Illinois Criminal Defense Blog
Friday, May 2, 2014
The unofficial start of boating season is right around the corner, and whether you’re tearing up the waves on Lake Michigan’s shoreline or you’re cruising around Chain O’Lakes, there’s something you need to know: legislation passed last year that says drinking and boating are as serious as drinking and driving a car. If you are charged with drinking and boating, your first call needs to be to an Illinois BUI lawyer.
The Legal Limit for BUI
Boating under the influence, or BUI, is just like a DUI in Chicago. The legal blood alcohol concentration limit is 0.08 – and it doesn’t take much to get to that level. A 130-pound woman who’s done three shots in an hour is over the limit; a 180-pound man who’s had four beers is also over it. (Find out how much you can legally drink if you’re behind the wheel of a boat.)
What to Do if You’re Arrested on Chicago’s Waterways
If police arrest you (and make no mistake, they are out patrolling… especially on weekends, when most accidents occur) and you’ve been drinking, the first thing you need to do is call a BUI lawyer in the Chicago, Rolling Meadows or Skokie areas.
Like with all other arrests, don’t say anything. Don’t answer any questions, no matter what police promise you (or threaten you with). Talking without your lawyer present is almost always a recipe for trouble, even if you’re innocent. When police tell you that anything you say can and will be used against you, remember that they really will use it against you.
How Can a BUI Lawyer Help?
If you’re convicted of a BUI in Illinois, you could lose your driver’s license, spend time in jail and pay hefty fines. That’s why you need a talented attorney to fight for your rights – and the sooner you have one in your corner, the better. A BUI lawyer will help prevent you from incriminating yourself, walk you through the entire legal process, and be watching out for you every step of the way.
Friday, April 18, 2014
If you’re not working with a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, chances are pretty slim that you’ll be offered a plea bargain. Either way, you need to know what it is – and what it could mean for your case.
What is a Plea Bargain?
A plea bargain is basically a deal offered by the prosecutor in your case. In exchange for an admission of guilt, the prosecutor might agree to ask for a lighter sentence or to charge you with lesser crimes. It’s a negotiation process, and your lawyer won’t agree to anything without making sure you’re on board first. It can happen with virtually any type of crime in the state of Illinois.
Why Would a Prosecutor Offer a Plea Bargain?
Sometimes prosecutors view plea bargains as a slam-dunk. They get a conviction out of it, so they may not be too concerned with whether you spend an extra year behind bars or whether you plead guilty to a lesser charge; they “win” either way.
In other cases, prosecutors might not be entirely sure that they can win the case – even if they know you’re guilty. They might view a plea bargain as the only way to prove it in court.
Should You Accept an Offer for a Plea Bargain?
Every case is different, so it’s important that you talk to your lawyer about the pros and cons of agreeing to anything with a prosecutor. Your attorney will be able to tell you what the exchange is, and together, you should decide whether it’s worth it.
Well-meaning family and friends might chime in with their thoughts, but it’s important to remember that the decision is ultimately yours. Your lawyer, who has extensive experience in the Cook County court system, will be able to tell you how a plea bargain can change the dynamics of your case.
Need help? Call (847)920-4540 or send us a message. We’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and evaluate your options.
Friday, April 4, 2014
While “true crime” shows like Law & Order, CSI and others are entertaining, they’re not exactly accurate. In fact, they create a lot of myths about the criminal justice system – and if you fall prey to them, they could cause serious damage to your case. Any experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can tell you that, but it’s important to arm yourself with facts before you even call an attorney.
Criminal Justice Myth #1
Myth: Police have to tell you that they’re police.
Fact: They don’t.
Many people believe that if you ask a cop whether he’s a cop, he has to come clean. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. This myth causes a lot of problems for people, including those who are eventually charged with drug possession the Chicago area. No matter how you ask an undercover officer whether they’re a cop, they’re never required to tell you the truth.
Criminal Justice Myth #2
Myth: If police don’t read you your rights, your case will be dismissed.
Fact: That’s extremely rare.
In most cases, police’s failure to Mirandize you (read you your rights) is not grounds for dismissal. Your attorney can get into the specifics with you, but don’t get your hopes up if you never hear “You have the right to remain silent…”
Criminal Justice Myth #3
Myth: You have to talk to police.
Fact: You really do have the right to remain silent.
Whether or not you are guilty, police can tell you anything to get you to confess. They might tell you that a judge will go easier on you or that they don’t intend to press charges against you as long as you tell the truth. The police aren’t in a position promises; you should never confess to anything without consulting with your lawyer first.
