The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120


Aurora Criminal Defense LawyerForgery refers to the falsification of documents. In Illinois, forgery is a crime punishable by significant penalties, including imprisonment. You could be charged with forgery if you allegedly sign someone else’s name on a financial document or use deception to commit theft. If you or a loved one were charged with forgery, you should know that the state of Illinois takes forgery very seriously. You or your loved one could be facing life-altering consequences.

Understanding Forgery Charges

When someone lies or fabricates information or signatures, they can be accused of forgery. Just the act of possessing a forged document can lead to criminal charges. For example, if you need a co-signer on a credit card or loan application and you sign someone else’s name, you could be charged with forgery. Forgery may also involve writing checks on a closed account, using a forged check, or falsifying mortgage documents.

Potential Criminal Consequences for Forgery

In Illinois, forgery is usually considered a Class 3 felony. A forgery conviction is punishable by 2 to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. If a UPC code is forged, the offense is a Class 4 felony punishable by 1 to 3 years’ imprisonment. Forging a college degree or coin is a misdemeanor offense. In addition to fines and jail time, individuals convicted of forgery may be required to pay restitution to the victims.

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

If you or a loved one were charged with forgery, contact a lawyer. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help in several ways. First, an attorney can help you understand exactly what you are up against and get started on a defense strategy right away.

For someone to be convicted of forgery, the prosecution must prove that the elements of forgery were present “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Often, the best way to defend against forgery charges is to create doubt by pointing out weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against the defendant.

Contact an Elgin Criminal Defense Lawyer

Forgery is a serious offense punishable by considerable prison time. Do not make the mistake of taking forgery charges lightly. Reach out to Kane County forgery defense attorney Brian J. Mirandola to get the legal help you need. Mr. Mirandola has helped many people just like you. Call The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola and set up a free, private case assessment to get started.



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Aurora Criminal Defense AttorneyBeing charged with a crime is a confusing, frightening experience. Many criminal defendants have little to no experience in the criminal justice system. They are unaware of their rights and options. Plea bargains are often especially confusing. Many criminal defendants are unsure of whether they should accept a plea bargain or fight for an acquittal. They do not understand the potential benefits and risks of accepting a plea deal.

If you or a loved one have been charged with theft, drug manufacturing, reckless driving, or another criminal offense, contact a criminal defense lawyer right away. Your attorney can evaluate your specific situation and explain the advantages and disadvantages of accepting a plea deal.

What is a Plea Bargain?

When someone is accused of a crime, there are a few possible outcomes. Sometimes, the prosecution drops the charges, and the case is dismissed. This can happen if there is insufficient evidence against the suspect, procedural errors, or violations of the suspect’s rights. The suspect can plead “not guilty” and the case will likely go to trial. During a trial, the judge and jury find the defendant guilty or not guilty based on the evidence and arguments presented by both sides.

A plea deal, plea agreement, or plea bargain is a situation in which a defendant pleads guilty to a crime in exchange for some type of benefit. Often, plea deals require the prosecution to drop certain charges, reduce the charges to a lesser offense, or decrease the suspect’s jail sentence.

Consider a suspect who was charged with burglary. In Illinois, a burglary is a felony offense punishable by up to 15 years in prison in some circumstances. The suspect may be able to strike a deal with the prosecution in which he or she pleads guilty to trespassing instead of going to trial for burglary. Criminal trespass is only a misdemeanor offense in Illinois. The criminal penalties associated with a trespassing conviction are minor compared to the penalties for burglary.

Is a Plea Deal Right for Me?

There are benefits and drawbacks to plea deals. A criminal defense lawyer can negotiate a possible plea deal with the prosecution and help you decide if taking the deal is right for you. Sometimes, it is better to fight for your innocence. Other times, it is better to take the plea deal and avoid going to trial. Each case is different.

Contact a Kane County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one were charged with a crime, contact Elgin criminal defense lawyer Brian J. Mirandola for help. Call The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 today for a confidential, free consultation.




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Aurora Juvenile Crime Defense LawyerOriginally Posted February 16, 2016 ------ Updated November 29, 2021

Laws are always changing. This is one reason it is important to work with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney if you or your child are charged with a crime. Amid the concerns about excessive use of force and other police actions in the last few years, Illinois has updated and expanded several statutes related to the juvenile criminal justice process. Among these changes is a new law that prohibits police from using deceptive interrogation tactics when they are questioning minors.

The legislation, which went into effect January 1, 2021, bars police from lying to juvenile criminal defendants. For example, police cannot claim to have evidence they do not actually have or lie about statements or confessions made by alleged co-conspirators. Lawmakers hope that these actions will help reduce the incidence of false confessions and wrongful imprisonment.

If you or your child were accused of a crime, contact an Elgin criminal defense attorney for help. Call 847-488-0889 for a free, confidential case evaluation.



In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court found that giving a life sentence to a juvenile with no possibility of parole violated the juvenile’s Constitutional rights. Specifically, the justices found that such a sentence was barred by the "cruel and unusual punishment" clause of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. However, after that decision there was some confusion about if the ban only applied to new sentences, or if it applied to older cases as well.

Decision Retroactive

In January of 2016 the Court held that its 2012 decision in the case Miller v. Alabama should be applied retroactively. This means that every juvenile in the country who was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole prior to the 2012 decision is entitled to a resentencing hearing. At the time of the decision, Illinois had some 100 inmates who would require resentencing. Some of the inmates had served decades in prison.

