Vandalia, IL Criminal Defense Attorneys
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Vandalia, IL Criminal Lawyers
Are you or a loved one facing criminal charges in Fayette County, Illinois? Being convicted of any type of crime can have severe consequences for you and your future. In all criminal cases, the stakes are high, and your freedom is at risk. The Fayette County State’s Attorney’s Office files a lot of criminal cases yearly. In 2020, the Fayette County State’s Attorney’s Office filed 279 felonies, 140 misdemeanors, and 39 DUI cases. In 2021, Fayette County prosecutors charged 275 felonies, 193 misdemeanors, and 56 DUI cases.
All criminal defense attorneys are not created equal. When you’re facing charges, you need aggressive and experienced representation that fights to protect you and your rights. That’s where we come in. Our Vandalia, Illinois Criminal Defense Attorneys fight for those charged with criminal offenses and work tirelessly to ensure our clients get the best possible outcome for our clients.
Types of Criminal Cases We Handle
We handle all criminal cases, both felony, and misdemeanor. Some common case types we handle are:
- Drug Charges
- Violent Crimes
- Sex Crimes
- Gun & Weapon Charges
- Theft Crimes
- Internet & Cyber Crimes
- Probation Violations
- Criminal Appeals & Post Conviction Relief
- Traffic Violations
- Expungements & Sealing
- Criminal Investigations
Have you been charged with a Federal Crime? Click Here!
We Always Offer 100% Free Consultations No Matter the Charge!
Aggressively Defending Clients Facing Charges in Fayette County, IL and Throughout Southern Illinois
We don’t only handle cases in Vandalia, Illinois but we handle those charged anywhere in Fayette County and throughout most of Southern Illinois. Some of the Fayette County communities we handle are:
Prior Criminal Defense Case Results
We don’t just talk a big game, we get results. A few examples of some of our case results for previous clients charged with criminal offenses:
- Possession of Methamphetamine (Class X Felony) – DISMISSED
- Terrorism (Criminal Investigation) – No Charges Filed Against Client
- Residential Burglary – DISMISSED
- Aggravated Battery of a Peace Officer (Class 2 Felony) – DISMISSED
- Aggravated Battery –DISMISSED
- Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon – DISMISSED
- Possession of Meth (Class 3 Felony) – DISMISSED
- Traveling To Meet a Minor – DISMISSED
- Burglary – DISMISSED
- Obstruction of Justice – DISMISSED
- Aggravated Domestic Battery– DISMISSED
- Domestic Battery (2 Counts) – DISMISSED
- Aggravated Assault of Police Officer – DISMISSED
- Possession of Cannabis w/ Intent to Deliver (10lbs of Marijuana) (Class 1 Felony) – Reduced to Misdemeanor
- Cannabis Trafficking – (106lbs of Marijuana) (Class X Felony) –No Felony Conviction
- Possession of Cannabis (8lbs of Marijuana) (Class 1 Felony) – No Felony Conviction
- DUI – DISMISSED
- Criminal Damage to Government Property – DISMISSED
- Unlawful Restraint (Class 4 Felony) – DISMISSED
- Violation of Order of Protection – DISMISSED
- Criminal Damage to Property (Class 3 Felony) – DISMISSED
- Theft of Services – DISMISSED
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident – DISMISSED
- Driving While License Suspended – DISMISSED
A Legacy & Tradition of Southern Illinois Criminal Defense Excellence
Here at Olson & Reeves, our partner, Attorney Josh Reeves personally handles all our firm’s criminal cases. Josh’s passion is criminal defense work. Josh handles criminal & DUI and travels all across Southern Illinois and has successfully helped hundreds of clients. Josh has also defended multiple clients in jury and bench trials.
Also fighting for clients at Olson & Reeves is Attorney Melissa Doran. Melissa has over 20 years of experience in criminal law. For 18 years Melissa was the 1st Assistant Prosecutor in Carterville County, Illinois. It was there that she earned her reputation as one of the most feared and aggressive prosecutors in Southern Illinois. During her career, Melissa has handled over 9,000 felony cases. Melissa is known throughout Southern Illinois as one of the best trial attorneys and has over 200 jury and bench trials to her resume, including trials across all types of criminal cases, including murder cases, sex offenses, and drug charges.
Josh and Melissa are continuing the legacy of providing superior criminal defense representation by our Of Counsel Attorneys Eddie Veltman.
