Tag Archives: criminal conviction

St. Charles expungement attorney

Sometimes, a person can make a mistake, but it does not have to impact the rest of his or her life. In Illinois, there may be some arrests, convictions, offenses, or charges on someone's criminal record that may be eligible for expungement or sealing. By removing eligible reports from his or her police record, he or she may find it easier to obtain employment, housing, or higher education. The process of having a criminal record erased or hidden may take some time, but it can be worth it in the long run. If you have been charged or convicted of a crime, having an experienced expungement lawyer on your side is an important first step. 

Expunged Versus Sealed

The first step in cleaning up your criminal record is to understand the difference between having a recorded criminal event expunged or having it sealed. Expungement means that the crime is erased completely from your record as if it never occurred. A sealed offense is one that is still on your record, but it is hidden so no one can see it on a criminal background check. However, law enforcement and other criminal justice personnel will still have access to the details of that offense.

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Naperville criminal appeals lawyerWhen you hear about criminal cases taking years or decades to resolve, it is often because they are going through the appeals process. A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand whether you can appeal the court’s ruling in your case because errors were made during the trial.

There are a few different ways to appeal the court’s decision. You can file a motion to have the court overturn its guilty verdict and enter a new, not guilty verdict. You can also file a motion for a new trial, which requests that the court declare your original trial a mistrial and schedule a new one, or you can appeal the ruling, which requests that a higher court review the case and determine whether to uphold or reverse the original ruling. Additionally, you can appeal your sentence. With this option, you accept the court’s verdict, but you request that a higher court review and potentially overturn your sentence due to a mishandling by the first court.

How Appellate Court Works

When you appeal a decision made by the circuit court, you bring the case to the appellate court for review. This does not mean your case gets another trial. Rather, it gets reviewed by a panel of appellate judges to determine the proper course of action for the case. The panel votes for one of the following four actions:

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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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Naperville criminal defense lawyers, plea bargain, criminal defendant, criminal case, criminal convictionCriminal defense is a complicated area of the law. In the most general sense, it is the practice of developing defense strategies that can be used in the courtroom to demonstrate that an individual charged with a crime is not guilty of the crime. These strategies often use evidence related to the alleged crime to show definitively that the accused individual had no involvement with it or that the prosecution’s evidence is not strong enough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he or she committed the crime.

Sometimes, it is just about impossible to show that an individual is not guilty of his or her charge. When this is the case, the individual’s lawyer can try different strategies to reduce the severity of the penalties the defendant faces, such as having him or her enter a diversion program or taking a plea bargain to have the charge reduced.

How a Plea Bargain Works

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murder, Naperville criminal defense attorney, criminal defense, emojis, criminal convictionA United States judge recently sentenced an Illinois man to nine years in jail for using emojis to give aid in the killing of a wealthy woman from Chicago who was on vacation in Indonesia. Court files describe how the defendant sent a “high-five” symbol to his cousin and his girlfriend after they murdered the Chicago woman by bludgeoning her to death with a fruit-stand handle. The killers then stuffed the body inside of a suitcase.

Lethal Advice

The prosecution's theory of the case was that the defendant offered the tips on how to complete the murder in exchange for a cut of the victim's inheritance money. The victim was the mother of the defendant’s cousin’s girlfriend. The state is seeking a nine to 11-year sentence.

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