photograph of Chicago Premier Attorney, Mitch Furman

Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Attorney

When facing any type of legal matter, it is vitally important to have the resources you need for success. I, Attorney Mitch Furman, a Premier Criminal Lawyer in Chicago, have an extensive background in a variety of legal practice areas and can provide you with the high level of representation, guidance, and advice that you need.

Whether you have been charged with a crime or DUI, hurt in an accident where someone else was at fault, or have decided to seek a divorce from your spouse. I relentlessly pursue the type of results my clients expect and provide active representation regularly.

20 Plus Years of Legal Experience. Free Consultation

Aside from practicing as a criminal defense attorney, I am also well-versed in the laws and procedures pertaining to personal injury lawsuits, divorce, and family issues. No matter what type of legal situation you need assistance with, a qualified attorney at the Law Offices of Mitch Furman is prepared to zealously advocate your rights and tirelessly assist you in any capacity.

Why Should Mitch Furman Be Your First Choice?

  • Over 20 Years of Legal Experience
  • Impressive History of Successful Case Results
  • Positive Avvo Reviews and Rating
  • Strong Reputation for Legal Excellence

Experience You Can Trust

I have spent over two decades building a solid reputation in the legal community. I am intimately familiar with the courts and the systems that relate to these areas of practice. My goal and top priority in every case that I take on is to create the most favorable result possible.

I am committed to providing you with the information you need in a way that is easy to understand and act on so that you can move forward knowing what to expect and where we are in your legal matter. I make myself available to my clients, as this is the best way to understand what you need and how to proceed effectively.

If you need the services of a highly competent Chicago criminal defense attorney, I offer free consultations, because our legal journey should begin with trust.

Please contact my firm at (312) 236-7078 and find out how our criminal defense attorney can help you.

When Experience Matters

My career spans over two decades of legal experience. During that time, I had the privilege of representing thousands of clients, each one of whom came to me with their own unique challenges. Through hard work and dedication, I solved their legal problems.

During my tenure, I had an opportunity to successfully take hundreds of trials to verdict and earn the respect and trust of my clients as well as peers.

If you or someone you know is facing a legal matter that requires a skilled and experienced lawyer, give my firm a call. I have put a team of top notch litigators together, to help you with any legal issue you may encounter.

Practice Areas

Criminal Defense

DUI Defense

Divorce

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Cook County

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Will County

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Our Recent Blog Posts

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Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

Understanding Criminal Defense Strategy in Chicago

Criminal defense is a strategic legal practice focused on defending individuals who are charged with various types of criminal activity. From misdemeanors to high-profile federal crimes, the scope of criminal defense is vast, covering all stages of the criminal process. Every citizen has constitutional rights that must be upheld and protected, including the right to a fair trial and the right to legal counsel. In Chicago, as in the rest of the country, these rights are fundamental to the criminal justice system.

My Criminal Defense Law Firm Role as Your Attorney

As your criminal defense lawyer in Chicago, I strive to provide defense for individuals accused of criminal offenses, from white-collar crimes to violent crimes. As your lawyer I begin to examine the details surrounding the charge, and formulate a comprehensive defense strategy, challenging any evidence presented against the accused, and advocate for my client's rights at every step.

I am well versed in complex legal procedures in courts, such as Cook County, Will County, and DuPage County. With in-depth knowledge of the criminal justice system, I work diligently to prevent a criminal conviction and to minimize the impact of a criminal record.

Types of Criminal Charges My Law Firm Handles

In Chicago, the spectrum of criminal charges my law firm handles can be broadly categorized into various types of crimes. These criminal charges fall under various classifications, which include petty offenses, misdemeanors, and felonies. Each carrying different legal consequences and sentences.

  • Petty offenses are the least severe, often resulting in fines only.
  • Misdemeanors crimes usually result in fines only, but in some very rare cases a defendant can be imprisoned for less than one year.
  • Felonies are the most serious offenses and can result in imprisonment of more than one year.

If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime, contact legal counsel from my Law Offices, today.

Overview of Different Types of Crimes My Law Firm Defends Against

Different types of crimes my firm handles can be categorized by the nature of the act itself. These types of crimes include crimes against persons, crimes against property, and crimes against society.

  • Property crimes involve interference with the property of another, such as theft crimes, burglary  shoplifting or vandalism, where the primary objective is to damage or unlawfully take possession of someone else's property.

