FAQs

When you are facing prosecution for a criminal offense or a DUI, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what you need to do to protect yourself. At the Law Offices of Gabriel J. De Matteo in Lincolnwood, Illinois, we can provide you with the defense needed to effectively challenge your charges and provide you the advocacy you deserve.

Criminal Justice
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM ARRESTED?
If you are arrested and accused of committing a crime, remember you have the right to remain silent. After identifying yourself to arresting officers, tell them you would like an attorney and refuse to say anything else. Authorities are allowed to lie to suspects and trick them in an attempt to obtain incriminating information. Your attorney can protect you from making any potentially damaging statements, ensure your rights are not violated and determine your defense options.
THE OFFICER DIDN’T READ ME MY RIGHTS. WILL THIS HELP MY CASE?
An arresting officer’s failure to read your Miranda rights could play a large role in your defense. A judge may rule that anything you said at the time you were taken into custody is inadmissible as evidence before the court. The Fifth Amendment provides you with the right to protect yourself against self-incrimination and the officer has a responsibility to make you aware of this right. It is important that you speak with a knowledgeable lawyer immediately if you were not read your rights during your arrest.
WHAT TYPE OF CRIMINAL CASES DO YOU HANDLE?
We defend clients facing felony and misdemeanor charges, such as DUIs, drug crimes (including possession or delivery of marijuana, cocaine, heroin or ecstasy), battery, assault, weapon offenses, domestic violence, retail theft, stolen vehicle possession, robbery, armed robbery, sexual assaults and murder.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FELONY AND A MISDEMEANOR?
In this state, there are felonies and misdemeanors. Felony criminal charges are the more serious and are punishable by one year in prison or more, depending on the class of the felony. Misdemeanors are lesser offenses that are punishable by less than one year in jail, again depending on the misdemeanor classification.
WILL I GO TO JAIL OR PRISON?
There are many sentences available that don’t require imprisonment, even if a defendant is facing felony charges. Although imprisonment is a possibility, you can reduce your chances of being sentenced to jail or prison by contacting an experienced lawyer to defend you in court. The right defense for your case can avoid conviction, the possibility of jail or prison and it can help you avoid or lessen other penalties.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE PENALTIES I MAY FACE IF I’M CONVICTED?
The penalties in a criminal case depend entirely on the charges and the circumstances of the case. Misdemeanor charges are usually punishable by no more than one year in jail and less than $2,500 in fines. Felonies are punishable by probation or at least one year in state prison and fines up to $25,000. Other possible penalties include probation, parole, restitution to the victim, mandatory counseling or rehabilitation, community service, license suspension, loss of certain rights and a mark on your permanent record. Certain factors can enhance your penalties, such as having prior criminal convictions, use of a weapon during your crime and committing a crime involving a child. Our firm always will do our best to inform you of all of the possible penalties in your particular case.
I WAS ARRESTED. DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY?
Absolutely. When you are being arrested, police already have begun the process of actively acquiring evidence to use against you at trial. With your personal liberty at stake, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight for you and your rights.
CAN I WAIT UNTIL MY APPEARANCE IN COURT TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY?
You should hire an attorney immediately upon being arrested. When dealing with police, you need the advice of an experienced attorney who can represent you as the police collect their evidence. In addition, you should have an attorney before a bond hearing, so that the attorney can properly prepare you for the hearing and try to convince the judge to set bond as low as possible.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER I HAVE BEEN ARRESTED FOR DUI?
Hire a DUI defense attorney immediately. Your driver’s license will, in most circumstances, be suspended 46 days after your arrest. Therefore, it is imperative that you hire a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible so that your case can be reviewed to see if it warrants requesting a hearing to rescind your license suspension. Do not wait until your first court date.
DUIs ARE EXPENSIVE – NOW I PAY FOR AN FOR AN ATTORNEY. WHAT ARE YOUR FEES?
Fees are based on a number of factors, such as the seriousness of charges, the complexity of the potential trial issues and the anticipated time involved in the defense. Your potential fees will be discussed during your consultation.
I’VE BEEN DRINKING AND I JUST GOT PULLED OVER BY THE POLICE. WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS?
You have the right to refuse to take field sobriety tests, such as the walk and turn test, the one-legged stand test and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagymus test. You have the right to refuse to take chemical tests unless you were involved in a motor vehicle collision with personal injuries. You also have the right to refuse the portable breath test (PBT) that the officer will have at the time you are stopped. You also have the right to refuse to take a breath test. However, you should understand that by refusing to take the tests you face a probable suspension of your license for a minimum of one year. You do not have to exit the vehicle unless asked to by the police. You must provide the officer with your driver’s license and insurance card upon being asked by the police officer. Generally, you do not have to allow the police officer to search your vehicle unless the police officer has a warrant.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is for general information purposes only. No information should be considered legal advice for any individual case or situation.