Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Defense

Answers from a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

As the founder of Hallock Law, I, Thomas C. Hallock, have noticed over the years that many of my clients share the same kinds of concerns and questions. To better assist my clients at the start, I have created a list of some of the most commonly asked questions I have encountered, and provided the answers below. I hope you find this page useful.

Learn more about your options & rights below.

  • I've been arrested. What should I do next?

    If you have been arrested, please remember that you have the right to remain silent . Remain courteous, but know that everything you say to law enforcement can and will be used against you. Contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney such as myself as soon as possible. The sooner you retain legal representation, the higher the chances that you will obtain a successful outcome.
  • What is the difference between felonies and misdemeanors?

    Felonies are charges that include penalties of at least 1 year in prison, expensive fines, and a criminal record that may follow you for the rest of your life. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies but still include penalties of up to 1 year in jail, fines, and a criminal record . Regardless of whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, you should immediately seek a skilled criminal defense attorney.
  • I have a criminal record that is making it difficult to secure employment. What are my options?

    Depending on the kind of criminal record you have, you may be eligible for an expungement or a record sealing. However, some convictions, such as many felonies and some misdemeanors, may not be removable without the pardon of the governor. Please consult with me in order to determine if you are eligible for this special kind of clemency.
  • Why can't I just defend myself?

    While it's true that you can defend yourself from criminal charges, I highly discourage you from doing so. Prosecutors do not have a reputation for being lenient. In addition, the judicial system can be complex and overwhelming to navigate, especially if this is your first brush with the law. You need to have a lawyer on your side who will protect your rights and guide you through the entire process.
  • Why should I choose to hire your firm?

    My firm has a reputation for providing top-notch legal representation that is both caring and aggressive. I realize that my clients are experiencing what is arguably going to be one of the most difficult situations they will ever have to face. My goal is to obtain the most favorable outcome available, such as a charge reduction or case dismissal. I believe we all deserve second chances , and I wish to help you obtain yours. In addition, I proudly offer all my clients a free case evaluation and make myself available to them, 24/7. When I say I care about the men and women I represent, I truly mean it.

More questions? Call Hallock Law for a free case review.

If your question was not answered here, please contact me for more in-depth answers. I can go over your charges with you and discuss your potential options. I want to make sure you are educated and informed about your situation and know what to expect.

Call (888) 412-3741 to reach my firm.

HELPFUL TIPS FROM ME TO YOU

HOW TO PROPERLY EXERCISE YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

What You Should Do

  • Be respectful at all times.
  • Calmly record the interaction.
  • Ask if you are free to leave. If you do not ask, the officer may think—and the judge may agree—that the interaction was consensual.
  • If you are free to leave, go! If you are not free to leave, respectfully but firmly ask to speak with your lawyer.

What You Should Not Do

  • Do not physically resist arrest.
  • Do not become aggressive or confrontational.
  • Do not consent to a search. The Constitution does not apply if you consent.
  • Do not answer questions without first speaking with your attorney. Police are allowed to hold you for 48 hours and they may lie to you the entire time.

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