3601 McDonough Street, Joliet, IL 60431

Call Us815-727-0100

McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC

Joliet criminal defense lawyerThere are certain crimes that are often misunderstood. For example, theft, burglary, and robbery are similar, but they all involve slightly different actions and can carry separate punishments. Home invasion is a related offense, and many people might think it is not that significant. However, it is actually the most serious burglary charge since it typically involves an act of violence. According to Illinois law, home invasion is committed when a person knowingly enters the dwelling place of another when he or she knows that the owner is present. With crimes of this nature, it can be difficult to prove intent in court, but regardless, it is essential that you understand your legal options when facing such charges by consulting a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.  

Actions that Constitute Home Invasion

The crime of home invasion is not just breaking into someone’s home without his or her permission. It also means the offender entered without permission, knowing that the owner was home, and includes any of the following:

  • Was armed with a firearm or another weapon while threatening or using force


Joliet criminal defense lawyerDriving is considered a privilege in many states, including Illinois. There are many traffic violations that can result in the loss of your driving privileges. Some of these include driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, aggravated speeding, and leaving the scene of a car accident with injuries, to name a few. Depending on the severity of the moving violation, a person can have his or her license suspended or revoked for months or even years. In order to reinstate your driver’s license after a suspension, there are several legal steps that must be taken. An experienced criminal defense attorney can assist motorists with important details. 

Steps to Getting Your License Back

In Illinois, first-time DUI offenders may attend an informal hearing as long as the offense did not result in great bodily harm or the death of another person. However, if it is a second or subsequent offense, or the incident resulted in an injury or fatality, then the defendant will have to attend a formal hearing. 

Regardless of the type of hearing, a driver who wishes to reinstate his or her license must do the following:


Joliet criminal defense lawyerLaws are put in place to deter crime and maintain public safety. When these laws are broken, there are criminal consequences. There are many actions that constitute a crime in Illinois. Depending on the nature of the act as well as the intent and extenuating circumstances, an offense can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. In Illinois, the lowest classification of a crime is a misdemeanor and the highest classification is a felony. Felony crimes are typically violent acts that are committed against a person or property. In most cases, a defendant faces significant fines and/or jail time, in addition to a permanent criminal record if convicted. However, a person could be wrongfully accused, which is why it is essential to have experienced legal representation when facing such charges. 

How Illinois Classifies Felony Crimes

Any felony charge can have long-lasting consequences and hinder a person’s ability to find employment or secure a financial loan for housing in the future. According to Illinois law, the least severe felonies are designated as Class 4. A Class 4 felony carries a penalty of one to three years in prison. Examples of this category of felonies include, but are not limited to:

Joliet criminal defense attorneyArguments and disputes can sometimes turn into physical altercations, and if deemed serious enough, could even involve the police. Many people think that assault and battery go together, but they are actually two distinct criminal offenses under Illinois law. Assault is defined as inflicting physical harm, or in some instances, a threat or attempt to commit such an action. Either act can result in criminal prosecution and/or a civil liability depending on the circumstances. However, there are certain factors that can elevate the charges to aggravated assault, which can result in serious penalties in Illinois, including a lengthy prison sentence. In some cases though, a person may be wrongfully accused, making it crucial to consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney to avoid a conviction.    

Aggravating Factors

Although laws differ by jurisdiction, aggravating factors may include the use of a deadly weapon during the criminal act. It can also be considered aggravated if the assault or battery was committed while a person is attempting to commit another crime. Who the alleged victim is can elevate the charges to aggravated, such as if he or she is a child, female, or law enforcement officer. A deadly weapon can include the following items:

  • Guns/firearms


Joliet criminal defense attorneyThere are many acts that can result in a criminal charge. For some offenses, physical harm or the threat of harm is involved, but that is not the case in other crimes. Many people have heard of the phrase “disorderly conduct,” but they may not know what exactly that entails. Some may think it is simply disturbing neighbors by playing loud music, yelling during a domestic argument, or revving a motorcycle or car engine. 

Under Illinois law, disorderly conduct is a criminal charge that includes numerous actions or behaviors. The statute defines it as “an act in such unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb another, to provoke a breach of the peace.” Disturbing the peace can result in criminal charges depending on the extent of the incident. It is important to know what actions constitute disorderly conduct in order to avoid an arrest and possible conviction. 

What Actions Constitute Disorderly Conduct?

If police believe that certain behaviors cause enough of a disturbance, an officer may place someone under arrest for this offense. A few examples of disorderly conduct in Illinois include:

Will County Bar Association Illinois State Bar Association Lions Minooka AV 2019 Rotary DuPage County Bar Association
Back to Top