“Fast” Eddie Veltman is a Carterville County legend. He’s been practicing law since 1976. “Fast” Eddie has handled criminal & DUI cases across southern Illinois. He’s taken 100 cases to jury trial with plenty of not guilty verdicts on his resume. Eddie is currently Of Counsel for Olson & Reeves and acts as an advisor to Attorney Reeves and Attorney Doran on criminal cases.
How Much Does It Cost to Retain You To Be My Vandalia, IL Criminal Lawyer?
Our prices vary on a case-by-case basis, based on many different factors, including what criminal charges you are facing, prior criminal history, and location. However, we always do an Initial Free Case Evaluation, to discuss your options, and whether we are the right fit for you. If you do hire us it’s always on a Flat Fee basis, meaning, you will know exactly how much it will cost you. We don’t bill by the hour on criminal cases and there aren’t any hidden fees.
How Our Vandalia, IL Criminal Attorneys Can Help
Our criminal attorneys understand how scary it can be after you’ve been charged with a crime. We know that you have a lot of questions, about the charges you’re facing, the process, and your future. Josh helps to put these questions to bed. He has experience and knowledge when you need it most. Josh will be completely upfront and frank with you about the severity of your charges, and how he can help. Attorney Josh Reeves can help you get the best possible outcome, whether that means getting the case dismissed, going to a jury trial, or working out a reasonable plea with the State. Josh will go through all the evidence and file all the necessary motions to give you the best chance in your case. Your new criminal lawyer Josh Reeves is waiting to hear from you.
Still Not Sure? Listen to Our Former Clients
- Chad D. – Best results that I ever had from an attorney! Highly Recommend!
- Dylan D. – “Will fight for your rights and very personable, will be there when you need him.”
- Josh S. – “I just wrapped up a trial with Josh … Josh won a difficult case for me and more importantly he did it for a reasonable price. I thank him for the victory and the reasonable pricing.”
- Chris E. – “Amazing results I highly recommend [Josh Reeves]. He took it out of my hands and took care of everything. He made me feel safe putting my young son[‘s] life in his hands. God forbid I have any more problems arise. But at least I know I have some where to turn.”
- Arrie A. – “Josh was hired to represent a family member. He explained everything so that there was no room for error and handled everything promptly. I would recommend him to anyone!”
- Kalon C. – “After weeks & weeks of the run around I was referred Mr. Reeves and he took care of things just like he said he would.”
- Jerry B. – “Josh is an AWESOME Attorney and a great person. He truly CARES for his clients. I give Olson & Reeves a huge 5 STAR rating. If you are in a legal/court situation. This is the LAW firm to contact for help and they are reasonably priced. AWESOME AWESOME”
- Mary H. – “I was directed to Mr Reeves by way of a referral and I am so glad I was. From the first meeting to the last he was knowledgeable, professional, quick-witted and knew exactly how he wanted to proceed given any instance that could arise. I pray I won’t ever need to call him in a professional manner in the future but if I ever need a lawyer I already have his number.”
- Linken H. – “Mr. Reeves was extremely helpful. I was nervous and he was able to make me feel confident in my situation. He is very professional, precise, and prepared for whatever situation may be encountered. I hope to not need his assistance again in a professional manner, but he will be my choice if I need assistance again.”
See All Of Our Reviews Here!
Not All Criminal Defense Lawyers are Created Equal
If you are facing any kind of criminal charges in Southern Illinois, you need the best representation possible. Don’t settle for sub-par representation. Many defense lawyers take a case with only the intention of getting a plea, and not with any intention of fiercely fighting your charges and attempting to get them dismissed. Prosecutors aren’t dumb, they know this. These local State’s Attorneys Offices know these criminal defense attorneys, and having a defense lawyer the prosecutors know will never go trial can greatly affect your likelihood of success.
You need a Southern Illinois criminal defense attorney that prosecutors know will go to bat and isn’t afraid to go to a jury trial. We pride ourselves on not being afraid to go to trial and reviewing and researching every possible angle and outcome of your case to ensure that you get the absolute best result possible.
Vandalia, IL DUI Attorneys
Arrested for a DUI in Southern Illinois? Don’t just roll over. Fight your DUI and protect your driver’s license and future. What many people don’t understand about DUI charges is that there are two aspects to them, the actual criminal charge stemming from the arrest and the administrative sanctions from the Illinois Secretary of State associated with them. You risk losing your driver’s license as well as facing criminal penalties. This is why it’s imperative you have an experienced Robinson, IL DUI lawyer on your side.
