Criminal defense is an area of law that requires extensive communication, an aggressive and relentless approach, and outstanding courtroom skill. When charged with a serious criminal offense, your and your family’s future is at risk. If you are convicted of a felony offense, you may spend years in prison, or in less serious misdemeanor charges, your criminal record will permanently show your conviction. This cannot only affect your future prospects in employment and education, but a record may even affect housing and financial opportunities, as well. If you are facing any type of criminal charges, you need a dedicated, professional Chicago criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of Michael P. Schmiege who is ready to defend your rights.
It is certain that the prosecutor has evidence against you and has every intention of convicting you. In fact, your case is one of hundreds they deal with, and whether you are guilty of the crime or not, every effort will be made to get you convicted and sentenced to jail. Many prosecutors are on the fast track regarding their career and carefully watch their “conviction percentage” as part of their future launch into private practice. You are definitely “just another number” in the eyes of the prosecuting attorney. When dealing with this situation, you need to fight back and protect your constitutional rights with a skilled Chicago criminal defense lawyer who is equally powerful and determined.
In addition to reviewing the links listed above, you can visit our criminal defense blog for recent news and helpful tips regarding this important field. The Law Offices of Michael P. Schmiege also encourages you to schedule an in-person consultation or to discuss your case with one of our professionals over the phone. Nothing compares to having your specific questions answered and your concerns addressed by a skilled Chicago criminal defense attorney.
When you are facing criminal charges, fighting for your defense is a critical matter. Not all attorneys have the talent in the courtroom to present a compelling defense to the jury. It has been proven on countless high-profile cases that the skill of the defense team is of ultimate importance in any criminal trial. At the Law Offices of Michael P. Schmiege, the legal team is prepared to aggressively pursue all avenues of defense by seeking out any flaws in the case against you and exploit it in the fight for your freedom.
The ability to negotiate, plea bargain and litigate is the strong suit of the legal team at the firm, and no matter how serious the charge, you can be assured that all the tools in the arsenal of the defense team will be brought into play when defending your case, from DUI to serious felony charges like murder or rape. Your case will be a priority and you will be kept apprised of the progress of your case throughout the legal process. It is critical to get legal representation as soon as possible after the arrest to avoid the pitfalls that can result without a powerful legal defender at your side.
Contact a Chicago criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of Michael P. Schmiege today.
"Mr. Schmiege is well respected by the court because he is a very honest man. He was very kind and respectful to me. His fees were reasonable. His office is very easy to find, and his staff is very helpful."
"I am so appreciative of the help and support that I received from Michael and his team members! They truly helped me figure out my case and I got outstanding results. If anyone can help you get great results, it’s Michael. I had an immigration issue as well and he worked with my immigration lawyer to help find the best solution. He understood that I made a mistake but it didn’t define who I was. I definitely don’t want to go through any of this again but I’m glad that I had the support to get through this."
"Michael Schmiege is an excellent attorney. He is honest, diligent and gets great results. If you find yourself in need of a lawyer, he is great at what he does. Never over-promises, but definitely delivered more than we had hoped for. His team will help you all the way. Answers all your questions promptly and clearly states what to expect. I highly recommend Michael and his team. They CAN and will help!"
Experience. 10+ years of experience fighting criminal charges on behalf of the accused.
Integrity. We are honest and upfront with you to ensure you understand our defense strategy.
Passion. You deserve our unwavering commitment to defend your rights.
Vision. We believe in the value of a powerful legal advocate.
Dedication. We care about your rights and are available 24/7 to answer your questions.
Success. We aim to deliver the best possible outcomes for every client, every time.
NOT GUILTY – Possession of a Controlled Substance w/ Intent to Deliver
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol – NOT GUILTY
You absolutely have rights; rights that should be protected above all else. Upon arrest, you should be read your Miranda Rights, denoting that you have the right to remain silent until you retain an attorney to speak on your behalf. This is something we strongly suggest you take into consideration. Do not speak unless you have to, and even then be careful what you say as anything you say after arrest could be held against you in a court of law. No one should force a statement out of you, not the police, not medical professionals, no one. You should be treated with respect and decency throughout the entire process, from the point of your arrest until the final arraignment.
Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer
In order to be convicted of a crime, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant met each element of the alleged offense. There are defenses that the criminal defense attorney can use that may cast doubt upon the prosecution’s case against the defendant. This is vital. If the finder of fact has any reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime, then the fact-finder (judge or jury) must find the defendant not guilty. If these defenses are presented to the prosecution prior to trial, then the prosecution may realize the weaknesses in the case and may dismiss the charges. The following are common general defense options used in criminal cases and trials by criminal defense lawyers.
1. Alibi – When supported by sufficient evidence, this defense is often successful. This criminal defense strategy attempts to prove that you were not in the place of the crime at the time of the crime. This is usually backed up by witness testimony or other documentation, such as a credit card receipt at a gas station in Alaska on the day a crime was committed in Chicago.
