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Crystal Lake Criminal Defense LawyerCOVID-19 influenced almost every aspect of our lives. So, it is probably no surprise that the pandemic affected the criminal justice system too. Illinois courts have been scrambling to keep up with cases utilizing Zoom or other teleconference technology, however, the court system is still significantly backed up. In response to the pandemic, Illinois temporarily suspended the state’s “speedy trial” law in April of 2020. This law mandates that criminal defendants be tried within 120 days after being taken into custody or 160 days if they are out on bond. Fortunately, the speedy trial law is being reinstated.

Criminal Defendants Have a Right to a Speedy Trial

The Constitution dictates that criminal defendants have certain rights. These rights include the right to know the charges laid against them, the right to be represented by an attorney, and the right to avoid self-incrimination, among others. The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that all criminal defendants have a right to a “speedy and public trial.” The Constitution of the State of Illinois mirrors this statement. However, the speedy trial requirement was suspended due to “extraordinary circumstances” brought on by the pandemic. As concerns over the virus wane, courts are now able to restore this expectation. Unfortunately, many cases are still delayed.

Protecting Your Rights as a Criminal Defendant

If you or a loved one were charged with a criminal offense, it is important to keep in mind that criminal defendants have important rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney can ensure that these rights are not violated.


McHenry County Assault and Battery LawyerNow that bars and restaurants are opening back up, many Illinois residents are eager to enjoy a night out. Unfortunately, sometimes a fun night out on the town ends with police sirens and handcuffs. If you or a loved one were arrested after being involved in a bar fight, you may be unsure of what will happen next. Can you face jail time for getting into a physical altercation at a bar? What if you were only defending yourself? Individuals who have allegedly gotten into a bar fight are often charged with serious offenses like assault and battery which are punishable by significant criminal penalties.

Understanding The Crimes of Battery and Assault

People often use the terms “assault” and “battery” interchangeably, however, these are completely different offenses in Illinois. Assault is defined as conduct that would put someone in reasonable apprehension of being injured. For example, cocking your fist at someone and verbally threatening them could be considered assault. Battery is the actual physical contact.

Assault is a Class C misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 30 days in jail or community service and a fine of up to $1,500. However, the offense can be elevated to aggravated assault if the alleged aggressor used a firearm or other deadly weapon, committed the offense against a protected person, or committed the offense in certain locations. Aggravated assault may be a Class A misdemeanor, Class 3 felony, or Class 4 felony depending on the specific circumstances of the alleged crime. If you are convicted of aggravated assault, you could be sentenced to several years in prison. Using a deadly weapon or firearm during a bar fight can lead to charges for aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony punished by up to five years in prison, and a maximum fine of $25,000.  


mchenry county criminal defense lawyerMany people in Illinois depend on their vehicles to get to work and other important places. However, when someone has their driver’s license suspended, it becomes illegal to drive a car. In Illinois, people can get their driver’s licenses suspended for many different reasons, such as driving drunk, failing to appear in court for a traffic ticket, and driving without insurance. If they still try to get behind the wheel of a car, they could face severe consequences.

Consequences of Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License

If a judge has suspended or revoked your driver’s license, you cannot legally drive a vehicle. If you do, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances of your case. If this is your first time driving with a suspended license, you face a class A misdemeanor. You may be ordered to pay up to $2,500 in fines. You also face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of ten days and a maximum sentence of one year. However, some first-time offenders are able to receive court supervision instead of jail time. 

If you are charged with driving without a license a second time, you face a Class 4 felony. A judge may sentence you to a minimum of 30 days in jail or 300 hours of community service. You may have to pay up to $25,000 in fines. Your license will also be suspended for twice as long as your original suspension period. Additionally, your auto insurance company may cancel your coverage or increase your premiums.


crystal lake criminal defense lawyerEveryone makes a mistake at some point or another. Fortunately, the state of Illinois understands that. Courts are authorized to use alternative methods of sentencing after a person is in trouble with the law. The criminal justice system in the U.S. has been criticized many times for the number of incarcerated people across the country. One of the ways that states attempt to keep their prison population down is by providing alternative options for sentencing nonviolent offenders. Court supervision is a tool that is often used for low-level offenders that allows them to stay out of jail.

Understanding Court Supervision

One of the most lenient sentences you could receive after being convicted of a crime is court supervision. If you are sentenced to court supervision, judgment in your case will be suspended until you have completed your period of supervision, the length of which is determined by the judge. Technically, court supervision is not a conviction, as the criminal proceedings are essentially paused until your period of supervision has been completed.

Requirements for Court Supervision

Much like probation, court supervision also comes with certain requirements that must be met to comply with the program. The main purpose of these requirements is to help facilitate an environment in which the offender can be rehabilitated, rather than to punish him or her. A successful period of court supervision ends with the case being dismissed. No conviction is entered against the offender. If you are sentenced to court supervision, you may have to adhere to requirements such as:


crystal lake criminal defense lawyerLike many other areas, gun laws differ from state to state. Each state is responsible for creating and implementing its own laws pertaining to the purchase, sale, possession, and use of firearms. Naturally, some states have laws that are more strict than others. In Illinois, any person who wishes to own and possess a firearm legally must have a valid firearm owner identification (FOID) card. Obtaining a FOID card is not difficult, but there are specific requirements that you must meet before the state will issue you a permit. Possessing a firearm without a valid FOID card can result in penalties that have the potential to become severe.

FOID Card Requirements

Even though the right to “bear arms” is written into the country’s Constitution, gun ownership is treated more like a privilege than a right. When you submit an application for a FOID card, there are specific requirements that you must meet before you can receive a card. To be eligible for a FOID card, you must not:

  • Have been convicted of a felony

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