This post is being written to conclude and recap my series on the handling of a first offense in Peoria and other Illinois areas. I felt it was necessary to write on this topic due to the fact that, for understandable reasons, many do not know what steps to take during their first encounter with the criminal justice system. Mishandling the situation, however, can result in serious harm to your future prospects. I wrote this series, therefore, with the goal of providing information which will help people to better understand their situation. It has also been my goal to provide information which will assist with the selection of a criminal defense attorney. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
I have addressed several topics over my recent articles. The issues which I addressed include:
- Defending against first offense misdemeanor charges
- Defending against first offense felony charges
- Retaining an attorney for your first offense
- The consequences of being convicted of a first offense
- Sealing your record after a first offense
There are several reasons why I chose to address these topics. First, many make the mistake of not taking misdemeanor charges seriously – especially after their first arrest. These individuals are then surprised to learn of the firm stance which some Judges take. By understanding the gravity of the matter, as well as the potential consequences, one can ensure that their case is handled properly. Second, a felony conviction will carry serious repercussions. These can include being excluded from possessing a firearm and the stigma that comes with being a felon. Third, retaining an experienced attorney can help to ensure that your rights are protected and that you know what to expect from the process as the case moves forward. Fourth, the consequences of a conviction can include both disqualification from employment and housing as well as enhanced penalties for future offenses. Finally, sealing your record can help to alleviate such consequences.
One point I stressed in each of these articles is that it is important to contact an attorney immediately if you have been arrested. Competent counsel will take immediate steps to protect your rights and the sooner you retain representation then the sooner your case will be on the right track. I am a Peoria criminal defense lawyer who devotes his practice to protecting the rights of the accused. As a former prosecutor, I am familiar with the workings of our court system. My office prides itself on providing quality service and we look forward to being of assistance. Contact us online or by telephone to schedule an initial consultation. 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.