The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120


Posted on in Criminal Defense

bail, Kane County criminal defense attorneyBail is often mischaracterized on television and in the movies, as it seems as though a criminal defendant can simply pay some money and be released from all responsibility for their actions. A character wakes up in jail, for example, just in time for the guard to arrive saying that the character’s friend has posted bail. The episode or film then continues with no mention of the arrest again—case closed, right? Not even close.

In reality, there is virtually no situation in which posting bail will end criminal proceedings against a person charged with a crime. Bail is not a fine to be paid in lieu of a different criminal sentence. Instead, bail is intended to help ensure that a criminal defendant responds as required and that he or she is afforded the due process of law.

After an Arrest

When a person is arrested for a criminal offense, he or she has the right to a preliminary hearing, in most cases, to determine if there is enough evidence for the case to proceed. Depending on when a person is arrested, getting him or her in front of a judge may take several days or even weeks. In many cases, the defendant will waive the preliminary hearing, but he or she still has the right to a trial. Thanks to overloaded court dockets, a trial may not be possible for a number of months. In the meantime, what happens to the suspect?

Depending on a number of factors, including the severity of the crime in question, the person’s prior history, his or her standing in the community, and his or her financial situation, the court has several options. The person may be released on his or her own recognizance, which means that the defendant is fully aware of the charges and he or she agrees to attend all future proceedings as required. Defendants may also be placed on house arrest, which requires the person to wear an ankle bracelet that contains a monitoring device. The judge may also set bail, which could include cash payments or liens against the defendant’s property. Finally, the defendant may be required to stay in jail until his or her trial if the crime is particularly heinous or the judge determines that releasing the suspect presents a serious risk of flight or other danger to the community.

New Law Emphasizes Monetary Bail Alternatives

Over the last several decades, there has been growing concern that monetary bail has a disproportionate effect on the financially underprivileged. A low-income criminal defendant, advocates claim, is much more likely to sit in jail prior to trial because he or she does not have the resources to afford bail. This reality has also led to municipal and county jails overloaded with inmates who are waiting for trial or have yet to be sentenced.

Illinois lawmakers addressed these concerns earlier this year by passing a bipartisan measure that offers better bail considerations for low-income defendants charged with non-violent crimes. Governor Bruce Rauner signed the bill this month, making Illinois the largest state with a presumption against monetary bail. Curfews, in-home monitoring, and in-person check-ins with a probation-type officer provide alternatives and are expected to be used as appropriate. Judges may still impose financial bail terms, but only after careful consideration of the entire situation.

Call Us for Help

If you or a loved one has been arrested and has a bail hearing upcoming, an experienced Elgin criminal defense attorney can help. Contact our office today and get the guidance you need during a difficult time. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.


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attorney, Kane County criminal defense attorneyWhen you are up against a criminal charge, the attorney you hire can have a massive impact on the outcome of your case. So, knowing this, how do you choose? How do you ensure, beyond all doubt, that your criminal defense attorney will represent you effectively and protect your interests? It all starts with performing your due diligence. Of course, the decision is always up to you, but following information may be able to help you find the attorney that is most suited to your specific needs.

Hire the Right Type of Lawyer

First thing is first: it is important that you hire an attorney who has experience with your particular situation. As an example, hiring an attorney who works only on divorce or immigration issues when you are facing drunk driving charges is probably a poor choice. Instead, turn to an attorney who has extensive knowledge and experience with sensitive criminal matters. These attorneys are more likely to recognize and plan for the unique challenges that may arise in your case.

Determine Competency to the Best of Your Abilities

Unless you have a degree in law, it may be a little difficult to discern for certain whether or not your prospective attorney is competent. However, you may feel as though something is "off." For example, if it feels as though your attorney is sidestepping your questions or having difficulty explaining things in a way that you can understand, he or she may not know the answer. Likewise, if they are unable to effectively communicate with you—which also requires listening on their part--they may not be as well-versed in the law as you would like.

Also, do your homework. Research the attorney’s reputation and where they went to school. Look at their overall background. Have they won any specific awards? Are they affiliated with the local, state, or national bar association or other legal organization? Do they participate in community action and serve as an advocate for more than just their clients? None of this can give you a complete answer, but your gut instinct is often correct. In a matter as serious as this, it is often best to err on the side of caution.

Let Us Help

At The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we understand that the attorney you choose when facing a criminal matter is important. We welcome your questions and will work with you in determining if we are the right legal team for your case. To learn more, contact an experienced Elgin criminal defense attorney today. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.


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attorney, Elgin criminal defense attorneySo, you have been accused of a crime; now what? First of all, remember that you have the right to remain silent. You do not need to speak to any police officer or other authority figure about anything relating to your case. Law enforcement officials are skilled at their jobs and have been known to manipulate facts to coax people into admitting guilt. Do not fall for this. Instead, it is vital that you seek the help of a skilled Illinois criminal defense attorney immediately. Criminal charges can be life changing and without assistance, you may find yourself facing severe legal, financial, and emotional consequences. It is important that you hire an attorney with the knowledge and skills required for your specific charges. Finding a quality attorney, however, can be tougher than it sounds, and it starts with asking the right questions.

Questions for Potential Attorneys

Choosing the right attorney could represent the difference between freedom or jail time, so it is important to take some time to review your potential options. Many people work with the first attorney they meet, but keep in mind that you have the power to find the best possible attorney for you, one who has the experience and knowledge needed to handle your case. Start by making sure that any potential candidates are members of the Illinois State Bar Association, and if you are in Chicago, the Chicago Bar Association. Typically, attorneys with questionable practices or backgrounds are not eligible for membership.

