Wigell Criminal Defense-Representing Individuals Charged on the Federal Level

Wigell Criminal Defense has represented clients charged in Federal District Court for over 41 years. The Federal Criminal Court System is significantly different from state court.  When a client is charged with a Federal Criminal Matter, he/she should be represented by an experienced federal criminal defense attorney.

Additionally, when a client is under investigation by a Federal Law Enforcement Agency and no charges have been filed at that time, it is crucial for a client to have an attorney representing him/her at this stage. Having an attorney at this stage may mitigate or even avoid Federal Criminal Charges all together.  Examples of the Federal Law Enforcement Agencies that WCD has interacted with include:

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

Secret Service (SS)

Internal-Revenue Service-Criminal-Investigation-Division (IRS-CID)

Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)

Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

U.S. Postal Inspectors (USPI)

United States Department of Labor Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations

International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)

Wigell Criminal Defense is currently representing clients under investigation and charged with the following federal crimes:

Conspiracy to Commit Sex Trafficking (18 U.S.C. § 1594)

Conspiracy to Commit Transportation to Engage in Prostitution (18 U.S.C. § 371)

Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956)

Conspiracy to Use A Communication Facility to Promote Prostitution (18 U.S.C. § 371)

Identity Theft (18 U.S.C §1028(a))

Postal Theft (18 U.S.C § 1708)

Possession of a Controlled Substance (21 U.S.C. 841)

Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute (21 U.S.C § 841)

Possession of Child Pornography (18 U.S.C § 1952)

Distribution of Child Pornography (21 U.S.C § 843)

Tax Evasion (26 U.S.C § 7201)

Tax Fraud (26 U.S.C § 7201)

Counterfeiting and Forgery (18 U.S.C § 25)

Insurance Fraud (18 U.S.C § 1956)

Possession of Firearm in Interstate Commerce (18 U.S.C § 922)

Fraud (18 U.S.C § 47)

Sex Trafficking (18 U.S.C § 1591)

Wire Fraud (18 U.S.C § 1343)

UCB Fraud (31 USC §3729)

Interstate Commerce of Contraband (15 U.S.C § 715(b))

Transportation of Child Pornography (18 U.S.C § 2252)

Distribution of Child Pornography (21 U.S.C § 843)

Possession of Child Pornography (18 U.S.C § 1952)

Conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute a controlled substance (21 U.S.C § 846)

Manufacturing and Delivery of Heroin >500 grams (18 U.S.C § 841)

Brandishment of a Firearm in Furtherance of Violence (18 U.S.C § 2241)

Felon Possession of a Weapon (18 U.S.C § 2241)

RICO (Rackateering Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act) (18 U.S.C § 96)

Wire Fraud (18 U.S.C § 1343)

Conspiracy to Access or Caused to be Accessed a Protected Computer (18 U.S.C § 1030)

Fraud (18 U.S.C § 47)

Postal Theft (18 U.S.C § 1708)

Tax Evasion (26 U.S.C § 7201)

Filing A False Tax Return (26 U.S.C § 7206(2))

Medicaid Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 287)

Copyright Infringement (17 U.S.C. § 506(a))

Conspiracy to Commit Federal Program Bribery (18 U.S.C § 371)

Conspiracy to Commit Extortion (18 U.S.C § 1951(a))

Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Minor (18 U.S.C § 2241)

Theft of Government Funds (18, U.S.C § 641)

Presenting False Claims (18 U.S.C § 287)

Conspiracy to Traffic in Contraband Cigarettes (18 U.S.C § 2342)

 

Representation of a Wide Multitude of Criminal Charges

Wigell Criminal Defense prides itself on its Holistic Winning Defense Strategies. The firm has represented many clients in a wide variety of criminal charges in the State of Illinois.  Wigell Criminal Defense zealously represents their clients.  We Win Criminal Defense Cases Other Lawyers Said Were Impossible To Win.

Wigell Criminal Defense (as of 6/15/17) represents clients charged in the State of Illinois of the following crimes/charges:

  1. White Collar Crimes
  2. Sex Crimes
  3. Drug Crimes
  4. Violent Crimes
  5. Weapons Crimes
  6. Property Crimes
  7. Other Crimes
  1. White Collar Crimes

Continuing Financial Crimes Enterprise (720 ILCS 5/17-10.6(h))

Financial Institution Fraud (720 ILCS 5/17-10.6(c))

RICO (720 ILCS 5/33G)

Theft (720 ILCS 5/16-1)

Forgery (720 ILCS 5/17-3)

Identity Theft (720 ILCS 5/16-30)

Deceptive Practices (720 ILCS 5/17-1)

Mail Fraud & Wire Fraud (720 ILCS 5/17-24)

