proceedings.

Your Right to Remain Silent

If you have ever watched a true crime television show or movie, you probably heard the phrase, “You have the right to remain silent.” This right is specifically stated in the Miranda Warning, a list of notifications typically given by police to a criminal suspect upon arrest. The right to remain silent is protected by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S Constitution. The Constitution states that a criminal defendant cannot be “compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” Put another way, you cannot be forced to incriminate yourself. If you are arrested and taken into police custody, calmly tell police officers that you are utilizing your right to remain silent and then say nothing. Do not consent to any police questioning or interrogations until you have a lawyer present. Choosing to remain silent will ensure that you do not say anything that can be used against you in any resulting criminal proceedings. It also helps ensure that you are not tricked into saying something you do not mean during a stressful interrogation.

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St. Charles juvenile crimes defense attorney

Adults are not the only ones who make mistakes that could possibly land them inside a courtroom. Minor children can also make judgment errors that lead to criminal charges. For a juvenile, there are many aspects of a criminal case that are different, making it vital that both the defendant and his or her parents understand the process and the potential outcomes. However, it is just as important that the accused juvenile and his or her parents are aware of how they can help, or hurt, the child’s case. Juvenile criminal defense is much different than a defense for an adult, even if they are accused of the same crime.

Speak Openly With Your Lawyer

A juvenile defense attorney will need a lot of information from the defendant in order to help represent him or her in court. While some things may seem inconsequential, such as the juvenile's grades in school or a learning disability, these details could mean the difference between spending time in juvenile detention or being sentenced to community service or behavioral therapy. 

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St. Charles robbery burglary defense attorneyContext is important in almost any situation. A word or phrase that is used interchangeably in everyday conversation cannot necessarily be used in the same way in the legal system. One such example of this is the use of the words theft, robbery, and burglary. Though many people use these terms to mean the same thing during personal conversations, these refer to separate criminal charges when used in legal situations. There are specific differences between the three crimes, and they each come with their own punishments. This is why it is important to know the differences if you have been charged with any of these crimes. 

Theft

According to the Illinois Criminal Code, a person commits theft when he or she:

  • Obtains unauthorized control over property; or
  • Uses threat or deception to obtain control over property; or
  • Obtains control over property, knowing the property was stolen; and
  • Intends to permanently deprive the owner of the use or benefit of the property

Sentencing for a theft charge depends on the situation surrounding the theft, how much the stolen property was worth, and whether or not the property was taken directly from a person. Charges can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class X felony.

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St. Charles criminal defense lawyer rightsExcept for in certain cases where there is probable cause to believe you committed a crime, you cannot be arrested until the police have a valid warrant for your arrest. This does not mean you will not interact with law enforcement before being arrested – you likely will. And during these interactions, there will be numerous opportunities for you to incriminate yourself. Successful criminal defense depends largely on avoiding self-incrimination. Keep the following tips in mind during your law enforcement interactions to avoid incriminating yourself.

Do Not Speak with Law Enforcement

If you remember nothing else about avoiding incrimination during your initial interaction with law enforcement, remember this: you have the right to remain silent. There are a few circumstances under which you are required to identify yourself to police. They are:

  • If you are stopped while driving a car, you must show your driver’s license; and
  • If you are in a public space, and law enforcement has reason to believe you were involved in a crime, they may ask you to identify yourself. If the officers have identified themselves as police officers in this circumstance, you must comply with their request.

Beyond identifying yourself, you are not required to answer any questions.

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DuPage County criminal defense lawyer restitutionWhen you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you are typically facing numerous penalties. One of these might be having to pay restitution to the party harmed by your alleged actions. Restitution, like fines, can put you in a financially difficult position. To improve your chance of having your charge reduced or even dismissed, work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Restitution Is Not a Fine

Many people do not understand the difference between restitution and a fine. However, the difference is actually quite simple: fines are monies paid to the government when an individual is convicted of a criminal offense. Illinois law designates the fine value an individual must pay for his or her conviction.

Restitution is money paid to an individual or a business who suffers financially because of a convicted individual’s actions. Paying a victim restitution is not the same as paying for the victim’s damages. The primary difference between restitution and damages is that restitution is paid when a defendant is convicted, whereas damages are paid when a defendant is deemed liable for a victim’s civil losses.

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