Criminal Defense & DUI Law

McNamara, Phelan McSteen, LLC is located in Joliet, IL. The Law Firm includes three former Will County Assistant State’s Attorneys, one former Peoria County Assistant State’s Attorney, a former Will County Assistant Public Defender, and one former Missouri Assistant Attorney General.

We are proud of our long history of defending those charged with criminal offenses, and protecting the constitutional rights of our clients.

Our attorneys represent individuals charged with:

  • DUI
  • Drug related crimes
  • Domestic violence
  • Traffic offenses (felony or misdemeanor cases)
  • Administrative disciplinary charges (Illinois Dept. of Children and Family Services)
  • Criminal Defense
  • Vehicular homicide or assault
  • Juvenile crimes
  • Weapons offenses
  • Sex crimes

Criminal Defense FAQs

What is a misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor means that the charges against you could result in jail time and a fine

  • Class A Misdemeanor is punishable up to 364 days in jail and up to $2500.00 in fines
  • Class B Misdemeanor is punishable up to 180 days in jail and up to $1500.00 in fines
  • Class C Misdemeanor is punishable up to 60 days in jail and up to $600.00 in fines
What is a felony?

A felony means the charge is punishable by one year or greater in prison

  • Class 4 Felony is punishable between 1-3 years in prison and up to $25,000.00 in fines
  • Class 3 Felony is punishable between 2-5 years in prison and up to $25,000.00 in fines
  • Class 2 Felony is punishable between 3-7 years in prison and up to $25,000.00 in fines
  • Class 1 Felony is punishable between 4-15 years in prison and up to $25,000.00 in fines
  • Class X Felony is punishable between 6-30 years in prison and up to $25,000.00 in fines
Will I go to jail?
It really depends.  Just because the charges against you could result in jail time does not necessarily mean it will result in jail time. A lot depends on the severity of the crime against you, your criminal background, if there is a victim involved, how serious the victim’s damages/injuries were and how vocal or involved the victim is with the case, the prosecutor assigned to your case and the judge your case is assigned to.
I have a bail bond, what does that mean?
A bail bond is a cash deposit that essentially is a promise that you will appear at future court dates. In the event you fail to appear for court, a judgment for the amount of your cash bond will be entered and the bond will be “forfeited.”
I did not pay a cash bond, why?
Most likely, the police officer gave you an I-Bond or Recognizance Bond. What this means is that you promise to appear in court and in the event you do not, a judgment will be entered against you for the amount of the I-Bond/Recognizance Bond. An I-Bond or Recognizance bond usually is given for less serious criminal offenses and typically if you are cooperative and respectful to the police officer that ticketed/arrested you.
Will I get my bond back?
It depends. If you are acquitted (found not guilty) the bond will be returned to the surety (the person who posted the money on your behalf), minus a 10% statutory fee. If you plead guilty or are found guilty, the bond will be used to pay the court costs and fines and the remaining balance, minus a 10% statutory fee, will be returned to the surety.
Can I use my bail bond to pay for my attorney?
  • Yes, it is called a “bond assignment.” However, our firm will not accept a bond assignment as an initial retainer. We will accept a bond assignment to pay off your remaining balance with our firm at the end of the case. The surety must sign off on the bond assignment.
  • Be very cautious of an attorney that accepts a bond assignment as an initial payment. Remember, a bond assignment does not get addressed until the end of the case. Thus, the quicker your case gets resolved, the quicker the attorney gets paid.
Does it make a difference if I plead guilty or I am found guilty?
Absolutely!  In some types of cases pleading guilty can subject you to civil liability meaning that if you were sued in civil courts by the other party involved in your case (typically the victim or other driver) they can use the fact that you plead guilty against you.
Why do I need to hire an attorney, I know I am guilty?
  • This may be true but you may still be able to avoid a conviction entering on your record.  A conviction can have devastating effects on your future opportunities for employment and for higher education opportunities, including eligibility for financial aid.
  • A good attorney can negotiate the dismissal of other charges/tickets as part of the plea bargaining process and can save you money by preventing additional fines and costs from being assessed.
What does a conviction mean?
  • First, a conviction will prevent you from expunging the case permanently from your background
  • A conviction may even prevent you from sealing the case permanently from your background
  • If you have a driving related offense, a conviction means your insurance company can see it on your driving record which most likely will result in increased insurance premiums!
  • A conviction can result in the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges.
  • In some cases, a conviction could result in mandatory registration/reporting requirements
  • A conviction could result in a loss of your FOID/Conceal & Carry Permit
What does Supervision mean?
  • Here is the definition taken directly from the Illinois Compiled Statute:
    “a disposition of conditional and revocable release without probationary supervision, but under such conditions and reporting requirements as are imposed by the court, at the successful conclusion of which disposition the defendant is discharged and a judgment dismissing the charges is entered.” (emphasis added)
Will a disposition of Supervision be on my record?
A disposition of Supervision for traffic related offenses will appear on your driving record but is not able to be seen unless a “Motor Carrier” is reviewing your driving record. Supervision will not appear on an Illinois State Police criminal background check. However, a disposition of Supervision in most cases means you can completely expunge and seal the case including the arrest after a mandatory waiting period at the termination of your Supervision period.
If I am charged with a Felony must I take a conviction?
Not always. There are certain felony offenses that will allow you to placed on special types of probation, which if completely successfully will end up in the dismissal of the charges completely!
Can I expunge / seal this arrest even if I plead guilty?
  • In a lot of cases yes and sometimes we can help you avoid the mandatory waiting period.  Some offense are not eligible for expungement / sealing.  If you are acquitted (found not guilty), there is no waiting period to expunge an arrest.
  • DUI cases and traffic cases are never eligible for expungement / sealing unless you were acquitted (found not guilty).
Why is it important that I have a local Will County lawyer?

A lawyer that spends the majority of his/her time in one particular county has relationships with the Judges and Prosecutors that out of county lawyers simply never develop. A local attorney knows the Prosecutors and Judges’ quirks or habits. A local lawyer knows how to strategically approach each Prosecutor and Judge and can advise you on what factors the Judge may or may not consider in determining your guilt or innocence. You have to remember that Judges and Prosecutors are just normal people like you and I. They are fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters.

Service Area

Service Area
McNamara Phelan McSteen have settled Criminal Defense & DUI law cases in Will County, Cook County, Grundy, Kendall and Kankakee including but not limited to: Bolingbrook, Burr Ridge, Channahon, Chicago, Coal City, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Elwood, Frankfort, Glen Ellyn, Homer Glen, Joliet, Kankakee, Lombard, Minooka, Morris, Naperville, New Lenox, Oakbrook, Orland Park, Plainfield, Romeoville, Shorewood, Tinley Park, Villa Park, and Wheaton, IL.

Criminal Defense & DUI Lawyer

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If you need a qualified criminal law attorney, legal advice or representation, call us today at (815) 727-0100

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