Call today to discuss your case
24/7 Availability

Criminal Attorney Serving Greater Chicago

Tell Your side of the story
We can help you in Chicago, Cicero, Berwin, and Evanston, IL and the surrounding areas.

Contact Us

Schedule your criminal defense case consultation with Matthew Chivari today.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE articles

experienced Criminal defense in the greater chicago area

No items found.
best felony defense lawyer in chicaco

What our clients say about our criminal defense legal services

We appreciate the opportunity to help you get the benefits you deserve

No items found.

WHAT SEPARATES US FROM OTHER CHICAGO CRIMINAL DEFENSE FIRMS?

We Are a Highly recommended chicago criminal defense law firm

Experience. Experience fighting criminal charges on behalf of the accused.

Integrity. We are honest and upfront with you to ensure you understand our defense strategy.

Passion. You deserve our unwavering commitment to defend your rights.

Vision. We believe in the value of a powerful legal advocate.

Dedication. We care about your rights and are available 24/7 to answer your questions.

Success. We aim to deliver the best possible outcomes for every client, every time.

We are the best criminal defense attorney in chicago for your case

when your freedom, reputation, and future are at stake contact us

Our criminal defense practice areas

contact our attorneys with any questions you may Have. We can defend most any criminal charges in the chicago area.

More Criminal Defense Practice Areas

Recent criminal defense case results

when your freedom, reputation, and future are at stake contact us

No items found.
More Criminal Defense Case Results

criminal defense Frequently Asked Questions (FAq)

contact our attorneys with any additional criminal case questions you may Have.

What is the Right to a Speedy Trial?

The U.S. Constitution includes in the Bill of Rights the right to a speedy trial. The Sixth Amendment states in part: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed…”

The purpose of this amendment is to ensure that there is no unnecessary or unreasonable delay between arrest and trial. It is not the point of our justice system to hold arrestees who have not yet been tried indefinitely. That is contrary to the principle that criminal defendants are innocent until proven guilty. If there is a violation of your Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial, that is cause to dismiss your criminal case with prejudice. When the court dismisses a case with prejudice, that means you cannot be re-charged for the same crime and made to go to trial again. An experienced criminal lawyer can explain this to you in greater detail.

Speedy Trial History

In the 1970’s, the Supreme Court of the United States decided that whether or not a criminal defendant has been denied his or her right to a speedy trial is subject to a case-by-case analysis. What that means is there is no set rule to determine if someone’s Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury has been violated. Instead, the court must look at the unique factors in each case to determine if there has been such a violation. In order to determine if there has been a violation, the court has to apply a four-part balancing test. If, after applying the test, the court finds that the delay unfairly prejudiced the defendant, then there is a violation of the Sixth Amendment. The court will weigh the following four factors in determining if there was a violation:

(1) The length of the delay;

(2) The reason for the delay;

(3) When and how the defendant has asserted his or her Sixth Amendment right;

(4) How much prejudice is caused by the delay.

The Supreme Court has found that a 7-month delay due to the illness of the chief investigating officer, while long, is justifiable. A five-year period between the arrest and trial was considered “extraordinary.” A crowded docket with many criminal cases to try is not a sufficiently good reason for excessive delay. If you believe that your right to a speedy trial has been violated then contact a criminal lawyer immediately.

It is possible, and sometimes advisable, to waive your right to a speedy trial. Your experienced criminal defense attorney will know when waiving your right to a speedy trial is the prudent choice.

Contact Chivari P.C. Attorneys at Law

However, in order to turn yourself in you have to know that there is a warrant out for you. If you are suspicious that there may be a warrant in a particular city or county, you can go to that city or county’s courthouse. However, there is no guarantee that it will be there. Additionally, you can search a clerk of court’s website

A more effective method of searching for a warrant is to conduct a background search on yourself. There are many websites that allow you to do this for a small fee. These websites will provide you with your criminal record, also called your “rap sheet.” It should include past, present and pending local, state and federal charges. These are the same websites used by employers and landlords when they are considering hiring candidates or leasing to tenants. Simply Google “criminal background check” and choose the company you like best to conduct your background check.

Even if you don’t think you have a criminal record, it is never a bad idea to conduct a period background check on yourself. Sadly, it is not uncommon to find mistakes. It’s possible that you share a name with a criminal. If you find a mistake on your record, contact a criminal attorney to discuss your options for having the mistake rectified.

Call Us If You Have Questions

Contact criminal defense lawyer Matthew Chivari today for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been arrested or accused of a crime.

Read the full FAQ here:
What is the Right to a Speedy Trial?

What kind of penalties could I face?

This largely depends on the crimes you have been charged with and if you have a previous record of criminal convictions. Illinois is not entirely lenient, even when it comes to misdemeanors. Offenses such as possession of marijuana less than 30 grams or driving under the influence could still land you with up to $2,500 in fines and jail time up to one year. More severe felonies could result in a lifetime of prison and up to $1 million in fines for some crimes.

Read the full FAQ here:
What kind of penalties could I face?

Why do I need a criminal defense attorney?

Should you choose to represent yourself or use a public defender, you may be writing your own conviction and sentence.

Is Circumstantial Evidence Enough to Convict Someone at Trial?