Violent Crimes, Drug Crimes and White-Collar Crimes in Chicago

The most significant types of crimes in Chicago are violent crimes, drug crimes, and white-collar crimes.

Violent crimes, encompassing offenses like aggravated battery, home invasion, and homicide, and are notable for their immediate and profound impact on victims and communities. These crimes frequently involve force or the threat of force and carry substantial penalties, including extensive prison terms.

Domestic Violence Crimes: Crimes involving violence or abuse between individuals in a domestic setting, such as between spouses or family members. Domestic violence, such as domestic battery, crimes can carry severe legal and social consequences, including restraining orders and loss of parental rights, making a skilled defense attorney vital to the accused's future.

Drug crimes constitute another significant portion of criminal charges in Chicago and may range from possession to distribution of controlled substances. Convictions in drug cases can be complicated, influenced by the quantity of drugs involved, the defendant's intent, and prior criminal record.

White-collar crimes, though less violent, can be vastly intricate, involving financial deceit such as embezzlement, fraud, and money laundering. These crimes often entail a breach of trust and can result in substantial financial harm, leading to complex legal battles to untangle the fraud

The Criminal Defense Process in Chicagoland

Navigating the criminal defense process in Chicago can be intricate and daunting. It typically starts with the accused person's arrest by police officers, followed by charges being formally brought against them by the State Attorney's Offices.

The involvement of a skilled criminal defense lawyer is crucial from this point onwards. A robust defense strategy is pivotal, regardless of whether the offense is considered a misdemeanor or a felony. This process involves various stages, beginning with an initial consultation with a criminal defense attorney, moving through the pre-trial phase, potentially advancing to trial, and concluding with the verdict and sentencing.

Each stage offers different opportunities for legal counsel to intervene, advocate for the defendant's rights, and potentially mitigate the legal repercussions of the charges.

Initial Consultation with a Chicago Premier Criminal Defense Lawyer

The first step in constructing a defense against criminal charges in Cook County is the initial consultation with a criminal lawyer from my firm to discuss particulars of your case.

During this critical meeting, I will meticulously analyze the specifics of the case, examine the charges, and discuss your criminal record if applicable. Confidentiality is assured, so you should not hesitate to be transparent about your circumstances. This initial assessment allows me to forecast the possible outcomes and recommend the best course of action, considering the weight of the evidence and the applicable constitutional rights.

Steps Involved in the Legal Process

The stages of the legal process in criminal defense can be parsed as follows, though they may vary depending on the complexity of the case:

  • Arrest and Booking: The physical taking into custody of an individual by law enforcement.
  • Bond Hearing: Where the determination is made as to whether the defendant will be released on his own recognizance or be detained for duration of the case.
  • Initial Appearance: Also known as arraignment, where the charges are formally read, and bail conditions are set.
  • Preliminary Hearing/Grand Jury Proceedings: To determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.
  • Plea Bargaining: Plea agreement is a discussion between the defense and prosecution to resolve the case without trial.
  • Trial: The formal process where evidence is considered by a jury or judge and a verdict is delivered.
  • Sentencing: If convicted, the judge will impose a punishment based on the severity of the offense.
  • Appeals: The defendant has the right to appeal a conviction or sentence to a higher court.

Important Constitutional Rights of Defendants

In the United States, defendants have constitutional rights that must be vigilantly protected throughout the criminal process. Some of the critical rights in Chicago and across the nation include:

  • The Right to Remain Silent: Protected under the Fifth Amendment, this right allows individuals to refuse to answer questions that may incriminate them.
  • The Right to a Speedy and Public Trial: Ensured by the Sixth Amendment, defendants are entitled to a trial that is conducted without undue delay.
  • The Right to an Attorney: Also protected by the Sixth Amendment, this right allows individuals to have legal representation, and if they cannot afford one, the court may appoint a public defender.
  • Property rights, including the prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures, safeguarded by the Fourth Amendment.
  • The Right to a Jury Criminal Trial: The right to have a jury of peers decide innocence or guilt.
  • The Right Against Double Jeopardy: Under the Fifth Amendment, a person shall not be tried twice for the same offense.

These rights form the foundation of the defense and are essential in ensuring that justice is served while preventing miscarriages of justice within the criminal justice system. I, Attorney Mitch Furman, a proficient criminal defense attorney will make certain that these rights are upheld at every step of the process.

