Criminal Defense

Chicago Attorney Helping Protect the Rights of the Accused

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, you have a constitutional right to zealously protect your rights to the limits of the law. At The Legal Defenders, P.C., Chicago criminal defense lawyer John Ioakimidis can provide trusted advocacy with regard to many types of felony and misdemeanor charges. For example, we can represent people who need a drug crime lawyer to fight back against marijuana charges, or we can assist defendants with attacking allegations of shoplifting or other theft crimes. Our work also extends to cases involving domestic violence, assault, homicide, white collar crimes, probation violations, firearms offenses, and immigration violations. Skilled in every stage of the criminal justice process, we have helped clients seek a pardon or expungement of a prior conviction on their record. We recognize that in order to provide effective representation, it is important to understand your goals and fight unwaveringly to achieve them.

Know Your Rights Before and After an Arrest

As a private citizen, you have certain rights that law enforcement needs to respect. Generally, a police officer with a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity may briefly detain an individual in a public area, request identification, and ask about their activities or reasons for being in the area. An officer may only conduct a limited “pat down” search for weapons if they have a reasonable suspicion that the person is dangerous or if the person consents. In some instances, a detention may lead to an arrest, such as if the person detained has an outstanding warrant. In most cases, however, an officer may not arrest someone unless they have an arrest warrant or probable cause to believe that the person has committed or is about to commit a crime. Similarly, the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution provides the right to be free from unreasonable government searches and seizures. These typically require the individual’s consent or a valid search warrant, subject to a few narrow exceptions.

Except in circumstances involving traffic violations, police officers generally are required to read a suspect their Miranda rights before taking them into custody and interrogating them about a crime that they are suspected of committing. These rights include the right to remain silent rather than responding to police questioning about a criminal investigation, as well as the right to legal representation. This is an important right that you should exercise as early in the process as possible, since a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Chicago may make a huge difference to the outcome of your case.

How an Experienced Advocate Can Help

For example, the police might have burst into a defendant’s apartment without a proper warrant or another valid justification. If they found drug paraphernalia in the apartment, an experienced attorney would know how to file a motion to suppress this evidence. This might prevent the prosecution from being able to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

In another situation, a defense lawyer might be able to break down the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses through a vigorous cross-examination. Alternatively or in addition, they might be able to construct a strong alibi for a client to show that they were not present when the crime was committed. Some cases involving assault or other violent crimes may give rise to an affirmative defense like self-defense if the victim acted because of a reasonable fear of suffering imminent bodily harm.

It is important to remember that virtually any charge must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. This stringent standard of proof applies to every element of the offense. Many crimes contain elements related to the defendant’s intent or mental state, and it is often possible to cast doubt on the prosecution’s theory of the case by challenging its ability to prove the intent element.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago or Beyond

John Ioakimidis at The Legal Defenders, P.C. works tirelessly to help people who need a theft attorney or who have been arrested for many other types of offenses under Illinois or federal laws. He also assists residents of communities such as Schaumburg, Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Aurora, Naperville, Wheaton, and Elgin, as well as other areas of Cook, DuPage, Kane, and Lake Counties. To schedule a confidential consultation with a Chicago criminal defense attorney, call The Legal Defenders, P.C. at 312-229-5500 or contact us online.