I have been charged with a crime, what do I do?
Being charged with a crime is a serious and scary matter for anyone. The first thing you should do is invoke your right to remain silent. Do not answer questions asked by a prosecutor, police officer, or other law enforcement official. Anything you say to them may be used to harm your legal chances in the future.
The next thing is to contact an attorney. It is important to have legal representation with you every step of the way to ensure you are treated fairly and that the judicial system works in proper order. Without proper representation, you could find yourself in worse legal trouble than when you started.
What does it mean to have a felony charge versus misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor crime involves minor criminal offenses that may involve fines, jail, or both. In Illinois, the jail time for a misdemeanor will always be less than a year and the fines are less than $2,500.
A felony crime is more serious and naturally comes with stiffer penalties, with jail time based upon the laws for the specific crime and fines reaching massive levels.
Misdemeanors and felonies are divided further into classes. Misdemeanors have letter designations (A, B, and C) with A being the most serious. Felonies use numbers, with Class X being the most severe.
Both can remain on your public record and both can be detrimental to your long-term future, especially without proper representation to help navigate the charges and the process afterwards.
I have not been charged with a crime, but have been told it may happen, should I contact an attorney now?
Yes. If you think you may be charged with a crime or if someone from a legal agency tells you that this is possible, contact us immediately. The best chance for your success comes with early action. You are not admitting guilt by hiring a lawyer to represent you, instead it is you working to make sure nobody tries to convict you of something that isn’t true. By contacting us early, you can have someone working through your situation, whether that is meeting with prosecuting attorneys, facing a grand jury, or whatever else may come up. You should not go through this alone.
Will my case go to trial?
The determination of a case going to trial is not as easy as it seems. There are a variety of factors, including the time between a charge and a possible trial date, that can eliminate or enhance the need to go to trial. The best thing to do is to ensure you have an attorney with trial experience in the change that your case does end up in trial.
What is white collar crime?
The term white collar crime refers to a wide range of non-violent financial crimes committed by business and government professionals, including bribery, fraud, money laundering, embezzlement, cybercrime, and insider trading.