Misdemeanors / Traffic Tickets
Many people think that a misdemeanor conviction is no big deal. In truth, any criminal conviction can have severe collateral consequences in your life. Some misdemeanors can be very damaging to one's career and school ambitions. A simple domestic violence charge, which is a Class A Misdemeanor for a first offense, will result in the loss of your FOID card and gun rights in Illinois. You will lose your hunting privileges, and you can lose the right to serve in the military or in any paramilitary organization, such as police or fire services.
Misdemeanors are often thought of as being citations with a fine, which in some cases they can be. However, people are actually arrested and placed in jail on misdemeanor charges. This period of jail time can last a few weeks unless the individual has the funds to post bond. Even once bonded out of jail, that charge will hang over your head until the case is resolved. The key to handling misdemeanors and traffic tickets is to act quickly, contact the State's Attorney, and begin building a defense. The sooner you can show the State that the charges are not going to stick or that they will exert considerable effort fighting over a minor matter, the better your chances of leveraging a dismissal or deal that does not tarnish your record. Our attorney frequently handles misdemeanors, including:
- Battery (including domestic)
- Retail Theft
- Criminal Damage to Property
- Drug paraphernalia
- Reckless Driving
Don't let traffic tickets ruin your driving record, and don't let a misdemeanor charge tarnish your good name and cost you a job or educational opportunity. Call Crossroad Legal at (618) 515-5555 to speak with an attorney about your case.
Unlike other illegal substances, meth has been elevated to a Class 3 felony by the Illinois General Assembly. This means it is one step higher than the typical controlled substance charge, which is usually a Class 4 (the lowest felony). A class 3 felony for meth possession carries a potential sentencing range of between 2 to 5 years in prison. If there are prior convictions at the same felony level or higher within the last 10 years, the sentencing range is considered “extended term,” meaning the sentence can be doubled. This means a person can serve up to 10 years for a single possession charge. Of course, prison isn't the only problem with a meth conviction. There's also fines, court costs, mandatory DNA testing, and the possibility of losing the right to work in certain jobs where narcotics and other controlled substances are used, such as healthcare. There is good news, however. Most first-time offenders qualify for alternative sentencing options that allow them to preserve their good name and avoid a felony record. The stronger your defense, the better your chances of leveraging a good deal. Options sometimes include:
- Conditional Discharge
- TASC Probation
- Drug Court Diversion Programs
- First Offender Probation
- Reduction to a misdemeanor
Of course, if the state cannot prove its case, then you always have the right to take your case to trial before a jury. This can and sometimes does result in a not guilty verdict. The best way to protect your good name and reduce your chances of serving serious jail time is to speak with an experienced southern Illinois criminal defense lawyer today.
While the team at Crossroad Legal strongly supports the Second Amendment and believes that every law-abiding American should be allowed to own, carry, and indeed conceal a firearm, there are many rules and restrictions that can lead to an unintended felony charge. Illinois has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. If you do not have a Firearm Owners Identification card (FOID), you can be charged with a felony just for possessing a bullet or shell casing. Use of a firearm comes with severe consequences. If you've been charged with a gun crime, don't take chances with your freedom and future. Never speak to the police without an attorney present, never consent to be searched, and contact Crossroad Legal right away if you've been charged.