Monday, July 24, 2017

Types of Felony Charges in Illinois

Being accused of a felony can be incredibly scary—especially when you know the penalties for a conviction are so harsh. The types of felony charges available to the state of Illinois range between Class 1 and Class 4, with an additional type: Class X.

Types of Felony Charges in Chicago, Illinois (and Beyond)

Each crime that breaks an Illinois law is assigned a value based on its severity. A Class 4 felony is considered “less serious” than a Class 3, 2, or 1 felony, and significantly less serious than a Class X felony.

Each of the five types of felony charges in Illinois has its own penalties.
Read more . . .

Monday, April 3, 2017

Will I Be Tried in Juvenile Court? Juvenile Crimes in Chicago

The state of Illinois has two types of courts for trying crimes: juvenile court, and a court for everyone else.

However, just being under the age of 18, which makes you a minor, doesn’t necessarily make you a juvenile under Illinois law.
Read more . . .

Monday, October 17, 2016

Why Hire a Skokie Criminal Defense Lawyer?

The state of Illinois is known—not just in the U.S., but across the globe—for its tough crime laws… and its very serious consequences for breaking those laws.

Why Hire a Skokie Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If you’re in legal trouble, whether you’ve been accused of a Read more . . .

Monday, September 19, 2016

Is Cyberstalking a Crime in Illinois?

If you’re like most people who have been charged with cyberstalking in Skokie, Rolling Meadows or Chicago, you're wondering what to do next. For most people, it's a good idea to get in touch with a Chicago felony defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Read more . . .

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Misdemeanors and Penalties in Illinois: Chicago Misdemeanor Defense

In Chicago (under Illinois state law), misdemeanors are classified according to their severity. Misdemeanors are punishable by less than a year in a local or county jail—unlike felonies, which are punishable by a year or more in prison.

If you’re being accused of committing one of these crimes, it may be a good idea for you to talk to a Read more . . .

Monday, May 23, 2016

Punishments for Felonies in Illinois: A Chicago Felony Defense Lawyer Tells All

In the state of Illinois, a felony is typically a more serious offense than a misdemeanor is. Felonies are crimes that are punishable by either Read more . . .

Monday, April 11, 2016

Admissions vs. Confessions: What You Need to Know

Both admissions and confessions are used by lawyers as formidable sources of evidence given the weight they can carry in the minds of jurors. Though both typically occur during a police investigation, usually as a result of interrogation, these terms are not interchangeable as they each have very different legal ramifications.

What's an Admission?

Many police interrogations result in an admission rather than a confession. For example, a suspect in a case of auto theft might make a statement saying: “I was in the car—but I didn’t know it was stolen.”

Because the suspect has acknowledged the fact that he was in the car, this would be considered an “admission.
Read more . . .

Monday, March 28, 2016

Miranda Rights Explained

If you’re like most people, you know that when you’re arrested, police read you a Miranda warning, which can also be called Miranda rights.

But what are your Miranda rights, and what do they mean?

The Miranda Warning: What You Need to Know

Police only have to give you the Miranda warning if they intend to question you while you’re in custody. They don’t have to Mirandize you if they’re simply asking you questions on the street. For example, if you’ve been stopped and frisked in Chicago, and the police choose to ask you questions, they don’t have to read you your Miranda rights.

What the Miranda Warning Says

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”

What the Miranda Warning Means

The Miranda warning is very clear when it comes to your rights.

You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to talk to police if you don’t want to do so. You can invoke your right to remain silent at any time—even during questioning. If you realize that you shouldn’t be answering questions halfway through an interrogation and you indicate that you want to remain silent and that you want a Chicago criminal defense attorney, the interrogation has to stop.

Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Remember that police are keeping track of everything you say and do, and they can (and will) use it in court. The things you say and do could be used to prove the prosecution’s case against you.

You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. If you request a lawyer, all questioning has to stop until you have a lawyer. If you can’t afford a Chicago criminal defense attorney, the court will appoint a public defender for you. If you request an attorney, be clear about it. Don’t say, “I think I need an attorney.” Say, “I want to talk to my lawyer before I answer any other questions,” and then use your right to remain silent.

Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me? You always have the right to stop answering questions. In most cases, it’s best if you talk to an attorney—even if you’re completely innocent—before you answer any questions coming from law enforcement.

Do You Need an Attorney?

