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Home2022-09-06T15:00:30+00:00
SuperLawers Ranking 2020-2022
Member National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Top 100 Trial Lawyers

Experience Matters:
Top-Rated Criminal Attorney

Chicago Criminal Lawyer Purav Bhatt and his team bring experienced and cost-effective defense to your case. Serving in Chicago over 10 years, they have built relationships with local Judges and Prosecutors throughout the court system. Purav is a former Cook County prosecutor, which gives him an insider’s view as a criminal defense lawyer. That great news for you, and he has the results to prove it.

Purav is has earned respect from both clients and colleagues. He was named Adjunct Professor at The John Marshall Law School at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Clients rate him 10/10 and is one of the client featured choice lawyers.

Learn more about the firm

“I know that good people get into bad situations. As a defense attorney, I take pride in the fact I can protect those good people… making sure, if they’ve made mistakes in their past, they won’t pay for them the rest of their lives.” — Purav Bhatt

What We Do: Areas of Criminal Law

Criminal Sexual Assault

If you’re accused of sexual assault, it can feel like you’re automatically judged as guilty in the court of public opinion. It can damage your relationships and your career. That’s why you need a skilled sexual assault lawyer in your corner.

burglary Chicago

Domestic Violence

Illinois courts treat domestic crimes seriously with penalties that range from civil orders that limit an individual’s freedom all the way to felony charges with prison sentences. The best thing you can do if you are charged with a domestic crime is to remain silent and call a domestic violence lawyer

DUI Chicago

DUI / Drunk Driving

Illinois has harsh penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. These can include losing your driving privileges (temporarily or permanently), fines, and even criminal charges. Your DUI lawyer can help.

Expungement

Even if you’re not convicted, simply being arrested creates a criminal record, which limits your opportunities. The process for clearing that arrest from your record is called “expungement.” Talk through the process with your local expungement lawyer.

Felony Charges

In Illinois felony offenses have a minimum one year prison sentence and can come with fines of $25,000 or more. This is in addition to a criminal record that can limit your opportunities and rights. If you, or a loved one, are charged with a felony, it is imperative that you gain the services of an aggressive and knowledgeable felony lawyer.

Financial Crimes

Financial crimes include identity theft, healthcare fraud, wire fraud, continuing financial crimes enterprise, embezzlement, and money laundering. These are often federal crimes that are prosecuted by the government, which means an adversary with vast resources and talent. Make sure you have an experienced financial crimes lawyer on your side. 

Robbery

Unlike burglary or theft, robbery involves a threat to another person, often with a weapon. These factors make the penalties for robbery more severe, carrying large financial penalties and lengthy prison sentences. This makes it all the more important to have an experienced robbery lawyer on your team.

Theft Crimes

Theft crimes are, essentially, when one person takes another person’s property without consent. Theft crimes can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the property in question. Having a skilled theft lawyer can help you get these charges reduced or even dropped.

Gun Charges

Whether you’re a hunter, an off-duty security guard, a gun collector, military serviceman, or anyone else with a gun, you can find yourself needing to explain yourself to a police officer. When this happens, having an experienced gun lawyer on your side can make a world of difference.

Defending Against Federal Crimes

Federal crimes can be significantly more complex than state charges and the stakes, in terms of prison sentences and fines, can be higher. That’s why it’s vital to make sure that you have an experienced federal lawyer on your side to help you navigate the labyrinth. Criminal defense attorney Purav Bhatt and his team have that experience representing clients from pre-trial investigations through federal jury trials. 

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Criminal Law FAQs

What does a criminal defense lawyer do?2022-09-01T15:26:28+00:00

A criminal lawyer handles all types of criminal charges against you. When you are looking for a defense attorney, you should expect your lawyer to have extensive knowledge of the law and experience in defending clients with the type of charges you’re currently facing. A necessary skill you should look for in a lawyer is their ability to negotiate. This way, the lawyer will be able to communicate more effectively with the prosecutors regarding your charges. You should also expect your lawyer to keep the information you give him entirely confidential and maintains a strict attorney-client relationship.  Additionally, your attorney should be able to clarify to you the risk you face, the possible scenarios that you may be involved in, and all the options that you have to resolve your case. Finally, your lawyer should be creative and resourceful when crafting a resolution to your charges.

What happens if I get arrested?2022-05-09T22:14:04+00:00

After getting arrested, you should expect the police to bring you into the police station. There, you will be processed into the system. The process begins when you are booked and have your fingerprints collected. Additionally, the police will gather personal information from you including your date of birth, residence, and other information that allows them to determine if you have a criminal record. As soon as you are given the opportunity, you should contact your attorney.