Next, ask each potential attorney a variety of questions. You want to be sure that whoever you choose is qualified to handle your case and that they will handle it well. Ask about the attorney’s background, qualifications, and how they would handle your specific case. Use questions like:

  • What similar cases have you handled in the past?
  • Have you had many successful outcomes?
  • What might happen if I plead guilty?
  • What type of strategy would be best for my case?
  • Is a plea bargain possible?
  • What successful strategies have you used in the past?
  • Do you feel confident about my case?

Also, remember to ask any potential candidates about the costs associated with their services. You want to be sure that you can afford the representation you hire. Keep in mind, however, that cheaper is not always better. That said, expensive is not always better either, so it is best to find an attorney you can afford and who you feel is experienced enough to represent you well.

Schedule an Appointment

Are you facing criminal charges in Illinois? Are you looking for aggressive, effective representation from an attorney with a proven track record of success? Contact The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today to learn more about about the quality counsel we provide. Your initial consultation is free, and we are ready to help you. Call 847-488-0889 to speak to a qualified Kane County criminal defense attorney now.


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arrest, Kane County criminal defense attorneyWhether you are confronted with suspicion of driving under the influence, accused of committing battery, or have been seen on surveillance video shoplifting, there are certain actions you should avoid when placed under arrest. How you decide to carry yourself from the moment an officer confronts you can work for or against you later on in a court of law.

Actions That Can Add Fuel to the Fire

While it is true that every Illinois state resident may exercise their basic constitutional rights upon arrest, conducting yourself civilly and politely when dealing with law enforcement is a crucial part in protecting your case as you move forward.

Conversely, here are three mistakes that have the power to potentially damage your case:

1. Resisting: If you are being arrested by an officer of the law, do not resist. You can be charged with resisting a lawful arrest, s. This is considered a Class A misdemeanor and can result in a prison sentence of up to one year, as well as a hefty fine. Even if the arrest is illegal and you are in fact innocent, failing to cooperate in any way does not help your case. If the arrest turns out to be a false one, you have the option to bring an action against the law enforcement officer later on, but during the actual arrest, it is important to cooperate.

2. Arguing: Along with physically resisting an arrest, arguing with law enforcement and making the officer’s more difficult is a good way to hurt your case. While you cannot be charged for simply voicing your opinion or defending yourself, verbally insulting or attacking the arresting officer will not earn you any sympathy in a court of law. This also applies to any "frisk" search. Arguing and resisting an officer’s right to search you once they have placed you in custody will not help when it comes to your defense in court. Additionally, when the officer requests to see your license and any other identifying information, you are required to comply.

3. Talking too much: Upon arrest, your Miranda rights give you permission to remain silent if you wish, and they also state that anything you say can and will be used against you in court. If you choose your option to forgo silence, be aware that saying too much can land you in hot water - possibly even hotter water than you were in the first place. Sometimes saying less is more. You do not need to offer up any information that may further incriminate you.

If you have been arrested on criminal charges, utilize your right to speak with an experienced Elgin criminal defense attorney right away. The moment you are placed under arrest, we can help ensure your rights are fully protected no matter what the allegations against you may be. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation today.


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bail, Kane County criminal defense attorneyWhen someone is arrested on criminal charges, it can take months (or longer) before their case goes to trial. This does not necessarily mean that the individual has to wait in jail. Some situations may permit for a bail – a monetary payment – to be posted, giving the accused a chance to wait for their trial outside of police custody. If you or someone you love has been arrested and is facing charges, learn how bail bonds work in Illinois, and what it means for the accused, and the payer of the bond.

How Bail Works

At its core, bail is a pledge to return to court for all scheduled hearings. It might be a pledge of personal property, or even a personal promise from the accused. However, bail is generally a monetary sum of money. As long as the accused follows through, the bail is returned upon the defendant’s exoneration. Alternatively, if the accused is convicted, the funds are put toward their court fines. When a defendant fails to attend their scheduled hearings, the bail is forfeited and a warrant is issued for their arrest.

Who is Eligible for Bail in Illinois?

Theoretically, anyone who has been arrested may be eligible for release on bail, but reality is often a different story. If an accused is considered to be a danger to the community or are thought to be at risk of fleeing, they are unlikely to receive the option of bail. Furthermore, defendants who are being charged with serious and/or violent crimes, certain drug-related crimes, are facing possible life in prison, or are considered a repeat felony offender are often held without bail. Alternatively, the judge may set an extraordinarily high bail amount – one well above what most people can afford – in order to keep someone in jail until trial. In these instances, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help.

Paying Bail in Illinois

While some states permit the use of bail bondsmen (a third party that promises to pay the full amount of the bail if the accused fails to meet the terms of their release), they are banned in the state of Illinois. However, there are provisions for families in Illinois that wish to post bail but cannot afford the full amount. The defendant might be able to pursue a release on one’s own recognizance (known as O.R.) which may be offered to those considered "trustworthy" to return to court without the assurance of a financial bail. Alternatively, families may be offered the opportunity to post a surety on the bond (generally 10 percent of the full bail amount).

Facing Criminal Charges? We Can Help

Whatever charges you may be facing, whatever the evidence may be against you, an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney can help. Dedicated to your best interest, and your future, we aggressively defend your rights. We fight to achieve the most favorable outcome for your unique situation and, in some cases, may even be able to have your charges dropped. To learn more, contact our office by calling 847-488-08890 for a free consultation.


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