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
• Springfield
• Peoria
• 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

Additionally, outside of Chicago, Cook County has 5 suburban districts which handle all criminal cases in the suburbs encompassed within the specified district
• Skokie
o 2nd Municipal District
• Rolling Meadows
o 3rd Municipal District
• Bridgeview
o 5th Municipal District
• Markham
o 6th Municipal District

Will County, City of Joliet
DuPage 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


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 8/30/17) 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 First Degree Murder (720 ILCS 5/8-4(a))
RICO (720 ILCS 5/33G)
Armed Robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-2)
Attempt Armed Robbery (720 ILCS 8/4 (18-2(a)(2))
Aggravated Robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-1)
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)
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)

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.

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.

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.

Charge: 6th Violation of Probation Result: Probation Terminated Satisfactorily-NO JAIL TIME

Client was on probation for assault and battery. Client incurred various probation violations during the course of his mandated time.  After his 6th violation, the client was facing the strong possibility of being taken off probation and sentenced to jail time.  The nature of the 6th violation was premised upon the fact that the client failed two required drug tests.  Facing the reality of probable incarceration, client contacted Wigell Criminal Defense the day before his next court date to help mitigate the situation.  Wigell Criminal Defense took the case and made arrangements to be present with the client in court the next day.

After arriving at court and speaking with the client, Attorney DiQuattro of Wigell Criminal Defense determined that client had a drug addiction issue that resulted in the failed drug test. Attorney DiQuattro spoke to the State’s Attorney assigned to the case who maintained the position that they would be seeking jail time for the client.  The Judge was also in agreement with the State’s position on the matter at that time.

After obtaining a continuance and investigating the matter further, Attorney DiQuattro spoke with the client’s probation officer regarding the client’s matter. After a meaningful conversation, the probation officer was willing to support Attorney DiQuattro’s position that the client should be given another chance to complete his probation successfully despite the 6th violation.

At the next court date, Attorney DiQuattro conveyed to the Judge of the client’s drug addiction issue and the probation officer’s position supporting the client. Attorney DiQuattro also brought to the Judge’s attention that the client was in an out-patient drug rehabilitation center and had successfully passed three subsequent drug tests since the 6th violation.

The Judge took the aforementioned facts presented by Attorney DiQuattro into consideration and allowed the client one more chance to complete his probation absent any further violations. After a few more court dates, client was able to get back on track with his probation and the Judge terminated the probation satisfactorily.

Client was grateful for Attorney DiQuattro’s zealous representation and his application of Wigell Criminal Defense Holistic Strategies. These aspects allowed the client to successfully complete his probation despite a 6th violation and avoid any jail time when all odds appeared to be against him.

Age in Criminal Law

When being charged with a crime in Illinois, age can play a significant role under certain circumstances. The issue of age can be significant in relation to both the individual charged and the victim of the alleged offense. Age can also play a role in determining the type of charge that is filed against the offender which could also have an impact on sentencing parameters. Certain circumstances where the issue of age plays a role includes:

  • Sex Offenses in regards to the issue of consent
  • Charging Decisions based upon the age of the Offender or Victim
  • When the offender commits a crime as a minor


One area of Criminal Law where age plays an integral role relates to the issue of consent in regards to sex offenses. Under Illinois law, the age of consent is 17 years old under most circumstances.  Basically, a person who is under 17 years of age in the State of Illinois cannot legally consent to sexual activity with another person regardless of the offenders age.  However, one exception is that the age of consent raises to 18 in a situation where the Defendant is under a position of trust or authority over the alleged victim.  In this situation, a defendant holds a position of power over the alleged victim such as a teacher or a counselor. For more information about the age of consent in the U.S., follow the below link:


Additionally, the age of the offender also plays a role to the issue of age of consent of sex offenses. if the offender is under 17 years of age with a victim who is under 17 years of age but older than 9 years of age, then it would be classified as a different type of sex offense.  If no force is involved, the offenses would be classified as a lower class felony or even in some instances, a misdemeanor. These situations don’t involve the issue of force but are premised upon the fact that victim is under 17 years old and cannot legally consent under Illinois law regardless of the offender’s age.  Also, if an offender is over 18 and the victim is under 13, that person is charged with the offense of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child where the issue of consent is irrelevant.