These aren’t all of the criminal justice myths that popular culture perpetuates; there are dozens more. (Police aren’t required to show you their radar detectors if you ask. They can make mistakes on tickets. You can still be charged with possession if you throw your drugs out of the car window…) Don’t waste valuable time believing in the wrong things – check with an experienced attorney who’s willing to fight for your rights.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Rolling Meadows Drug Crimes: The Hard Facts
Being charged with a drug crime in Rolling Meadows will land you in the Cook County Courthouse, which can result in a conviction that never comes off your record. But what really happens when you’re charged with possession or tagged with the intent to distribute marijuana, cocaine or heroin?
Keep Your Priorities Straight
While it’s important to rely on your Rolling Meadows attorney to protect your rights, you need to know what those rights are – and the punishments you might be facing. Informing yourself is the best thing you can do right now, and your lawyer can answer all of your case-specific questions.
That said, even small drug possession charges can result in a judge from the Rolling Meadows Cook County Courthouse issuing a prison sentence.
Marijuana in Rolling Meadows
Generally, possession of cannabis in Rolling Meadows is a misdemeanor – unless you intend to deliver it or to sell it. It’s important to know that if you’re convicted of a marijuana-related misdemeanor in Cook County, you could spend a year in jail; if you’re convicted of a felony, you could spend between one and 50 years in prison.
Cocaine in Rolling Meadows
Possession of cocaine is considered a felony, and so is the intent to deliver or distribute it. If you’re convicted, the penalties can be harsh. You may end up spending the rest of your life in prison with a 50-year sentence.
Heroin in Rolling Meadows
Like cocaine, possession of heroin or the intent to distribute heroin is a very serious charge. Because both are felonies, you may face the same 50-year sentence.
If you’ve been charged with a drug crime in Rolling Meadows, you’re probably getting all kinds of advice from all kinds of people. While your family and friends are well-meaning, it’s important that you follow your lawyer’s advice – he’ll be able to give you case-specific guidance that protects you under Illinois law.
Monday, March 17, 2014
What to Do When Your Child is Charged with Retail Theft
When you get the phone call, your mind starts racing. Your child has been charged with retail theft – and you aren’t quite sure what to do next.
Whether your child is a minor or an adult, the first thing you should do is get in touch with a Rolling Meadows lawyer who has experience in shoplifting cases. He’ll handle the legal aspects of your child’s case so that you can take care of your family.
Relax – It Will Work Out for the Best
Many parents begin to panic when they find out that their child is being charged with a crime, but that can be counterproductive. You may be shocked, angry and confused, but you can process those emotions without panic when you understand that your lawyer is in your child’s corner.
Gather Information about Shoplifting
Retail theft is commonly called shoplifting, and it can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. The classification depends on the dollar value of the items taken. Shoplifting is a misdemeanor when the value of the items totals less than $300; when it totals more than $300, it’s a felony.
A few other factors can affect the way your child is charged, including whether he or she was caught in possession of (or actively using) a theft detection device remover or shielding device. Because no two cases are identical, it’s best to ask your lawyer any case-specific questions you have.
Support Your Child… and Yourself
While it’s difficult to rally in support of your child during a difficult time like this, it may be the best thing you can do. Psychologists suggest that sticking things out together can make a big difference in how likely your child is to learn from their mistakes – and the more they learn, the better.
You also need to make sure you get the support from friends and family that you deserve. You’re in a tough position, and sometimes talking about what you’re going through can lift a huge burden off your shoulders.
Monday, February 17, 2014
If you were arrested for a domestic violence offense in the northwest suburbs, your case will proceed to the Rolling Meadows courthouse located at 2121 E. Euclid Ave, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008.
All misdemeanor domestic violence cases, such as Domestic Battery (720 ILCS 5/12.3.2) are heard in courtroom 207 at 9:30 a.m. Domestic Battery is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2500.00 fine. The Law Offices of M. Fakhoury has extensive experience with domestic related offenses particularly in the Rolling Meadows courthouse.
As a former Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney, Matt Fakhoury was assigned to the 3rd Municipal District - Rolling Meadows - for several years. In addition, Mr. Fakhoury has successfully defended numerous clients facing domestic violence charges in Rolling Meadows. The Law Offices of M. Fakhoury has and will continue to vehemently defend individuals falsely accused of domestic battery and related offense.
If you have a domestic violence case in Rolling Meadows – 2121 E. Euclid Ave, call the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury for a free case review. 847-920-4540 or ILDefense.com
Sunday, February 9, 2014
The Law Offices of M. Fakhoury has offices in Skokie, Rolling Meadows, and Schaumburg and represents clients throughout Cook County. Conveniently located just north of Chicago, we are minutes away from almost every courthouse in the city of Chicago.