Building an Effective Defense Strategy

Building a robust defense strategy is paramount when facing criminal charges in Chicago. Every case is unique, which requires a defense that is tailored to the specific circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. An effective defense strategy can entail challenging the prosecution's evidence, presenting contradictory testimonies, or negotiating plea deals that serve the best interest of the criminal defendant.

To formulate a strong defense, I will often begin your journey with a thorough investigation of the case facts. I will gather witness statements, review police reports, and consult with experts, if needed. I will critically analyze the prosecution's case through the criminal justice process for any illegal procedures or evidence that may have been obtained in violation of my client's constitutional rights, such as unlawful searches and seizures.

Another key aspect of building an effective strategy is understanding my client's background and how it may affect the proceedings. I will consider the defendant's criminal record (or lack thereof), character witnesses, and personal circumstances. Understanding client fully will aid in presenting evidence that may mitigate the severity of the crime and lead to reduced charges or lighter sentencing.

Strategic legal maneuvers are also a crucial component of my defense process. This could involve motions to suppress evidence, change the venue, or dismiss the case altogether due to legal technicalities.

In the complex legal landscape of criminal defense, my expertise and ability to navigate Cook County court’s legal system, My knowledge of criminal law and procedural intricacies can make a significant difference in how a defense strategy is crafted and executed, with the aim of achieving the best possible outcome for the defendant.

Role of Evidence in Building a Legal Defense

Evidence plays a critical part in any criminal defense strategy. Aa a Chicago criminal defense attorney that meticulously reviews all the evidence to not only identify what can be used to support my client's case but also to detect weaknesses in the prosecution's evidence.

My legal team will evaluate all physical, witness, and circumstantial evidence.

Physical evidence – including anything from DNA samples to digital footprints – will be assessed for its validity, chain of custody, and relevance to the case. I will ensure that the reliability of witness testimonies at trial is scrutinized, and that expert witnesses who are brought in to interpret complex evidence or to discredit the methodology or conclusions of the prosecution's experts are thoroughly cross-examined.

My understanding of the role of evidence also involves recognizing when evidence may have been obtained illegally or is inadmissible due to constitutional violations. As a Chicago criminal defense attorney, I will file motions to exclude such evidence, potentially weakening the prosecution's case.

In addition, I will do everything in my power to gather new evidence that could exonerate my client or suggest a different narrative that could raise reasonable doubt among jurors. Crafting a defense around strong, admissible evidence is critical to countering the prosecution's claims and securing a favorable verdict.

Defense Strategies for Various Types of Crimes My Firm Utilizes

The types of crimes my clients might face in Chicago can vary widely, each demanding specific defense strategies.

For example:

Violent Offenses (e.g., battery, assault) - Self-defense, defense of others, lack of intent, mistaken identity.

White Collar Crimes (e.g., bribery, bank fraud) - Lack of knowledge, entrapment, insufficient evidence to prove intent, faulty accusation due to a misunderstanding of complex financial transactions.

Drug Charges / Drug Offenses - Illegal search and seizure, challenging the alleged possession or intent to distribute, scrutinizing the validity of drug tests.

Sex Crimes - Questioning the credibility of the accuser, evidence of consent, alibi, false accusations.

Felony Charges (e.g., murder, carjacking) - Demonstrating lack of evidence, invalidating confessions, lack of probable cause, evidentiary issues.

As a criminal attorney concentrating on a specific category of offenses, I will tailor the defense strategy to the nuances of each type. For instance, in a defense for federal crimes may involve disputing the jurisdiction or challenging the federal classification of the alleged offense.

The overarching objective is to introduce enough reasonable doubt to lead to acquittals, and to avoid felony conviction or to convince the prosecution to reduce charges.

Consequences and Penalties

Facing criminal charges in Chicago can lead to significant consequences that extend far beyond the immediate legal penalties. Understanding these impacts is crucial for my clients as they navigate the criminal justice system.

A criminal conviction can come with a wide range of penalties, which may include jail or prison time, jeopardy of immigration status, fines, and probation. However, the implications of a felony conviction can also be far-reaching, affecting numerous aspects of my client's life. For instance, having a criminal record can limit employment opportunities, deny or revoke professional licenses, affect child custody agreements, and impede one's ability to secure housing or financial aid for education.

In addition to these societal consequences, my clients can also face personal repercussions such as damage to reputation, relationships, and mental health challenges arising from the stigma associated with a criminal record. My firm works closely with my clients and fully understands the breadth of consequences of potential conviction.

