At Legal Defenders, P.C., we have decades of experience providing representation in a wide range of criminal matters. This substantial experience allows us to understand the nuances of the laws that apply to cases involving DUI, drug crimes, theft, domestic battery, weapons charges, and protection order violations, among other situations. We are familiar with the full range of strategies that may help a defendant beat a charge or get a reduced penalty. As a criminal defense attorney in the Chicago area, John Ioakimidis understands how hard these situations can be for his clients, and he keeps them thoroughly informed about his strategies to defend them.DUI
Under 625 ILCS 5/11-501, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants. Illinois courts take DUI charges seriously. If you are convicted of a DUI for the first time in Illinois, you may face up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. As a first offender, you may be able to apply to have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device installed in your car.
The penalties are more severe for second, third, or fourth offenses. For example, a third DUI offense is a class 2 felony aggravated DUI, and if the prosecutor obtains a conviction, the sentence is 2-7 years. The penalties are also more severe if a DUI results in an accident causing death or great bodily harm. However, a DUI conviction is not inevitable. There may be constitutional or procedural defenses available, such as getting illegally obtained evidence suppressed.Theft
Under 720 ILCS 5/16-1(a), a person commits theft in situations in which they knowingly take unauthorized control of someone else’s property, when they get control over property through deception, when they try to get control over property by making threats, or when they knowingly take stolen property, among other circumstances. A conviction for theft is penalized more harshly, based on how great the property's value is and other circumstances surrounding the charge. You should retain an experienced theft attorney. The prosecution needs to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, including any element related to the defendant’s intent. Often, a Chicago criminal defense lawyer can attack this part of the prosecution’s case, such as by challenging the testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses.Domestic Battery
Domestic battery is prohibited under 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2. It can be charged if someone knowingly and without legal justification commits battery on someone with whom the defendant has or has had a family or household member relationship. Each of these elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Another type of battery involves contact of an insulting or provoking nature with a family or household member. Family or household members include spouses, ex-spouses, parents, children, stepchildren, people who share a common home, people with a child in common, people who are dating, and people with disabilities and their caregivers or personal assistants.
A first offense of domestic battery is usually charged as a Class A misdemeanor. However, domestic battery can be charged as a Class 4 felony if you have a prior domestic battery conviction, if you have violated an order of protection, or if there are other aggravating factors present. A criminal defense attorney at our Chicago firm can look for any defense that may apply after closely examining the circumstances of the case. In some cases, an accusation may have been made based on an improper motive, or the police may have jumped to conclusions about what happened in the heat of the moment. The defendant may have been acting in self-defense.Weapons Charges / UUW
The courts take weapons charges seriously. Under 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6(3), for example, you can be convicted of felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon (UUW) if the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that a firearm was not in a case and was immediately accessible while loaded (or it was in a case unloaded, but you could access ammunition immediately), and you did not have a conceal and carry license or a Firearm Owners Identification card, or another aggravating factor was present. This is a class 4 felony, for which you can be sentenced to up to three years in jail. As with other crimes, all of the elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and in many cases, a criminal defense lawyer in the Chicago area can provide a successful defense by raising a reasonable doubt about one or more elements.Drug Crimes
In Illinois, drugs or controlled substances, whether they are narcotics or non-narcotic prescription medications, are organized and grouped into five schedules. These include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, meth, PCP, ecstasy, LSD, anabolic steroids, pain meds like Oxycontin or Vicodin, prescription muscle relaxants, benzodiazepines such as Klonopin, and prescription drug addiction medication like Methadone. The type of penalty that you will face for a drug crime conviction depends on the nature of the charge and the quantity. For example, you can be charged with a class C misdemeanor for possessing anabolic steroids, whereas you can be charged with a felony and sentenced to 15-60 years for manufacturing 900 grams or more of heroin. Sometimes there are constitutional defenses available to defend against a drug crime charge, such as when evidence was seized in violation of an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights.Battery
Under 720 ILCS 5/12-3, battery can be charged if someone knowingly or intentionally, and without any lawful justification, causes someone else to suffer bodily harm or face physical contact of an insulting or provocative nature with someone else. Battery can be charged as a class A misdemeanor, and if you are convicted, you may face up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Aggravated battery is a felony that is charged when certain factors are present. For example, if you cause a disfigurement or use a deadly weapon, you can be charged with aggravated battery. Common defenses may include self-defense and defense of others.Violations of Orders of Protection
Once a court puts an order of protection in place, you can face penalties for violating it. You can be found guilty of violating a protection order if you commit an act prohibited under the order or fail to act in the way that was ordered in the protection order. For example, you could be found guilty if you go within 100 feet of someone whom you were arrested for beating up once a protection order has been put in place. A violation of a protection order is a class A misdemeanor, for which you may face up to one year of jail time and a fine of $2,500, as well as probation, community service, and counseling.Consult an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago
Criminal charges can be frightening, and it is easy to say the wrong thing unintentionally while trying to clear your name and then find yourself facing serious consequences. If you are charged with or investigated for any type of felony or misdemeanor, ranging from drunk driving to marijuana possession, you should retain a Chicago criminal defense attorney with skill and experience. Depending on the nature of the charge, there may be many different types of arguments that we can make on your behalf. At Legal Defenders, P.C., we represent defendants in Schaumburg, Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Aurora, Naperville, Wheaton, Elgin, and other cities in Cook, DuPage, Kane, and Lake Counties. You can call us at 312-229-5500 or use our online form to set up your appointment.
Another advantage to having over 46 years of experience handling criminal cases is that we have established unique skills needed to successfully handle a criminal case. In addition to understanding how the criminal justice system works, we understand the law because we make sure to stay informed and because we handle real criminal cases in court every day. Our advice on the law and on criminal cases is frequently sought out by other attorneys who value our knowledge and our advice. Our experience means that we are able to spot problems with the state’s case early on and work to build on their weakness and exploit their weaknesses. We line up the case early on to set up an attack on the case at the right time. We can spot problems with the state’s case before most attorneys because of our 46 years of experience. By the time we are ready to strike, to win your case, the prosecutors often realize we are going to win and are often willing to back down and avoid the chance of losing their case. This is when our stellar reputation and critical personal relationships with judges and prosecutors comes into play and make it likely that will be able to resolve your case. Our superior litigation skills and unparalleled negotiating skills make it possible for us to win most of our cases.Award Winning Criminal Defense Attorneys
We are members of the National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers. This honor is only reserved to the “best of the best” and is a reflection of the quality of our law firm. We belong to all the major Bar Associations and are fully involved in our profession.
If you are facing criminal charges you can call us anytime to talk to us. We are available when you need us because we know that criminal charges can happen anytime. If you look at our Recent Victories you can see that we have won cases that most other attorneys wouldn’t even think of taking on. If you look at our Legal Blog you can see that we know the law and know how the system works. Give us a call anytime and you will see what the award winning is all about.