Facing criminal charges in Chicago can be an unnerving experience. Depending on the nature and gravity of the charges, you might not only have to pay exorbitant fines, but also serve jail or prison time. Not to mention the fact that once you are convicted, the record can impact your career, financial situation, and social life for the rest of your life.
If you are currently being investigated or have been charged with a crime, it is time for you to act swiftly and get legal representation. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is by far the most important step you can take to defend yourself against the charges you are facing and protect your reputation and freedom.
At the Law Office of Purav Bhatt, we know that dealing with the criminal justice system can be intimidating and overwhelming for common people. During this difficult time, our legal team can provide you with the personalized legal counsel and guidance you need and defend you to the best of our abilities.
Led by Purav Bhatt – a former prosecutor and a highly-rated Chicago criminal defense lawyer – our legal team has achieved extraordinary results over the last decade. Thanks to our winning track record, our criminal defense law firm remains the most trusted choice for individuals facing misdemeanor and felony charges in Chicago and surrounding areas.
To find out how we can help you, contact our firm today and talk to one of our seasoned Chicago, IL criminal defense lawyers.
Criminal Charges and Their Consequences in Illinois
Under Illinois law, misdemeanor offenses are classified into three classes – Class A, Class B, and Class C.
- Class A misdemeanor offenses are punishable by a fine (up to $2,500) and jail time (up to 364 days) or probation.
- Class B misdemeanor offenses are punishable by a fine (up to $1,500) and jail time (up to six months) or probation.
- Class C misdemeanor offenses are punishable by a fine (up to $1,500) and jail time (up to 30 days) or probation.
Under Illinois law, felony offenses are classified into five different classes – Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, Class X, and First-Degree Murder.
- The prison sentence for Class 1 felonies can be anywhere from 4 to 15 years.
- For Class 2 felonies, it can be anywhere from 3 to 7 years.
- For Class 3 felonies, it can be anywhere from 2 and 5 years.
- For Class 4 felonies, it can be anywhere from 1 to 3 years.
Class X felonies are more serious than the aforementioned felony offenses and the penalties can be much harsher. The prison sentence can range from 6 to 30 years.
First-degree murder is the most serious felony offense you can be charged with in Illinois. The prison sentence can range from 20 to 60 years.
It should be noted that depending on your criminal history and other aggravating factors, the prosecution might seek extended sentences, in which case the prison term could be much longer.
The collateral consequences of a criminal conviction in Illinois can be just as harsh and can affect you for the remainder of your life. It can impact every aspect of your life – from renting an apartment to getting a loan, getting a job, getting a professional license or certification, getting custody of your child or adopting a child, owning firearms, and many more.
Apart from this, the loss of reputation caused by a criminal conviction – particularly in cases involving domestic violence or sexual abuse – can be incalculable. It’s why having an all-star Chicago criminal lawyer on your side is so important. This is someone who’s been through the legal battlefields before and knows how to survive different types of legal engagements.
How Our Skilled Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Protect Your Rights
From the moment you hire us to represent you, our criminal defense attorneys will get to work right away and take all possible steps to protect your rights and freedom. These include:
- Investigating your case and talking to witnesses to get all the relevant details
- Reviewing the evidence against you to determine whether the prosecution has a strong case against you
- Identifying potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you
- Gathering evidence that could prove your innocence or create reasonable doubt about the allegations against you
- Telling you what your options are and the most realistic outcome that can be achieved
- Handling all the paperwork associated with your case
- Negotiating with the prosecutor to get the charges against you dropped or to get a favorable plea bargain that can reduce your sentence
If your case goes to trial, our Chicago, IL criminal defense attorneys will compile the evidence to be presented at court, get statements or testimonies from expert witnesses to support you, select favorable jurors and remove jurors who might be biased or prejudiced against you, cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses, and make compelling arguments to achieve the best outcome possible.
Potential Defenses against Criminal Offenses in Chicago, IL
The most common legal defenses against DUI charges include:
- Lack of probable cause to pull you over
- Unlawful search and seizure of evidence
- You failed your field sobriety tests due to an underlying problem, disability, or other extenuating circumstances
- The breath test was not administered properly
- The blood sample was not handled properly and the results might be inaccurate
- The high BAC result was caused by mouth alcohol
Depending on the circumstances, your Chicago DUI defense attorney might use one or more of the aforementioned defenses to fight the prosecution’s charges against you.
