DEKALB CRIMINAL DEFENSE FAQ
Listed below are some of the most common questions that people have when they are charged with a crime.
DOES YOUR OFFICE OFFER FREE CONSULTATIONS?
We offer free in-person consultations in our office located in downtown Rockford, Illinois, for criminal defense matters. To schedule your consultation please contact our office by calling 815-980-2494 or filling out our online form. Initial consultations are confidential and legally privileged. You will have a chance to meet with an attorney to discuss your case and to ask any questions that you may have. Please bring copies of all relevant documentation to your appointment including: notice of suspensions, tickets, warrants, bond paperwork, etc.
HOW MUCH DO YOUR LEGAL SERVICES COST?
Every criminal defense case is unique and we will set a fee for your case after we have had an opportunity to discuss the details during the initial consultation. There is no set fee for a specific charge. Generally, we will take into account the level of charge, the complexity of the facts, the nature of the required investigation and whether there are unusual legal issues involved.
DO YOU OFFER FLAT RATE BILLING?
Yes, with criminal defense cases we offer flat rate billing. This means regardless of how many hours we work on your case or how many court appearances you have, your bill will not increase.
WHAT PRACTICE AREAS DOES YOUR FIRM HANDLE?
We serve the communities in Dekalb County, as well as Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Jo Daviess.
IF SOMEONE IS ARRESTED, HOW CAN THEY BE RELEASED ON BOND?
The first thing that will happen after you are arrested and accused of a crime is that your bond will be set. For some cases, the bond amount is already determined and you can be released and given a court date. For felony and domestic battery cases, bond needs to be set by a Judge and this is done in Bond Court, usually within 24 hours of arrest. The Judge will consider prior criminal history and the nature of the pending charge to determine what the bond amount should be. If you can pay the bond amount, or are given a non-cash bond such as an I-Bond, you will be set free on bond until your next court date. If you cannot pay the bond amount, or if bond is denied, you will be held in the county jail until the next court date.
WILL I GET MY BOND MONEY BACK?
If a cash bond is set then the defendant has to post 10% of that amount. For instance, if bond is set at $1,000 then the defendant would have to post $100 to be released, plus any fees imposed by the jail. Of the money that is posted, 90% would be returned at the conclusion of the case, or applied toward fines and costs.
IS THERE A WAY TO GET THE BOND REDUCED?
Yes, if bond is initially denied or set at an amount that is too burdensome, the Defendant has a right to a hearing to reduce the bond. The Defendant must file a motion with the court and present evidence that shows why bond should be reduced. Usually the Judge that sets the initial bond will not be the Judge who will be hearing the case.
IF THE POLICE WANT TO ASK ME QUESTIONS, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If you are suspected of being involved in a crime, you should never talk to the police without first consulting with a Dekalb criminal defense attorney. You have an absolute right not to agree to meet with the police or to speak with them. If the police want to ask you questions, we can determine how best to respond and can instruct the police on your behalf to direct all further questions or correspondence to our office. The dangers of speaking with the police without an attorney is anything you say can be used against you in court.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE POLICE DO NOT READ ME MY RIGHTS, WILL MY CASE GET DISMISSED?
Not necessarily. Police are only required to advise a person of their Miranda rights only after a person is placed under arrest, or their freedom is so severely hindered that a reasonable person would believe they were in police custody. If a Police Officer interrogates you while you are in custody and your statements are a significant part of the evidence against you, the fact that Miranda was not read could result in those statements not being allowed as evidence in your case. This could result in a dismissal, reduction in charges or a not-guilty verdict at trial.
IF I JUST WANT TO PLEAD GUILTY, SHOULD I HIRE A LAWYER?
Many people mistakenly think that if they are guilty, their case is hopeless and that there is nothing that can be done to help them. This is not true. A criminal defense attorney can help you determine what the potential penalties will be for pleading guilty. Some crimes come with mandatory jail sentences or driver’s license suspension. Often times, a lawyer can help negotiate a reduced charge, a lesser sentence or entrance into a diversionary program which may lead to a dismissal of charges at the end of the program. Finally, we can help review your case to determine if there are grounds to suppress any evidence that the police may have obtained improperly. If you are charged with a crime, you should always consult with a Dekalb criminal defense attorney before going to Court.