Age can also play a role in regards to a Prosecutor’s discretion as to what specific charges to file where the age of the victim and/or offender is at issue. Typically, when a victim is either over the age of 60 or under the age of 13, this results in the Prosecutor filing specific charges that is a higher class of felony.  In the same or other circumstances, specific charges based on the age of the victim can also result in enhanced sentencing parameters.

The following is an example of a situation where a crime would be charged as a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor. When a person commits a battery upon a person of one of the aforementioned ages, the offender would automatically be charged with felony aggravated battery as opposed to a misdemeanor battery charge.  This is due to Illinois law which classifies the battery of a minor under 13 or a person over 60 as a felony charge.  Typically, the age of the victim results in a higher class felony charge.

Additionally, an example of a situation where enhanced sentencing parameters come to play would be in a situation where someone is charged with first degree murder if a child under 12 years old. Under Illinois law, if a child under 12 years old is murdered and it is considered in a heinous manner, this is classified as an aggravating factor which could result in higher sentence of an individual convicted of this crime.


When the offender commits a felony as a minor, this poses the issue of whether the minor should be tried as a juvenile or an adult. Under Illinois law, a minor is a person under the age of 18.  This is another decision that is made by the prosecutor to transfer the matter to adult court.  However, unlike a Prosecutor’s power to file specific charges in felonies involving adults, a Prosecutor’s decision to transfer a juvenile’s matter to adult court is not absolute.  If a juvenile is 15 or under when he or she commits a crime, a prosecutor’s decision to transfer the matter from juvenile court to adult court is subject to defense opposition and the juvenile court’s discretion to grant a transfer based on various factors.  However, if the juvenile is 16 or 17 and commits specific offenses, a prosecutor’s decision to transfer the matter to adult court can be found to be automatic.  These are usually limited to certain offenses of violence and the offense of aggravated criminal sexual assault.  When a transfer is automatic, it is not subject to the juvenile court’s discretion or defense opposition.  Other crimes committed by a juvenile at the age of 16 or 17 are subject to discretion of the court and defense opposition.

As illustrated, age can be crucial in a variety of circumstances in the area of criminal law. Whether it’s the age of the victim or offender; in regards to the issue of consent, charging decisions or juvenile transfers, this fact can create complex legal issues in an individual’s case.

Wigell Criminal Defense has over 40 years of experience of handling cases involving the aforementioned types of issues. If you or someone you love is in this type of complex legal situation, don’t hesitate to contact Wigell Criminal Defense.  Contact Wigell Criminal Defense to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your or your loved one’s matter.

Violation of SWAP-SWAP Reinstated

Just hours before the court appearance, Paul C. called Wigell Criminal Defense in a panic.   Paul C. (Not his real name) previously plead guilty to a misdemeanor offense of disorderly conduct.  As a requirement of the sentence of the plea, Paul C. was required to complete 30 hours of S.W.A.P.

S.W.A.P (Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program) is a program where individuals charged with DUI or other misdemeanor offenses can have the opportunity to perform community service instead of serving a sentence of jail time. Individuals involved in this program work on a variety of public works projects such as cleaning up various parks, streets, and other public property.  Individuals work under the supervision of the Sheriff’s department of the county their case is pending in.

Paul C. did not complete the S.W.A.P requirement in the time mandated under the conditions of the plea and the State filed a violation. After conferring with Paul C. and working out the logistics of making the same day court appearance, Wigell Criminal Defense accepted the case and appeared with him at Markham Courthouse.

After arriving at the courthouse, Attorney DiQuattro, connected with the emotional client and consulted with him as to the circumstances surrounding the situation. Attorney DiQuattro learned that a series of unfortunate events prevented Paul C. from signing up for S.W.A.P.   Attorney DiQuattro then subsequently filed his appearance and then immediately engaged in discussion with the Assistant State’s Attorney assigned to the case.  The ASA offered Paul C. 15 days in Cook County Jail.  The State maintained their position and would not agree to allow Paul C. to have a second chance at completing the S.W.A.P. requirement.

