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Joliet Offices

58 North Chicago Street, Suite 600
Joliet, IL 60432

Phone: 815-267-0500

1000 Essington Road
Joliet, IL 60435

Phone: 815-582-4990

Naperville Offices

3380 LaCrosse Lane, Suite 105
Naperville, IL 60564

Phone: 630-780-1034

2135 CityGate Lane, Suite 300
Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-352-3300

JOLIET 815-215-8208

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Along with a criminal defendant’s right to remain silent, the right to have one’s case tried to a jury of “one’s peers” is one of the most important constitutional protections available for criminal defendants. This protection exists to help guarantee that a person is not convicted of a criminal offense through government overreach, but instead only upon evidence and testimony that convinces 12 individuals from the community of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Juries are Supposed to Represent a Cross-Section of the Local Community

In theory, the 12 people who decide a particular Illinois criminal case are supposed to represent a “cross-section” of the community. That is, the individuals who sit on a jury to hear a particular case should represent the races, socioeconomic backgrounds, and education levels (amongst others) of average citizens in the community. If the community has a predominantly minority population, one would expect that a jury would be comprised of predominately minority individuals. This does not always happen, however.

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Joliet criminal defense attorney, restitution, property damageIt has long been a criticism of the criminal justice system that criminals are afforded greater protections and rights than the accused defendant. (This emphasis on the defendant’s rights is understandable when one considers that victims are not in jeopardy of being wrongly convicted and having their freedom and/or property wrongly taken.)

This criticism is not entirely unfounded: victims cannot choose whether the accused should accept a plea agreement, they cannot compel the accused to testify at trial and answer questions, and ultimately they cannot determine what sentence the accused should receive.

What is Restitution and Its Purpose?

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My Spouse Can Get My Domestic Battery Charge Dropped … Right?Domestic battery charges in Illinois are a serious matter. A fight or argument that escalates and gets out of hand can easily result in law enforcement being called and you being placed in handcuffs. If criminal charges are filed against you, the first offense of domestic battery can result in a jail sentence of up to one year. If you have prior convictions for domestic battery, you may face between one and three years in prison. Because a conviction for domestic battery can result in such severe consequences, individuals charged with this offense may make every attempt to have the charges reduced or dismissed altogether.

The Victim’s Testimony is Important – But Not Necessarily Critical

One of the more common methods of seeking a dismissal that domestic battery defendants attempt to employ is to speak with the victim him- or herself and ask that he or she have the charges dropped. Setting aside for the moment any consideration of whether the defendant’s act of contacting the identified victim in a domestic battery case would violate the defendant’s conditions of bond, this method is not as effective as it might first appear.

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Your Miranda Rights and Your Illinois Criminal ChargesAny fan of police dramas or law enforcement reality shows should be familiar with the Miranda warnings: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you by the court.” These warnings – named after the decision in Miranda v. Arizona, which first required these warnings to be given – are a common feature in many Will County criminal cases.

When are Miranda Warnings Required?

However, law enforcement officers do not always give these Miranda warnings. While there may be some consequences to this decision, they may not necessarily be as serious as some criminal defendants might think:

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