Chivari P.C. Attorneys at Law

Yes. Circumstantial evidence is enough to convict someone at trial. The standard for finding someone guilty in a criminal trial is “proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” This standard can be met using either direct evidence or circumstantial evidence. An experienced criminal attorney can explain this more in depth.

Direct evidence is evidence that, if believed by the fact-finder, proves the existence of a certain fact without needing any inference or “connecting the dots.” For example, if Susan sees Mary put a diamond ring into her purse and then walk out of the store without paying for the ring, then Susan’s testimony would be direct evidence that Mary committed a theft.

Circumstantial evidence is also known as indirect evidence. Circumstantial evidence involves the connections of a series of facts that, when examined together using reason and experience, can lead one to infer a certain conclusion. For example, say that Susan, a jewelry store employee, knew that Mary had very little money and loved diamond rings. One day, Susan and Mary were alone in the jewelry store, where a diamond ring lay on a table. Susan leaves the room briefly and when she returns, Mary and the diamond ring are gone. One can reasonably infer from that set of facts that Mary stole the diamond ring. There are alternative explanations, though, because Susan did not witness the alleged theft. A criminal attorney will be able to develop a strong defense to a circumstantial evidence case.

It is not difficult to imagine a scenario in which circumstantial evidence is all that is needed to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, imagine Jane sees Tom go into an empty house with Jim. Then, Jane hears screams and shortly thereafter sees Tom run from the house covered in blood and carrying a knife that is later proved to be the weapon used to stab Jim to death. We have to infer from the facts presented what happened. The facts are: 1) Tom and Jim go into a house together; 2) the house was empty before Tom and Jim entered it; 3) someone screamed; 4) Jim was stabbed to death; and, 5) Tom was seen running from the home covered in blood and carrying the murder weapon. We can fill in the dots, so to speak, to believe that Tom stabbed Jim. However, Jane did not actually see Tom stab Jim, so there is no direct evidence.

Clearly, direct evidence makes it easier to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. However, a prosecutor can still convince a jury using only circumstantial evidence that a defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced criminal lawyer will be able to win a case where there is direct or circumstantial evidence. The important questions to ask is: What is the evidence? Are there reasonable ways to interpret the evidence that lead to a conclusion other than the defendant committed the crime? Each judge and jury is different. What may be persuasive to one jury falls short of persuading another. That is why it is important to have an experienced and skilled criminal attorney defending you at trial, no matter how circumstantial the evidence may be.

Are You Accused of a Crime?

Criminal Defense Attorney Matthew Chivari is experienced in defending criminal cases in Chicago and throughout the United States. If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer today. Call our office for a free consultation.

What is the Criminal Trial Process?

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime you are probably wondering what the criminal trial process is. It may be that you have never been through the justice system before and have never hired a criminal attorney before. Criminal attorney Matthew Chivari is an experienced criminal lawyer handling cases throughout Chicago. Below is a brief summary of the criminal trial process. If you have additional questions please do not hesitate to contact criminal lawyer Matthew Chivari.

Pre-trial Motions

After your arrest and grand jury indictment but before a trial, the prosecution and your criminal attorney will file a number of pre-trial motions. These might include motions to admit or suppress evidence, motion to dismiss the case, and a motion to change the venue.

Negotiation

Usually after these motions are filed and ruled upon, the prosecuting attorney and your defense counsel will most likely attempt to negotiate a plea deal. For a client that is innocent, taking a plea bargain might seem on its face like a bad idea. However, a dedicated and skilled criminal attorney will know when it is a good idea for even an innocent client to take a lesser charge.

For example, if you are charged with a DUI and your criminal defense attorney believes it is likely a judge or jury will find you guilty, he may strongly urge you to take a reduced traffic charge that might come with a high fine but none of the jail or license suspension requirements that accompany a DUI conviction. It could be well worth not risking having a DUI on your record to take a plea bargain. In the end, though, it is up to you whether or not you want to take any plea bargain offered to you.

Jury Selection

If there is no plea agreement, the first step in a criminal trial is jury selection. Your criminal attorney and the prosecution will question a number of citizens selected to appear for jury duty and will narrow it down to twelve jurors. Your criminal lawyer will do his or her best to select a jury that will find you the most favorable verdict.

The Trial

At the beginning of a trial, the jurors are sworn in. Then the prosecutor must make an opening statement in which he lists all of the elements of the defendant’s charged offense and that he can prove each and every element. Then, your criminal defense attorney may make an opening statement or wait to make it until after the prosecution presents the government’s case.

The prosecution presents the government’s case first. The prosecutor will introduce evidence and interview witnesses who are under oath. The defense can cross-examine any of the prosecution’s witnesses. Then, the defense presents your case in the same manner, and the prosecution may cross-examine your witnesses.

During the trial, the burden of proving your guilt is on the prosecutor. The defense does not have to present a case.

The prosecutor must prove to the jury that you committed every element of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that if there is any reasonable doubt left in any one of the juror’s minds, then the jury must find you not guilty.

At the conclusion of trial, the parties make their closing arguments to the jury. Then, the jury convenes to decide if you are guilty or not guilty.

How We Can Help

Please contact criminal defense attorney Matthew Chivari today for a free consultation if you have been accused of a crime.

Read the full FAQ here:
What is the Criminal Trial Process?
Copyright 2022 Chivari P.C. Attorneys at Law. All Rights Reserved.