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Hal Garfinkel is retained as the defendant's lawyer in the Chicago high profile murder case of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez. Read more...

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Chicago Criminal Attorney

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Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
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Being arrested for a criminal offense in Illinois has severe legal, financial, and emotional consequences for the individual charged with the crime, as well as his or her family. Hal M. Garfinkel was a prosecutor, providing him with the knowledge about how the prosecution is going to build its case, and has 25 years of experience representing the interests of individuals involved in criminal cases. If you have been accused of a crime in the Chicago area, or throughout Illinois, or have learned that there is a pending investigation, it is critical to contact the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. We will advocate zealously on your behalf, bringing energy, skill, and knowledge to your defense strategy.

An experienced Chicago criminal attorney plays a critical role in getting the best possible outcome for an individual charged with a crime. It is important to have an attorney with the skills and background to mount a comprehensive and detailed defense; however, the criminal defense attorney also must understand how the prosecution intends to present the case in order to counter the evidence being presented. Having experts such as investigators or reconstruction specialists on staff or retainer means that the defense attorney independently can investigate the evidence being used to support the charges and can discover flaws in the case. By doing this, it is possible to discover:

  • Problems with the investigation procedures followed by the law enforcement officers;
  • Undue duress during the interrogation;
  • Improper police lineups;
  • Over-broad search warrants or searches that were not based on sufficient evidence; and Any other actions that violate an individual’s Constitutional rights.

A complete dismissal of the charges is possible under certain circumstances. If this cannot be done based on the facts of the case then a reduction in charges and a decrease in penalties may be negotiated. The Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney have an extensive history of getting acquittals at trial or getting a verdict on a lesser included charge.

It is important for anyone who has been arrested for a criminal offense in Illinois to refrain from talking to the police or any authorities without a Chicago criminal attorney. Law enforcement officers will try to get a person to make admissions and they are very good at their jobs–they are permitted to lie to the suspect and misrepresent the evidence that they have. It is crucial to assert your right to remain silent and wait for counsel to arrive.

Full-Service Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney, we represent clients who have been accused of the following crimes:

The ramifications of being convicted of one of these crimes in Chicago are life-altering. A person may face the following punishments:

  • Jail or prison time;
  • Fines, which may be thousands of dollars;
  • Community service;
  • Substance abuse classes;
  • Probation;
  • Sex offender registration;
  • A criminal record that will appear in background checks for employment and other matters.

In addition to the direct consequences of an Illinois criminal conviction, there are many other social and economic repercussions that can have as much or more of an impact on a person’s well-being and happiness. These consequences include:

  • The denial of a job offer because of the criminal conviction;
  • Being turned down for rental housing;
  • Ineligibility for certain professional licenses or certifications;
  • Societal disapproval, which may lead to a loss of a social support network;
  • Challenges in obtaining loans, whether for personal, academic, or business use;
  • An inability to obtain security clearances necessary for certain employment opportunities;
  • A negative impact on immigration status.

Your lawyer should have a strong understanding of the laws that apply to your case and the procedures followed in the court where you are facing charges.

To get the best defense, you should work with an attorney who is experienced in cases similar to yours, who can explain your best options for defending against the criminal charges you are facing, and who can negotiate an outcome to your case that will minimize your potential consequences.

Following an arrest, a person will typically be taken to their local police department, where they will be booked and processed. In some cases, police officers may conduct interrogations or obtain personal information about a person’s criminal history.

Following a DUI arrest, a person may be asked to take a chemical test of their blood alcohol content (BAC), and refusal to take these tests will result in the suspension of their driver’s license.

Depending on the charges filed and other factors in the case, a person may be required to pay bail before they can be released.

You are not required to answer any questions asked by police officers or provide anything other than basic information about your identity. Police officers will typically read you your “Miranda rights,” which state that you have the right to remain silent, that anything you say to police officers may be used against you in a criminal case, and that you have the right to be represented by an attorney.

