The government has enormous resources and power in a criminal prosecution. It has the power to seize your property and to take away your freedom. Most of the time, the government has much of its evidence gathered and its case prepared before a defendant even first appears in court. That is why having knowledgeable, aggressive, and experienced counsel at your side at every stage of a criminal prosecution is critical.
William Beattie has spent his career committed to defending those accused of both felony and misdemeanor charges in state and federal courts. Some cases call for litigation to suppress evidence under the constitutional protections of the Fourth Amendment or to suppress confessions under the Fifth. Other cases require attacking the credibility of the government’s witnesses or presenting an affirmative defense. Each case is unique with its own challenges, but every case is important and every client deserves immediate and aggressive representation.
Bill has defended clients charged with crimes including:
Even a first time DUI can result in imprisonment, fines up to $2,500, and the suspension of your driver’s license for six months to one year. What was once considered a minor traffic matter is now prosecuted as a serious criminal offense throughout the State of Illinois. A second DUI can cause the indefinite revocation of your driving privileges, and a third DUI may be prosecuted as a felony which can result in a sentence of imprisonment for up to seven years.
If a DUI results in the death of another, the penalty ranges from three to fourteen years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. If a driver has more than five, the penalty can reach thirty years in prison. Moreover, in Illinois, you can be charged with the offense of driving under the influence seven different ways:
Now, more than ever, it is vital to obtain the best representation you can when faced with a DUI charge of any kind. William Beattie has helped clients charged with both misdemeanor and felony DUI offenses in Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, and McHenry Counties. Bill will meet with you and discuss both how to protect against the suspension of your driver’s license and aggressively defend against the criminal charges in court. Bill has taught defense attorneys how to successfully attack both in-court testimony and squad car video evidence at trial. He has also employed the use of expert witnesses to undermine the results of breath-alcohol testing and field sobriety testing. Should your case warrant it, he can discuss how to defend against your charges in the same way.
Effective representation in a DUI case begins when you meet your attorney. Bill is ready to immediately begin working to protect your rights and privileges that have been placed in jeopardy when you are charged with a DUI offense.
If you are not a citizen of the United States, a criminal conviction can lead to deportation, denial of citizenship, or a bar to returning to the U.S. after leaving. This is especially true during these difficult times when immigration policies and laws are changing in dramatic ways, and the risk of removal is greater. Criminal offenses classified as “aggravated felonies” or “crimes of moral turpitude” will initiate removal proceedings. Moreover, even a sentence of court supervision or the simple fact of being arrested may endanger your legal status if you are not a citizen.
The first step in reducing the risk of removal proceedings is understanding how the Department of Homeland Security treats your specific criminal matter. William Beattie has had extensive experience advising clients of the immigration consequences of a criminal case for those who are either legal resident aliens or undocumented. Bill can counsel you regarding how your particular case may affect your immigration status, and how you may be able to lessen the risk of deportation.
Being charged and convicted for a crime involving domestic violence can have severe and long-lasting consequences. The difference between a charge of domestic battery and “simple” battery is that the alleged victim is a family member, spouse, household member, or in a dating relationship with the accused. Because of these relationships, the punishment is more severe, and someone found guilty of domestic battery is subject to a criminal conviction that may remain on their record permanently.
Also unlike battery, someone charged with domestic battery must appear before a judge for a bond hearing and if released on bond, may not have any contact with their accuser, or even return to their home, for at least 72 hours.
Orders of Protection
In addition to the criminal charge, domestic violence cases often include the issuance of an order of protection that may limit where you may go and who you may speak with for up to two years. Even without an accompanying criminal charge, a civil order of protection can have the same restrictive effect.
Like a criminal conviction, an order of protection may also remain on your record permanently. Because of the lasting consequences of such an order, it is even more important to seek aggressive and expert representation when facing these types of allegations.
William Beattie has defended those accused of domestic battery or responding to orders of protection throughout Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, and McHenry counties.
If your driving privileges have been suspended or revoked, you may not lawfully operate a motor vehicle. This denial of your driving privileges can last anywhere from six months up to an indefinite period of time. If you are arrested for driving with a suspended or revoked license, you may be prosecuted and sentenced to up to one year of imprisonment. In many cases, the penalty for driving with a suspended or revoked license is more serious than circumstances that caused that driver’s license to be taken away in the first place. William Beattie has worked with clients in countless matters pertaining to the reinstatement of their driving privileges. In some cases, it can be a simple as vacating a court finding on an old traffic matter. Other cases require appearing at an administrative hearing before the Illinois Secretary of State to reinstate their privileges that were revoked due to a conviction for DUI.
The laws and procedures for reinstating driving privileges are complex and obtaining a favorable decision can be difficult. That is why it is more important than ever to have the aid of an experienced attorney when you are seeking to reinstate your driving privileges.
For many of us, driving is not a luxury; it is a necessity. Having skilled counsel by your side as you work to regain this privilege is also a necessity. If your goal is gaining some form of relief from the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges, We can help you navigate the process to put a license back in your hands.
The record of a criminal arrest can stay with you for a lifetime. If you have been arrested for a criminal offense, it is likely that you also have a criminal record even if the case was dismissed or you were found not guilty. That record is readily available to employers, business lenders, educational institutions, and others though simple background checks. The only way to maintain a clean record is through a petition to either expunge or seal the record of your arrest, or a petition for executive clemency.
Expunging a criminal record results in that record being completely erased from the files of law enforcement agencies and circuit court data bases. If your case is not eligible for expungement, you may be able to seal the arrest record so that only law enforcement and the courts—but not the general public—may have access.
The laws regarding expunging or sealing criminal records in Illinois are complex and change frequently. Additionally, not all cases are eligible for expungement or sealing. That is why it is important to have the help of experienced counsel if you are attempting to clear your record. William Beattie has helped clients clear their criminal record in cases where the charges were dismissed, in cases where they were found not guilty, in misdemeanor cases where they received supervision, and even in certain felony cases after a sentence of probation. In cases where expungement was not possible, Bill has helped clients seal their arrest records and shield them from the public.
In certain cases which are not eligible for either expungement or sealing, a criminal conviction may be pardoned through a grant of executive clemency by the governor of the state of Illinois. Bill has successfully represented clients before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board seeking executive clemency for misdemeanor and felony convictions that were ineligible for either expungement or sealing.
If you are seeking to clear your record, We will help you select the option that provides you with the best chance of success and a fresh start.