Computer Fraud (720 ILCS 5/17-50)

Internet Offenses (720 ILCS 5/16-40)

2. Sex Crimes

Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault (720 ILCS 5/12-14)

Attempt Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault (720 ILCS 5/8-4(11-1.30)

Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse (720 ILCS 5/12-16)

Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse (Juvenile) (720 ILCS 5/12-16)

Attempt Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse of a Family Member under 18 (720 ILCS 5/11-1.60 (b))

Criminal Sexual Assault (720 ILCS 5/11-1.20)

Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault (720 ILCS 5/12-14.1)

Sexual Exploitation of a Child (720 ILCS 5/11-9.1)

Possession of Child Pornography (720 ILCS 5/11-20.1)

Aggravated Possession of Child Pornography (720 ILCS 5/11-20.1)

Distribution of Child Pornography (720 ILCS 5/11-20.1)

Traveling to Meet a Minor (720 ILCS 5/11-26)

Public Indecency (720 ILCS 5/11-9)

Obscenity (720 ILCS 5/11-20)

Indecent Solicitation of a Child (720 ILCS 5/11-6(a))

Grooming (720 ILCS 5/11-25)

Solicitation to Meet a Child (720 ILCS 5/11-6.6(a))

Sex Trafficking (720 ILCS 5/10-9)

3. Drug Crimes

Drug Trafficking (720 ILCS 570/401.1)

Cannabis Trafficking (720 ILCS 550/5.1)

Unlawful Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Deliver (720 ILCS 550/5(g))

Manufacture or Delivery of Cannabis (720 ILCS 550/5(d))

Unlawful Possession of Cannabis (720 ILCS 550/4(g))

Manufacture and Delivery of Cocaine 400-900 Grams (720 ILCS 570/401(a)(2))C))

Possession of Cocaine 400-900 Grams (720 ILCS 570/402(a)(2)(C))

DUI (625 ILCS 5/11-501(A))

Aggravated DUI (625 ILCS 5/11-501(D))

4. Violent Crimes

First Degree Murder (720 ILCS 5/9-1)

Attempted Murder (720 ILCS 5/8-4(a))

RICO (720 ILCS 5/33G)

Armed Robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-2)

Aggravated Robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-1)

Attempt Armed Robbery (720 ILCS 8/4 (18-2(a)(2))

Home Invasion (720 ILCS 5/19-6)

Aggravated Kidnapping (720 ILCS 5/10-2)

Aggravated Battery (720 ILCS 5/12-3.05)

Battery (720 ILCS 5/12-3)

Aggravated Domestic Battery (720 ILCS 5/12-3.3)

Aggravated Assault (720 ILCS 5/12-2)

Unlawful Restraint (720 ILCS 5/10-3)

Aggravated Unlawful Restraint (720 ILCS 5/10-3.1 (A))

5. Weapons Crimes

Armed Violence (720 ILCS 5/33A-2(a))

Unlawful Use of a Weapon (720 ILCS 5/24-1)

Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (720 ILCS 5/24-1.6)

Unlawful Use or Possession of a Weapon by a Felon (720 ILCS 5/24-1.1)

Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm (720 ILCS 24/1.2(a)(2))

Defacing the Identification Marks of a Firearm (720 ILCS 5/24-5(b))

6. Property Crimes

Residential Burglary (720 ILCS 5/19-3)

Burglary (720 ILCS 5/19-1)

Possession of Burglary Tools (720 ILCS 5/19-2)

Retail Theft (720 ILCS 5/16-25)

Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle (625 ILCS 5/4-103)

Felony Driving on a Suspended/Revoked License (625 5/6-303(a)/(d))

Obstruction of Justice (720 ILCS 5/31-4)

7. Other

Concealing or Aiding a Fugitive (720 ILCS 5/31-5(a))

Violation of Bail Bond (720 ILCS 5/32-10)

Violation of Probation (730 ILCS 5/5-6-4)

Violation of Mandatory Supervised Release (730 ILCS 5/3-3-9)

As of 06/15/17

Wigell Criminal Defense-Representing Clients throughout the State of Illinois and Outside the State of Illinois.

Wigell Criminal Defense strives to deliver top quality representation. Since 1975, the firm has developed and successfully executed Holistic Winning Defense Strategies.  Our firm has developed an excellent reputation not only throughout the State of Illinois, but outside the State of Illinois, Nationally and Internationally.  Our firm represents clients charged with federal crimes in many states outside of Illinois as well as countries outside of the United States.   Our firm has also represented clients in 36+ of the 102 counties in Illinois.  A list of current case locations is at the end of this post.

