Misdemeanor Criminal Defense
Misdemeanor Criminal Defense
Misdemeanor offenses are the least serious offenses that can only be punished by a maximum of one-year in jail unlike a felony that is punished by a minimum of a year in prison. Although misdemeanors are punished much less severely the consequences of a conviction can be serious and often times result in a person being unemployable.
Misdemeanors in Illinois range from the least severe Class C misdemeanors all the way to the most serious misdemeanors which are Class A misdemeanors that includes domestic battery. The defenses available to misdemeanor offenses vary as much as the different types of offenses that are punishable as a misdemeanor. We have successfully defended clients charged with misdemeanors by establishing reasonable doubt, establishing the flaws in the charging documents, and even based upon First Amendment rights to free speech.
What crimes fall under Misdemeanor Offenses?
Following are few misdemeanor crimes:
Retail theft is a special type of theft that involves stealing from a merchant or any type of retail environment.
Domestic Battery in Illinois is considered a violent crime that carries with it not only severe criminal penalties but also significant collateral consequences.
In Illinois, there are whole host of traffic crimes that are punishable by a jail sentence that do not involve driving under the influence of alcohol. The most common of these jailable traffic offenses are driving while under license suspended, fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, , and aggravated speeding.
Understanding Retail Theft Misdemeanor Crime
Retail theft is a special type of theft that involves stealing from a merchant or any type of retail environment. The crime of retail theft includes not only actual stealing but also under-ringing or paying for an item less than the displayed retail value. Retail theft found at 720 ILCS 5/16-25 prohibits the following behavior:
- Knowingly taking, carrying away, or transferring an item offered for sale at a retail establishment with the intent to permanently deprive the seller of the property without paying full retail value of the merchandise.
- Knowingly altering, removing a label or price tag, or transferring an item from one container to another and then attempting to purchase the item for less than the full retail value.
- Knowingly under-ringing an item for less than the full retail price
- Knowingly removing a shopping cart from the premises with the intent to deprive permanently.
- Knowingly returning stolen items to a retail establishment.
- Knowingly possessing a device to evade theft detection devices.
- Knowingly failing to return a leased item at the term of the lease.
We have successfully defended clients charged with misdemeanors by establishing reasonable doubt, establishing the flaws in the charging documents, and even based upon First Amendment rights to free speech.
Different Types of Traffic Offense Misdemeanor crime
Driving While License Suspended
Driving while license suspended is a case that is handled very differently based upon whether the arresting agency is Chicago or a suburban agency or whether the case is prosecuted in Cook County or its collar counties.
Driving while license suspended can be a felony offense when the suspension is based upon a DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, or reckless homicide. In fact, even misdemeanor driving while license suspended based upon a DUI or reckless homicide often carry mandatory jail sentences even for first-time offenders.
Aggravated speeding is based upon the speed of the vehicle. Speeding in excess of 26 mph but less than 35 mph is a Class B misdemeanor. Aggravated speeding in excess of 35 mph is a Class A misdemeanor.
Fleeing and Eluding
Fleeing and eluding is another traffic offense that is a misdemeanor but can become aggravated fleeing and eluding punishable as a felony. Fleeing and eluding requires two-or-more traffic violations during a time that a police officer is attempting to stop the driver.
Felony aggravated fleeing and eluding occurs when the State establishes certain aggravating factors such as turning off headlights during the fleeing and eluding.
Reckless driving requires willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others or property. Usually, the prosecution is required to establish at a minimum two-or-more traffic violations causing others to make evasive actions. More often than not, reckless driving is often a negotiated sentence following a DUI arrest.
Understanding Domestic Battery Misdemeanor Crime
Domestic violence in Illinois occurs when a person knowingly and without legal justification causes bodily harm or makes physical contact of an “insulting or provoking nature” to a family or household member.
The physical contact can be minimal and does not have to leave a mark or cause permanent injury.
Who are Family or Household Members Under Illinois Domestic Battery Law?
Family or household members are defined by Illinois Domestic Violence Law as:
- Family members related by blood or by present or prior marriage;
- People who are married or used to be married;
- People who share or used to share a home, apartment, or other common dwelling;
- People who have or allegedly have a child in common or a blood relationship through a child in common;
- People who are dating or engaged or used to date, including same sex couples; and
- People with disabilities and their personal assistants and caregivers.
However, a simple casual acquaintanceship or an ordinary friendship between two people in business or in social contexts does not constitute a dating relationship.
Areas We Serve
Centrally located in Du Page County we represent clients in trial and appellate courts throughout Illinois including the counties of Cook County, Du Page County; Will County, and Kane County. We have won on behalf of clients at the Daley Center; 26th and California; Bridgeview; Skokie; Rolling Meadows; Maywood; Markham; and all the branch courts in Chicago; and the Northern District of Illinois along with all five Illinois Appellate Courts and the federal circuit court of appeals.