Harsh Penalties of a Criminal Convictions

A criminal conviction in Chicago can bear a multitude of potential consequences that may vary depending on the nature and severity of the offense. The specific impact of a conviction also varies based on statutory laws in Illinois and case law outcomes in Cook County. The potential consequences that my client may face upon conviction are:

  • Incarceration: Jail or prison time is a common consequence for many offenses, particularly for felony charges, following a guilty verdict.
  • Fines and Restitution: Courts often impose fines as part of sentencing, and restitution may be ordered to compensate victims.
  • Probation: Instead of, or in addition to, jail time, an individual may be placed on probation, requiring them to comply with certain court-ordered terms and conditions.
  • Community Service: Some sentences may include mandatory community service hours.
  • A Criminal Record: A conviction will almost always result in a criminal record, which can complicate future personal and professional endeavors.
  • Loss of Civil Rights: Convictions, especially felonies, can result in the loss of voting rights, firearm ownership, and eligibility for public benefits.

Understanding the Penalties for Different Offenses in Illinois

Different criminal offenses carry different statutory penalties, and it is important to recognize that Illinois law provides a range for sentencing which can be influenced by a variety of factors.

Type of Offense

Potential Penalties

Misdemeanors (e.g., DUI, Domestic Battery)

- Up to one year in jail

- Fines up to $2,500

- Probation

- Community service

Class 4 to 1 Felonies (e.g., drug possession, gun possession)

- 1 to 15 years in prison (varying by class)

- Fines up to $25,000

- Probation (in some cases)

- Potential permanent loss of civic rights

Class X Felonies (e.g., aggravated sexual assault, armed robbery)

- 6 to 30 years in prison

- Fines up to $25,000

- No probation option

Murder

- 20 years to life in prison (or death penalty if applicable and reintroduced)

DUI/DWI

- License suspension/revocation

- Fines

- Jail time

- Mandatory alcohol education and treatment

These penalties can be enhanced based on aggravating factors such as prior convictions, use of a firearm, and crimes committed against police officers or vulnerable or elderly people.

Consulting with a knowledgeable criminal lawyer in Chicago is essential for anyone facing criminal charges. As an experienced attorney  I can provide legal counsel on the potential penalties and how to approach a defense strategy, taking into account the complexity of the criminal process and the protection of constitutional rights.

The Importance of Legal Counsel

Navigating the intricate labyrinth of the criminal justice system in Chicago without professional legal counsel can be akin to sailing treacherous waters without a compass. Legal counsel is not just an accessory but a fundamental necessity for anyone grappling with criminal charges. At its core, the right to an attorney is enshrined in our constitutional rights, recognizing the potential complexities and the high stakes involved in criminal proceedings.

Representation by a skilled Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer, Law Offices of  Mitch Furman, can mean the difference between a fair trial and a miscarriage of justice. As a legal professional, with extensive trial experience, I can decipher the often dense and convoluted legal statutes and case law that apply to your situation. My firm can ensure that filings are timely, procedures are correctly followed, and that no legal technicalities are overlooked that could disadvantage your case. Furthermore, I can act as a buffer against potential overreach by prosecutors or misleading tactics by police officers that may infringe upon your rights.

In essence, I will serve not only as an advocate but as a guardian of your legal and constitutional rights throughout the criminal process. This guidance is instrumental in leveling the playing field in a system that can otherwise seem overwhelming to the unrepresented defendant.

Court houses we often appear at are located at:

Cook County

  • George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building 2600 S, California Avenue, Chicago, IL. 
  • Skokie Courthouse, 2nd District Cook County. Located at 5600 Old Orchard Rd., Skokie, IL. 
  • Rolling Meadows Courthouse, 3rd District, Cook County. Located at 2121 Euclid Ave., Rolling Meadows, IL. 
  • Maywood Courthouse, 4th District, Cook County. Located at 1311 Maybrook Dr, Maywood, IL. 
  • Bridgeview Courthouse, 5th District, Cook County. Located at 10220 S 76th Ave., Bridgeview, IL. 
  • Markham Courthouse, 6th District, Cook County. Located at 16501 Kedzie Ave, Markham, IL.

DuPage County

Will County

Contact Chicago Premier Criminal Defense Lawyer today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

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Law Offices of Mitch Furman

77 West Wacker Drive

Suite 4500

Chicago, IL 60601

312-236-7078 Office – 312-498-8421 Direct