Criminal defense cases
You’ve been arrested and charged with a crime. It might be a relatively minor offense such as simple assault or a misdemeanor driving offense. But it could also be something much more serious, such as a robbery, fraud, manslaughter or another similar type of crime that could change your life for years if you are convicted.
The road ahead will not be easy. Criminal defense cases come in all sizes, shapes and circumstances. State and federal authorities have considerable resources at their disposal and will use whatever means necessary to prosecute you. Your best defense and your only defense is to hire the best possible criminal defense attorney for your case.
While you have many possible choices to draw from in DuPage County, many people facing criminal charges choose Michelle Moore. Ms. Moore’s unique experience, long tenure in the legal profession and her extensive knowledge of the local courts and court personnel, continue to make her a preferred choice among defendants who need the best possible representation.
An effective communicator in the courtroom and with her clients, Ms. Moore is able to mount effective defense strategies based on facts and circumstances of a case. Her counsel can help to negotiate criminal defense cases to lesser charges in some instances and to have charges completely dismissed in others.
She is a well-respected member of the legal community who builds trust every step of the way. This trust, combined with her strong efforts on behalf of her clients continue to make her a highly sought after criminal defense attorney.
DUI and traffic law defenses
With increased awareness about the dangers of drunk driving, many law enforcement agencies have stepped up their efforts to reign in people who drink and drive. DUI charges are always serious and can result in heavy fines and penalties, including jail time, monetary fines, a loss of driving privileges and more.
Michelle Moore has extensive experience with DUI and other traffic law cases and has benefitted from being both a prosecutor and a defense attorney for these types of cases. As an experienced DUI lawyer, she is well versed in the laws and procedures governing all aspects of drunk driving cases. Sometimes a police officer will violate a person’s rights by not administering field sobriety tests the right way. At other times, equipment used to measure blood alcohol levels may be inaccurate. At other times, insufficient training of law enforcement personnel or by civilian analysts may also leave the door open for creating a plausible defense. And many other times, the evidence acquired by the police is solid, and the case against a defendant so compelling that the best defense is to mitigate the damage and secure the best possible plea agreement terms.
The bottom line is that there are many possible ways to fight a DUI charge, but knowing what those defenses are and how to apply them will make all the difference between having a DUI on your record or not.
The first step in mounting an effective defense is to not make law enforcement’s job easier by giving them information or evidence that can later be used against you. That’s why it’s essential to contact Michelle Moore as soon as you are arrested so that your best possible defense, and your best possible chance to avoid the permanent stain of a conviction, can begin immediately.
Civil asset forfeitures
Asset forfeitures can be a ruthless process through which the federal or the state government confiscates and then permanently seizes a person’s private property. This can include real property, vehicles, bank accounts, boats, jewelry or any other form of personal property. Asset forfeitures often take place due to federal or state statutes that trigger actions when the government can prove there is a connection between the property and some sort of illegal activities.
Most people believe that asset forfeitures take place only when criminal activity is present. That is simply not the case. Assets can be seized even when a person has not been arrested or accused of any crime. That’s why it is critical to move quickly to hire an attorney as soon as you can after the government seizes and seeks to forfeit your property. Sometimes you are given only a short window to respond to a forfeiture action, which can be as little as 30 days.
In civil asset forfeiture cases, actions are taken against the property itself, instead of against the owner of the assets or property. No criminal conviction is necessary and many times, no charges are filed. The prosecutor in a case like this must only establish by a preponderance of evidence that the property had a sufficient relationship to the illegal activity.
As an experienced civil asset forfeiture attorney, Michelle Moore can mount a variety of defenses to challenge a forfeiture proceeding. This may include a third party “innocent owner” defense that shows the property owner did not know the property was used in the commissiom of an offense or illegally obtained. Other possible defenses may include showing the property was purchased with legitimate funds or that the value of the forfeited property is disproportionate to the crime that may have been committed, barring forfeiture as a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on excessive fines..
Residential real estate transactions and disputes
The vast majority of real estate transactions proceed without a hitch, as property is smoothly transferred to one owner from another. However, even single-family home transactions can be complex. When misunderstandings arise, that can lead to real estate disputes. Because the stakes are so high, and the need to protect your interests is critical, it makes good sense to retain the services of an experienced real estate lawyer. Real estate lawyers can assist buyers and sellers in saving thousands of dollars by helping to negotiate through any rough spots of a transaction. In addition, when warranted, a good real estate lawyer can also vigorously defend or file suit on behalf of a client to ensure they are treated fairly.