After assessing the magnitude of the situation, Attorney DiQuattro using his knowledge of Wigell Criminal Defense Holistic Strategies began strategizing methods to prevent Paul C. from being taken into custody at Cook County Jail.

After careful and meticulous preparation, Attorney DiQuattro had the case called and brought the matter before the Judge. Attorney DiQuattro conveyed to the Judge that Paul C. should be given another opportunity to complete S.W.A.P and that a jail sentence was not appropriate under the circumstances.  After consideration of defense arguments, the Judge dismissed the violation and reinstated the condition of S.W.A.P.  The Judge also allowed Paul C. an extended period of time to the complete all the requirements of S.W.A.P.

Paul C. was ecstatic and very grateful for Attorney DiQuattro’s methodical preparation and zealous representation of his case. Paul C. then subsequently registered for S.W.A.P and was immediately assigned to a project to complete the required 30 days.

The Importance of Making a Record in a Criminal Case

When representing an individual in a criminal case, there are many levels that a defense attorney must protect their client. While it is important for a defense attorney to protect his client in all present court proceedings and obtain the best possible outcome, a defense attorney also must protect the client in the event that an appeal is filed.

The specific method of protecting a client on the appellate level is making a record. Every time a client is in court with their attorney, a record of that court proceeding is made by the court reporter in the courtroom.  It is then transcribed into a document which is called a transcript.  A transcript is reviewed by appellate attorneys to determine if there are substantive or procedural issues that warrant a reversal of a conviction or sentence.  Making a record is important in all phases of a criminal case.  Because issues could arise anytime during pretrial proceedings, trial and post-trial.  Additionally, every motion and pleading that is filed by the defense attorney and the prosecution also becomes a part of the record.  These motions and pleadings are also available to the appellate attorney when analyzing a client’s case for procedural or substantive issues.

The purpose of this level of protection is to make a record for a client in the event the client is convicted at trial. A record is made to help the client on appeal by preserving issues and overcoming procedural bars.  Not only does this method apply to trial or pretrial issues that occur on the record, it also can help the client when there is a change in the law after his or her conviction.

A particular example of a situation like this can be Illustrated in the cases of Johnson v. United States and Welch v. United States. In Johnson, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the residual clause of the ACCA (Armed Career Criminal Act) was unconstitutional.  The residual clause of the ACCA allowed for a sentence enhancement for illegal possession of a gun by a felon from a maximum sentence of ten years to a minimum sentence of fifteen years when an individual had three prior convictions for violent crimes or serious drug offenses.

As a result of the U.S Supreme Court’s ruling, many federal inmates’ sentences were reduced which resulted in their immediate release from various Federal Penitentiaries in the U.S. However, a new issue that has arisen from this ruling is whether the ruling would be “retroactive” in cases that were closed prior to the Johnson ruling.  Retroactivity in this context means that the ruling would apply to all cases regardless of the case being closed or still pending.

The case of Welch v. United States which is set to be argued to the U.S. Supreme Court in March 2016 addresses the issue of retroactivity of the Johnson case. There were multiple cases that appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on this particular issue.  But the Supreme Court chose to hear Welch’s case in oral arguments.  The reason that the Supreme Court picked this case other a dozen others was because a proper record was made.

Specifically, Welch’s case was chosen over the other cases because his case was not complicated by rules barring multiple habeas corpus petitions and was taken to the appellate court level by his attorneys which resulted in a ruling. Further, his attorneys filed a new brief characterizing Welch’s case in the position that the rule in Johnson was substantive and should applied retroactively to closed cases.  Other cases that were under consideration were riddled with the aforementioned procedural issues and complications which resulted in the Supreme Court choosing Welch’s case.

Situations like Johnson and Welch illustrate that it is important to make a proper record both procedurally and substantively regardless of the current status of the law. Because the law is always changing (evolving) and making the proper record can ultimately benefit an individual in the future.

Ratings and Reviews

The National Trial Lawyers
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