Criminal Defense Overview
Regardless of the nature of the alleged offense or whether you’ve been in a courtroom before, being charged with a crime can cause significant stress and uncertainty. Depending on the charge, your freedom may be at stake. In the short-term, you may be worried about losing your job or about how the criminal charges will affect your family. In the longer term, a conviction may leave a stain on your record for years to come, or perhaps permanently.
In Illinois, a criminal charge can have many consequences that vary with the nature of the charge and the penalties set in statute. Criminal charges are serious matters, whether you face a misdemeanor or a felony. Depending on your circumstances, the effects of a guilty finding or a conviction could include:
- A jail or prison sentence
- Expensive fines and court fees
- A permanent criminal record that leads to being turned down for employment or rental housing
- Being denied a professional license to work in your chosen career, such as law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, teaching, or another licensed profession
- Loss of your driver’s license
- Loss of your immigration visa or green card, or being denied a visa, green card, or U.S. citizenship
You’re likely thinking about what you can do to fight the charge and avoid the consequences. In some cases, you may be able to serve probation or complete alcohol or substance abuse treatment in lieu of jail time, if you have a skilled Chicago criminal defense attorney to help convince a prosecutor or judge that you deserve leniency.
However, you may have committed no crime at all, in which case you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight on your behalf so that you obtain justice in court. A great attorney who knows how to build a strong case in your defense may be able to convince a prosecutor or judge to dismiss your charge or negotiate to reduce your penalties.
Hiring a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
There are many considerations that go into finding the right Chicago criminal defense attorney for your case. Cost is often an important factor, which is why O’Meara Law LLC offers a free initial consultation so that you can evaluate what his firm can do for you at no financial risk.
However, there are other factors that are just as important — if not more so — when hiring a criminal defense lawyer.
- Experience — It’s critical for you to hire a lawyer with the right kind of experience to successfully defend your charge. For example, a lawyer who focuses on personal injury cases may not have the specialized knowledge to defend a DUI or drug charge. You need a lawyer with a history of successful criminal defense — and defense of the type of charge you face. You need someone who spends time in courtrooms, knows the criminal justice system inside and out, and can put that experience to work for you.
- Communication — When your freedom is on the line, you need a lawyer who will talk to you honestly about your options, explain what you can expect as your case moves through the court system, and communicates what’s happening so that you can make informed decisions about your life and your future.
- Accessibility — In a criminal case, it’s important to have a defense lawyer who is there for you. You’re going to have questions about your case and about the process, and you’ll get a better outcome when you have a lawyer who returns your calls and is available to answer your questions and give the advice you need about your charge when you need it.
- Dedication — A criminal defense attorney who genuinely cares about the outcome of your case and how it might affect your life will do a better job of defending you against a criminal charge. You need a lawyer who is dedicated to justice and protecting your rights and your future, and who will do everything possible to secure the best possible result for your charge.
Skilled Defense For Your Criminal Charge
Chicago criminal defense attorney Michael O’Meara offers a combination of experience and compassion that makes him a strong advocate for people charged with crimes. O’Meara has been a lawyer for more than 20 years — including several years as a Cook County prosecutor and more than a decade as a successful criminal defense lawyer.
O’Meara offers personal, one-on-one service to each person he represents. Each case is tackled with the same passion for justice and desire to obtain the best possible outcome on your behalf. You’ll work directly with an attorney, who will be there to answer your questions and guide you through the complex legal process.
When you hire O’Meara Law LLC, you’ll start with a consultation, during which Michael will listen to your story and walk you through your legal options. He’ll help you make informed decisions about your case and your life, and then fight to obtain the best available result based on your charge and circumstances.
He has tried countless criminal cases — both as a prosecutor and defense lawyer — and has a deep understanding of how the criminal justice system works in the counties in and around Chicago. He has experience handling virtually every type of criminal charge, from DUI to murder, and fighting to protect the rights of the accused.
You don’t have to wait until you’re charged to secure the help of a good defense lawyer. In fact, having a lawyer at your side when you’re being investigated or questioned by police can help preserve your rights — and potentially avoid charges altogether. O’Meara can represent you through every aspect of your criminal case from start to finish, including:
- Police investigations
- Police questioning
- Searches of your home, business, or other property
- Bond hearings or bail hearings
- Pretrial hearings
- Jury trials or trials in front of a judge
- Probation or parole violation proceedings
- Requests for expungements or pardons
Important Topics in Illinois Criminal Defense
At O’Meara Law LLC, you’ll receive straightforward communication about the issues that matter to you when you face a criminal charge. O’Meara understands that you’ll have many questions that may include a desire for more information about:
- Illinois Criminal Court Process — Learn more about the process of a criminal court case in and around Chicago, from the initial investigation to trial and beyond.
- Plea Bargains — Learn more about what a plea bargain is and when it might be a good option in a criminal case.
- Search and Seizure — Learn more about your constitutional rights when investigators use searches and seizures to obtain evidence against you, and what Michael O’Meara can do if your rights are violated by police.
Call O’Meara Law LLC today at to learn more about how O’Meara can help fight your Illinois criminal charge.