Is it smart to talk to the police officers if I am arrested?2022-05-09T22:14:00+00:00

In the US, you have the right to remain silent. This means that under Federal and State laws, you do not have to speak to the police when you are arrested. Aside from information that identifies you, do not give the police any information about the possible charges you are facing before without your attorney present.

Do I need a lawyer if I plan on pleading guilty?2022-05-09T22:13:53+00:00

Yes, regardless of how you plan to plea to charges, you want to seek advice from a criminal defense lawyer who can assess your options. Having a lawyer present will provide you with more possible solutions such as being released on bail and having smoother communication with the prosecutors.

What’s an arraignment?2022-05-09T22:13:35+00:00

An arraignment is the process of the court telling you what you are officially charged with. The arraignment happens after the police have arrested you and have filed a criminal complaint against you.

What is bail?2022-05-09T22:12:54+00:00

Bail is the amount of money that you pay the court to release you from jail. The purpose of bail is to assure the court that you will be present at all of your court dates following your release. The amount of bail that you must pay differs depending on your criminal history, age, the type of charge you are facing, and other personal circumstances.

Can I be released without having to pay bail?2022-05-09T22:12:49+00:00

In certain situations, you are able to be released from jail without paying any money to the court. This is referred to as an I-bond, or a recognizance bond, meaning you are promising the court that you will appear on all of your future court dates. The judge in bond court will be the one that determines if you are eligible for an I-bond depending on your criminal history and the type of charge you are facing.

How can I bail someone out?2022-05-09T22:12:41+00:00

You may be able to bail someone out immediately after they are arrested depending on the jurisdiction. To bail someone out, you either have to pay the money to the court or use a bail bond company’s service. You will also be required to provide an I.D. and be 18 years old or older.

Should I represent myself in a criminal case?2022-05-09T22:12:35+00:00

While you do have the option to represent yourself in a criminal case, it is recommended you hire a lawyer instead. Facing criminal charges is a difficult process that places your rights and freedom at risk. Representing yourself could limit your possibilities to reaching a much more reasonable and fair solution to your charges compared to the options a lawyer has to solve your case.

What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?2022-05-09T22:12:30+00:00

What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

What is the difference between State criminal charges and Federal criminal charges?2022-05-09T22:12:18+00:00

You are charged with a State criminal charge when a state law has been violated. This type of violation is prosecuted in the state court system. You are charged with a Federal criminal charge when a federal law has been violated. This type of violation is prosecuted by a US attorney in the federal court system.

What kind of criminal cases does you handle?2022-05-09T22:12:23+00:00

At the Law Office of Purav Bhatt, I have vast experience handling complex criminal charges at both the State and Federal level. Throughout my years as a practicing attorney, I have helped people fight for their rights and freedom against criminal charges. Some of the criminal cases our law firm handles include:

  • Assault and battery
  • Drug possession
  • Sex Offenses/Crimes
  • DUI/DWI
  • Felony crimes
  • Weapons/Gun Offenses
  • Misdemeanor crimes
  • Violations of Orders of Protection
  • Theft & White-Collar crimes
  • Violation of probation or community control
  • Expungements
  • Homicide
  • Arson
What should I do if I am falsely accused of a crime?2022-05-09T22:10:45+00:00

Unfortunately, even if you think you were falsely accused of a crime, that does not mean htat the charges go away. If you think that you are being falsely accused, contact your criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will then take on the task of showing the court that the charges brought against you had no legitimate legal grounds in an attempt to get the charges dropped.

When should I hire a criminal defense law lawyer?2022-05-09T22:16:31+00:00

The best time to hire a criminal defense lawyer is as soon as you know you have criminal charges against you.  Often times you are notified that you may be facing charges before they are actually filed.  Many times, law enforcement officers will try to talk to you about your case before they even have an arrest or search warrant. At that point in your case, however, it is important to only speak to officers when your lawyer is present. Your lawyer should know how to communicate properly with officers and understand your rights so that you are being represented correctly. You want a lawyer that is aggressive when it comes to fighting for you.  If you do not have the benefit of an early warning and you are arrested, it is even more important that you hire a criminal defense attorney immediately.  Even before you attempt to post bail, your criminal lawyer can be helpful. Your lawyer will be able to find out more information about your case and assess your options. In some instances, your lawyer may even be able to get your bail lowered or entirely dropped.  If you decide to use a public defender instead of a private criminal defense lawyer, you usually will not be able to speak with the public defender until your first court date, which could be weeks after you are arrested. This leaves you with much less time to discuss your both case and your options.

