Laurels

Best Criminal Defense Attorneys
2022

The Best Criminal Defense Attorneys
Here Are The Top Criminal Defense Attorneys
Meyer Capel

Meyer Capel

Meyer Capel is a multi-disciplinary law firm founded in the early 1960s, that operates from offices in Champaign and Bloomington. Its criminal and traffic law practice defends people accused of state offenses, such as petty traffic violations and non-probational felonies. These include persons charged with murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping, arson, and grand larceny. Traffic violations the firm handles include aggravated speeding in a school or construction zone, reckless driving, and possession of more than one license by a commercial driver.

Champaign, IL 61820

Website

Website
Cherie Kesler Attorney at Law

Cherie Kesler Attorney at Law

Cherie Kesler, Attorney at Law, is a multi-practice firm serving clients in Champaign since 2001. It protects the legal rights of individuals accused of crimes, including DWI/DUI. Cherie E. Kesler, the firm's founder, also advises and represents clients in the areas of family, elder, and corporate law. She grew up in the area, providing her with an understanding of the dynamics of the surrounding communities. Kelser is an advocate for individuals and families and participates in activities that promote learning and musical enrichment for children.

Savoy, IL 61874

Website

Website
JP Law Office

JP Law Office

JP Law Office offers criminal defense advocacy for individuals throughout Champaign and the surrounding metros. The firm's attorney, Jennifer Patton, has been practicing law for over 20 years and draws on her background as a former prosecutor in devising strategies to help clients fight criminal charges filed against them. She and her team take on cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, as well as traffic offenses and driving under the influence charges. Patton also handles family law cases.

Bloomington, IL 61701

Website

Website
Cisco Law, P.C.

Cisco Law, P.C.

Cisco Law, P.C., provides legal services to Champaign and the neighboring cities. It defends the rights of clients arrested for criminal charges involving battery and assault, traffic tickets, unlawful possession of firearms, drug offenses, and DUI. It also offers legal assistance to individuals who obtained additional charges for resisting arrest. In addition to criminal defense, the law firm represents victims of medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, and car accidents. Its founder, Jeff Cisco, brings over 17 years of legal experience.

Champaign, IL 61820

WebsiteInstagram

Website
Office of Jerome P. Lyke Attorney

Office of Jerome P. Lyke Attorney

The Office of Jerome P. Lyke Attorney is a Champaign-based firm that represents individuals with civil and criminal cases in state and federal courts. It provides criminal defense for traffic and DUI violations. The firm also assists with family law matters, such as divorce, prenuptial agreements, child custody, and adoption. Other practice areas include personal injury, real estate, and estate planning. Jerome has been practicing law since 1982 and is currently part of the board of the Urbana-Champaign Sanitary District.

Champaign, IL 61820

Website

Website
Lance C. Cagle Attorney at Law

Lance C. Cagle Attorney at Law

Lance C. Cagle, Attorney at Law, caters to clients in Champaign and its surrounding communities. Cagle focuses his practice on criminal defense, working on drug and alcohol-related offenses, theft, burglary, and sexual assault cases. He has represented clients in court, resulting in their charges reduces or dismissed, and has won acquittals in bench and jury trials. Cagle also works with individuals facing charges for driving under the influence and those with traffic offenses. He serves as a National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers member.

Paxton, IL 60957

Website

Website
Skelton & Wong, PC

Skelton & Wong, PC

Skelton & Wong, PC, handles criminal defense cases in Champaign and the surrounding communities. Its attorneys work on felony, misdemeanor, domestic violence, sex offense, and drug possession claims. They hold trial experience, representing defendants in various stages and litigation levels. One of its lawyers, Steven Skelton, has been in practice since 1976. He has tried over 500 claims to juries and won federal and state court cases. Skelton is also a member of the Elite Capital Litigation Trial Bar.

Bloomington, IL 61701

Website

Website
Daniel P. Fossier, Attorney at Law

Daniel P. Fossier, Attorney at Law

Daniel P. Fossier, Attorney at Law, has been serving clients in Champaign and the surrounding areas for more than two decades. He advocates for the rights and liberties of those accused or under investigation for felony or misdemeanor offenses, such as DUI. Fossier also handles cases in the areas of business, family, and personal injury law. While working for Hughes, Hill & Tenney for more than nine years, he defended the interests of physicians and businesses.

