Best Springfield Criminal Lawyers
The Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Springfield, Illinois
Finding yourself in need of a criminal defense attorney can be an incredibly stressful and scary situation. Being accused of a crime means potentially facing felony charges, jail time, fines, and other serious consequences that can change your life forever. When your freedom and future are on the line, you need an experienced and aggressive criminal lawyer on your side.
I’ve put together this guide to help you understand your options and find the very best criminal defense representation in Springfield, Illinois. I’ll provide an overview of factors to consider when hiring a lawyer, highlight some of the top-rated Springfield criminal attorneys, and answer frequently asked questions about the criminal defense process.
What to Look For in a Springfield Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime in Springfield or anywhere in Central Illinois, here are some key factors you should evaluate as you choose the right criminal lawyer:
- Trial experience: Make sure to hire a lawyer with extensive experience taking criminal cases to trial, not just negotiating plea bargains. This ensures they have the litigation skills to mount the strongest possible defense.
- Familiarity with local courts: An understanding of local judges, prosecutors and court procedures can help your attorney navigate the system and pursue the optimal strategies.
- Resources: Look for an attorney with access to quality private investigators, forensic experts and other resources that may be needed for your defense.
- Reputation: Check online reviews, attorney rating sites like Avvo, and ask around about lawyers you’re considering. A respected attorney can often get better results.
- Personality fit: Look for a criminal lawyer you feel comfortable opening up to and who will fight passionately on your behalf. The attorney-client relationship is crucial.
Top Criminal Defense Law Firms and Attorneys in Springfield
Here are some of the most highly regarded criminal defense attorneys and law firms in the Springfield area:
Noll Law Office
The Noll Law Office has earned a strong reputation in Central Illinois for providing aggressive and compassionate representation to clients facing criminal charges. Founding attorney Daniel Noll is a former Sangamon County Assistant State’s Attorney with over 25 years of criminal law experience.
He and his team handle cases ranging from DUIs and traffic tickets to serious felonies. They are known for thoroughly investigating cases, pursuing every possible defense, and taking cases to trial when beneficial for the client.
Wykoff Law Office, LLC
Wykoff Law Office is headed by Mark Wykoff, an experienced criminal trial attorney and Army veteran. He takes on challenging cases involving major felonies, sex crimes, federal charges, and more. Wykoff is praised for his tireless work ethic and for achieving excellent case results through litigation.
Harvatin Law Offices, PC
Harvatin Law Offices provides skilled criminal defense in Central Illinois. Founding attorney Lindsay Harvatin is a former Macon County Assistant State’s Attorney who now represents clients on both sides of criminal cases. Her team handles matters ranging from traffic tickets to murder charges.
Vig Law is led by attorney Aaron Vig, who worked as a Sangamon County Assistant Public Defender before founding his criminal defense firm. He represents clients facing DUI, theft, drug possession, domestic violence and other charges throughout Central Illinois.
What to Expect With the Criminal Defense Process
If you hire one of these skilled Springfield criminal lawyers or another private attorney, here is an overview of what you can expect throughout the defense process:
- Your lawyer will meet with you for an initial consultation to discuss the charges, gather information about your case, advise you of your rights and options, and begin formulating a defense strategy. This meeting is typically free.
- The attorney will conduct a thorough independent investigation of the circumstances surrounding your case. This may involve interviewing witnesses, visiting the crime scene, hiring private investigators and consulting with expert witnesses.
- Your lawyer will handle communications with the prosecutor, file motions to protect your rights, and take other steps to build the strongest case possible. If advantageous, they may negotiate a favorable plea deal.
- If your case goes to trial, your attorney will vigorously cross-examine witnesses against you, present witnesses and evidence in your defense, and strive to create reasonable doubt regarding your guilt.
- If you are convicted, your lawyer will present mitigating factors to secure the lightest possible sentence, and advise you on potential appeals.
Reputable criminal defense lawyers like those in Springfield will keep you informed each step of the way, explain your options, and provide skilled advocacy aimed at achieving the best resolution.
Frequently Asked Questions About Springfield Criminal Defense Lawyers
Should I hire an attorney right away?
Yes, immediately after being arrested or charged. Early representation is crucial for gathering favorable evidence and protecting your rights.
What will hiring a criminal lawyer cost?
Costs vary based on the attorney, case complexity and other factors. Many lawyers offer free consultations. Fees are usually hourly, flat by case stage, or contingent on the outcome.
Can I afford a private attorney?
If the cost is prohibitive, you may qualify for a public defender. But private lawyers often achieve better results, so explore payment plans or borrowing funds from family. Quality representation is worth the investment.
How can I identify the best lawyer for my case?
Carefully research credentials, experience with similar cases, peer reviews, results obtained for past clients, and your comfort level during an initial consultation.
Can my lawyer get the charges dropped completely?
Not always, but an experienced attorney can sometimes get charges reduced or dismissed through procedural challenges, evidentiary issues or convincing the prosecutor to withdraw charges if they have a weak case.
How often do criminal cases go to trial?
Only about 5% of criminal cases go to trial. Often plea bargains are struck. But seasoned lawyers know when to take cases to trial for the best outcome.
What are the first steps after hiring a lawyer?
Your attorney will want to fully understand the facts of your case. They will advise you of your options, begin formulating defense strategies, file motions if applicable, and contact the prosecutor regarding the charges.
How will my lawyer defend me at trial?
They will attempt to create reasonable doubt by cross-examining the prosecutor’s witnesses, presenting witnesses and evidence that support your defense, highlighting inconsistencies, and ensuring the state meets its burden of proving guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
If convicted, can my lawyer help with sentencing?
Yes. Your lawyer will present mitigating circumstances to the judge advocating for the lightest sentence possible under your charges and can advise you on potential appeals.
What if I feel my lawyer isn’t representing me effectively?
Have an open and honest discussion with your attorney about your concerns and whether you should seek a second opinion from another lawyer. In certain cases, you may be able to fire your lawyer.Finding the right criminal defense attorney in Springfield can seem daunting, but taking the time to do research and have consultations puts you in the best position for an optimal outcome. The stakes are high, so invest in experienced legal representation fighting aggressively on your behalf.