If you are facing a DUI charge, time is of the essence because of administrative deadlines concerning your Illinois driver’s license. Reach out today to speak to one of our Southern Illinois DUI attorneys for a free consultation and to learn your options!
Drug & Narcotics Charges
Many people believe that the war on drugs is a relic of the 1980s and 1990s, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Southern Illinois law enforcement is constantly cracking down on drug users and sellers. Being charged with any kind of drug charge is serious, and the defendants facing these charges are looking at prison sentences that are frequently disproportionate to the crime they actually committed. If you’ve been arrested for drug charges, our Southern Illinois Drug lawyers can help. We handle all drug and narcotics charges including:
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver
- Delivery of a Controlled Substance
- Cannabis and Marijuana Charges
- Methamphetamine Charges
- Heroin and Fentanyl Charges
- Cocaine Charges
- Prescription Pill Charges
Gun & Weapons Charges
If you’re facing gun or weapons charges you need to act fast. Southern Illinois prosecutors across the board are cracking down on gun and deadly weapon offenders. Defendants facing these charges are looking at some of the most severe penalties of any type of Illinois criminal charge. Jackson County is no exception. We handle all gun and weapons cases including:
- Possession of a Firearm without a Valid FOID Card
- Unlawful Possession of a Weapon by a Felon
- Unlawful Use of Weapons
- Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm
- Reckless Discharge of a Firearm
- Aggravated Battery
- Armed Robbery
- Attempted Murder
If you or a loved one are facing gun or weapons charges in Southern Illinois, reach out today to speak to our Southern Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney today to discuss your options.
Sex crimes are amongst the most serious types of offenses in the entire State of Illinois. The potential penalties are severe and can include lengthy prison sentences and being required to register as a sex offender. These charges can have lasting effects and can impact you for the rest of your life. However, sex offenses are amongst the hardest to prove for prosecutors. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney can be the difference between your freedom or spending years behind bars. We handle all Illinois sex offenses, including:
- Criminal Sexual Abuse
- Criminal Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault
- Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child
Many people are embarrassed to even speak to a criminal defense lawyer. Bury those feelings immediately. Our Southern Illinois sex crimes defense lawyers has the experience you need in a time like this. Our criminal defense attorney is on your side and will discuss your options with you in a judgment-free consultation.
Being convicted of a theft crime can be disastrous for your future. Theft charges can lead to prison sentences and even if you aren’t sentenced to jail time, a conviction for theft or “crime of dishonesty” can affect your ability to get a job in the future. We have a track record of success in theft crimes for our clients. We handle all Illinois theft crimes including:
- Retail Theft
- Residential Burglary
- Possession of Stolen Vehicle
- Identity Theft
- Unlawful Use of a Credit/Debit Card
- Financial Exploitation of an Elderly Person
Violent crimes are a broad category of criminal offenses and can mean a variety of things. However, any kind of violent criminal offense can lead to serious jail time and have collateral consequences such as losing your FOID card. These charges are often times emotional and prosecutors don’t feel like they have much wiggle room due to pressure from alleged victims and their families. If you’re facing any kind of criminal charge where the allegations are you harmed someone else, you need to seek our representation immediately. Our Williamson County, Illinois criminal defense lawyers are here to help. We handle cases of alleged violence, including:
- Domestic Battery
- Aggravated Battery
- Armed Robbery
Common Questions for Our Vandalia, IL Criminal Lawyers
“Am I going to lose my gun rights?”
There are certain types of cases that if a client receives a conviction for, will indeed lead to gun ownership disqualification. These include any felony conviction, a conviction for domestic battery, having an active order of protection against you, violation of an order of protection, or any conviction of battery or assault where a firearm was used or possessed.
“What is Conditional Discharge?”
In Illinois, conditional discharge also referred to as C/D, can be considered a type of non-reporting probation. It is commonly misunderstood, but conditional discharge is in fact a criminal conviction. Terms and conditions may be applied to you like they are on probation; however, oversight is substantially less than it is on probation.
“What is Court Supervision?”
In Illinois, court supervision is a special type of sentence imposed where the court can enter terms and conditions that the defendant must abide by, and the defendant may have to even report to a probation officer. The major difference between court supervision and probation or conditional discharge is that at the successful conclusion of the period of court supervision, a judgment is entered dismissing the charges. More simply put, if you behave yourself and fulfill the conditions the court tells you to complete, there will not be a criminal conviction entered against you, and the case is dismissed at the end. Some attorneys even refer to it as the Illinois version of a “get out of jail” free card.
