Chicago Public Crimes Lawyer

Some offenses are considered crimes when they involve behavior that essentially makes the public the victims of the crime, or involve an offense against the preservation of peace or administration of justice. These types of offenses may be known as public nuisance offenses or crimes against the peace and the public.

Some crimes against the peace and the public may be relatively minor and have correspondingly light punishments, but they are nonetheless crimes and result in a permanent criminal record if you’re found guilty. Depending on the circumstances, some of these types of crimes can have serious penalties under Illinois law, particularly if the offense involves interfering with the duties of a police officer or the administration of justice.

If you’re found guilty of a crime against the peace or public, the consequences can include:

  • A jail or prison sentence
  • Significant fines and fees
  • A criminal record that can affect your ability to get a job or rent an apartment
  • Suspension or denial of a professional license such as a law, medical, nursing, or teaching license, if you hold one or apply for one to work in your chosen career
  • Effects on your immigration status, such as revocation or denial of a visa or green card, denial of your citizenship application, or deportation

When you’ve been charged with a crime against the peace or public, you may have options for fighting the charge and getting it dismissed or reduced with the help of a skilled Illinois criminal defense attorney.

Common Types of Offenses

A crime against the peace or public can take many forms. Illinois has numerous laws criminalizing behavior that disturbs the peace or community, or involves interfering with the duties of law enforcement. A couple of common examples of this type of offense include:

  • Resisting Arrest — When you knowingly resist or obstruct a public safety officer, including a police officer, firefighter, or corrections officer, in the course of his or her duties, you can be charged with a serious misdemeanor offense in Illinois. If you cause an injury to the officer, you can be charged with a felony. Learn more about what it means to resist arrest or obstruct an officer and the possible penalties if you’re found guilty.
  • Disorderly Conduct — Under 720 ILCS 5/26-1, a disorderly conduct charge in Illinois can involve behavior that disturbs or breaches the peace or alarms the public. Disorderly conduct also may include making false alarms or bomb threats, or even peeping through someone’s window or harassing a debtor by telephone if you work for a collection agency. Disorderly conduct can be a misdemeanor or a felony in Illinois, depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense and whether you have prior offenses on your record. Learn more about the different forms of disorderly conduct and the possible penalties if you’re found guilty.

If you’ve been charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, or another offense against the peace or public, it’s important to take the charge seriously. Whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony, you could face jail time and possibly thousands of dollars in fines.

However, a qualified Illinois criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you get your charge dismissed or minimize the potential effects of your charge so that you can move on with your life.

Contact an Experienced Chicago Public Crimes Lawyer

When you’ve been charged with an offense such as resisting arrest or disorderly conduct, it’s important to contact an Illinois criminal defense attorney who will listen to your side of the story and fight for you. Often, the version of events presented by police or prosecutors don’t tell the whole story, but rather present one side — one designed to make you look guilty.

Chicago criminal defense attorney Michael O’Meara understands that every case has multiple points of view that may conflict, and knows how to get your side of the story heard in court. He is an experienced criminal trial lawyer who has defended people like you for more than a decade. He also worked as a prosecutor in Chicago for several years, which means he has a unique and valuable perspective on criminal cases and how they work in local courts — experience that he can put to work on your behalf.

If you’re facing criminal charges in Chicago or the surrounding area, contact O’Meara Law LLC today at for a straightforward assessment of your case, your options for a defense, and what to expect in court.