Why should I hire a private criminal attorney as opposed to a public defender?2022-05-09T22:16:17+00:00

You likely won’t meet your court appointed attorney or public defender until your first court appearance.  This is far too late.  This leaves room for more error, such as self-incriminating statements to the police.  But, these potentially life-altering mistakes could easily be avoided with the advice of an experienced and knowledgeable private criminal defense lawyer.  Public defenders handle many cases at once and will likely not be familiar with your case until the day of your first appearance.  This could make you feel like your case is not being handled properly or with care. Basically, you are just another number.  Although a public defender should provide you competent representation, very often they do not have the time nor the resources to establish an effective defense.  They usually have only one or two investigators who must devote their time to the more serious cases, such as murders.  Ultimately, a defendant represented by a public defender receives the representation from an overloaded criminal court system.  This means that your defense is out of your control.  Most importantly, you do not get to select your criminal defense lawyer.  The public defender is appointed to you by the court, and you will typically not be able to change to a different public defender if you are not happy with your current one.  Fortunately, you can ALWAYS change from a public defender to a private attorney.  The only way you can exert control over your defense is by hiring a competent, experienced private criminal attorney.  A law firm like the Law Office of Purav Bhatt will have depth of resources, such as experts and investigators, a staff of legal researchers, and extensive hands-on experience.  The potential consequences of a criminal conviction on your record are severe and can be life changing.  It is vital that your criminal attorney understand that the rest of your life is at stake, including your personal life and your employment.  Your criminal defense lawyer should protect you with the utmost ability, not treat you like you are just another file or number on an overflowing desk.

What are the consequences of a conviction on my record?2022-05-09T22:10:15+00:00

The most obvious, and detrimental, consequence is incarceration and jail.  Being in jail or prison is difficult in itself, but if you suffer from medical conditions or other personal issues, this can be even more difficult to overcome. Prison staffs are not paid to care about your healthcare needs, including medications and medical care, and you have no say over where nor how you are housed.  The consequences of being in prison are often overlooked.  Aside from actually going to jail, criminal record will interfere with the rest of your life including employment, government services, credit, housing, and even immigration status.  Certain convictions require registration as a “sex offender,” which literally damages your reputation and makes you a virtual outcast in society.  Although certain states allow for certain records to be expunged, only specific charges meet the criteria to be eligible for expungement. That is why is better to get the case resolved earlier rather than later. There is no constitutional right to have your criminal record expunged.  In the case of non-U.S citizens, a felony conviction can and often does lead to deportation, even if you have lived here as a legal resident for a substantial amount of time.  It is vital that you do not take a conviction on your record lightly.  Before you face these harsh penalties, make sure you and your criminal defense lawyer are doing everything to protect your life and your future.  Criminal convictions are very serious, and all of your decisions must be well thought out, and you need to be well-informed of all of your options.

How do I pick the BEST criminal defense lawyer?2022-05-09T22:15:42+00:00

This can be a very difficult decision to make, especially because you have never seen them in action and are just meeting them for the first time.  There are a few factors you can consider which will help you assess if the criminal attorney you are considering is the right one for you:

Experience – experience in handling your particular type of case is crucial.  Your criminal defense lawyer should be knowledgeable with court procedures, rules, case law, and should also have real trial experience with the charges you are facing.

In court, you have only two choices: take a plea agreement or go to trial.  If you choose to go to trial, it is absolutely necessary that your lawyer is comfortable in front of a jury, skilled at cross-examining witnesses, experienced at advocating to the judge, and confident in challenging the prosecutor on your behalf.  These criminal trial skills come with years of actual courtroom experience and an ability to craft a strategic defense.  You should also discuss possible defenses and strategies associated with your case with any criminal defense lawyer you intend to hire.  The attorney should also have a sense if your situation requires the use of experts or investigators.  With a criminal defense lawyer, you will not be alone in defending yourself.

Comfort – Finally, you should consider your personal comfort level with this person.  The lawyer you hire should be tentatively listening to you about your situation. You should be very comfortable in confiding in your lawyer about the charges you are facing. You should feel that your lawyer is confident that they can help you with all of the court proceedings and any other questions you might have.  All of these considerations are important in establishing your personal comfort level with a criminal defense lawyer.  As with any situation, you want to feel comfortable with the person who you are working with, especially when that individual may have your life in their hands.

