Defenses Against Joliet Criminal Charges Start with Understanding


The Illinois criminal justice system is big, complex, and confusing. If you find yourself being investigated, arrested, or facing a charge, you can also add ‘terrifying’ to that list.

For many people, the experience of being on the wrong side of the law unfolds like a surreal nightmare where they feel like they are treated as less than human and have no control over their own destiny.

In some cases, law enforcement officials offer little explanation about what is going on. In others, the police and others might bombard them with questions, accusations, threats, or promises – so much so that it begins to feel like a whirlwind of incomprehensible information.

You need someone on your side who can help you make sense of everything. Someone who possesses an in-depth understanding of Illinois criminal laws and knows how the police and other law enforcement officials operate. An advocate who can slow things down and help you understand what is going on, what you are up against, and your options.

Douglas G. DeBoer is that advocate. As a former criminal prosecutor, he is quite well-versed in exactly how law enforcement officials build their cases against alleged criminal offenders. It is knowledge that he has used in and around Joliet help countless people in and around Joliet to protect their rights and fight back against criminal charges, and he can use his skills and experience to your advantage as well.

It starts with gaining a clear understanding of your situation.

Penalties for Charges in Joliet Can Be Incredibly Severe

One of the most immediate things you need to understand is the charges and penalties you face. Depending on the specifics of your unique situation, this could mean the possibility of a lengthy prison or jail sentence and high fines or something less extreme, like probation or a diversion program.

The State of Illinois has created general guidelines for the consequences that people will face by defining and categorizing criminal acts. Lawmakers here break crimes up into two general categories: misdemeanors and felonies.


There are three classes of misdemeanors in Illinois that vary in severity:

  • Class C misdemeanors – punishable by up to thirty days in jail, two years of probation, and up to a $1,500 fine
  • Class B misdemeanors – punishable by up to six months in jail, two years of probation, and up to a $1,500 fine
  • Class A misdemeanors – punishable by up to a year in jail, two years of probation, and up to a $2,500 fine

Prostitution is an example of a misdemeanor in our state. Previously, possessing small amounts of marijuana could earn you a class B or C misdemeanor, but in 2016, it was decriminalized and now only results in a fine.

All misdemeanors in Illinois have a statute of limitations that lasts 18 months. In other words, law enforcement officials are not legally allowed to prosecute you for a misdemeanor offense over 18 months ago.


Illinois law details five classes of felonies: Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, and Class X. Each has specific penalty guidelines.

Additionally, some circumstances may allow judges to sentence people to “extended terms” – lengthier sentences for circumstances deemed to be especially egregious. These circumstances include:

  • Having prior criminal convictions
  • Committing a hate crime
  • Committing a crime against someone 60 or older

Here is how penalties break down by class:

  • Class 4 felony – Punishable by 1-3 years imprisonment. Extended term punishable by 3-6 years imprisonment.
  • Class 3 felony – Punishable by 2-5 years imprisonment. Extended term punishable by 5-10 years imprisonment.
  • Class 2 felony – Punishable by 3-7 years imprisonment. Extended term punishable by 7-14 years imprisonment.
  • Class 1 felony – Punishable by 4-15 years imprisonment. Extended term punishable by 15-30 years imprisonment.
  • Class X felony – Punishable by 6-30 years imprisonment. Extended term punishable by 30-60 years imprisonment.

Fines for all felonies are the same: up to $25,000.

The statute of limitations on felonies varies. Some of the most serious felony crimes, such as sexual acts against children and murder, do not have an attached statute of limitations at all.

Charges in Joliet That Douglas G. DeBoer Can Help You Fight

Different types of offenses may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies depending upon the offense itself and the circumstances surrounding the alleged act. Moreover, every illegal act listed—from arson to theft—follows a specific set of rules and guidelines.

Because of this, it is vital that you work with a lawyer who possesses a track record of success handling the actual criminal act you are being charged with.

Over the course of his career, Mr. DeBoer has successfully defended all kinds of charges:

Do not worry if your charge is not named above. The list is not meant to be comprehensive but rather an example of some of the most common offenses Mr. DeBoer deals with.

Want to know if he can help you with your charge? Reach out to our office.

Douglas G. DeBoer

Criminal defense attorney

1861 Black Road
Joliet, IL 60435

Let Douglas G. DeBoer Start Crafting the Strongest Possible Defense for You – Contact Us Today

It does not matter if you are facing a criminal charge in Joliet or anywhere else in the Chicagoland area—Mr. DeBoer can help.

However, he is powerless to do so unless you contact him first. It does not take much. Simply email, call 815-592-9145, or complete our quick and easy case review form online.

Not only is there absolutely no obligation, but your initial consultation with Douglas G. DeBoer is always free. So stop dragging your feet. Start protecting your future right now. Reach out to our office and learn what options are available to you.

The earlier you do so, the better your chances of working together to craft a defense strategy that will earn you a positive outcome.