A criminal defense attorney can be your best friend if you are facing certain charges. These lawyers are skilled at identifying details in evidence and details surrounding your case that could get your charges reduced or even dismissed. Going up against the justice system on your own is ill-advised due to the severe consequences of your losing your case.
In fact, certain misdemeanors such as DUIs can carry long term consequences that can affect your insurance rates and chances of employment for years. So let’s look at some charges you definitely need an attorney for.
Charges involving drugs and/or alcohol
If you have been charged with a crime involving drugs and/or alcohol, it’s wise to find a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. These crimes could range from public intoxication to driving under the influence. The latter charge is considered very serious and carries strict penalties due to the danger your actions pose to others.
People convicted of DUIs usually get their license suspended, pay heavy fines, and face jail time. However, people convicted of multiple DUIs often face stricter consequences in certain states. In the state of Illinois, a third DUI is considered a class II felony, and carries:
- A minimum sentence of 10 days in jail or 480 hours of community service.
- A minimum sentence of 90 days in jail if your BAC is 0.16% or higher.
- A maximum sentence of 3 to 7 year in prison. However, this term will be longer if other factors are present.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Illinois, you should find a criminal defense attorney immediately. A good lawyer will be able to comb through the evidence around your case and find ways to get your charges reduced or dismissed. This is important to ensure that your personal life and career aren’t impacted by your DUI. That is why it is important to hire the best DUI Lawyer in Chicago.
Possession of a controlled substance
Illinois legalized cannabis earlier this year, but many other controlled substances are still illegal to possess in the state. The Illinois Controlled Substances Act penalizes residents under state law if:
- They are found in possession of 15-100 grams of heroin, cocaine, or morphine. Violation carries a prison sentence between 4 to 15 years and a fine up to $200,000 or the street value of the drug (whichever is higher).
- They are found in possession of 100-400 grams of heroin, cocaine, or morphine. Violation carries a prison sentence between 6 to 30 years and a fine up to $200,000 or the street value of the drug (whichever is higher).
- They are found in possession of 400-900 grams of heroin or cocaine. Violation carries a prison sentence between 8 and 40 years and a fine up to $200,000 or the street value of the drug (whichever is higher).
- They are found in possession of 400-900 grams of morphine. Violation carries a prison sentence between 6 and 40 years and a fine up to $200,000 or the street value of the drug (whichever is higher).
- They are found in possession of 900 grams or more of heroin, cocaine, or morphine. Violation carries a prison sentence between 10 and 50 years and a fine up to $200,000 or the full street value of the drug (whichever is higher).
The aforementioned charges carry severe penalties which could disrupt your life permanently. To make matters worse, these aforementioned penalties are just the ones dictated by state law. If federal law becomes involved with your case, you will face even more severe penalties.
Navigating through these state and federal laws can be incredibly tricky. So it is advisable to seek out the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you fight your case in court.
Personal crimes are offences that cause other people physical, mental, or emotional harm. These crimes generally include first degree murder, assault, child abuse, domestic abuse, kidnapping, rape, and statuatory rape.
These crimes are serious in nature and tend to carry heavy penalties. If you have been charged with any one of these, you will need the help of a criminal defense lawyer who can exonerate you, or get your charges reduced.
Property crimes can be defined as offences that involve intentional interference with another person’s property. People who are charged with property crimes are sentenced on the basis of how much they have interfered with the property and/or deprived the owner of enjoying their property.
Some common property crimes include burglary, theft, car theft, and arson. The sentences for each of these crimes vary greatly; however, people charged with property crimes are often charged with other crimes that occurred involving the property.
People who are charged with property crimes should definitely turn to a criminal defense attorney for help. Even if your property crime charges aren’t dismissed, your lawyer may be able to get some of the other charges reduced.
Financial crimes occur when a person takes money or property and uses them for illicit purposes in order to benefit. People who commit these crimes are usually in a position of trust, which is why they are able to carry out such acts. These offenses often carry lengthy penalties, such as prison sentences that are up to 10 years.
However, many people are also wrongfully charged with financial crimes such as fraud. If you have been charged with financial crimes, you will need to seek the help of an attorney who is experienced with white collar crimes. Many criminal defense lawyers specialize in this field, so you should seek out an experienced professional who understands both finance and law.
As you can see, there are plenty of charges you definitely need a criminal defense lawyer for. Attempting to defend yourself in court is incredibly risky, especially given the heavy penalties associated with so many of these crimes.
So get in touch with criminal defense attorneys in your area, and find one who understands your situation and is willing to fight for you.