Chicago Lawyers Defending State Felonies and Misdemeanors
The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman has experience handling criminal cases not only in the Chicagoland area but throughout the State of Illinois. When you hire us to represent you in a state criminal matter, you are not hiring a firm with high-volume state practice. Instead, we take the time to learn the specific nuances of your case and do all of the research necessary to make sure you are put in a position to get the best result.
No matter how big or small your case is, you can be assured that it will get the time and attention it requires. The truth is that all criminal accusations are serious. Even misdemeanors carry potential jail sentences. Although the Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman handles many high-stakes cases, we understand that when you hire us your case is the most important case to you and that is how we treat it. For that reason, we are committed to fighting for your freedom, regardless of the charge.
At the Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman, we have had success handling a variety of criminal cases throughout the State of Illinois including cases in Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Will County, LaSalle County, Kendall County, Kane County, Kankakee County, Henry County, and Woodford County.
Our clients have been charged with white-collar crimes, non-violent and property crimes, drug crimes, violent crimes, weapons charges, and various other state charges. Some of the most common criminal matters in Illinois state courts, and some possible defenses to these matters, are outlined below.
Hiring an experienced criminal defense firm is essential in safeguarding your rights and regaining your freedom and liberty. You need an attorney that will handle your case with care and attention. Contact our office today for a free consultation and take the first steps in getting your life back.
Pretrial Release Issues
Illinois has one of the highest percentages of unsentenced inmates in the country. Since they cannot afford cash bail or a bail bond, these individuals are simply waiting for their days in court. For many of these individuals, that day in court never comes. Many incarcerated defendants quickly plead guilty, regardless of the plea bargain’s terms, just to “get it over with.”
To help reduce this backlog, Illinois has a very liberal pretrial release system. That’s especially true in densely-populated areas like Chicagoland. Typically, if the defendant promises to appear at trial and agrees to follow some other conditions, the sheriff releases the defendant.
Technically, pretrial release is available in both misdemeanor and felony matters. However, the offense must normally be nonviolent and the defendant must have no criminal record. These qualifications make most people ineligible.
The aforementioned cash bail and bail bond are still usually available. Cash bail is a lot like a security deposit. The presumptive bail amount is usually around $750 for a misdemeanor and $1,500 for a felony. A bail bond is like an insurance policy. For about a 15 percent premium, a bonding company issues a surety bond. If the defendant fails to comply with the conditions, the bonding company assumes the financial risk.
In addition to appearing at all required hearings, other common conditions include reporting to a pretrial release officer, remaining in the county at all times, and avoiding further trouble with the law.
Criminal Matters We Handle
Now that most coronavirus pandemic restrictions have eased, authorities are once again extremely aggressive when it comes to making arrests. Here is a look at some of the most common felonies and misdemeanors in Cook County and nearby jurisdictions.
Depending on the facts, assault can be a misdemeanor or a felony. In addition to the direct consequences, these infractions often have significant collateral consequences. For example, a domestic violence assault matter usually triggers a protective order case.
Furthermore, domestic assaults have serious adverse consequences in family law matters. Additionally, since it could be a crime of violence and is always a crime of moral turpitude, an assault could have immigration consequences. These things are usually true of all types of criminal assault in Illinois:
Attempted Murder: ILCS 720 5/8-4 is basically enhanced aggravated assault. In addition to all the elements of that offense, the state must prove the defendant intended to kill the alleged victim, the defendant knew his/her conduct could be fatal to the alleged victim, and the attack was premeditated.
Aggravated Assault: This offense usually involves either serious bodily injury or a dangerous weapon. Basically, serious bodily injury means putting someone in the hospital, or at least in the emergency room. Almost any object, including a frying pan or a baseball bat, could be a “dangerous weapon” in the right context.
Ordinary Assault: This offense is normally a misdemeanor. Certain enhancements could apply, such as the defendant’s criminal history and the relationship between the defendant and alleged victim. Any injury could satisfy the statutory bodily injury requirement. The more serious the injury is, the easier it is for prosecutors to prove intent in court.