“My Loved One’s Bond Is Set at $50,000! I Can’t Afford To Bail Him Out! Help!”
When a Bond is set in Illinois, only 10% needs to be posted to secure the release of the defendant. So for example, if a defendant’s bond is set at $50,000, then the amount to secure the defendant’s release would be $5,000. Note that usually there is a processing fee involved so it’s usually slightly above the 10% amount but not by a lot.
“My Loved One’s Bond Is Set to High, Can We Get It Reduced?”
Typically, in Illinois, a judge sets a bond amount after a felony has been charged. If the bond amount is too high for the defendant to post bond, then the defendant’s criminal defense attorney can file a Motion to Reduce the bond and set it for a hearing. At this hearing, the defense will argue that the bond is too prejudicially high and the judge should lower it to a lesser amount so that the defendant can post it. Factors the court takes into consideration at a Motion to Reduce bond hearing are things such as nature of the offense, prior criminal history, relationship or ties to the community, public safety, health conditions, or dependents. The court can grant the motion in its entirety or quite frequently partially grant the motion and lower the bond to a lesser amount just not the entire amount the defense requested.
Important Note: If the court has heard a Motion to Reduce bond hearing previously, the defense cannot file a new one absent some substantial change in circumstance.
“I want to see my Motion to Discover.”
This is a common comment criminal clients say. You can always see your literal Motion to Discover, however, what defendant’s really want to see if the State’s answer to the Motion to Discover, which would entail police reports, videos, witness statements, etc.
“Can I get a copy of the Discovery in my case?”
Up until recently, the answer would have been no. Previously, Illinois Supreme Court Rule 415 dictated that any discovery materials given to the Attorney had to stay with the Attorney. This was a headache, specifically for clients in jail, because they could only review their discovery if the attorney was present with them. On October 23, 2020, the Illinois Supreme Court amended Rule 415 which allowed defense counsel to file a motion allowing their clients to have access to their discovery. If the court grants the motion which it has to absent good cause, the defense attorney must “scrub” the discovery for any personal information, such as contact information, mental health professionals, or victim advocate’s personal information. So under the amended Illinois Supreme Court Rules, yes a defendant can get a copy of the discovery in his case.
“Am I going to Prison?” “What are our chances of winning?”
This is a very common question criminal defense attorneys get asked at the initial consultation, and for felonies in particular, it is almost impossible to answer during the initial case evaluation. Defense lawyers, and lawyers in general, cannot make any promises or guarantees about the outcome of a case. It’s impossible to answer the questions or put a percentage of likelihood of success at the consultation but the criminal defense lawyer hasn’t seen the discovery/State’s evidence. Usually, defense attorneys won’t be able to gauge where a case is headed or possible outcome until they see the evidence as the entire strength of the state’s case rests with the evidence.
“What does nolle pros mean?”
You will sometimes hear defense attorneys, prosecutors, or judges uses the term nolle pros, or nolle. These are both just shortened ways of saying the latin term “nolle prosequi” which translates to “not to wish to prosecute.” In Illinois criminal cases, when the state nolles a case, it means the state is dismissing the charge. Only a prosecutor can file a nolle prosequi. While this is the result any criminal defendant wishes for, a nolle is not the final disposition of a case. Meaning, it’s being dismissed but without prejudice. In layman’s terms, this means while the state is dismissing the case, the charges could be refiled at a later date or by a different prosecutor.
“Why Won’t My Criminal Lawyer File a Motion to Dismiss the Charges?”
A defendant does in did have the right to file a motion to dismiss the charges, however, these motions are very rarely granted because there are only limited circumstances in which the court can grant a motion to dismiss. Some of these issues would be speedy trial issues, an improper grand jury indictment, the county does not have jurisdiction to hear the case, or the charge does not state an offense. These circumstances are incredibly rare, so for a defense lawyer to file a Motion to Dismiss, some extraordinary circumstances must be present.
“What does “Speedy Trial” Mean?”
Under Illinois law, a defendant that has been arrested and taken into custody must be brought to a trial within 120 days. If the defendant is not in custody, the defendant must make a demand for a speedy trial, in writing, and the defendant must be brought to trial within 160 days after filing the demand. These time frames can be halted if the defendant or his attorney does something to cause a delay in the proceedings.