Representing clients in different federal jurisdictions and Illinois counties on the state level can be a challenging task to an attorney who does not regularly engage in practice outside of their home county or federal jurisdiction. Each federal jurisdiction and county court operates differently as they each have their distinct customs and terminology for certain court procedures.  Judges and prosecutors in different federal jurisdictions and counties have varying types of idiosyncrasies which can be challenging to work with.

At Wigell Criminal Defense, having the opportunity to serve our clients in multiple federal jurisdictions outside the State of Illinois and Unites States as well as counties throughout the state of Illinois have given us the opportunity to learn and assimilate to these different cultures.  We also have learned how to positively interact with Judges and Prosecutors throughout these federal jurisdictions and counties to better serve our clients.

Another benefit to serving clients in multiple federal jurisdictions outside of Illinois and counties throughout Illinois is the experience that Wigell Criminal Defense brings to each and every case. Many local attorneys in the smaller outlying counties do not have the level of experience of handling complex felony cases.  Many of the local attorneys do not handle complex felony cases on a regular basis as the volume of these types of cases is typically lower in smaller counties.  Wigell Criminal Defense has handled all types of complex federal and state felony cases on multiple occasions throughout its 41+ years of practice. The firm has developed the skills and knowledge necessary to handle its cases diligently and effectively.

Wigell Criminal Defense provides top quality representation to all of its clients throughout the State of Illinois and the multiple jurisdictions outside of Illinois. Our team approach continues to employ holistic winning strategies to obtain extraordinary results in complex and difficult cases that other lawyers said were impossible to win.

Our practice serves clients in Federal Courts within and outside The State of Illinois. Wigell Criminal Defense is currently representing clients nationally and internationally in the following Federal Jurisdictions and International Jurisdictions:

  • The Northern District of Illinois

o  Chicago

  • The Central District of Illinois

o  Springfield

______________________________________________________________

  • Southbend, Indiana, U.S.A. (Northern District of Indiana)
  • Davenport, Iowa, U.S.A. (District Court of Iowa, Eastern Division)
  • St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A. (District Court of Minnesota)
  • St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A (Eastern District of Missouri)
  • Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. (District Court of California, Central Division)
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.A.

_______________________________________________________________

  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • London, U.K.

WCD currently represents clients in the following municipal districts:

  • Cook County-Chicago (1st Municipal District)
    • 26th and California
    • Daley Center
    • 555 West Harrison
  • Cook County-Suburban Districts
      • Additionally, outside of Chicago, Cook County has 5 suburban districts which handle all criminal cases in the suburbs encompassed within the specified
      • district
    • Skokie
      • 2nd Municipal District
    • Rolling Meadows
      • 3rd Municipal District
    • Bridgeview
      • 5th Municipal District
    • Markham
      • 6th Municipal District
  • Will County, City of Joliet
  • Du Page County, City of Wheaton
  • Kane County, City of St. Charles
  • Kendall County, City of Yorkville
  • Iroquois County, City of Watseka
  • Grundy County, City of Morris
  • Ogle County, City of Oregon
  • Henry County, City of Cambridge

Childhood Sexual Abuse-Statute of Limitations-Civil and Criminal

Childhood Sexual Abuse is one of the most traumatic experiences that a person can endure in their childhood. In many instances, childhood sexual abuse can go on for months, even years without anyone reporting the occurrence of the abuse.  In some instances, some victims fail to report the abuse for months to years, even decades, for a variety of reasons.  These reasons can range from:

  • Fear of the perpetrator
  • Embarrassment of being a victim of such abuse
  • Not wanting to face the trauma of the abuse
  • Wanting to forget what happened and move on
  • In some instances, the victim may recover the repressed the memory of the sexual abuse during their adulthood

Civil Statute of Limitations

Recognizing these reasons, the State legislature over the past several decades have made changes to the Statute of Limitations to help the victims obtain relief in civil causes of action. Specifically, the legislature has made changes to the statute of limitations for filing a cause of action of Childhood Sexual Abuse by extending the limitations time period for filing. The statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases plays a very important role when determining the viability of filing a cause of action in the civil courts.

The current Statute of Limitations for filing a cause of action in the civil courts is 20 years after the victim’s 18th birthday.  This time period for filing has been extended significantly over the past several decades.  The statute defines Childhood Sexual Abuse as an act of sexual abuse that occurs when the person abused was UNDER 18 years of age at the time of the abuse.  The statute of limitations does not begin running until the victim turns 18.