2. Self Defense – This defense can be employed in cases of violent crimes like assault or homicide. To employ this defense, the defendant must admit that they committed the violent act in question. Then, the defendant must attempt to justify his or her actions by claiming that the complaining witness was threatening him or her and therefore the defendant acted without premeditation or criminal motive, and that he or she only acted to protect his or her own safety.
3. Insanity Defense – The insanity defense is a complicated but sometimes highly effective defense against criminal liability. If you are going to use this defense it is extremely important that you have a qualified criminal defense attorney representing you. In Illinois, you cannot be committed of a crime if at the time of the crime you lacked substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality of your conduct. However, if you are acquitted of a crime because you are found not guilty by reason of insanity, you may end up spending more time in a mental hospital than you would have spent in jail or prison had you been found guilty.
4. Entrapment – The law does not allow government actors to persuade citizens to commit crimes that they were otherwise not planning on committing. However, if the government provides an opportunity for criminal activity and arrest those who willingly participate in it, that is not considered entrapment. A skilled criminal attorney will know when an entrapment defense is appropriate.
5. Statute of limitations – The government must bring charges against a criminal defendant within a certain period of time after the commission of the crime. If the government fails to bring charges within the period of statute of limitations, then they effectively forfeited their ability to prosecute anyone for the crime, whether that person is guilty or not. Some crimes, especially violent crimes, do not have a statute of limitations. For other crimes, the statute of limitations varies by crime and state. Your criminal attorney will know the statute of limitations for the crime you are charged with.
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If you have been charged with a crime in Chicago it is important that you contact an experienced criminal attorney to aggressively defend your case. Contact our office today for a free consultation.
Even in cases in which the individual is completely innocent, if you have been arrested this indicates that the prosecutor considers there is enough evidence to get a conviction. Unfortunately, you will be forced to prove your innocence in court. The attorney you select to represent you has an important impact on the outcome of the case. Contact our firm at once to initiate the defense actions that must take place when the client is innocent of the charge.
The U.S. Constitution includes in the Bill of Rights the right to a speedy trial. The Sixth Amendment states in part: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed…”
The purpose of this amendment is to ensure that there is no unnecessary or unreasonable delay between arrest and trial. It is not the point of our justice system to hold arrestees who have not yet been tried indefinitely. That is contrary to the principle that criminal defendants are innocent until proven guilty. If there is a violation of your Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial, that is cause to dismiss your criminal case with prejudice. When the court dismisses a case with prejudice, that means you cannot be re-charged for the same crime and made to go to trial again. An experienced criminal lawyer can explain this to you in greater detail.
Speedy Trial History
In the 1970’s, the Supreme Court of the United States decided that whether or not a criminal defendant has been denied his or her right to a speedy trial is subject to a case-by-case analysis. What that means is there is no set rule to determine if someone’s Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury has been violated. Instead, the court must look at the unique factors in each case to determine if there has been such a violation. In order to determine if there has been a violation, the court has to apply a four-part balancing test. If, after applying the test, the court finds that the delay unfairly prejudiced the defendant, then there is a violation of the Sixth Amendment. The court will weigh the following four factors in determining if there was a violation:
(1) The length of the delay;
(2) The reason for the delay;
(3) When and how the defendant has asserted his or her Sixth Amendment right;
(4) How much prejudice is caused by the delay.
The Supreme Court has found that a 7-month delay due to the illness of the chief investigating officer, while long, is justifiable. A five-year period between the arrest and trial was considered “extraordinary.” A crowded docket with many criminal cases to try is not a sufficiently good reason for excessive delay. If you believe that your right to a speedy trial has been violated then contact a criminal lawyer immediately.
It is possible, and sometimes advisable, to waive your right to a speedy trial. Your experienced criminal defense attorney will know when waiving your right to a speedy trial is the prudent choice.
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However, in order to turn yourself in you have to know that there is a warrant out for you. If you are suspicious that there may be a warrant in a particular city or county, you can go to that city or county’s courthouse. However, there is no guarantee that it will be there. Additionally, you can search a clerk of court’s website
A more effective method of searching for a warrant is to conduct a background search on yourself. There are many websites that allow you to do this for a small fee. These websites will provide you with your criminal record, also called your “rap sheet.” It should include past, present and pending local, state and federal charges. These are the same websites used by employers and landlords when they are considering hiring candidates or leasing to tenants. Simply Google “criminal background check” and choose the company you like best to conduct your background check.
Even if you don’t think you have a criminal record, it is never a bad idea to conduct a period background check on yourself. Sadly, it is not uncommon to find mistakes. It’s possible that you share a name with a criminal. If you find a mistake on your record, contact a criminal attorney to discuss your options for having the mistake rectified.
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