Areas of Practice

Joel Murphy Law

Criminal Defense

Being charged with a crime can be one of the worst times of your life. Your reputation, and freedom, may be at stake. Navigating the court system when facing charges can feel incredibly overwhelming. During this difficult time, you will want an attorney who understands your circumstances and can act aggressively in your defense. At Joel Murphy Law, we have the experience of handling a wide variety of criminal cases in Joliet, and across Illinois, since 2004.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Have you been arrested and Charged with DUI? While this is certainly a stressful and terrifying thing to deal with, your fear of the unknown is likely worse than reality. I will put you at ease with my experience and confidence by guiding you through every step of the process for the most favorable outcome.

When you were arrested, two separate cases began against you. The first is a civil case and is called a Statutory Summary Suspension. This is based on the “implied consent” law in Illinois. When arrested for DUI, you will be asked to submit to a chemical test, whether blood, breath, urine, or all of the above. If you submit to any of these tests and it discloses a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above, or if there are certain amounts of controlled substances in your system, your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of time that depends on many circumstances. If you refuse to submit to any of these tests, your driver’s license will be suspended for a longer period of time. While I personally believe that no person should be a witness against themselves or submit to these tests, call me to discuss the ways to challenge that suspension and how to deal with the potential loss of your driving privileges, including how to get a permit to drive.

The other part is the criminal case. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you are faced with a maximum penalty of up to one year in the County jail, $2500 in fines, and the revocation of your driver’s license. If charged with a felony, you could be facing prison time in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The burden of proof, however, is on the State. They must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest standard in our system. Proving your guilt is not as easy as thought. It is not enough to prove that you consumed alcohol and drove, rather, the State must prove that you were legally impaired by the alcohol consumed. I have been successful in attaining not guilty findings for hundreds of clients, as well as having numerous charges dismissed pursuant to motions prior to even getting to trial.
Call me to discuss how to challenge these charges and what to do about your ability to drive and retain your freedom.

Traffic Offenses

Have you been pulled over? Given traffic tickets? Your charges can range anywhere from a petty offense or ordinance violation to a criminal offense. Petty offenses are punishable by fine only but can have very negative consequences against your driving privileges and costs of insurance. Examples of Petty offenses are: speeding (up to 25mph above limit), failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident if you’ve been in a crash, improper lane usage, improper passing, equipment violations (such as muffler, head/tail lights), and failure to have valid and up to date insurance and registration. Certain petty offenses can have disastrous consequences, like speeding in a school or construction zone, passing a school bus, or Scott’s Law. Many times, I can handle these matters without you having to appear in court and miss work, school, or other obligations.

There are other traffic offenses that are much more serious. These are criminal offenses. This means they are punishable by potential jail or prison time. Examples of these are: aggravated speeding (26mph + above speed limit), unlicensed/driving while never having been issued a license, driving while your license is suspended/revoked, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage or personal injury, fleeing and eluding, and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Not only am I looking for the best outcome possible, but it is important to get a resolution that reduces your exposure to liability in a separate, possible civil lawsuit.

There are many different factors that can effect your case. You may be prosecuted by the State of Illinois or a prosecutor for one of the many municipalities. There are many different court rooms and judges. You want an attorney who has the experience and familiarity with all of these to guide you through the process. I am that attorney. Call me and we can discuss the best plan of action and acheive the best possible outcome.

Driver's License Reinstatement

If your Driver’s License is revoked due to a DUI or other circumstances, you will need a hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State to have your driver’s privileges reinstated. The Secretary of State process is very complicated and demanding. You need an attorney who understands what is necessary to get your license back; including all the necessary documentation and being prepared to answer all the questions you are asked during the hearing process. Many people try to do this on their own only to get denied and add months of delay on to the reinstatement of their driving privileges.

Call me to discuss the strategy unique to your particular case, such as: what type of hearing you will need (whether formal or informal), what documentation will be necessary, and preparation and practice for the hearing.  Unlike many other attorneys, I spend hours practicing with you prior to the hearing to ensure you are confident and prepared.