Blogs | Law Office of Jack L Zaremba


Filing a Pre-Trial Motion to Dismiss Criminal Charges

Joliet Criminal Lawyer

An effective criminal defense attorney will not wait for a case to go to trial before mounting a defense of his client. For example, the attorney might consider filing a pre-trial motion to dismiss the charges. The motion must be filed within a reasonable time after the defendant has been arraigned and can be filed before or after entering a plea.

The motion must be based on one of the following grounds for dismissal:

• Every defendant has a right to a speedy trial . If the trial is not commenced within the statutorily determined time frame then that is grounds for dismissal.
• A defendant may be prosecuted for several criminal offenses in the same trial. However, if the prosecution knows about these offenses and they all fall within a single court’s jurisdiction, then the offenses (usually) must be prosecuted in a single prosecution. If the state initiates a subsequent prosecution based on the defendant’s previous criminal conduct then that is grounds for dismissal.
• The prosecution is likely barred if the defendant was already prosecuted for the same offense, based on the same facts.
• If charges are not brought within a specific crime’s statute of limitations – or extended limitations period, if applicable – then that is grounds for dismissal.
• In some cases the defendant might be immune from criminal prosecution, which would also warrant dismissal. For example, a material witness in another criminal case may be granted immunity from prosecution based on his testimony.
• The charges can be dropped if the indictment was returned by a grand jury that was improperly selected or acted contrary to Illinois law and resulted in substantial injustice to the defendant.
• The court will dismiss the case if it does not have jurisdiction.
• The case may be dismissed if the particular county is not a proper place to hold the trial.
• If the charge does not state an actual offense then that is grounds for dismissal.
• If the indictment is based solely on the testimony of an incompetent witness then the charges will be dropped.
• If the defendant is misnamed in the charge and the misnomer results in substantial injustice to the defendant then the court can dismiss the case.
Felony charges cannot be brought unless the defendant receives a preliminary examination or an indictment by a grand jury. If the prosecution does not comply with these requirements then that is grounds for dismissal.

Contact Us Today

There is no need to incur the expense or emotional toll of a trial if the criminal charges should not have been brought in the first place, or if the prosecution violated Illinois laws of criminal procedure. Our Will County criminal defense attorneys will pursue these and other procedural avenues as part of your defense. Contact us today for a consultation. We can assist those in Frankfort, Joliet and the surrounding area.

My Child Was Arrested for Theft. Now What?

Joliet Juvenile Lawyer

Your teen told you they were out with friends—perhaps friends you have met dozens of times and you know their parents. At first, you thought the call was a joke or a prank. Then the realization sets in that your child has been arrested for shoplifting, but they are letting you take them home for now. What does that mean? The questions are likely to begin spinning through your mind regarding how you will handle the situation as a parent and how this might affect the future. Know that you are not alone, and we can help.

Why Was My Child Released To Me?

Rather than keeping your child in jail until the criminal hearing, the police likely released him or her into your care. While your child has been released, he or she must show up for all scheduled court dates, which you will receive further information on in the mail. Failure to appear will result in a warrant being issued for your child’s arrest and, potentially, other charges. You can assist your child by watching the mailbox and following up with the court.

What Else Can I Do to Help My Child?

It is not uncommon for parents fluctuate between wanting to punish their children themselves for their misbehavior and wanting to protect them and their future from possible court-sanctioned penalties . A few helpful tips for parents wanting to achieve the best possible outcome in this awkward situation include:

• Stress to your child the potential consequences of their behavior. A conviction could keep them from going to college, receiving job offers, or renting or purchasing a home;
• Enlist them in programs that may reduce their charges. Many judges favor the idea of community service and theft intervention classes. It may impress upon the judge that they understand it was a mistake, show signs of remorse, and show a willingness to alter the behavior if these steps are begun before entering the courtroom;
• Follow up after the case is over to remove the criminal record. The arrest still shows up on a permanent criminal record and is not always automatically sealed or expunged at the time your child turns 18. You want to take steps to close off these files to minimize the influence they have on your minor’s future.

Your Child Is Not a “Bad” Kid

Everyone makes mistakes, regardless of age. Most juvenile court judges are focused on helping your child get the help he or she needs rather than on harsh punishments. With the assistance of a help of a proven and experienced criminal attorney, your child has the best chance at achieving a positive resolution to this experience. If you have questions about how you can ensure that your child has the best possible future, contact a Joliet Juvenile Defense Attorney today by calling 815-740-4025 to schedule your free case evaluation.

Domestic Battery - Violence Inside The House

Will County Criminal Domestic Battery Lawyer

Accusations of domestic abuse are serious and may carry lasting penalties. While many understand that this type of crime is no laughing matter, there are other aspects of these charges that are alarming to those accused. For instance, you may be surprised to find out that you do not need to be married or even dating someone to be charged with domestic abuse. Domestic violence charges are possible even if you are only living with someone and you behave violently towards them.

Cohabitating Violence More Prevalent Than Marital Violence

Have you heard the old saying, “you fight like an old married couple?” Well, in recent years, the saying should be closer to, “you fight like old roommates.” If you have ever had a roommate, you understand there are struggles. Two (or more) separate lives with little more in common than rent and utility payments are bound to find conflicts. If one person enjoys staying up all night playing video games video while another likes to wake up early and go for a run after making a protein shake in the blender, you can imagine where things might become a little tense. Although these differences and tensions arise in marriages as well, statistics show that cohabiting relationships are more likely to be violent than married relationships. Did you know that:

• For every one protection order issued for a married couple, courts issue 10 for cohabitants?
• The Family Violence Research Program at the University of New Hampshire finds that cohabiters are much more violent than those who are married?
• Unmarried cohabitants are two times more likely to suffer abuse than married cohabitants?

Defining Domestic Violence

You can be a friend or a roommate and in no way intimately affiliated and still be accused of domestic violence. Additionally, the relation does not need to be current. As long as there is a connection, past or present, domestic violence charges are possible with any altercation. Under Illinois law, domestic violence occurs when a person hits, strikes, threatens, chokes, harasses, or interferes with the personal liberty of someone who is a family member or household member. Illinois defines this group of people as:

• Blood-related family;
• Those who are married or in a domestic partnership;
• Those previously married or in a domestic partnership;
• Individuals who share or previously shared a home or dwelling;
• Those believed to have a child in common;
• Dating partners;
• Those with previous romantic relations; and
• Persons with disabilities and their assistants.

Facing Accusations?

If you are surprised to find that you are facing domestic violence charges from an old roommate, you are not alone. In addition to being surprising, if convicted, you face higher criminal penalties than if the incident occurred with someone you never met. Contact a Will County domestic violence defense attorney to discuss your case. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today.


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