What Happens at a Resentencing Hearing

The juveniles that qualify for a resentencing hearing will not automatically be released. Likely, many will continue to serve lengthy sentences, but will have the terms of the sentence modified.

During a resentencing hearing, the court will need to take into account what the U.S. Supreme Court called the inmates’ "transitory immaturity" when imposing a sentence. All of the inmates will have to be given the chance to apply for parole at some future date. The prosecution will be able to present evidence as to why leniency in a given case is not appropriate. The inmates will have the chance to present evidence about mitigating factors and why the court should impose a more lenient sentence. However, lengthy, decades-long sentences may still be imposed if the court decides the crimes and the circumstances warrant it.

 This most recent decision does not mean the end of litigation over sentences for juvenile offenders. Any juveniles who are resentenced to lengthy prison terms may seek to appeal the resentencing as either not in keeping with the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court or on some other ground.

It is also expected that lawyers for inmates convicted as juveniles that are given lengthy sentences will continue to try limit the length of a sentence imposed by arguing that if a life sentence without the possibility of parole is cruel and unusual, a sentence that only releases a juvenile as an old man or woman is also cruel and unusual and therefore unconstitutional.

If you have been charged with a crime or have questions about pursuing a resentencing hearing, contact an experienced Elgin criminal defense attorney. We are equipped to help you understand the law and your available options to ensure you are treated appropriately throughout every step of the process. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule a free consultation at the The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.



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elgin defense lawyer Domestic violence is a very real problem in this country. According to national statistics, almost 25 people per minute are victims of domestic violence. This comes out to more than 12 million victims every year. Far too many victims end up being killed by their intimate partners, and this has led the courts to take any accusations of domestic violence seriously. Unfortunately, some people make false accusations of domestic violence against a current or former partner because they have their own agenda. Not only is this unfair to real victims, but the severe consequences false allegations of domestic violence can have on a person’s life can be devastating.

Reasons Why People Make False Accusations

Given the damage a domestic violence accusation can cause to a person’s life, it may be hard to understand why someone would make a false claim like this. However, there are several common reasons why someone files false charges. Many of these allegations are made if a couple is going through a divorce or child custody battle in order to get the “legal” upper hand. A former partner may also be so angry over a breakup that they make the accusations out of vindictiveness.

Another frequent cause of these accusations is when the alleged victim was actually the perpetrator of the abuse, and the person now accused was only trying to defend themselves.  

Once an accusation of domestic abuse is made, the courts will issue a temporary order of protection. Typically, there is no hearing for a temporary order; the courts take the alleged victims’ word that abuse has occurred, and a hearing is scheduled to determine if the allegations are believable and if the order should be extended.

Having an order of protection, even a temporary one, can give the person making the allegations great power over the person they are accusing. Under an order of protection, the person who is being accused must leave their home if they share it with the “alleged” victim. They are not allowed to have any contact with the victim or have contact with any children the two have together. If a person violated an order of protection, the courts consider this a grave transgression and the person will be charged with a crime and could end up in jail pending the outcome of all the charges they are now facing.

Contact an Elgin, IL Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of domestic violence, it is important to understand what consequences a conviction can have on your future and why you need an aggressive Kane County domestic violence attorney defending you. Call The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help.



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elgin defense lawyerHaving a criminal record can affect many areas of a young person’s future, such as employment, education, and housing, depending on the nature of the offenses they were charged with. Another area that can be impacted is a young person’s plan to join the military. It is not uncommon for a teen to go through their high school career with the intention of joining a branch of the military upon graduation. Many teens even do early enlistment, signing up in their junior year so everything will be in place when they have completed their senior year. But what happens if a person who wants to enlist in the military is arrested or already has a criminal record? Will that impact any military opportunities they were looking forward to?

Moral Character Screening

There are six branches of the U.S. Military, including the Army, Army National Guard, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and U.S. Coast Guard. When a person enlists in one of these branches, a Moral Character Screening of Credit and Criminal Background process is conducted. This screening process into a recruit’s background is extensive, searching for anything in their past that may disqualify them. The recruit is required to disclose any and all criminal cases they have had, including juvenile cases, as well as any cases that were expunged or sealed. Failure to make these disclosures could result in being charged with a felony offense.

Having a criminal record will not automatically disqualify someone from joining the military. There is the option of obtaining a Criminal Record Waiver for less serious offenses, such as the following:

  • Minor traffic offenses

  • Juvenile offenses

  • Misdemeanor offenses

A waiver is only required if you were convicted of the crime. It is not required for those cases where a person was arrested but charges were ultimately dropped, or they were found not guilty.

There are factors that will disqualify a person from obtaining a waiver. If they have an extensive criminal record, if they have any type of current judicial restraint, such as they are out on bond or on parole, they do not qualify for a waiver.

While a felony conviction usually disqualifies enlistment, there are some situations where a person can try applying for a waiver. Each application is decided on a case-by-case basis and decision is based on a number of factors, including how the applicant has adjusted to civilian life once their penalty obligations were met.

The application process for a waiver is fairly extensive and often includes obtaining recommendation letters from community leaders that attest to the applicant’s character and whether they are morally suited for the military.

Contact a Kane County Criminal Attorney

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime – even a minor one – a conviction can have a detrimental impact on future plans you may have. Call The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Elgin defense lawyer and find out what type of legal options you may have for defending against these charges.



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