What can a Criminal Defense Attorney do After a Person is Arrested in Springfield, Il?
By Dan Noll on December 25th, 2013 in
If you have been arrested for a criminal offense in Springfield, Illinois or anywhere in Central Illinois, there is a lot that our Criminal Defense Lawyers can do. This article will explain the basic process a criminal case takes and what our lawyers have done to help those who have been accused of all types of crimes. Below, we will use a sample case. If your case is different than the example, please call the Noll Law Office at (217) 414-8889 and we can discuss your individual case.
Arrested for Possession of Marijuana.
For purposes of this article, we are going to assume that a person has been arrested with a two (2) grams of cannabis and a one-hitter pipe. In this case, we will call the arrestee “Joe.” (This is not a real person we have represented in the past.) Joe is driving down the road and the officer pulls him over for speeding. The officer requests Joe’s license and insurance. Joe gives it to him. While speaking with Joe, the officer notices that Joe is acting nervous.
The officer asks Joe if he has anything illegal in the car. Joe informs the officer that the marijuana and pipe are in the console of the car. The officer orders Joe out of the vehicle, pats him down, and searches the car. The officer finds the marijuana and drug paraphernalia and arrests Joe.
We shall also assume that Joe is a student at University of Illinois Springfield and has a job delivering sandwiches for Head West Sub Shop. In addition, Joe has never been arrested and the police officer did everything correctly. In essence, Joe is guilty.
What can a Defense Lawyer do? He is guilty.
Yes, Joe is guilty of 3 offenses: (1) Speeding; (2) Possession of Marijuana; and (3) Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. However, that does not mean that he will have to plead guilty to those charges. In fact, it does not even mean that Joe will be charged with those criminal offenses.
Why? The answer to that requires a little background into the criminal justice system. In Illinois, police officers have the ability to charge citizens with Traffic Tickets and Misdemeanor Driving Under the Influence (DUI). All other charges must be formally filed by the state’s attorney’s office.
Speaking with the Prosecutor prior to Charges being filed.
When a person is arrested in Illinois, a police report is generated. Each work day, police reports from all of the different law enforcement agencies are forward to the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office for review. Prosecutors review the reports to determine if they are going to file charges, if additional evidence is required, or if they are not going to file formal charges against the individual for a variety reasons.
This is where a skilled criminal defense lawyer can significantly help our friend, Joe. An experienced defense lawyer knows the prosecutors and has a good working relationship with them. The defense attorney can speak with the prosecutor and tell them about the positive aspects of Joe’s life. He is a student. He is working. He does not need a criminal record.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyers have developed a reputation over 40 years for going to trial. Often times, when we call the prosecutor they know that we will go all the way to trial for our clients. They understand that if they file charges against Joe, they are going to have a fight on their hands. This adds as a deterrent factor against the filing of formal charges for our lawyers. Prosecutors know which defense attorneys will go to trial and which won’t. Make no mistake, they will take advantage of defendants who hire lawyers who will not go to trial.
A Good Defense Lawyer finds a Solution.
When people like Joe come into our office, they have a problem. We often tell our clients that “We are in the solution business, not the problem business.” When talking to the prosecutors we try to find something that will make everyone happy. For example, we have worked out cases similar to Joe’s where the person does community service in exchange for a differed prosecution.
So, where does that leave Joe? Well, if Joe did not hire a defense attorney, he would have been charged with Speeding, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and would have plead guilty. Joe would potentially be facing well over $1,000 in fines plus court costs and a criminal record which he would have to explain to employers or graduate schools.
When Joe hired a lawyer from our office, we were able to prevent Joe from being charged with any drug related drug related offense. That saved Joe money, prevented him from getting convictions on his record, and allowed the arrests to be expunged earlier.
Some of the biggest victories criminal defense lawyers have are the cases that no one hears about. It is better financially and emotionally for our clients never to be charged with a crime than to be acquitted of it later. That is why you should always contact a lawyer if you have been arrested or if you are being investigated for a crime.
Our lawyers would be happy to speak with you about case if you have been charged in Springfield, Illinois or anywhere in Central Illinois. Please contact us now at (217) 414-8889 for a Free Initial Consultation.