Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

I am a free man today.
I owe my life to Hal.


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If it wasn't for Hal,
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He's a fantastic attorney & counselor. He will actively listen to you.
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Hal is the man, took care of everything.
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Chicago Criminal Lawyer

Cook County Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being arrested for a criminal offense in Illinois can have severe legal, financial, and emotional consequences for the individual charged with the crime, as well as his or her family. If you have been accused of a crime in the Chicago area or throughout Illinois, or if you 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. Mr. Garfinkel previously served a prosecutor, providing him with knowledge about how the prosecution will build a case against a defendant. With nearly 30 years of experience representing the interests of individuals involved in criminal cases, he is prepared to advocate zealously on your behalf, bringing energy, skill, and knowledge to your defense strategy.

A complete dismissal of the charges may be 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. Mr. Garfinkel has an extensive history of getting acquittals at trial or getting a verdict on a lesser included charge. 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 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 fax. To schedule a free consultation, contact us at 312-629-0669.

Chicago Criminal Defense

An experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer 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, a criminal defense attorney also must understand how the prosecution intends to present the case in order to counter the evidence and arguments that will be used. Having experts such as investigators or reconstruction specialists on staff or retainer means that Mr. Garfinkel can investigate the evidence being used to support the charges and discover flaws in the prosecution's case. With this knowledge, he can mount an effective defense and help you avoid being convicted or ensure that you can minimize the potential consequences you may face.

First-degree homicide is one of the most serious criminal charges, and a conviction can result in a sentence of life in prison. Other forms of murder, including second-degree homicide, involuntary manslaughter, and vehicular homicide can also result in severe consequences. For those who are facing accusations of these types of crimes, it is essential to have representation from a skilled defense attorney.
Sexual Assault
Allegations of sex crimes can not only lead to serious criminal charges, but they can have a major impact on a person's reputation, their relationships with family and friends, their standing in the community, and their career. In addition to serving a lengthy prison sentence, a person who is convicted will be required to register as a sex offender, affecting their ability to find a job or a place to live in the future.
While assault and battery are often charged together, they are two separate offenses, with battery involving the infliction of harm on someone else. A charge may be elevated to aggravated battery if the person allegedly caused great bodily harm, disability, or disfigurement or injured someone through the use of a firearm. Aggravated battery is a felony offense, and a conviction can result in a lengthy prison sentence.
Robbery, Burglary
and Theft
Property crimes can vary in severity based on the value of the items that were allegedly stolen. However, more serious charges may apply if a person allegedly committed robbery by taking items from someone while using or threatening force, or burglary may be charged if a person allegedly entered someone else's property with the intent of committing theft. Robbery and burglary are typically charged as Class 2 felonies.
In many cases, a person who is accused of stealing a motor vehicle will face theft charges, and the level of the offense will depend on the value of the allegedly stolen property. However, other types of charges may also apply in certain situations, such as vehicular invasion or vehicular hijacking charges in carjacking cases or charges of criminal trespass of a vehicle in cases involving joyriding.
Crimes Involving
Offenses that are allegedly committed against children can result in serious charges and severe consequences. Domestic battery cases may involve accusations of child abuse or child endangerment, and if DCFS becomes involved, a parent could lose custody of their children. In more serious cases, a person may be accused of child sex offenses or possession or distribution of child pornography.

Federal Crimes

Many criminal offenses are charged at the state level. However, when a person is accused of committing an offense that affects people in multiple states, involves interstate or international commerce, or violates federal laws, they may face charges at the federal level. These types of cases can be very serious, since they will be investigated and prosecuted by agents working for federal agencies who have significant resources, and convictions for federal crimes will often lead to lengthy prison sentences and large fines. In these cases, defendants need to secure representation from an attorney who knows how to deal with investigations by federal agencies and work with federal prosecutors and who has experience representing clients in federal courts.

Drug Crimes

A person who is charged with possession of a controlled substance may face misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the amount of the drug in question. Possession of large quantities of drugs may lead to charges of drug distribution or delivery. A person who is accused of transporting or delivering drugs across state lines or international borders may face federal drug trafficking charges.

Immigration Fraud

Those who come to the United States from other countries must meet a variety of legal requirements to ensure that they can live in the country and earn an income. Violations of immigration laws, including falsifying immigration documents, can lead to charges of immigration fraud, and a person may face imprisonment or deportation. Certain types of crimes are also considered deportable offenses, and a conviction could result in an immigrant being removed from the U.S.

Identity Theft

A person may be charged with identity theft if they allegedly held themselves out to be someone else in an effort to obtain money or property using misrepresentation, false claims, or other deceptive practices. In some cases, state fraud charges may apply, but if fraudulent activity allegedly affected people in multiple states or involved interstate or international commerce, an offense may be charged at the federal level.


While the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, a person may face multiple types of weapons charges based on the possession or use of firearms. These charges may involve possession of illegal weapons, unlawful use of a weapon, or illegally selling or transferring a weapon. If firearms were allegedly sold or transported across state lines, a person may face federal weapons charges.

White Collar Crimes

Certain types of criminal charges involve offenses of a financial nature rather than situations related to the threat of violence or the infliction of bodily harm. Potential charges may include multiple types of fraud, such as mortgage fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, or credit card fraud. The alleged misuse of someone else's information could lead to charges of identity theft or other internet crimes. A person may also be charged with money laundering if they allegedly attempted to conceal the source of money obtained through illegal activity. While some white collar crimes are charged at the state level, federal charges may apply if people in multiple states were affected by a person's alleged actions.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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