Chicago -The First Municipal Court District - has several criminal and traffic courtrooms:
- 2650 S. California Ave., 60608 (Felony Court)
- 50 W. Washington St., 60602 (DUI and Traffic Court)
- Branch 23 & 50: 5555 West Grand, Chicago (Misdemeanor and Felony Court)
- Branch 29 & 42: 2452 West Belmont, Chicago (Misdemeanor and Felony Court)
- Branch 35 & 38: 737 East 111th Street, Chicago (Misdemeanor and Felony Court)
- Branch 34 & 48: 155 West 51st Street, Chicago (Misdemeanor and Felony Court)
- Branch 43 & 44: 3150 West Flournoy, Chicago (Misdemeanor and Felony Court)
- 555 W. Harrison St., Chicago (Domestic Violence Court)
Matt Fakhoury, attorney at law, practices at each one of the Chicago court houses listed above. Whether you were charged with a Misdemeanor or Felony, a DUI or a Domestic Battery, or a Drug or Weapons offense, The Law Offices of M. Fakhoury will vigorously represent you throughout Chicago and the suburbs.
Were you arrested in Chicago? Do you have court at one of the locations listed above? If so then call Matt Fakhoury at 847-920-4540 for a free case review.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
My clients often think that if the police did not find the drugs in their possession at the time of arrest, they cannot be convicted. However, this is a false assumption.
Possession of a controlled substance can be actual or constructive. Possession is actual if narcotics are found on your person, you are aware that you are in possession, and, either alone or with others, you have the power and intent to control disposition or use of the narcotics. Constructive possession exists when you do not have actual possession, but still have the intent and capability to maintain control over the narcotics. Only if the prosecution fails to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had either actual or constructive possession of drugs will you be found not guilty.
If the police witnessed you drop what they later deemed to be a controlled substance, or if you had control of the item in which the drugs were found, are circumstances that can lead to a finding of constructive possession.
The bottom line is that if the state can link the narcotics to you, you can be convicted. So even if you did not have drugs in your possession at the time of your arrest, it is imperative that you retain an attorney that can zealously defend you in court. A PCS conviction can result in substantial prison time. If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance in Cook County, contact the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury for a free and confidential case review -- (847) 920-4540.
Friday, January 3, 2014
Statistically, more people are arrested for DUI on New Year’s Eve than almost any other holiday. Law enforcement agencies were out that night patrolling the streets and highways looking for drunk drivers.
Were you pulled over and charged with DUI last night? If so, you’re not alone. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (625 ILCS 5/11-601) is a very common offense in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Although the consequences are serious, a seasoned DUI defense attorney can help you overcome this difficult time.
Attorney Matt Fakhoury, a former DUI prosecutor, will provide the best DUI defense available. Get a free consultation by visiting ILDefense.com or calling 847-920-4540.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
The Law Offices of M. Fakhoury is a Chicago based criminal defense law firm that represents clients charged with Felony, Misdemeanor, DUI and Traffic offenses. We practice in Chicago as well as the suburban districts including the Rolling Meadows and Skokie courthouses.
In order to better serve our clients, The Law Offices of M. Fakhoury has expanded once again to Rolling Meadows, IL – 1600 E. Golf Rd. Suite 1200 - Just blocks away from the Rolling Meadows Courthouse. With Offices in Schaumburg, Skokie and now Rolling meadows, the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury is here to serve your legal needs.
Welcome to the Rolling Meadows Location of The Law Offices of M. Fakhoury. 847-920-4540 or ILDefense.com
Monday, December 9, 2013
Retail Theft is a serious offense. Illinois law imposes severe penalties on those convicted of theft from retailers. The typical case of retail theft involves a situation in which an individual knowingly took an item or items from a store without paying. This is referred to as shoplifting.
The penalty for retail theft depends on the dollar amount of the goods that were taken. The offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the items involved. The possible sentence for a misdemeanor retail theft includes up to one year in jail and fines. Should the offense be charged as a felony, however, the penalties are considerably more severe, including higher fines and possible prison time. In addition, this type of felony conviction cannot be expunged.
A individual arrested for this offense should expect to receive notices in the mail demanding payment for civil penalties. The law stipulates that the store can collect up to $1,000 in addition to the value of the goods taken. All too often people believe that if they pay the penalty, the case will be dropped. However, this is not the case.
If you have been charged with a retail theft in Illinois, call the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury for a confidential case review. Former prosecutor Matt Fakhoury has a proven track record representing clients charged with retail theft throughout the Chicagoland area. Call us today at (847) 920-4540.