“The Judge on my case doesn’t like me, How Can We Get Rid of Him?”
Sometimes it can be a wise strategic move to bump a judge off of a criminal case. In Illinois, a defendant can in fact remove a judge from hearing their case with some caveats. Within 10 days of the case being placed on the judge’s call, the defendant may file in writing a Motion for Substitution of Judge on the grounds that the judge is so prejudiced against him that he cannot receive a fair trial. A defendant can only do this once with the exception that the defendant is being charged with a Class X felony, then they may bump two judges. If you are outside the 10-day time frame, a defendant may still file a Motion for Substitution of Judge but the motion must be supported by an affidavit and the motion shall go to a hearing.
“What is a proffer agreement?”
A proffer agreement is an off-the-record meeting between the defendant and the prosecutors. These agreements are very frequently used in the prosecution of federal cases; however, they are becoming more and more prevalent in southern Illinois state criminal cases. Usually, there is a limited immunity agreement that nothing that the defendant says can be used against him. During these meetings, the defendant shares any relevant information they have, and they cooperate with the State in hopes of the State offering a better plea bargain. While prosecutors make no promises or guarantees prior to these proffer meetings, if the defendant cooperates with prosecutors and helps with the prosecution of other interested parties, the State will frequently cut a very good plea deal with the defendant.
“What are Miranda Rights?”
Miranda rights are an important tool in protecting the Constitutional rights of citizens. Miranda Warnings help protect U.S. citizen’s fifth and sixth amendment rights. When you are taken into custody you must be advised of the Miranda Warning. Miranda rights are as follows:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can be used against you in court.
- You have the right to talk to a lawyer for advice before being asked any questions.
- You have the right to have a lawyer with you during questioning.
- If you cannot afford a lawyer, one may be appointed for you before any questioning.
- If you decided to answer questions now without a lawyer present, you have the right to stop answering at any time.
“I wasn’t read my Miranda Rights; the Case should be thrown out right?”
This is a pretty common misconception. If you are arrested and not read your Miranda Rights, then that is without a doubt an error on behalf of law enforcement. A frequent question or comment we receive is that “the police didn’t read me my Miranda rights, the charges have to be thrown out.” This isn’t correct. If law enforcement failed to read you your Miranda rights, anything you said can be suppressed and not be used as evidence against you. The failure to not read Miranda rights in itself does not mean your case must be dismissed. Miranda rights in themselves, are not constitutional rights, but rather they are meant to protect your 5th and 6th amendment rights. Getting statements a defendant said after not being read their rights could potentially lead to a dismissal if the state has no other evidence that a crime was committed.
“What Does Plead the 5th mean?”
The term, plead the fifth is a reference to the fifth amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees that individuals cannot be forced or compelled to incriminate themselves. This is more commonly referred to as the “right to remain silent.”
“If I Win My Case Do I Get My Bond Money Back?”
If your case is dismissed, then yes you will receive your money back minus a 10% processing fee.
What is an “Open Plea?”
An open plea is when a defendant pleads guilty without any agreement between the State and Defense. In essence, you are pleading guilty and letting the judge decide your sentence. The judge can then sentence you anywhere in the sentencing range for the offense that you are pleading guilty to. Frequently, the State and the defense will come to a binding cap on the number of years the defendant can receive.
For example, if the defendant is charged with burglary, a class 2 felony, and the sentencing range is 3 to 7 years. The defendant could open a plea with a binding cap of 5 years, meaning the sentencing judge can give him up to 5 years in prison instead of the normal seven years.
Fayette County, IL State’s Attorney Information
Fayette County State’s Attorney
221 South Seventh Street
Vandalia, Illinois 62471
Vandalia, IL Law Enforcement Information
If you’ve been arrested in Fayette County, odds are high that it was from one of these law enforcement agencies. If detectives or police officers from these agencies reach out to speak to you or ask you to come in to answer questions, you should reach out to a criminal defense attorney immediately. Despite what they say, law enforcement officials are not trying to help you during an investigation, they are attempting to get you to say something incriminating that they can use against you in a criminal case.
Anyone asked to speak to the police should ALWAYS invoke their right to remain silent under the 5th Amendment.
Fayette County Sheriff’s Department
Sheriff Chris Palmer
221 South Seventh Street
Vandalia, Illinois 62471
Vandalia Police Department
Chief of Police Jeff Ray
221 S 5th St,
Vandalia, IL 62471
Phone: (618) 283-0556