There are also nuances to the Statute of Limitations that a victim should be aware of if they are considering to file this type of cause of action. There are traditional and specific nuances to the statute of limitations. The traditional nuances to filing under the civil statute of limitations that apply to all civil cases.  Those traditional nuances include:

  • Plaintiff is a minor.
  • Plaintiff has been deemed insane.
  • Plaintiff has been convicted of a felony and is imprisoned
  • Defendant is in bankruptcy.
  • Defendant is not physically present in a state.
  • Filing of an action which is later voluntarily dismissed.
  • Parties were engaged in good-faith negotiations to resolve the dispute

There are specific nuances to the statute of limitations that apply specifically to a civil cause of action of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Those specific nuances include:

  • One such nuance is what is known as the “Discovery Rule.” The discovery rule is a variation to the statute’s requirement that the 20-year period begins to run after the victim has attained the age of 18. The discovery rule tolls (Tolling is a legal doctrine which allows for the pausing or delaying of the running of the period of time set forth by a statute of limitations) the statute of limitations until the person discovers that they were victims of the sexual abuse and that they sustained an injury resulting from the sexual abuse.  One scenario triggering the discovery rule is when a victim previously repressed the memory of the sexual abuse and recovered that memory through psychotherapy. When that memory is recovered and it is determined that the injury was caused by the childhood sexual abuse, then the statute of limitations begins to run from the date the victim discovers BOTH the memory of the abuse and that the injury they sustained was caused by the sexual abuse. Knowledge of the abuse alone does not trigger the “discovery rule” alone but the victim must also discover that he or she sustained an injury caused by the sexual abuse.
  • Another variation to the discovery rule is when there is a continuing series of childhood sexual abuse by the same abuser. To give rise to the continuing series variation, the injury must be caused by two or more acts of the childhood sexual abuse that are a part of the continuing series of sexual abuse by the same abuser. The discovery rule shall be computed for the date the victim abused discovers both the last act of childhood sexual abuse occurred in the continuing series and that the injury was caused by ANY act of the childhood sexual abuse in the continuing series. Knowledge of the abuse alone does not trigger the “discovery rule” alone either in this variation. As with the previously mentioned variation of the discovery rule, the victim must also discover that the injury sustained by the sexual abuse. In this case, the injury can result from ANY ACT of the continuing series.
  • Another nuance to the discovery rule is if the victim at the time of the age of 18 is subject to a legal disability. In this instance, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the Victim’s legal disability is removed.
  • Additionally, the statute of limitations can also be tolled during a time period where the victim is subject to threats, intimidation, manipulation or fraud perpetrated by the abuser or any person acting on behalf of the abuser. The statute of limitations would essentially stop running during the specific time period where the victim Is subject to the aforementioned conduct.

The Statute of limitations has been extended by the legislature on several occasions over the recent years to help the victims of sexual abuse obtain relief. The legislature continues to make efforts to further extend the statute of limitations.  A new bill (HB 3629) has recently been proposed to eliminate the 20-year statute of limitations requirement in its entirety.  The objective of the new bill would give victims the opportunity to file a cause of action at ANY TIME without any time limitations for filing.  It currently is awaiting House approval before proceeding to the Senate.

Criminal Prosecution Statute of Limitations

In addition to the statute of limitations in filing a civil cause of action, there is also a statute of limitations nuance regarding filing criminal charges in prosecutions in child sex cases.

As of 2003, the current law in Illinois is that a victim of sexual assault as a minor (under the age of 18 at the time of the offense) must file criminal charges twenty years after attaining the age of 18. That means it must be filed before the “victim’s” 38th birthday.  This is the current law in Illinois.

However, a new bill (SB189) has recently passed the Senate and the House eliminating the Statute of Limitations in its entirety in prosecutions for child sex cases. SB189 provides in pertinent part:

  • Provides that when the victim is under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, a prosecution for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, or criminal sexual abuse may be commenced at any time regardless as to whether corroborating physical evidence is available or an individual who is required to report an alleged or suspected commission of any of these offenses under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act fails to do so. (Emphasis Added)

So essentially, a prosecution for the above-named sex offenses in relation to minors can be filed at any time. The bill is now awaiting Governor Bruce Rauner’s signature to become law.

If you or someone you know is the victim of childhood sexual abuse, there is hope for relief. The victim should contact an experienced attorney to determine whether they have a viable civil cause of action. Determining the viability of filing a cause of action of Childhood Sexual Abuse requires a very diligent and detailed analysis due to the complexity of the nature of this cause of action.  It is imperative to consult an experienced attorney who is well versed in the nuances and complexities of this cause of action.

If you are considering pursuing this particular type of cause of action, contact the Law Offices of Raymond G. Wigell, Ltd to speak to an experienced attorney to determine the viability of pursuing such a claim.