How much does a criminal defense attorney normally cost?2022-05-09T22:15:17+00:00

Every lawyer works differently. Here at the Law Offices of Purav Bhatt, I work on a flat fee basis. Depending on the charges you are facing, I will provide you with a price that matches how much work will be involved with your case and we can set up monthly installments to make the process smoother for you. There are some guidelines that we use to establish what the fee will be for your specific case:

Severity – The severity of a charge is usually a primary factor in establishing the fee.  The more severe the consequences of the case and the more complicated the case, the higher the fee a criminal attorney will charge.  Simply put, there is a lot more involved in preparing for a murder case than for a DUI.  Legal representation on a murder offense is going to cost substantially more than a drunk driving case because of the time and preparation involved.

Experience & Reputation– The experience and reputation of the criminal defense lawyer or the firm is also a factor in establishing the fee.  The more experienced the attorney and the more established their track record, the higher the fee.

When it comes to finding the best lawyer for you, no two criminal defense lawyers are exactly alike. Every lawyer has different skills and experience.  What you are looking for is the best criminal attorney who can give you the best outcome for your case.  Find the right attorneys first. Then, consider price.

What should I expect my lawyer to do for my case?2022-05-09T22:09:32+00:00

An aggressive defense attorney will interview the client in their office or at the jail. The interview will revolve around all relevant witnesses personally or through an investigator. The lawyer will examine the crime scene, obtain the necessary court orders to obtain evidence, subpoena evidence and documents, file motions for discovery, analyze the case through legal research, write and litigate all relevant pre-trial motions, such as motions to suppress evidence or statements based on violations of constitutional rights, prepare and try cases before judges and juries and present arguments at sentencing in mitigation on behalf of his clients.

What does “Class 1 Felony” mean?2022-07-11T18:43:55+00:00

 In Illinois, felonies are categorized into six classes which include:

Class of Felony

Punishment

Class 1 Felony 4-15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections
Class 2 Felony 3-7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections
Class 3 Felony 2-5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections
Class 4 Felony 1-3 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections
Class X Felony 6-30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections
What other consequences are there for felony charges?2022-07-11T18:48:21+00:00

A felony conviction will prevent you from employment with the federal government, including the United States military. With a felony conviction you will be excluded from government aid, even if you’ve paid into those programs such as: Social Security and Unemployment, federal grants and loans, eligibility for Section 8 housing and food stamps. If you are a professional, or are pursuing a professional degree, a felony conviction may prevent you from, or revoke, your professional license.

What’s the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?2022-07-13T19:11:34+00:00

The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is mainly in the severity of the crime and the punishment. These differences affect:

  • How much your case will cost
  • How long your case will go on
  • The amount of jail or prison time you face if found guilty
  • The amount of fine you could receive if found guilty
  • Your ability to vote
  • Your right to serve on a jury
  • Your ability to possess a firearm

A felony is more expensive, will likely go on longer, have increased jail or prison time, have higher fines, and could take away your ability to vote, serve on a jury, and ability to possess a firearm.

What is a felony?2022-07-13T19:10:28+00:00

A felony is a serious crime. In Illinois, a felony is generally a crime that can come with a prison sentence of one or more years. Common felony charges include: Murder, Drug Crimes, Weapon Offenses, Sex Crimes, Domestic Violence, Assault & Battery, Theft, or even DUIs

Criminal Defense Lawyer with a Proven Track Record of Success

As a former Cook County prosecutor, Purav Bhatt has successfully tried hundreds of cases. His criminal cases ranged from weapons changes to drugs offenses to violent crimes. After years of working with police officers and detectives, Mr. Bhatt has learned to see defects in these cases. And as a states attorney, he understands the methods of prosecution. His background gives him a unique experience to build a strong defense for his clients.

Sexual Assault Charges – Case Dismissed

PEOPLE V. D.S. D.S. was accused of multiple sex offenses by a relative. D.S. was arrested, charged and numerous conditions placed on him including not being able to return to his home. D.S. denied all [...]

Battery Charges – Not Guilty

PEOPLE V. P.J. P.J. was a retired police Sergeant who was arrested for misdemeanor battery in violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-3(a)(2) during a road rage traffic incident. Attorney Bhatt successfully established that the state's witness [...]

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The Law Office of Purav Bhatt – Criminal Defense; DUI, Drug, Felony, Weapon, Gun

Attorney Purav Bhatt uses his training and experience as a former prosecutor to defend clients throughout Chicago and Illinois. If you are arrested or charged with a criminal offense, you need someone with experience to defend and protect your rights. Call Purav.

Call (773) 791-9682

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