Criminal cases are delicate matters that can drastically alter the trajectory of one’s life. Michelle Moore and her team of criminal defense lawyers specialize in not only winning criminal law cases, but doing so in a manner that respects the judicial process, puts the client at ease, and addresses the underlying causes or triggers of criminal conduct. While every indigent defendant facing the prospect of jail or prison is given a public defender to represent them, these government-paid defenders are often overwhelmed with large caseloads and a demanding clientele, . To give yourself the best possible chance at winning a criminal case, and avoiding the long term effects of a criminal conviction or jail sentence, it’s important to consult with and hire a lawyer who knows criminal law and procedure, and local practices and policies.
What Is Criminal Law?
There are generally two types of conflicts that can be brought the courts in the United States; criminal and civil. Criminal cases arise when someone has committed an offense against the State or a local municipality, and can be punished by fines, jail, or a combination of the two, including conditional sentences, like probation or court supervision.. Historically, the Constitution guarantees certain procedural and substantive rights to those charged with criminal offenses, and these cases involve some of the most important issues of Constitutional magnitude, where the State is trying to take an individual’s liberty, as by incarceration. During criminal proceedings, the prosecutor represents the State or municipality.
Civil cases are disputes between individuals, and do not involve the prospect of jail or prison. The main difference between these two types of cases is that criminal cases may result in jail time, whereas civil cases usually end with one party paying money damages to another.
There are two types of criminal cases: felonies and misdemeanors. The type of case dictates the degree of punishment. Felonies in Illinois are classified, in order of severity from least to most serious as class 4, class 3, class 2, class 1, class X and murder., with penalties ranging from one to three years of imprisonment on a class 4 felony, to lifetime imprisonment, without possibility of parole, for a murder with aggravated circumstances. Obviously, felonies entail serious breaches of conduct and involve the most severe crimes against persons or property, serious penalties and punishments, and long range collateral consequences, such as inability to obtain employment or qualify for educational assistance, mandatory deportation, or lifetime sex offender registration.. Misdemeanors –while still serious- involve lesser criminal infractions and thus result in a lesser range of penalties, not exceeding one year in the county jail or fines of $2,500.00.
What Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Do Pre-Trial?
Criminal defense lawyers specialize in fighting for defendants in criminal cases, in assuring the integrity of the criminal process, the protection of the accused’s Constitutional rights, and a fair result at the end of the day. An experienced criminal defense lawyer may even be sought before someone is even charged with a crime, such as if one becomes aware that they are the subject of an investigation and have been contacted by law enforcement investigators or summoned to testify before a Grand Jury.
Retaining a lawyer during a pre-arrest investigative stage, can often result in the case being dropped before it’s ever even been charged and brought before the courts.
If an police investigation results in criminal charges, a criminal defense attorney can also help lower the amount of bail that’s to be paid in order for the accused to be released from jail, while the case is pending prior to trial. Additionally, a criminal defense lawyer may spot issues in the course of an investigation and prosecution that implicate an accused’s Constitutional rights. In such instances, the lawyer will file motions to suppress evidence or statements or to quash arrest, so that the prosecution cannot use improperly obtained evidence against you. Well-versed in criminal law and procedure, experienced criminal defense lawyers use their know-how to persuade police officers, prosecutors, judges or juries to either drop the charges and close out an investigation of criminal wrong-doing, to dismiss or reduce charges during plea negotiations, or to acquit you of an offense that’s been filed against you and brought to trial, exploiting weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and demonstrating the insufficiency of the evidence. At the trial stage, a good defense attorney will explain why the evidence fails to sustain a finding of guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” and compel the fact-finder, whether a judge or jury, to find you “not guilty.”
How Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Operate During The Trial?
If a case goes to trial, our attorneys will analyze the prosecution’s case, gather evidence, conduct interviews, and create a compelling case arguing for a defendant’s acquittal. We will walk you through the pros and cons of your case, the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case and evidence, available defenses, the strengths and weaknesses of any asserted defense, and the possible risks of going to trial versus the benefits of entering into plea negotiations. In the event of an inability to come to terms for a favorable plea agreement, your case will go to trial, and your lawyers will be prepared to vigorously defend you and your liberty. During the trial, your criminal defense lawyer is your voice, your best weapon and your shield, standing before judge, jury, and the prosecutors in order to argue the case on your behalf.
Throughout the course of a criminal investigation and prosecution, experienced criminal defense lawyers will prove themselves invaluable — what price would you pay for your freedom?.. If you or someone you know in in DuPage, Cook, Kane, Kendall or Will Counties and is seeking legal counsel and defense, call Michelle Moore Law at 630.858.9800.