Charges: Possession of a Firearm by a Street Gang Member–Class 2 Felony (2-10 years IDOC), Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (AUUW)-Class 4 Felony (1-3 Years IDOC); Result: ALL CHARGES DISMISSED ON DAY OF TRIAL

Client was accused of illegally possessing a loaded gun. Specifically, the client was accused of running from police who responded to a call of shots fired.  The client was further accused of entering a home without permission and was allegedly witnessed by police tossing the loaded gun into a speaker box in an attempt to hide it.  To make matters more serious, the police further accused the client of being a member of a Chicago Street Gang while illegally possessing the loaded gun.

The Charges are broken down as follows:

  • Possession of a Firearm by a Street Gang Member
    • Class 2 Felony (3-10 Years IDOC)
    • An individual convicted of this charge must serve at least 50% of their sentence before being eligible for Mandatory Supervised Release (Formerly Known as Parole)
    • This charge is also NON-PROBATIONABLE
    • A Class 2 felony is typically 3-7 years in the penitentiary. However, this offense is subject to an extended 3-10 years IDOC sentencing parameter due the nature of the charge resulting from the individual being a member of a Street Gang while illegally possessing a loaded firearm.
  • Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (AUUW)
    • Class 4 Felony (1-3 years IDOC)
    • An individual convicted of this charge must serve at least 50% of their sentence before being eligible for Mandatory Supervised Release (Formerly Known as Parole)
    • This charge is also NON-PROBATIONABLE and individual must serve a mandatory sentence of 1 year in IDOC due to the nature of the charge.
    • The client was also charged with multiple counts of AUUW predicated on the following theories:
      • Did not possess a valid FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) card.
      • Did not possess a valid Conceal and Carry License
      • Client was under 21 years old while in possession of the firearm
      • The theories were also predicated upon the client being on a public street and not in his own home.

After entering the case, the Wigell Criminal Defense attorneys immediately began analyzing the discovery and preparing the case for trial. After a review of the discovery, conducting extensive case law research and multiple meetings with the client, WCD set the case for trial.

After multiple trial delays mostly attributed to the prosecution due to the absence of essential witnesses, mainly police officers, it was finally revealed that one of the police officers was suspended.   Without this witness, the State’s case ultimately fell apart.

After this fact was brought to the attention of the Judge, the Judge ordered the prosecution to provide further information as to the nature of the Officer’s suspension. The prosecution attempted to obtain a continuance.  WCD objected to the continuance and argued that the suspended officer was an essential prosecution witness.  WCD further eluded that the State would not be able to prove their case without this officer and noted the multiple trial delays in the case.  As a result, the Judge denied the State’s motion for a continuance.

After passing the case and conducting their inquiry, the case was recalled and the prosecution immediately DISMISSED ALL CHARGES and acquiesced they would not be able to prove their case.

The client was ecstatic with this extraordinary result. Client was grateful for WCD’s team approach, zealous and aggressive representation which exposed the weaknesses in the State’s case and ultimately resulted in dismissal of all the charges.  The client was finally able to move forward with his life and was finally free of fear the potential lengthy prison sentence he was facing.

Potential Sentence: Methamphetamine Conspiracy (Class X) 6-30 Years; Possession of Methamphetamine Precursor (Class 2 Felony 3-7 Years) WCD Result: Class X Charge dismissed; 30 Months Drug Court Probation (No Felony Conviction upon Successful Completion)

Our client was arrested and charged with Methamphetamine Conspiracy and Possession of Methamphetamine Precursor in Dewitt County. Specifically, our client was accused of participating in a Methamphetamine Conspiracy with several other co-defendants. It was alleged her role was to acquire cough medicine from the local pharmacy and provide it to the other co-defendants so they could use the cough medicine to cook Methamphetamine. The arrests stemmed from a lengthy Illinois State Police Drug Task Force Investigation and Surveillance Operation. The client also suffered from serious drug addiction issues. Realizing the complexity and seriousness of her case, the client hired Wigell Criminal Defense to represent her.

After entering the case, the case proceeded to a preliminary hearing. The lead investigator of the Illinois State Police testified at the preliminary hearing. Effective cross-examination by Attorney Jim DiQuattro of WCD at the preliminary hearing revealed multiple weaknesses and inconsistencies in the State’s case. As a result of the weaknesses and inconsistencies exposed by the preliminary hearing, the attorneys of Wigell Criminal Defense immediately began preparing the case for trial.

The State’s Attorney in the case acknowledged the multiple weaknesses in its case and approached the attorneys of WCD with a very interesting proposition. The State offered the client 30 months of Drug Court Probation if she agreed to become a cooperating State witness.

The client acknowledging her drug addiction issue and willingness to accept other conditions, accepted the proposition. Prior to entering the plea, the client with WCD met with the lead investigator of The Illinois State Police for a proffer. A proffer is when the individual participates in an interview with the prosecutor and/or officers of the investigating Law Enforcement Agency. The purpose of this interview is for the individual to provide information to the Prosecution and or/police to assist in their investigation and in this case to help build a case against the co-defendants. At this meeting, the client provided the Investigator with all the information she knew about the Meth Conspiracy and the nature of her role.

