Madelyn Daley
Attorney at Law

US Local 618-509-9724

Belleville Criminal Defense Blog

An effective criminal defense can lead to dropped charges

It is natural for someone who has been charged with a crime in Illinois to be worried about what their future holds. In many cases, a criminal conviction can lead to significant jail time, thousands of dollars in fines and long-term consequences that could impact your life long after you've served your time.

However, these consequences are not inevitable. If you choose to consult with a criminal defense attorney, your attorney can come up with a strategy to defend against the charges you face. If the strategy is effective, your charges may be reduced or dropped altogether.

Man charged with drunk driving and reckless homicide

Drunk driving is always a serious offense, but it can become even more serious if it leads to a loss of life. If a drunk driver causes an accident that kills one or more people, the driver may face charges reckless homicide while driving under the influence. In Illinois, an aggravated DUI with multiple deaths is classified as a Class 2 felony and could result in 6-28 years in prison and up to $25,000. Drivers facing these serious charges often benefit from a solid DUI defense strategy.

Recently, a driver from Beach Park, Illinois was driving under the influence of alcohol in Wisconsin and rear-ended a SUV on a highway, causing the deaths of three people in the SUV, according to news reports. A fourth person in the SUV suffered serious injuries and was taken to the hospital.

Bill may allow concealment of criminal history on college apps

Often, we will hear about the legal consequences that a person could face if they are convicted of a crime. The potential consequences of a criminal conviction make a strong criminal defense strategy necessary, no matter how seemingly minor the charges are.

Both misdemeanor and felony convictions can result in significant jail time, probation and fines. However, we often forget to talk about the life consequences that you may face in the months and years following your conviction. One of the most significant consequences may be having to disclose your criminal history on job applications and college applications, thereby making it much more difficult for you to better your future.

What are the differences between a misdemeanor and felony?

If you have been charged with a crime in Illinois, the severity of the consequences you may face will often depend on if you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. Generally, more serious crimes are classified as felonies, which carry the most serious penalties, while less severe crimes are classified as misdemeanors, which typically result in less significant consequences. A criminal defense attorney can give you the best chance at avoiding a criminal conviction by helping you come up with an effective defense strategy.

However, most states have different levels of felonies and misdemeanors, but all classes of misdemeanors in Illinois generally result in a prison sentence for less than a year. In Illinois, misdemeanors are divided into Class A, Class B and Class C.

What does it mean to be an accessory to a crime?

In some criminal cases, people seemingly were in the wrong place at the wrong time or were just trying to help a loved one. They may not even believe that they truly broke the law until they faced criminal charges.

Commonly, charges for aiding and abetting or being an accessory to a crime could come against people who may not have directly participated in an initial crime. However, if you have these allegations brought against you in Illinois, you still face a serious legal predicament that you need to address to the best of your ability.

Reality star 'Mama June' arrested on drug possession charges

Possession of a controlled substance is a crime in Illinois and the severity of the crime will depend on a number of factors. Possession of cocaine is classified as a Class 1 Felony in Illinois and can result in anywhere from four to 50 years in prison and up to $200,000 in fines, depending on the quantity of drugs in your possession.

Reality star June Shannon, known as "Mama June," from the TV series, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and "Mama June: From Not to Hot," was recently arrested with her boyfriend for drug possession. According to authorities, police officers responded to a gas station, where Shannon claimed she was verbally attacked by her boyfriend, Eugene "Geno" Doak, who apparently threatened to kill Shannon and had intent to act on the threat. Shannon was listed as the victim in a domestic violence case report against Doak. Doak is now facing misdemeanor charges for third-degree domestic violence.

Illinois driver charged with DUI; found sleeping in running car

An Illinois man was recently arrested and is facing DUI charges after he fell asleep in his running vehicle. Officers alleged that the man's running vehicle was in the thru lane of traffic in a parking lot on the south side of a parking garage.

After waking the man, the officers requested him to perform field sobriety tests. The man refused and was arrested and taken into custody based on what an officer observed. Generally, officers will look for signs that the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and the smell of alcohol can all lead to a DUI arrest.

Illinois driver faces felony DUI charge following accident

A Chicago woman was charged with a felony DUI after a sole-vehicle accident left a 70-year-old man dead. The woman was driving a vehicle that hit the I-55 overpass, causing the vehicle to flip onto its side. The man was a passenger in the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman and another passenger were treated for injuries, and the woman was later charged with aggravated DUI and DUI. The woman is being held in county jail and her bail has been set at $100,000. She will need to post $10,000 to be released. DUI charges can be reduced or dismissed if the right DUI defense strategy is used.

In many drunk driving cases, a police officer will stop a driver for erratic driving or a traffic violation. Once the officer pulls the vehicle over, the officer may notice that the driver is exhibiting signs of intoxication such as slurred speech or bloodshot eyes. The officer may then ask the driver to submit to a Breathalyzer test to determine the driver's blood alcohol content or ask the driver to take a field sobriety test. Based on the test results and their observations, the officer may determine that the driver was driving while intoxicated and arrest the driver for a DUI.

Defending against drug possession charges in Illinois

If you are facing drug possession charges in Illinois, it is important to remember that being charged with a crime does not necessarily lead to a conviction. You and your attorney can come up with an effective defense strategy that can help you avoid some or all of the serious criminal consequences that come with a drug crime conviction.

One of the most common defense strategies will require a thorough analysis of the circumstances surrounding your arrest. Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, we are protected from illegal searches and seizures of our homes and vehicles. In other words, if an officer stops you for a routine traffic violation and proceeds to search the trunk of your car without probable cause or your consent, any evidence of drug possession found in the trunk cannot be used against you in court. However, if the drugs are found in "plain view" (seen through the window), that evidence may be valid.

What to expect after a DUI arrest

A drunk driving arrest these days is not the same as it might have been 20 years ago. Safety advocates and law makers have worked hard to tighten the laws related to impaired driving, and as a result, the roads have gotten safer for many drivers. However, those tough laws may also place your future in jeopardy.

If police pull you over under suspicion of drunk driving, they will probably not take the time to explain every step of the process or warn you about the consequences of a conviction. Nevertheless, without knowing what to expect, you are at risk of making mistakes that could complicate many areas of your life for years to come. Gaining as much information as possible about your options can provide you with an opportunity to make wise choices about your defense.

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