If police have arrested you for any reason, or if they’ve indicated that they suspect you of committing a crime, it’s a good idea to talk to a Chicago criminal lawyer who can help you.

Call us at 847-920-4540 or get in touch with us online for a free case evaluation before you answer any questions. Your future could be at stake.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Charged with Credit Card Fraud in Illinois? Here's What You Need to Know

The state of Illinois is serious when it comes to credit card fraud, and you could find yourself facing a lengthy jail sentence if a jury finds you guilty of committing it.

What is Credit Card Fraud in Illinois?

Several crimes fall under the term “credit card fraud.” Under Illinois law, those crimes include:

  • Making a false statement to get a credit or debit card
  • Possession of someone else’s credit or debit card without the person’s consent and with the intent to use, sell or transfer it
  • Possession of a lost credit or debit card if you know it’s lost and you intend to use, sell or transfer it
  • Selling or buying a credit or debit card without the issuer’s consent
  • Using someone’s credit card as “collateral” for a debt
  • Using a counterfeit, forged, expired, revoked or unissued card
  • Using a credit card or debit card to defraud someone

What are the Punishments for Credit Card Convictions in Illinois?

If the prosecution successfully proves you guilty of some type of credit card fraud or debit card fraud, you could be sentenced to time in prison.

Many credit card fraud crimes are considered Class 4 felonies in Illinois, but the use of a credit or debit card with the intent to defraud is a Class A misdemeanor if less than $150 in property was obtained through the fraudulent use within a 6-month period. If more than $300 was obtained over a 6-month period, it’s a Class 3 felony.

Some sentences are longer than others, such as a recent case in Chicago of a man purchasing stolen credit card numbers from a website.

What to Do if You’re Charged with Credit Card Fraud

The most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to speak to police or investigators without your lawyer present. In fact, it’s a good idea to keep quiet and ask to call a Chicago criminal defense lawyer as soon as you have the opportunity. This is extremely important – even if you’re innocent. You don’t want the police to misunderstand anything you say and later use your own words against you.

Your lawyer will be able to preserve your rights during questioning and he will be there for you when a judge formally reads your charges at your arraignment. He’ll also guide you along the way to make sure you understand what’s going on with your case and, at the same time, he’ll build your defense.

Possible Defenses Against Credit Card Fraud Charges

No two cases are alike. Your attorney will be able to build a defense strategy based on the individual circumstances surrounding your case. Possible defenses can include:

  • Abandonment of criminal purpose
  • Compulsion
  • Duress
  • Entrapment
  • Ignorance
  • Infancy (being under 13 years of age)

It’s important that you trust your lawyer. He knows the court system and he understands the possible penalties you’re facing.

If you’re being accused of credit card fraud, call the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury at 847-920-4540 or contact us online. We can help.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Prosecutors, judges ignore federal ruling against state concealed carry ban

Despite a federal ruling that Illinois' concealed carry ban is unconstitutional, police, prosecutors and judges alike say they are disregarding the finding and continuing to enforce the law — at least for now.

Police say they continue to arrest those who violate the state's ban on carrying a gun in public, and prosecutors continue to charge them. Backing up the authorities — but perhaps creating more confusion — a state court ruled last week that the federal decision is not binding on Illinois courts and upheld the nation's last concealed carry ban as constitutional.

Click here to read more.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

When and Why to use a Bind Plea – Blog


A blind plea is a plea of guilty before a judge without a prior sentencing agreement between the defense attorney and the prosecutor.  Because there is no agreement, you are  unable to determine what the sentence will be and therefore “blind”. 
In most cases, a blind plea is extremely risky because the sentence or punishment is completely in the judge’s discretion with no indication as to how he or she will rule.  However, there are rare instances where a blind plea is appropriate. 
If a case is currently charged as a misdemeanor, a blind plea may be in a client’s best interest to prevent the prosecutor from upgrading the charges to a felony.  For example, if you are charged with misdemeanor Battery and believe the case may be upgraded to a Felony Aggravated Battery, a blind plea in misdemeanor court is a clever way of avoiding an otherwise harsh penalty.  This same principle applies to DUI and Drug cases as well. For more information on Blind Pleas or for a Free Case Review, contact The Law Offices of M. Fakhoury. 
The Law Offices of M. Fakhoury is a Chicago based criminal defense firm serving the Chicago Metro area as well as the suburbs and collar counties. 

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