The client was placed on 30 months Drug Court Probation and the Class X charge was dismissed. Additionally, the client’s conviction will be vacated upon her successful completion of the Drug Court probation program and certain conditions.

Client was overjoyed with the outcome and was also very dedicated to getting the help she needed to treat her long term drug addiction. The client was grateful for all of the hard work of the attorneys of Wigell Criminal Defense which lead to this extraordinary result. The client will now be able to get the help that she needs to ultimately overcome her drug addiction thus giving her a second chance at life.

Charges: Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse-Class 2 Felony (3-7 Years IDOC); Potential Result: 3-7 years prison; Lifetime Sex Offender Registration Requirement; WCD RESULT: PROBATION ON A REDUCED CHARGE OF MISDEMEANOR BATTERY; NO PRISON TIME; NO FELONY CONVICTION; NO MANDATORY LIFETIME SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT

Our client, a successful businessman, was charged with Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse. Specifically, a 12 year old friend of his daughter accused our client of touching her in an inappropriate sexual manner one night during a sleepover.

The charge of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse is broken down as follows:

  • Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse
    • Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse is a class 2 felony punishable from 3-7 Years in the penitentiary (Illinois Department of Corrections)
    • An individual convicted of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse must serve at least 50% of their sentence before being eligible for Mandatory Supervised Release (Formerly Known as Parole).
    • A conviction of this charge requires MANDATORY LIFETIME SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION.

Fearful of the implications this charge could have on his future, career and family; the client hired Wigell Criminal Defense to represent him. After a detailed and methodical review of the discovery and multiple meetings with the client, it was determined that the State’s case had multiple weaknesses and the case should be taken to trial.

As the case progressed, the Assistant State’s Attorney assigned to the case filed a 115-10 Motion. This type of motion is typically filed to allow certain statements admitted into evidence at a trial which would be normally considered hearsay.  Hearsay can be defined as a statement made by someone not testifying in court that to be used as evidence to show that a defendant committed a crime (the truth of the matter asserted).  Hearsay is typically prohibited from being introduced as evidence at trial outside of various exceptions enumerated in the law.  In this case, Illinois law has a Statutory exception under 725 ILCS 5/115-10 that allows for out of court statements in cases involving a physical or sexual act perpetrated against a child who is under the age of 13.  This allows “outcry” witnesses to testify in court to an out of court statement the child made to them.

In our client’s case, the complaining witness made an “outcry statement” to two witnesses regarding the alleged sexual touching she accused our client of committing against her. The attorneys of Wigell Criminal Defense acknowledged the filing of this motion and indicated their opposition to the motion and the intention of taking the case to jury trial.

While preparing for the 115-10 Motion Hearing and trial, Wigell Criminal Defense continued to negotiate. After significant negotiations, the assistant state’s attorney agreed to reduce the felony charge of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse to a misdemeanor charge of battery.  Thus, all sex charges were eliminated. THIS RESULT ELIMINATED A FELONY CONVICTION AND LIFETIME SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION.

The client accepted the offer without hesitation. The client was grateful for the all the hard work and dedication the attorneys and staff of Wigell Criminal Defense put into his case.  This result protected his career and ultimately saved his future.  Additionally, the client will be eligible to have the misdemeanor battery conviction sealed after the requisite waiting period has passed.

Charges (2 Separate Cases): 1st Case: Felony Retail Theft-Class 3 Felony (2-5 Years IDOC); 2nd Case: Felony Retail Theft-Class 3 Felony (2-5 Years IDOC); WCD Result: 1st Case: 24 MONTHS “SECOND CHANCE PROBATION” NO FELONY CONVICTION UPON SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION; 2nd Case: ALL CHARGES DISMISSED AT PRELIMINARY HEARING

Our client, was first accused of shoplifting at a Bloomingdale’s Store in downtown Chicago. Specifically, she was accused of stealing a dress by hiding it her purse and attempting to leave the store without paying for the aforementioned dress.  The client had hired Wigell Criminal Defense to represent her in this case.

While the first case was pending, our client was arrested again for another retail theft offense as well as possessing a controlled substance.  Our client was accused of attempting to walk out of a Macy’s store in Chicago with a pair of designer sunglasses as well as being found with cocaine on her person.  She was then subsequently charged with a felony retail theft and possession of a controlled substance.