The most common defenses against theft charges include:
- You lacked the intent to commit theft
- You mistakenly believed that the property in question was yours
- You were lured, coerced, or forced to commit the theft by someone else
The most common defenses against criminal trespassing charges include:
- You had reason to believe that the property was open to public
- You entered the property due to an emergency
- You live on the property
The most common defenses against drug charges include:
- The evidence against you was obtained in violation of the law
- Your constitutional rights were violated or denied by the police
- The drugs in question belonged to another party
- You did not have any knowledge about the drugs in question and did not have constructive possession over them
- You are a victim of entrapment
The most common defenses against violent crime-related charges include:
- You used force to protect yourself or someone else
- You used force to defend your property
- Mistaken identity
- Violation or impingement of your constitutional rights
In some cases, your Chicago violent crimes defense attorney might opt for an affirmative defense, wherein they might argue that you did use force against the alleged victim, but your actions did not result in the level of harm that the alleged victim is said to have suffered. It’s a legal defense which is commonly used in these cases to reduce the severity of the charges and minimize the sentence to the extent possible.
The most common defenses against domestic violence charges include:
- You acted in self defense
- You used to force to defend a family member or another party
- It was an accident
- You are being falsely accused of domestic violence by your spouse or partner
White Collar Crimes
The most common defenses against white collar crimes include:
- Lack of intent to commit the crime
- Lack of knowledge (if multiple parties were involved and you did not know that you were participating in an unlawful activity)
- You acted under coercion or entrapment
- You were intoxicated or temporarily insane while the alleged crime was committed
Federal crimes can range from credit card fraud to money laundering, embezzlement, identity theft, and drug and firearm-related offenses. Depending on the criminal offense you are charged with and the facts related to your case, your Chicago federal criminal defense lawyer might use a number of legal defenses – including lack of intent, unlawful search and seizure of evidence, violation of due process and constitutional rights, duress, and entrapment.
Your lawyer might also take several other steps – from negotiating proffer agreements to challenging the pre-sentence investigation report – to achieve a positive outcome in your case.
Our Chicago Criminal Lawyers Stand Out from the Rest
Experience in Handling a Wide Range of Criminal Cases
Our lawyers have extensive experience in defending people against misdemeanor as well as felony charges. From theft to DUI, robbery, assault and battery, domestic violence, drug-related offenses, firearm-related offenses, sexual offenses, financial crimes, and federal crimes – we have handled a wide range of criminal cases over the years and have managed to achieve exceptionally good results for our clients.
No matter what kind of charges you are facing, whether misdemeanor or felony charges, federal criminal charges, or some other criminal charges, you can be sure that our lawyers have the necessary expertise and experience to defend you.
One of the biggest advantages we enjoy over many other law firms in Chicago is that our founder – Purav Bhatt – is a former Cook County State’s Attorney. With years of prosecutorial experience under his belt, Purav Bhatt knows how the state criminal justice system works and how prosecutors obtain convictions.
It’s why we can approach your case from the prosecutor’s point of view and prepare the right strategies to defend you. It is also the reason why we are able to get results that many of our peers cannot.
It’s often said that criminal law is localized, because the procedures and rules can change from one court to another. Our criminal lawyers have spent years defending clients in local courts and are familiar with all the rules and procedures to be followed in these courts.
We know all the local prosecutors and have firsthand knowledge of how they work and obtain convictions. We know what their strengths and weaknesses are and what kind of plea bargain ideas that they might be open to. It allows us to negotiate with prosecutors confidently and get the best deal possible for you.
We have argued before all the local judges and we know how they interpret certain laws, what kind of views they have on various issues, what kind of perspectives they bring to the cases they hear, and more. We know what kind of evidence to present and what kind of arguments to make in order to increase the odds of achieving a positive outcome.
Prosecutors in Chicago have the government’s resources at their disposal. In order to take them on, you need an equally resourceful criminal defense lawyer.
We have the resources to hire private investigators, expert witnesses, and other parties who can help us build a robust defense against the prosecution’s case against you. We also have a team of paralegals and support staff to take care of all the paperwork and other aspects of your case, so that our criminal lawyers can focus on what they do best – defending you.
Communication is one of our strong suits and it is one of the reasons why we have managed to earn the trust of so many clients in such a short span of time. Right from the initial consultation, we will establish a clear line of communication with you so that you can stay updated about the case. At every step of the proceedings, we will update you so that you know what is happening.
👉Also read: 12 Things You Should Know About Marijuana DUIs
Facing Criminal Charges? Get Strong Legal Representation from Our Top-Rated Chicago, IL Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you are facing criminal charges, you cannot afford to waste any time in getting legal representation. The sooner you hire a skilled criminal defense attorney with wide-ranging experience in practicing criminal law, the better are your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.
Purav Bhatt is a renowned Chicago criminal defense attorney who is committed to providing the highest level of legal representation to those who are facing criminal charges. Known for his clinical and methodical approach towards criminal defense, Purav Bhatt is extremely skilled at analyzing evidence, cross-examining witnesses, and negotiating with prosecutors.
A former Cook County State’s Attorney, Purav Bhatt uses the knowledge and insights he gained as a prosecutor to devise the most effective strategies to defend his clients and achieve the best possible outcome in each and every case he takes up. He will leave no stone unturned to protect your rights, freedom, and reputation.
To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyers, call us today at 773-791-9682 or fill out our online contact form.