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Buffalo Grove Criminal Defense Lawyers

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Villadonga & Villadonga Provides Exceptional Legal Representation

Based on crime statistics, Buffalo Grove, Illinois, has earned a ‘B’ grade, indicating that its crime rate is slightly below the average for U.S. cities. When ranked for safety, Buffalo Grove lands in the 69th percentile, meaning it’s safer than 31% of cities, while 69% of cities pose more risk.

However, this evaluation specifically pertains to the official city limits of Buffalo Grove. For information on surrounding areas, one should refer to the provided table on nearby cities. Annually, Buffalo Grove experiences a crime rate of 19.41 incidents per 1,000 residents. Notably, residents believe that the northern part of the city offers the highest safety levels.

Facing legal issues in Buffalo Grove, Illinois? The impact on your private and work life can be significant without skilled legal representation. Whether it’s a traffic-related matter, a minor offense, or a major felony, our legal team in Buffalo Grove is prepared to craft a robust defense strategy for you. We commit to fervently safeguarding your rights, approaching your situation with real understanding and expertise.

Villadonga & Villadonga is an experienced criminal defense law firm serving Chicagoland and neighboring counties. Our attorneys, with 50+ years of combined criminal defense experience, are dedicated to protecting your legal rights and freedoms. If you or a loved one are in legal trouble, you must contact us as soon as possible. We advocate for individuals charged with any criminal offense, including but not limited to:

If you, a friend, or a loved one is being questioned by law enforcement or has been charged with a crime, do not delay contacting our firm for your free case review. To arrange your free consultation, contact us today by calling 847-298-5740.

Understanding Crime Classifications in Illinois: Misdemeanors vs. Felonies

Understanding the specific legal terms used in Illinois criminal cases is crucial, especially terms like ‘misdemeanor’ and ‘felony.’ Each term categorizes the type of crime and dictates the potential penalties upon conviction. In Illinois criminal code, misdemeanors and felonies differ significantly in the severity of their respective punishments. We will explain these two crime classifications in Illinois to help you understand their differences.

Basic Legal Definitions

Misdemeanor – A misdemeanor in Illinois is a lesser offense than a felony charge. Examples might range from simple traffic violations to the theft of items valued below $500.

Felony – On the other end of the spectrum, felonies are much more serious criminal offenses. A few examples of these crimes include murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, aggravated battery, or substantial financial fraud. The consequences of a felony are more severe, given the nature of the offense.

The Consequences and Classifications of Crimes Under Illinois Law

Misdemeanors: In Illinois, someone found guilty of a misdemeanor can expect a jail term of up 364 days in jail. Moreover, punishments may also include fines, probation, and/or mandated community service. Illinois divides misdemeanors into three distinct classifications:

Class A Misdemeanors. The most severe, with potential jail time at 364 days maximum and a fine of no more than $2,500.

Class B Misdemeanors. Moderate offenses, with jail time up to 6 months and a fine of up to $1,500.

Class C Misdemeanors. The least severe misdemeanors, with up to 30 days in jail and a fine up to $1,500.

Felonies: A felony conviction is a serious legal matter. A conviction could result in a sentence of several years to be served in a state prison. Felonies in Illinois are split into five different classes based on the severity of the crime:

Class X: Class X felonies are the most severely punished crimes. These crimes can result in lengthy prison sentences of 6-30 years, hefty fines, and other punishments. Some Class X offenses come with mandatory minimum prison sentences and a mandatory supervised release period after completion of the jail sentence. These crimes include: home invasion, aggravated battery with a firearm, and armed robbery.

Class 1: Class 1 felonies have a prison sentence of 4-15 years. There is a two year mandatory supervised release.

Class 2: Class 2 felonies carry a prison sentence of 3-7 years and can be extendable by 7-14 years.

Class 3: Class 3 felonies are punishable by up to 2-5 years in prison and one year mandatory supervised release.

Class 4: Class 4 felonies are punishable for 1-3 years in prison and one year of mandatory supervised release.

The Long-term Impact of a Criminal Conviction

Misdemeanors, despite their name, can lead to lasting repercussions. Having a criminal offense on your record can hinder job opportunities, academic pursuits, and affect housing eligibility. Specific convictions might necessitate public disclosure, especially for particular types of sexual misconduct.

The gravity of felonies ensures they come with profound, enduring consequences. An individual with a felony history might find certain civil privileges revoked, such as the right to vote or bear arms. Plus, societal perceptions about individuals with felony records can pose challenges to both personal and career advancement.

Criminal Record Expungements in Illinois

Illinois law does provide opportunities for expunging or sealing certain criminal records. This process can make certain criminal records inaccessible to the general public.

Misdemeanors: Many misdemeanors qualify for expungement. However, one’s eligibility typically depends on the crime’s specifics and the duration since the verdict.

Felonies: The process of expunging felonies is much more difficult, as many do not qualify for expungement. Some might be eligible for sealing or expungement, but many felonies cannot be expunged.

To see if your criminal record can be expunged or to have your criminal records sealed, contact us for your free case review. To arrange your free consultation, contact us today by calling 847-298-5740.

The Illinois Criminal Justice Process

In Illinois, if an individual is charged with a crime, the accused begins the criminal justice process. The state’s criminal justice framework is designed to preserve the defendant’s rights and strive to provide a fair process for defendants. Here’s a brief guide to the criminal procedure in Illinois:

  1. Arrest and Charge – Law enforcement can detain someone if they have probable cause that person committed a crime or if the police obtain an arrest warrant from a judge.
  2. Initial Appearance – In court, the person will be informed of the criminal charges against them, and the court evaluates the legitimacy of their arrest. The individual then formally acknowledges the charges with a plea of guilty or not guilty.
  3. Bail – A specific monetary amount, known as bail, can be deposited to ensure the accused returns for trial. Bail grants the defendant temporary release from jail. The amount of the bail is determined by the judge, who considers the seriousness of the crime, the defendant’s prior offenses, and their community ties. Recently, Illinois enacted the Pretrial Fairness Act, providing further safeguards for citizens against unfair bonds and detention.
  4. Preliminary Hearing or Grand Jury Review – Serious offenses undergo a process where evidence is either evaluated by a Judge through a preliminary hearing where the arresting officer testifies or presented before a grand jury. The grand jury determines if there is probable cause for an indictment.
  5. Formal Charging – The defendant is formally indicted at this juncture.
  6. Pre-Trial Motions and Plea Negotiations – Both sides propose specific requests before trial.
  7. Criminal Trial – Absent a plea agreement, the trial takes place. The burden is on the state to conclusively prove the accused’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the defendant is found not guilty by a judge or jury, the person is free to leave. If not, the sentencing phase follows.
  8. Sentencing – Depending on the crime, the court determines appropriate penalties and punishments, which can vary from imprisonment and fines to probation. The judge will hear both the state and defense, but ultimately the decision is up to the judge.
  9. Appeal – The defendant can contest the outcome and file a written appeal to a higher court.

You must fight the charges if you have been charged with a crime. A criminal conviction can result in life-long consequences. Contact our law firm for your free consultation by calling 847-298-5740.

Contact Our Buffalo Grove Criminal Defense Attorneys Today!

If you have been arrested for a criminal charge in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, you need immediate legal representation to mitigate potential adverse outcomes. At Villadonga & Villadonga our attorneys aggressively represent people charged with a crime in Illinois, including traffic violations, misdemeanors, and felonies. Don’t hesitate to contact our Buffalo Grove criminal defense attorneys today by calling 847-298-5740.

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