After the client’s bond hearing on the second case, she also incurred a third charge of VOBB (Violation of Bail Bond) due to her being charged with the second case while the first case was still pending. When an individual is charged with a felony and released on bond, one standard condition of bond is that the individual not violate a State or Federal Law while the case is pending.  If a person is charged with another offense while on bond, this results in the VOBB charge being filed by the prosecutors assigned to the initial case.  The class of felony of VOBB is typically one class below the initial pending charge.  In our client’s case, the VOBB charge was a Class 4 Felony since the Felony Retail Theft charge in the first case was a class 3 felony.

After the bond hearing on the second case, the case then went to the preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is a method of formalizing the charges in a felony case.  A preliminary hearing is a hearing that is conducted before the Judge.   At this hearing, the State’s Attorney puts on a witness (typically the arresting officer) who testifies as to what allegedly occurred.  The defense has the opportunity to cross-examine the witness on limited issues.  The standard in these hearings is whether there is probable cause that a crime may have been committed.  This is a very low standard of proof and evidence which is typically inadmissible at a trial is allowed to be introduced at a preliminary hearing.

In this case, the loss prevention officer of Macys who detained our client testified for the State as to his version of what occurred. Effective cross-examination at the preliminary hearing revealed multiple holes and weaknesses in the loss prevention officer’s testimony.  These holes and weaknesses resulted in the State failing to establish probable cause that a crime may have been committed.  The Judge without hesitation dismissed the case.  This dismissal also resulted in the third charge VOBB being dismissed.

With the second case and VOBB charge being successfully dismissed, the attorneys at Wigell Criminal Defense continued to fight the charges of the first retail theft case. After numerous court dates, the Assistant State’s Attorney in that case then made an offer of “Second Chance” Probation.  “Second Chance” Probation is a special type of probation that avoids a felony conviction on an individual’s record.  Specifically, when an individual accepts of plea of second chance probation, the conviction is entered for the mandated period (typically 24 months) and the individual must successfully complete required conditions of second chance probation.

The client was grateful for the result of “second chance” probation which gave her the opportunity to rebuild her life which was negatively impacted by her substance abuse addiction.   This result ultimately will avoid a felony conviction on her record thus giving her a “second chance” at life.

Charges: Aggravated Kidnapping-(Class X-6-30 Years in prison (Illinois Department of Corrections)); Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault (Class X-6-30 Years in prison (Illinois Department of Corrections)); Aggravated Criminal Abuse (Class 2-3-7 Years in prison (Illinois Department of Corrections)) Potential Result: 12-60 Years IDOC, Lifetime Sex Offender Registration Requirement; Wigell Criminal Defense Result: 30 Days Cook County Jail; 30 Days Swap; 24 Months Probation; NO SEX OFFENSE CONVICTION; NO SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT

Our client was accused of sexually assaulting a woman he went on a date with after meeting her on the Internet website, Backpage.com. Specifically, our client was charged with four (4) counts of Aggravated Kidnapping, two (2) counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and two (2) counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

The breakdown of his charges is as follows:

  • Aggravated Kidnapping: This charge is NON-PROBATIONABLE.
    • Aggravated Kidnapping is a Class X Felony punishable from 6-30 Years in the penitentiary
    • If convicted of aggravated kidnapping, Defendant must serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 6 years and must serve a minimum 85% of his sentence before being eligible for Mandatory Supervised Release (Formerly Known as Parole).
  • Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault: This charge is NON-PROBATIONABLE
    • Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault is a Class X Felony punishable from 6-30 Years in the penitentiary.
    • These charges require mandatory consecutive sentencing meaning that if the individual is convicted of more than one count, that the sentences imposed on each count would run one after another
    • If convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault, Defendant must serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 6 years and must serve a minimum 85% of his sentence before being eligible for Mandatory Supervised Release (Formerly Known as Parole).
    • A conviction on this charge also requires a MANDATORY LIFETIME sex offender registration requirement.
  • Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse
    • Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse is a class 2 felony punishable from 3-7 Years in the penitentiary
    • An individual convicted of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse must serve at least 50% of their sentence before being eligible for Mandatory Supervised Release (Formerly Known as Parole).
    • This charge is probationable. However, a conviction of this charge requires MANDATORY LIFETIME sex offender registration.

After interviewing multiple attorneys and doing his research, the client retained Wigell Criminal Defense to represent him in his serious and complex matter. The Wigell Criminal Defense team immediately began preparing the case.

After analyzing the discovery and conducting a diligent defense investigation, the attorneys at Wigell Criminal Defense were able to develop a theory of defense for trial. The attorneys at Wigell Criminal Defense determined that the incident was a consensual sexual encounter between their client and the complaining witness.  She had posted an ad on Backpage.com for a “Sugar Daddy” in exchange for “Time and Companionship.”  Time and Companionship was innuendo for money in exchange for sexual favors.  The complaining witness was scorned towards the client for “shorting her” on payment for “time and companionship.”  She went to the police and fabricated sexual assault allegations.

