Criminal charges and the defense process can be very confusing. That is why you should not hesitate to consult a Chicago criminal defense attorney from Okabe & Haushalter as soon as possible. Our firm has defended clients facing all types of criminal charges and has obtained successful case results on countless occasions. Get the answers you need by reviewing some of the frequently asked questions below before contacting us for an initial case evaluation.

What penalties am I facing?

Criminal penalties vary depending on the crime in question. In the state of Illinois, misdemeanor offenses such as DUI or possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana can incur a jail sentence of up to 1 year and a fine of up to $2,500. Felony offenses, on the other hand, can land you in jail for a minimum of a year and a maximum of a life sentence. You will also face a fine of thousands of dollars, which can be as high as $500,000 – or even $1 million – for serious drug crimes.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

A misdemeanor is a lesser offense that is handled by local county courts. Felonies are serious offenses handled in state court or even federal court in the most severe cases. Misdemeanors are generally penalized with a fine and a possible jail sentence, while felonies are punishable by a jail term or prison sentence, as well as a much higher fine.

Do I have to let a police officer search my home or car?

An officer may conduct a search or seizure if there is visual evidence of illegal conduct, such as a suspicious package that appears to be drugs. If the officer wants to conduct a search or seizure without any visual evidence, then you do not have to let an officer search your person, home, or vehicle unless they have a warrant with them that authorizes them to do so. Attorneys Ryan T. Okabe and Mark J. Haushalter coauthor the California Loose-Leaf Search and Seizure Handbook and have conducted advanced research in Fourth Amendment law (search and seizure law).

What are my rights?

Even after you’ve been arrested, you still have rights. You should be treated respectfully and humanely and should not be forced to give a statement until you have legal representation. Your Miranda rights include the right to remain silent so that you do not say anything incriminating, and the right to an attorney of your choice or one that is chosen for you from the Public Defender’s Office.

I’ve already been convicted. Do I still have options?

Even after a judge has sentenced you for a crime, you still have the ability to file an appeal to have your conviction reversed. The first step is to request a review of a circuit court judge’s decision by the Illinois Court of Appeals. You may also be able to appeal directly to the Supreme Court.

When should I hire a lawyer?

No one should ever hesitate to hire an attorney when faced with criminal charges. If you have been arrested, hire a defense attorney from our firm immediately to begin strengthening your defense and building your argument. We can defend you from a wrongful conviction.

Why do I need an attorney?

Criminal defense lawyers are the only people with the knowledge, training, and experience to effectively defend you in court. Without the representation of a lawyer, you will have little to no chance of having your charges dismissed.

Contact a Defense Lawyer Today

Okabe & Haushalter is a highly-awarded criminal defense firm with the skill and aggression to fight your charges. We have been featured in the news, and our client testimonials provide further evidence of our ability to defend you from a criminal conviction. Call now to contact us for an initial consultation. Our legal team will fight relentlessly for the best possible results after you’ve been arrested for any crime.

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