We are a full-service Criminal Law, DUI and Traffic Ticket defense firm. We also provide representation before the Illinois Secretary of State for Driver’s License Reinstatement following license revocation for DWI, DUI, OUI or Driving While Suspended or Driving While Revoked. Our firm is dedicated to providing meticulous and comprehensive criminal defense, by a lawyer of one’s choosing, as is Constitutionally guaranteed in criminal cases, traffic cases and DUI cases. Our client’s matters regularly take us to Cook, Lake, DuPage, Will and McHenry counties in Illinois. We also accept matters in other counties on a case by case basis.
Our focus always remains the preferences and needs of our client. We assume that each and every client wants us to win their case. We consult with our client on an ongoing basis to become familiar with their individual preferences and how they came to be arrested. We thoroughly investigate the factual and legal aspects of the case to determine if there is any defense to the charges.
Once we have determined the strength of the government’s case and the existence of any defenses, we talk with our client to assess the case and set a path forward.
Some clients decide to fight their case. We are willing and very well prepared to challenge the Government. Sometimes a bold defensive posture results in a complete dismissal or reduced charges and penalties, regardless of actual guilt or innocence. Other clients decide to avoid trial and enter into plea bargaining. Generally, a plea bargain offer from the government is better when the lawyer is known for his willingness and ability to fight criminal cases and he has made a strong presentation of the possible weaknesses and defenses in the case.
Sometimes that means filing pre-trial motions. Pre-trial motions might be used to get relief from the use of illegally seized evidence. A Motion to Suppress Evidence asks the Court to deny the use of evidence uncovered by illegal or improper police activity. A Motion to Quash A Warrant seeks suppression of evidence revealed by a search determined to be illegal because the warrant should not have been issued, or where the Police search a place other than where the warrant authorized. In a DUI, a Motion to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension would be used to challenge the use of a breath test score or the propriety of the DUI arrest.
Other less frequently used procedures will be employed where the specific circumstances of a particular case make it necessary. For example, our office won a DUI where the arresting officer made the arrest outside his jurisdiction, in the town next door to the one where he was employed. The case was dismissed despite the fact that our client miserably failed the breath test and the video revealed that he was obviously intoxicated. This is just a single example of where our substantial experience benefitted our client. His former attorney had been completely unaware of the opportunity provided by sloppy police work. It also illustrates the fact that criminal cases can sometimes be won on the procedure(s) not the facts.DUI
DUI cases do not have to be hopeless even where you have failed the breath test, blood or urine analysis, or Field Sobriety Tests. On numerous occasions, our Northfield criminal defense attorney has won DUI cases where our client failed the breath test and/or performed poorly on the Field Sobriety Tests. To begin, Field Sobriety Testing allows the arresting officer to gather evidence of your intoxication. The Police will say it is for the purpose of the seeing if you are “safe to drive”. Similarly, if you are offered the Portable Breath Test, also known as Preliminary Breath test (PBT), it is for the purpose of gathering evidence of your intoxication. However, the law allows you to refuse either or both. If you refuse the PBT or Field Sobriety Testing there is absolutely no consequence under the law. The prosecutor will make some argument about your refusal showing a guilty state of mind. However, no argument can be as persuasive as the test results you have deprived the government from having by your refusal to be tested.
The breath test at the police station can also be refused by an accused driver. However, there is a consequence to this refusal. If you refuse to take this breath test, your driver’s license will be suspended. If you are a first offender, the suspension for refusal will be one year. If you take the test and fail, the suspension will be for just six (6) months for a first offender. The problem is that, if you fail the test, you have provided the best evidence of being drunk and increases the likelihood of conviction. If you refuse, it increases the possibility of winning the case. Either way, the Illinois Secretary of State can grant a permit to operate a vehicle legally during the suspension.Secretary of State Formal Hearings
Formal hearings at the office of the Illinois Secretary of State are required where a Driver’s License to operate a vehicle has been revoked. Most commonly, a person will have their Illinois Driver’s License revoked for a DUI/DWI/OUI conviction. In these situations, the burden of proof rests with the driver not the Government, as it does in a criminal case. This means that the driver must persuade the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State to reinstate the license. Because of this requirement, it is of utmost importance to have a lawyer who has experience with these matters. The hearing officer will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State based on the evidence provided at the hearing. Success will only be realized when the driver has offered evidence that persuades the Hearing Officer and Secretary of State that the DUI will not be repeated. The mere passage of time since the offense is not sufficient, on its’ own, to succeed.Criminal Defense
We also serve people facing charges related to assault and battery, gun crimes, drug crimes, theft crimes, and more. If you are eligible to have your record expunged or sealed, we can guide you through that process as well. Any type of criminal record can adversely affect many aspects of your life. We understand the importance of keeping your record clean or minimizing the consequences for your loved ones and you. We will carefully investigate your case to identify and build all of the applicable defenses.Battery and Domestic Violence
All battery charges involve some type of harmful or offensive touching of another person. Sometimes, this charge is thought of as part of Assault and Battery. However, Assault is different in that no actual touching is required. To prove Assault, the Government must prove that the victim reasonably anticipated that they would be struck (battered). A battery charge can result from even the most minor physical contact. In extreme cases, Battery can be charged as a felony. Domestic Battery and Domestic Violence are special forms of the offense of Battery and carry heightened penalties. While Battery charges can be subject to Expungement and/or sealing, Domestic Battery charges can never be expunged or sealed unless they are dropped or result in a finding or not guilty. Battery can be charged where a communicable disease has been transmitted. Stalking and Cyber Stalking are charges of a similar nature to Assault. These charges relate to improper and illegal following another person or doing so on-line.Gun Crimes
It is illegal to have a concealed and loaded weapon in your possession in a public place or in your car unless you possess an Illinois Firearms Owners Identification Card (FOID) and/or a concealed carry permit. Most cases of Unlawful Use of a Weapon are charged as felonies. Under Illinois law, you can also be charged with being a Felon In Possession of a Weapon, Reckless Discharge of a Weapon, Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon or as an Armed Habitual Criminal. These cases are often defended by challenging the search that happened during a traffic stop, or a search of your home or office. Sometimes, a defense can be made based on the inoperability of the alleged weapon. Other times it can be argued that the accused was not aware of the weapon’s presence.Drug Crimes
Possession of a Controlled Substance is a felony offense. Punishment can range from (expungable) Probation to a substantial prison term. The most common drugs for which Possession of a Controlled Substance is charged are Cocaine and Heroin. However, there are numerous other substances which are Controlled Substances, the possession of which is a crime. This offense is easily charged as it only requires proof that the substance is controlled and that the person knowingly possessed it. However, there are some technical defenses available in the proper circumstances relating to proving the identity of the substance. Also, the law of search and seizure is very important. Sometimes the police will overstep their authority and conduct illegal searches. They may even write their report in an attempt to justify an illegal search and seizure. A meticulous Northfield criminal defense lawyer will discover these circumstances by reading between the lines of the police report based on experience and talking to his client and any other witnesses. The proper response would be to file a Motion to Suppress Evidence.
