handcuffs with gavelThis is the next post in my series on common issues which arise in Illinois misdemeanor cases. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you or a family member have been charged with a crime. It is important that you seek representation immediately as a criminal conviction can carry serious consequences, such as being burdened with a permanent record. In this article, I will discuss common situations which result in Class “A” charges and steps one can take to protect their rights. If you require assistance then contact my office to speak with a Peoria misdemeanor lawyer.

Illinois Class A misdemeanors can result in up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine

Class “A” misdemeanors are Illinois’ most serious non-felony charge. A defendant can face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 if they are convicted. Also, the defendant will have a permanent criminal record which will show up when a background check is performed. This can make it difficult for an individual to secure employment, housing, and it can also make it difficult to gain professional licenses. Typical charges which fall into this category include driving while your license is suspended, theft, assault and battery, in addition to other crimes. A defendant will have the right to counsel in such matters and, unlike other states, Illinois allows for the defendant to request a jury trial in misdemeanor cases.

The types of incidents which result in Class A charges will typically result in the defendant being arrested and placed in custody. The accused will either post bond to secure their release or they may ask to be released on their own recognizance. An arraignment will be held where the defendant will either plead “guilty” or “not guilty.” The Court will set a trial date and the defendant’s lawyer will use the time in between arraignment and trial to conduct their investigation and to file any necessary Motions. If the case is not dismissed via motion practice, or if another resolution is not reached, then the matter will proceed to trial. Such matters can become highly complicated, and it is strongly suggested that you retain a criminal defense attorney to assist you.

How to defend against a Class A misdemeanor will depend on the nature of the charges

There are a variety of situations which can result in the types of charges described above. Given the range of conduct which can lead to an arrest, the issues to raise during one’s defense will vary. If, for example, an individual is charged with battery then there may be issues of mistaken or inappropriate eyewitness identification. It may also be a situation in which an individual was arrested even though they were defending themselves. If, on the other hand, a defendant is arrested for driving on a suspended license, there may be a possibility that law enforcement stopped the vehicle in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Furthermore, the more violent the conduct is in nature then the more likely the prosecution is to request jail time. Given the extent to which situations can vary, it is important to remember that no two cases are the same. Retaining qualified counsel is important to making sure that your case is handled correctly.

I am a Peoria criminal defense lawyer who understands that this is a serious time in your life. I am a former prosecutor and am familiar with the workings of our local court system. My office will give your case the attention it deserves, and we believe that everyone is entitled to aggressive representation. Contact us online or by telephone to speak with a misdemeanor defense attorney. My office also represents clients in Bloomington, Decatur, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. We also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.