Champaign, IL 61820

Website

Website
James D. Bass Attorney at Law

James D. Bass Attorney at Law

James D. Bass, Attorney at Law, has been serving clients in the Champaign metro for over three decades. He represents individuals accused of crimes and has experience with misdemeanor or felony cases. Bass creates a custom defense plan and uses an aggressive approach to obtain a fair bail. He also advocates for clients in trials involving a range of issues, from contract disputes to breaches of fiduciary duty. He also takes on other cases related to real estate and family law.

Bloomington, IL 61701

Website

Website
Couri Law Office

Couri Law Office

The Couri Law Office represents clients in various legal proceedings in Champaign. It defends individuals charged with criminal offenses and works to obtain favorable legal remedies, including dismissed charges or minimized penalties, to preserve clients' rights. It also handles DUI cases and provides legal advice on driving relief and reinstatement. In addition, the firm covers estate planning, business startup and organization, parental responsibilities, guardianship and adoption, and orders of protection. Principal Diane Couri has been in the legal practice since 2012.

Decatur, IL 62523

Website

Website

Expert Answers To Common Questions:

  1. What does a criminal defense lawyer do?
  2. How do I know if I need a criminal attorney?
  3. What steps should I take after being charged with a crime?
  4. What if I can’t afford a criminal defense lawyer?
  5. Why hire a criminal defense attorney?
  6. Are legal fees for criminal defense tax deductible?
Q: What does a criminal defense lawyer do?
A:
Criminal defense attorneys provide help to those facing misdemeanor or felony criminal charges. The attorney will research the circumstances surrounding the charge and investigate the case on behalf of the client. This may involve talking to police, interviewing witnesses, determining a plea, and assessing possible sentences. With this information, the defense attorney can negotiate plea deals or navigate a court case on behalf of the client. In some cases, the attorney may get a case dismissed entirely, a reduction in bail or jail time, or probation or community service instead of prison.
Q: How do I know if I need a criminal attorney?
A:

Any criminal charge that could result in a prison sentence requires the help of a criminal defense lawyer. This applies to both misdemeanor and felony charges, including:

Misdemeanors

  • Petty theft
  • Public intoxication
  • Simple assault
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Vandalism
  • Reckless driving

Felonies

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Aggravated assault
  • Specific types of fraud
  • Possession of certain types of drugs

Q: What steps should I take after being charged with a crime?
A:
The first thing to do after being charged with a crime is to contact a criminal defense attorney. It is best to hire a defense attorney as soon as possible after being released from arrest, and before an arraignment takes place. The attorney will explain charges in detail, and possible consequences, to help you decide whether a plea deal or a jury trial is the best option. Most attorneys offer free consultations to discuss the circumstances of a criminal case and how they're able to assist. Speaking with a number of defense attorneys before hiring one can increase the likelihood of finding the right fit, and getting the best defense possible.
Q: What if I can’t afford a criminal defense lawyer?
A:
All Americans are afforded the right to hire an attorney to act as a defense in a legal case. However, not everyone can afford one. If an attorney isn’t in a defendant’s budget, and the defendant’s income meets designated state or local thresholds, the court system will provide a public defender. This attorney usually works on cases pro bono or without any fees paid by the defendant. Many public defenders have a high caseload, which can limit the amount of time they are able to devote to each case. In most situations, hiring a dedicated criminal defense lawyer ensures the best outcome. This is particularly true in more serious felony cases that can result in a significant prison sentence without the involvement of a skilled, experienced defense attorney.
Q: Why hire a criminal defense attorney?
A:
Working with a criminal defense attorney is the best way to minimize the ramifications of committing or being accused of a crime. Criminal attorneys thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding a case to prove innocence or inspire reasonable doubt in a jury. Criminal defense lawyers also are better prepared to negotiate with the prosecutors. Due to the high cost and logistics involved with taking a case to trial, many prosecutors are willing to reduce sentences in exchange for avoiding a jury trial. An experienced criminal attorney understands what would be a reasonable deal for a specific criminal charge, and will negotiate it on behalf of the defendant.
A:
Whether legal fees from a criminal case can be deducted on a tax return depends on the circumstances. If criminal charges pertain to activities related to a trade or business, attorney fees can be deducted on a business tax return, as they are considered an expense associated with the normal course of business. However, personal legal fees cannot be deducted.