Possession with intent to deliver is a more serious offense. This offense will be charged when the State’s Attorney’s office believes that there is evidence suggesting a business or commercial situation. Some facts suggesting intent to deliver might be: Large amount or more than enough for just personal use; Numerous small packages; other items in area such as scales or materials used to “cut” or dilute powdered controlled substances e.g. Milk powder, sugar, baby laxative, etc.Theft Crimes
These offenses are charged when a person takes unauthorized possession of the property of another with the intent to keep it, that is, permanently deprive the owner of the items’ use and/or benefit. These cases can be defended and even won in the right circumstances. Most importantly, in Retail Theft and Shoplifting cases, no statement should be made to the store security person, regardless of the circumstances. A statement made to this person is not subject to the same Constitutional 5th Amendment protections as conversations with the Police.Burglary and Robbery
Burglary is a crime defined as entering the building of another person, without authorization, for the purpose of committing a felony or theft. The most common example of an unauthorized entry not amounting to Burglary is where a person, oftentimes homeless, enters a dwelling for the purpose of using the bathroom. Because there is no intention to commit a felony or theft it is not Burglary.
Burglary can be charged as Residential Burglary where the place entered was a dwelling or home. This is an important distinction because Residential Burglary carries a minimum sentence of four (4) years in the Department Of Corrections. That is, prison is mandatory upon conviction.
Robbery and Armed Robbery are theft type offenses. However, they require the added elements of the use of the force or the threat of the use of force in order to gain control of property. Obviously, Armed Robbery requires the presence of a weapon. Ironically, it is the presence of the weapon, even if it is not displayed or used to make the threat that makes it a much more serious offense. These offenses are considered to be serious crimes and can result in considerable time in prison. The minimum sentence for Armed Robbery is six (6) years in prison.Expungement and Sealing
As the portion of our society that has been charged with crimes increases, it has become more important to offer relief from charges resulting in acquittal or dismissal. People want to have a “clean record”. Expungement is available to “erase” the record of an arrest where the case was dropped, dismissed or won at trial. Actually, once Expungement has been ordered by the Court, the Clerk’s office need not destroy all physical court files, but they must be impounded and made unavailable. All digital records must be obliterated. All arresting authorities involved in the case must destroy, certifying the destruction in writing, or return their physical records to the person. There is one major disqualification: The person cannot have been convicted of any crime.
Similarly, the availability of relief from the negative effects of prior convictions has become greater. As employers resort more and more to background checks, it is desirable to have some means by which to reduce the effects of prior convictions on job and other opportunities. Sealing is a procedure whereby the court file cannot be accessed without a Court Order. The person’s name will be obliterated from any official index kept by the Court Clerk. Thus, making it much more difficult for a prospective employer to obtain this type of information.Contact a Knowledgeable Defense Attorney Today
As a lawyer, I like to win for my clients. When my client relies upon me and confides in me, the best results are achieved. If I sound like the type of lawyer you want, I can be reached at my Northfield, Illinois Law Office at 847-441-1801 or at email@example.com. If I am not available when you call, I will respond to your message quickly.
I know criminal defense inside and out — so much so, in fact, that you may find yourself surprised by the strategies I can come up with. The secret is in the details. Paying attention to all the facts makes all the difference. Sometimes, the very information that you may look over or think is irrelevant is the same information that holds the key to closing your case. Between my intuitive approach and decades of experience, it goes without saying that you can trust my expertise.
Sometimes, simply recognizing a minor technical flaw at the outset can result in mitigated charges or even complete dismissal. With my eye for detail, I may be able to find a technicality that can put an end to the case — in your favor, of course — before it even begins.
Truth be told, this is your case and the ball is in your court. However, when decisions seem too tough to call, I have the skills necessary to point you in the right direction and help you make the choice that is most likely to play out well for your case.
Cases like yours can be emotionally taxing. Criminal defense clients need someone who can fight fiercely for them. They need someone who can commit to seeing them all the way through. Come hell or high water, I’ll stand by your side with persistence when the going gets tough.
I have practiced criminal defense for more than 40 years. My expertise is valued in the community, including among other attorneys. From endorsements among my peers to recommendations from past clients, my reputation proves that I’m the guy you want fighting for you.
Northfield Criminal Defense Lawyer | Illinois Drivers License Reinstatement Attorney | Fred Mark Dry