The Wigell Criminal Defense team of Attorneys and Paralegals determined that this was a case that had to be set for trial. After filing and arguing a series of pretrial motions which resulted in many favorable rulings for our client, the prosecutor made an offer.  The prosecutor offered the client sex offender probation.  This would require LIFETIME sex offender registration.

This offer was rejected. Raymond Wigell, Senior Trial Attorney of Wigell Criminal Defense continued to negotiate. Further negotiations resulted in the prosecutor reducing her initial offer to a charge with a 10-year requirement of sex offender registration.  Reluctant to accept this offer due to the sex offender registration requirement having the potential to ruin his career, Attorney Raymond Wigell continued aggressive negotiations while simultaneously preparing for trial.

After making the prosecutor aware of the multiple weaknesses in the case including credibility issues, the State made an offer which was extraordinary under the circumstances.

In exchange for a plea of guilty on amended felony charges of kidnapping and aggravated battery, the client would be placed on 2 years of probation with a requirement to serve 30 days in Cook County Jail and perform 30 days of SWAP. THIS DISPOSITION AVOIDED PRISON AND AVOIDED REGISTERING AS A SEX OFFENDER.

After discussing the matter in detail with the attorneys of Wigell Criminal Defense and considering all options, the client accepted the offer. The client did not want to risk being found guilty at trial and sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 12 years in prison or more and registration as a sex offender.

This result was best for the client to protect his professional career, avoid a lengthy prison sentence and avoid any registration as a sex offender. We never, never give up.

Truth in Sentencing: Receiving Credit for Time Served Outside of Jail-EHM v. Pretrial Services

When an individual is charged with a crime and awaiting trial, they are subject to pretrial detention. While most people perceive the notion of pretrial detention as being in custody at the county jail, there are other forms of pretrial detention that don’t require an individual to necessarily be incarcerated.

While someone is in custody in jail awaiting disposition of their case, they receive credit for time served in jail for any sentence of prison time imposed by a plea of guilty or finding of guilty. (Ex. A person who serves one year in jail would have that time subtracted from a prison sentence of 2 years thus leaving 1 year).  The calculation should be made from the day of the individual’s arrest to the day of the disposition of their case.  All individuals in custody of Cook County Jail are eligible for time served credit with a few exceptions ranging from committing a crime while in custody to receiving a natural life sentence.

However, time served can be extended to another form of pretrial detention outside of Cook County Jail. Another form of pretrial detention where an individual could receive credit for time served is known as EHM (Electronic Home Monitoring).  EHM is sometimes known to the general public as “House Arrest” or “Home Confinement.” This form of pretrial detention requires an individual to wear an ankle bracelet that monitors their movements.  Typically, the individual is confined to their home for the duration of their case. In some instances, the individual is allowed movement outside of the home for limited purposes including going to work, church, doctor’s appointments, ect. This form of pretrial detention is typically governed under the control of the Sheriff’s Department.  Being under the supervision of the Sheriff’s Department considers the individual to be “in custody” for the purposes of time served.

This form for pretrial detention should not be confused with GPS monitoring through pretrial services. GPS monitoring requires an individual to wear a GPS monitor on their ankle.  The purpose of the GPS monitor allows pretrial to monitor the individual’s movements.  A GPS is typically fitted to keep an individual away from a specific person or place that is the subject of the charged offense.  The individual however would not be eligible for time served in this situation.  Since the GPS monitor is governed by pretrial services, a person is not considered to be “in custody” for these purposes.  Since an individual on a GPS is free from any actual detention and their freedom is not “restricted” under the supervision of pretrial services, they are not considered in custody for the purposes of time served.

However, it should be noted that being on EHM does not necessarily guarantee an individual will receive credit for time served. There are exceptions that disqualify an individual from receiving credit for time served on EHM.  The main exception to the specific offense the individual is on EHM for.  If an offense falls under 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3, then the offense would not qualify for time served credit under EHM.  For example, a person on EHM for a pending charge of Criminal Sexual Assault would NOT be eligible for sentencing credit due to the nature of the offense enumerated under 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.

When someone is on EHM while awaiting trial, they should consult with their experienced criminal defense attorney regarding the issue of time served. This is an important aspect that should be analyzed when evaluating the issue of time served when an individual is considering entering a plea of guilty or evaluating the amount of time a person is facing if they lose at trial.  This analysis is critical when determining the course of action to take in that individual’s case and should be conducted in a meticulous and detailed manner.

Ratings and Reviews

The National Trial Lawyers
10.0Raymond George Wigell
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