In most cases, it is advisable to avoid speaking to police or answering any questions without having an attorney present.

A person cannot be held in police custody for more than 48 hours without being given the opportunity to appear in court. In some cases, a person may be released, and a court date will be scheduled, while in other cases, a defendant may appear before a bond court judge to determine if they must post bail before being released.

A preliminary hearing will then be held to determine whether charges can be pursued, and an arraignment may then be held where charges are formally entered. The case will then proceed to trial.

This initial hearing will determine whether police had probable cause to arrest a defendant. Witnesses may be called to testify, including the officer that made the arrest, and these witnesses may be cross-examined by the prosecutor and the defendant’s attorney.

If the judge determines that the testimony shows that there is a preponderance of the evidence to show probable cause, then the case may proceed, and the prosecutor may officially file criminal charges against the defendant.

In this hearing, the formal criminal charges will be presented against the defendant. The defendant will make a plea, and they will typically plead “not guilty,” although this plea may be changed at a later date.

The defense attorney may make a motion for discovery to ensure that all information used by the prosecution during the case will be available to the defendant.

The court may also impose restrictions on the defendant, such as requiring them to submit to electronic monitoring during the course of the case. The defendant will also be required to appear at any future court hearings.

Before a criminal trial begins, the defendant’s attorney may request that a conference be held between themselves, the prosecutor, and the judge.

In this conference, both sides will present the facts of the case and discuss the arguments they plan to make, and the judge will offer a recommendation about an appropriate sentence for the defendant, allowing the parties to reach a plea bargain and avoid the need for a trial.

Since criminal charges against a defendant are pursued by law enforcement officials and prosecutors, the opinions of an alleged victim will not necessarily play a role in the decision about whether to dismiss the charges.

In some cases, a witness’s choice not to testify in court may result in a dismissal, but if a prosecutor believes they have enough other evidence to demonstrate the defendant’s guilt, they may choose to continue to pursue the case.

Misdemeanors are less serious crimes, and a conviction may result in a prison sentence of no more than one year or other penalties, such as fines, probation, or community service. More serious crimes may be charged as felonies, such as murder, sexual assault, possession or delivery of controlled substances, theft of high-value items, multiple DUI offenses, robbery, or burglary.

A felony conviction can result in a jail sentence of one year up to life in prison.

Alleged violations of state laws will be prosecuted in state courts, and these cases will be subject to the applicable statutes regarding criminal offenses and penalties.

Some more serious crimes may be prosecuted at the federal level, and these cases typically involve alleged criminal activity that took place across state lines, such as drug trafficking, distribution of child pornography, or fraud.

Federal agencies such as the FBI or DEA may be involved in these cases, and lengthy mandatory minimum sentences may apply if a person is convicted.

There are many advantages to contacting a Chicago criminal defense lawyer before the charges are filed. This allows an experienced defense attorney to represent the client and protect his rights as well as influence the direction of the investigation as it unfolds. This also provides the opportunity to scrutinize the techniques of the investigating officers in order to ensure that there are no due process violations. Although it is not always possible to anticipate charges, if a person learns about an ongoing Federal or state investigation, it is crucial to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney like Hal M. Garfinkel immediately.

Give Yourself a Fighting Chance Against Criminal Charges

The Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney represent clients in Cook, DuPage, and Lake Counties, as well as throughout the rest of Illinois. We are committed to providing an aggressive and effective defense for our clients. We understand the financial burden of defending against Illinois criminal charges, so we offer our Chicago criminal lawyer services at competitive rates in order to ensure that everyone has access to the best legal defense possible. In addition, we believe that it is critical for our clients to be able to reach us at any time, so we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by telephone, email, or facsimile. Our initial consultation with prospective clients is free of charge. To schedule an appointment, call us at 312-270-0999 or complete our online contact form.


PHONE: 312-270-0999

FAX: 312-924-0201