ABC: Assault by Contact is basically a traffic ticket in Illinois. This infraction is a harmful or offensive touch. There’s no injury requirement. Frequently, the state presses ABC charges if the evidence is too weak to support any other charges.
The alleged victim’s testimony is often the critical bit of evidence in these cases. Delay, although frustrating, is often the best defense in these situations. Over time, many alleged victims lose interest in the case, especially if they were compensated for their injuries in civil court. Other alleged victims relocate beyond the court’s subpoena range, so they are unavailable at trial.
Additionally, prosecutors are often over-aggressive in these cases. For example, if the evidence only supports ABC, authorities often file ordinary assault charges. This approach usually comes back to haunt the state when its lawyers prepare for trial.
Much like assault, DUI also has significant direct and collateral consequences. These collateral consequences usually include sky-high auto insurance rates. Officers are very aggressive in this area, especially during high-visibility enforcement campaigns, like the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” winter campaign.
Usually, officers need reasonable suspicion to detain suspects. Basically, reasonable suspicion is an evidence-based hunch. Things like leaving a bar, driving slowly, or acting suspiciously are hunches instead of evidence-based hunches.
Next, officers must have probable cause to arrest motorists. The three approved Field Sobriety Tests usually provide the probable cause in a DUI case. These three tests are:
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (the DUI eye test)
Walk and Turn (walking a straight line)
These tests all have serious flaws. The HGN test is a good example. Alcohol intoxication is not the only cause of nystagmus, a condition also known as lazy eye. In fact, alcohol intoxication isn’t even the leading cause. Generally, a very mild childhood brain injury causes nystagmus.
Finally, in court, the state must prove intoxication beyond a reasonable doubt. Most defendants provide breath samples. A Breathalyzer, like any other gadget, is not 100% reliable. Essentially, a Breathalyzer is an updated version of the 1920s Drunk-o-Meter. Both these devices use breath alcohol levels to estimate blood alcohol levels.
Some non-intoxication defenses are also available. The “driving” element of driving under the influence charge is a good illustration. Illinois very broadly defines driving. However, the state must prove the defendant was behind the wheel. This item is difficult to prove in many DUI-collision cases.
The War on Drugs is not over. It is still going strong. However, many people now see drug possession as a health and safety issue as opposed to a criminal law issue. Therefore, a Chicago criminal lawyer can often successfully resolve these charges.
Additionally, drug possession charges have a number of moving parts. In court, prosecutors must establish all three elements of possession, which are:
Under the law, a defendant could literally be sitting on illegal drugs and not “possess” them. Individual possession is especially hard to prove in mass arrest cases. For example, if officers find drugs in a car, they usually arrest all the passengers. These charges often don’t hold up in court.
Typically depending on the amount of the substance, drug possession could be a misdemeanor or a felony. Prescription pain pills, like Oxycontin, are the notable exception. Illegal possession of even a single pill could be a felony in Illinois.
Due to the aforementioned jail overcrowding issues, almost all defendants receive probation. Therefore, our Chicago criminal defense lawyers handle a number of probation revocation cases and motions for early discharge.
Generally, probation violations are mandatory or discretionary. Usually, if the probationer picks up a new criminal charge, the state always files a motion to revoke the current probation. Discretionary revocations usually involve technical violations, like failure to report, possession of a prohibited substance, or failure to comply with a community service requirement. Usually, probation officers give probationers a chance to make amends in these situations before the matter goes before a judge.
As for early termination from probation, the formal rules give judges almost unlimited discretion to modify the terms of probation in any way they see fit. Informally, most judges require defendants to complete at least half the term and pay off all fines.
These qualifications are only the minimum. A Chicago criminal defense lawyer must also prove that early termination is in the best interests of the defendant and in the best interests of society. Frequently, if the probation department agrees to the motion, or at least does not object to it, a judge will approve it.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Cook County Criminal Defense Attorney
State criminal charges are scary, but a number of successful resolutions are available. For a confidential consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Chicago, contact The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman by calling 312-726-2015. Virtual, home, and jail visits are available.
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