CRIMINAL DEFENSE

criminal defenseCriminal Defense Attorney

Joliet Defense Lawyer

When you are in need of a criminal lawyer, it is essential that you have representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney.  A conviction on any type of crime can leave a permanent criminal record that will impact your future.

Former Will County prosecutor  Steven Haney is a criminal attorney who defends clients against all types of criminal charges.  You can count on him to pursue an intelligent criminal defense and review every available option in an effort to protect your interests.

30 Years Experience for Your Criminal Defense Case

Defense attorney, Steven Haney, is a former Will County prosecutor.  He knows when to negotiate and when to go to trial, pursuing the best criminal defense option that will yield the best possible result for you.

He represents clients in any matter requiring a criminal defense in:

  • Felonies and misdemeanors, including arson, assault and battery, murder, weapons crimes, obstruction of justice and resisting arrest
  • Domestic violence, including domestic battery, spousal abuse, child abuse, stalking, harassment, violation of a restraining order and many others
  • DUI, including blood tests, breathalyzer tests, field sobriety tests, refusal to submit to a test, license suspension and repeat offenses
  • Drug crimes, including possession, cultivation or manufacturing, distribution, sale and trafficking
  • Sex offenses, including sexual assault, child sexual abuse, child pornography, Internet sex crimes, solicitation of a minor, solicitation of prostitution and sex offender registration
  • Traffic offenses, including tickets and moving violations, revoked or suspended driver’s license and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) protection.
  • Drivers license reinstatement, including formal and informal hearings.
  • Juvenile crimes, including drug charges, underage drinking, assault and weapons offenses
  • Property and financial crimes, including forgery, identity theft, credit card theft, embezzlement, shoplifting, computer crimes and residential or car burglary.
  • Expungements, including the removal of charges where you were not convicted of a crime

How is the amount of bail determined?

When someone is arrested in the State of Illinois, bond will have to be posted in order to be releaed from custody. If the arrest is for a misdemeanor, typically a person can be released on posting bail in the amount of $100, or simply on their own signature with a promise to appear in court. If someone is arrested on an arrest warrant, then bond has been pre-determined by a judge for that offense. The cash amount of the pre-determined bond will have to be paid in order to be released from police custody on any arrest warrant.

Arrest without warrant:

If someone is arrested without a warrant and for an alleged felony offense, an appearance before a judge will be necessary for bond to be determined. That person will not be released until the judge sets the bond and its equivalent cash amount is paid.

Joliet bond court:

In Joliet, Will County, Illinois where I practice criminal defense, bond hearings are always at 1:30 p.m. in courtroom 305 of the Will County courthouse, unless the arrest occurs on a holiday or the start of a weekend. In the later instance, Will County has a “holiday court” where a judge sets a bond at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom 121 of the Will County courthouse. When determining an appropriate bond amount, the judge will always consider the seriousness of the alleged offense, as well as a persons criminal history, and connections to the community.

A bond setting is simply the beginning of any criminal defense and prosecution. Obtaining an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you or someone you care about to provide a proper and intelligent criminal defense to any type of criminal charge is almost always necessary to successfully navigate through the complexities of the criminal justice system. An experienced local criminal defense lawyer will always have the best insight into how any particular criminal defense case will be handled by that jurisdiction’s prosecutors and judges.

What is the Court Process of a Felony charge in Will County?

A felony is any crime that carries a potential sentence to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Arrest:

Every Will County felony case begins with an arrest. If the arrest is based on an arrest warrant, the amount of bail needed to post for release has already been set. If the arrest happens without an arrest warrant, an appearance before a judge for the purpose of setting the amount of bail will be necessary. This appearance usually occurs within one day of the arrest.

The purpose of the initial court appearance is limited to the setting of bail, the filing of a criminal complaint, and setting another court date for the purpose of arraignment. Prior to the arraignment, there must be a hearing to determine whether probable cause exists to believe the charged crime was committed. In Will County, this hearing is almost always done by the Will County grand jury.

Grand Jury:

The grand jury convenes in secret for the limited purpose of determining the existence of probable cause for felonies. The defendant does not participate in this process. The prosecutor has a witness, or witnesses, testify before the grand jury regarding the case. If the grand jury believes probable cause exists for the crime, it will issue a bill of indictment. It is rare for the grand jury not to find probable cause.

Arraignment:

At the arraignment, the bill of indictment will be presented to the defense, the judge will order the prosecution provide the defense the police reports and all other material in its possession. The case will be assigned to one of six potential felony trial judges, who will preside over the case for its remainder. Lastly, another court date will be set for the first time appearance before the assigned trial judge.

Pre-trial phase:

The process of the felony case at this juncture will vary to some extent depending upon the particular practices of the trial judge. However, each case will go through a “pre-trial” process. This process will include the filing and litigation of any pre-trial motions, such as a motion to suppress evidence, and ensuring all discovery has been properly exchanged between the parties.

Also during the pre-trial phase of the case, plea-bargaining will take place. The prosecution will offer a settlement of the charge to the defense. This can be a give and take process that will vary depending on the nature of the charge and the potential penalties involved.

If no agreement is reached in the plea-bargaining process, a defendant can still plead guilty to the case, or sometimes, part of the case and ask the judge to issue the sentence. This is referred to in Will County as a “blind plea” and its purpose is to, hopefully, achieve a lighter sentence than that requested by the prosecution.

Trial:

If the case is not resolved by a guilty plea, the case will then proceed to trial where a judge or a jury will determine whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty by determining whether the evidence in the case meets the standard of “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”. An acquittal, of course, ends the case. After a guilty verdict, the case will lastly proceed to a sentencing where the judge will determine the penalty to be imposed.

Discuss Your Case With a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact our office today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case and learn more about what we can do to help you. You can reach us by phone at 815-723-5600 or via e-mail. For your convenience, weekend appointments are available.