Criminal Defense Attorneys in Bloomington, IL
Attorneys who stand apart from the crowd
Skelton & Wong, P.C. is a law firm dedicated to providing criminal suspects in the state of Illinois with vigorous defense against allegations of criminal conduct. We have successfully fought and won cases involving felony and misdemeanor charges, ranging from white-collar crimes like defamation or fraud to violent crimes involving murder, sexual assault, date rape, statutory rape, drug possession, domestic battery, DUI/traffic charges, juvenile offenses, abuse, neglect, drug possession, possession with the intent to distribute and much more.
Trial experience is what sets our firm apart from other criminal defense firms. Our attorneys have won substantial victories at all stages and levels of litigation, from state to federal courts in the district and appellate levels. In addition, Steven Skelton has achieved major success with high-profile cases involving murder and violent crime. Stephanie M. Wong is a former prosecutor who was responsible for supervision of felony trial attorneys at the McLean County State’s Attorney’s Office and who was specifically assigned to oversee homicide and sex offense prosecutions. Together, our litigation backgrounds give us unique insights into the criminal defense process — insights which we put to use in your defense when you retain our services.
A record of success with reducing charges and eliminating counts
Make no mistake. When you have been arrested and charged with a crime, your reputation, your livelihood and your freedom are on the line. You need a lawyer to advise you of your rights and defend your best interests in the upcoming criminal prosecution.
Experience as defense attorneys has given us in-depth understanding of how the prosecution constructs its case. If the proposed punishment does not fit the crime and a felony conviction is at stake, we can argue for a reduction in charges or leniency on the part of the prosecutor or the sentencing judge.
In many cases, we are able to negotiate with prosecutors to reduce the severity of the charges or eliminate counts of the indictment even before the trial begins. At the pretrial hearing and throughout the trial process, our attorneys are able to file motions to protect your substantive and procedural rights as a criminal defendant. During trial, we present the evidence and argue your case before a judge and/or a jury. If convicted, we can try to persuade a judge to enter a conviction for a lower degree of the offense or to commute a sentence by imposing probation. In addition, if you are acquitted of the charges against you, we can get the record of your arrest expunged (erased) so that the arrest will not affect your credit or your employment prospects.
You should know that your character, your conduct and your criminal history can make all the difference in whether the judge will consider reducing your sentence or being lenient with the judgment. We cannot stress enough how important it is to comport yourself with dignity. It is vital to demonstrate respect to the court officers and the judge. We also recommend that you borrow a suit for court appearances if you do not own one, because appearance matters to both the judge and the jury.
Penalties for criminal offenses in Illinois
Felony offenses in Illinois include any offense for which the penalty of imprisonment in a penitentiary for one year or more is provided. Examples of felony offenses include first-degree murder, (armed) robbery, (residential) burglary, criminal sexual assault, forgery and subsequent offense theft, and driving under the influence. Felonies and misdemeanors are divided into classes based upon the seriousness of the offense. The following is a general description of the penalties within the normal sentencing range. There are certain factors that may increase the range beyond those listed and fines for certain offenses such as those involving controlled substances or cannabis, DUI, or sex-related crimes may be substantially greater. Sentencing structures may look something like this:
Minimum of 20 years up to natural life
Other felony offenses
Class X felony: 6-30 years, up to $250,000 fine
Class 1 felony: 4-15 years
Class 2 felony: 3-7 years
Class 3 felony: 2-5 years
Class 4 felony: 1-3 years
Misdemeanor offenses are those offenses for which the penalty is less than one year. Examples of misdemeanor offenses include theft, criminal trespass, resisting a peace officer and battery. Misdemeanors are also classified based on their seriousness. For example:
Types of misdemeanors
Class A misdemeanor: up to 364 days; up to $2,500 fine
Class B misdemeanor: up to 6 months; $1,500 fine
Class C misdemeanor: up to 30 days; $1,500 fine
Sex offenses are among the most serious felony offenses. Penalties range from probation to mandatory prison time. In addition, sex offenses differ from other felonies in that convictions for certain sex offenses must be served consecutively (one sentence after another) and not concurrently. In addition to criminal penalties, a person convicted of a sex offense is required to register as a sex offender for a minimum 10 years and up to life. A “child” is someone who is less than 18 years old in certain offenses, but less than 17 in other offenses. A conviction for a child sex offense results in mandatory registration of the offender as a child sex offender. Child sex offenders are restricted in where they can live and work. High school-aged individuals who are prosecuted and convicted for engaging in mutual sexual relations with similarly aged person(s) are classified as “child sex offenders.”
Stephanie Wong has 20 years of experience in litigating sex offenses and is a former prosecutor chiefly responsible for the prosecution of sex offenses. As a defense attorney she has obtained highly successful results in defending those charged with sex offenses. If you are charged with a sex offense, it is critical to consult with an attorney experienced in this field as soon as possible. Stephanie M. Wong has met all the qualifications and is certified to serve as lead counsel on the capital litigation trial bar.
Attorneys who stand beside you, every step of the way
If you are facing criminal charges, consider what is at stake. Your reputation, your employability and your future prospects may be destroyed by a conviction in the upcoming trial. To speak with a lawyer, contact the law offices of Skelton & Wong, P.C. at 309.820.9599. Let us put our criminal defense experience to work for you.
Call today: 309.820.9599
Skelton & Wong, P.C. is a law firm proudly serving Bloomington, Illinois and surrounding communities throughout McLean, Woodford, Logan, Peoria, Dewitt and Tazewell counties in Illinois.