For many years, Michelle Moore has worked with clients involved in all kinds of real estate deals ranging from single family homes to apartment complexes, to commercial real estate properties. She has assisted clients working through a variety of transactions and disputes, including:
- Title disputes
- Zoning and land use issues
- Adverse possession
- Title transfers and ownership disputes
- Agent errors and omissions
- Divorce situations
- Boundary and easement issues
Until these issues are cleared up, in the vast majority of real estate transactions, the process will be delayed and it will be impossible to sell a property.
Many times, Ms. Moore is able to negotiate a settlement between the two parties. However, if needed, she is prepared to go to court to fight for her client’s interests as well.
If you’ve been charged with a serious crime, it is imperative that you hire a top notch criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The stakes are high from the moment you are arrested until the final outcome of your case. You cannot afford to make mistakes or to take any shortcuts when it comes to your defense.
Michelle Moore has been defending people accused of many types of crimes for several years and can use her unique experiences as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney for every client she serves.
One of the keys to her success is that in addition to her experience, Ms. Moore has developed several valued workingrelationships with other attorneys, court room personnel, judges, prosecutors and members of the law enforcement community. Often times, these relationships open the door for candid discussions regarding her cases and the facilitation of plea negotiations, to the benefit of her clients.
In addition, because of her many years of experience, Ms. Moore is able to provide outstanding counsel to her clients based on past cases. She can remove the emotional component from a case and offer unbiased, rational opinion that will guide a case to its best possible outcome. Her intimate knowledge of local court procedures also makes it easier for her to provide ongoing and accurate communications, taking the time to explain legal issues and possible strategies, and the likely or expected outcomes.
As a criminal defense lawyer, she has also remained extremely active in the legal community and continues to invest in herself as well. As a member of several highly respected organizations both past and present, she keeps abreast of changes in the law, new laws, interpretations and legal precedents that can affect her clients.
Domestic relations, divorce and family law cases
Unfortunately, divorce happens fartoo frequently. Alarming statistics show that upwards of 50% of all marriages are likely to end in divorce. Every marriage is different, but there are many issues common to every divorce. The goal of most couples is to get out of a marriage as quickly as possible and under fair circumstances. But because emotions can run raw, unwinding a marriage can be filled with distrust, anger and financial issues that can prolong a painful process for much longer than first anticipated.
In some instances, married couples believe they can resolve their issues by themselves, but more often than not, that is not the case. This is especially true when children are involved. Custody issues are easily the single biggest and emotional roadblock when it comes to ending a marriage. Figuring out a parenting plan, primary custody and child support issues can strain the possibility of a successful agreement of terms, creating an extremely hostile situation.
Hiring an experienced family law attorney such as Michelle Moore is a wise move when marriage and divorce issues become heated. She can represent her client’s interests but has the advantage of removing many of the emotions that accompany divorce and custody issues so that she can craft the best possible solution with the least amount of pain.
Finding common ground while still representing her client’s best interests means that Ms. Moore can help resolve divorce and family law matters more quickly while saving her clients money, instead of racking up heavy legal bills in addition to the trauma of a divorce.
Civil and criminal appeals
If you have been convicted of a crime, or you have lost a civil case such as a lawsuit, you have the right to challenge the decision through an appeal process. The basis of the appeal can be filed based on claims that key legal mistakes were made. It can then be argued that these mistakes affected the outcome of the trial and in a criminal case, the sentence that was imposed. The goal is to have an appellate court take another look at the case and have the case either dismissed, retried or a new and less harsh sentence handed down.
After a conviction, it is not uncommon to see new evidence come to light, a witness may recant their testimony, procedural errors may have occurred, or any other number of events took place that can have an effect on the outcome of the trial.
With many years of experience in a prosecutor’s office, Michelle Moore learned many of the strategies and reasons why civil and criminal appeals take place, as well as what strategies work best in an appeals process. She is able to base an appeal based on four main points:
- That the lower court made a serious error of law that affected the outcome of the trial.
- That the evidence does not support the verdict that the judge and jury reached.
- That the lower court made an errant ruling that was clearly unreasonable or arbitrary in a way that did not support the facts of the case.
- That the defendant received ineffective assistance of counsel, which is a right protected by the Sixth Amendment.
If you believe you have not received a fair trial or constitutionally effective legal representation in a criminal case, contact Michelle Moore to discuss the appeals process for civil or for criminal cases.