Officer talking to man and womanThis is the first post in a series of articles discussing defending against specific types of misdemeanor charges in Peoria, Illinois. Misdemeanors, while less serious than felony criminal charges, can have significant long-term consequences. It is imperative to take such charges seriously to avoid potential incarceration, fines, a criminal record, and other potential restrictions of one’s rights, such as being banned from possessing a gun in the future. It is possible, in many cases, to defend oneself against such charges and either reduce the penalties or have the charges dismissed entirely. I cannot overstate the importance of contacting a criminal defense attorney to assist you through the process. If you are facing criminal charges, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

This series will address defending against the following misdemeanor charges and related subjects:

  • Assault and battery
  • Drug offenses
  • Petty theft
  • Trespassing
  • Child endangerment
  • Handling misdemeanors with paired with a felony

I felt it was important to write about these topics for several reasons. Many Illinois residents fail to present a strong defense against misdemeanor charges. They may believe that, because the punishments are not as serious as those applicable to felony charges, pleading guilty or accepting a conviction is no big deal. Some are not aware of their legal rights and fail to raise defenses related to police misconduct, false accusations, mistaken witness identification, or self-defense. Others do not wish to incur legal fees in their defense. Whatever their reasons, failing to defend against misdemeanor charges can result in grave consequences. Class C misdemeanors, which are the least serious, are punishable by up to thirty days in jail and a fine of up to $1,500. Class B misdemeanor convictions are punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,500. Those convicted of the most serious Class A misdemeanor charges, will face up to one year behind bars and a fine of up to $2,500. Some subsequent offenses may be elevated to felonies if the accused has a previous misdemeanor conviction. Furthermore, convictions will appear on most routine background checks. Offenders often have difficulty finding or keeping employment, obtaining professional licenses, finding housing, and getting approved for credit long after they have served their sentence and paid their fine. Given the consequences of a conviction, I cannot overstate the importance of retaining an experienced criminal attorney to defend against misdemeanor charges.

If you have been accused of a crime, contact my office today to speak with a criminal lawyer. In addition to Peoria, we also serve clients in Bloomington, Decatur, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington and the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. Areas where we handle federal cases include Peoria, Springfield, Champaign, and Rock Island.