It’s no secret – I’m a big Cubs fan. And for Cubs fans, last Wednesday (heck, the last two weeks) was a reason to celebrate big time.
But maybe the excitement of the game, the stress of the last few innings, and the drinks you had in the meantime also got you in a little bit of trouble. If you were arrested or charged with criminal misconduct or similar charges, believe me you’re not alone. Heck, the arrests related to this World Series game started making news stories before the series was halfway over.
But now that the excitement of the World Series is winding down, it is time to understand the charges against you, and what you can do to keep your criminal record clean.
What Is “Criminal Misconduct?”
Criminal misconduct charges can be confusing, especially if this is your first offense. One of the big reasons for this is that, depending on the circumstances, your actual charges can range from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class 3 felony. The following “definitions” of criminal misconduct lead to the following charges:
- “Any act in such unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb another and to provoke a breach of the peace.” Class C misdemeanor
- “Enters upon the property of another and for a lewd or unlawful purpose deliberately looks into a dwelling on the property through any window or other opening.” Class A misdemeanor
- “Transmits or causes to be transmitted in any manner to the fire department of any city…a false alarm of fire.” Class 4 felony
And these are just some of the examples.
The Importance of Defending Yourself
Now, a Class C misdemeanor may not seem like a big deal. If you are found guilty, you won’t even be sentenced to jail. You will, however, get a fairly large fine and have a criminal record. A record that will follow you through any future job searches and apartment hunting.
Not to mention the fact that having a record is bound to negatively impact you if you are ever charged with a criminal offense in the future. A second criminal misconduct arrest can bump your charges up to a higher misdemeanor, or even a felony.
And I hope I don’t have to tell you that you really should take your case seriously if you are charged with a felony. Being convicted of a felony – no matter what type of felony – can have lifelong consequences, and will definitely follow you for years to come.
How to Protect Your Rights
Because criminal misconduct is a criminal charge, you will have to go through the court system like you would for any other criminal offense. Because this can be complicated, confusing, and scary, we strongly recommend reaching out to an experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer.
He or she will be able to walk you through your specific charges, and go over the options you have for creating a defense strategy, getting your charges dropped, and keeping a clean record. The sooner you set up a free consultation, the more likely you are to enjoy a positive outcome.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, Murder, and drug crimes.