Rock Island Criminal Defense Attorney
Help When You’ve Been Charged with a Crime
When you’re facing criminal charges, you may feel like you have nowhere to turn. I understand how stressful and confusing an arrest can be, and I’m here to help.
Penalties for Felonies and Misdemeanors
The first step toward deciding how to move forward is understanding what’s at risk. Some of the most common consequences of criminal convictions include:
- Jail or prison time
- Driver’s license suspension
- Restitution to victims
- Seizure of property
Depending on the nature of the crime, there may be indirect consequences as well. For example, you may be disqualified from certain types of employment, or may see your automobile insurance rates skyrocket. In some cases, you could even face restrictions on where you are able to live and work.
You may also face more serious penalties if you’re charged with another crime later.
Contacting a Criminal Defense Lawyer
One mistake many criminal defendants make is waiting too long to make contact with an attorney. Of course, it’s better to call me a little later in the process than not at all. But, the ideal time to get advice from a criminal defense lawyer is immediately after arrest. In fact, in the rare case in which you may know that arrest is coming, it’s a good idea to take advantage of that delay to get advice in advance.
Whether you’re facing DUI charges, an accusation of drug possession or distribution, allegations of a theft-related crime, assault and battery charges or other criminal charges, the time to act is right now.
Police Officers Don’t File Criminal Charges
Many people don’t know that it isn’t the police officer who decides whether or not charges will be filed against you. The officer makes the arrest and sends a report to the prosecuting attorney, including recommended charges. The prosecutor decides whether to file the charges the officer recommended, file different charges, or file no charges at all.
That means that if you act quickly, we may be able to affect the decision as to what charges, if any, are filed against you.
When someone contacts me immediately after being arrested, I can contact the prosecuting attorney right away, before charges have been filed.
Sometimes, the prosecuting attorney will decide not to pursue any charge.
Sometimes, I can persuade the prosecuting attorney that lesser charges are more appropriate.
Of course, in some cases the prosecutor will go ahead and file charges according to the officer’s recommendation. In that case you still have the benefit of a seasoned advocate at your side every step of the way to:
- Explain your options
- Manage procedures and deadlines that are unfamiliar to the average person
- Examine the evidence against you
- Negotiate on your behalf if you choose to pursue a plea agreement
- Devise an effective trial strategy if you choose to fight the charges
- Hold the prosecution to its burden of proof
Get the Help You Need Right Now
Whether you were arrested this morning or have a court date scheduled in two weeks, the best time to get legal advice is as soon as possible.
Preparing certain defenses takes time, since it may be necessary to gather evidence and interview witnesses. Missing deadlines you may not be aware of or understand can prevent you and your attorney from introducing important evidence at trial or calling witnesses on your behalf.
In short, the process is complicated and there’s a lot at stake. You can’t afford to take your chances, and you can’t afford to wait until the last minute to get the help and advice you need.
Call my office right now at 309-752-8500 and take the first step toward protecting yourself and your future.