Criminal Law

Foley Kelly Law Offices offers a comprehensive criminal law practice, representing clients in the southern Illinois area in matters of:


Driving under the influence is an incredibly common charge in Illinois. Any number of people have a drink or two and feel fine to drive, but a police officer spots them driving in a way that suggests impairment and pulls them over. If the officer claims to smell alcohol, that your eyes look bloodshot, and that your speech is slurred, you may soon find yourself facing an unexpected DUI charge.

A DUI charge must be taken seriously. It is a criminal offense, and being found guilty can have many negative effects on your life, including:

However, you may be able to avoid many — and perhaps all — of these consequences with the help of a skilled criminal defense lawyer. An Illinois DUI lawyer can help you to:

Every case is unique — as is the possible outcome — but with the help of an experienced DUI lawyer, you may have a chance at beating your charge or lessening the consequences.

Drug Crimes

Drug charges are among the most common and tragic types of criminal cases handled in Illinois courts. Drug abuse can ruin lives and tear families apart — and those who face drug-related charges also face some of the harshest penalties for any type of crime. An Illinois drug crime defense lawyer is the best option to defend your rights.

Many drug offenses are felonies that lead to life-altering consequences such as:

People charged with drug offenses often are suffering from drug addiction or dependency and can be rehabilitated with appropriate treatment, but need the advocacy of a skilled and compassionate attorney to get them the help they need. If you’ve been charged with a drug offense, you may have options for avoiding some or all of these consequences or reducing your charge or penalty. We will listen to your story and explain your options for fighting your drug charge and preserving your rights and your freedom.

Assault and Battery

These are serious criminal charges that can result in jail time and costly fines. In some cases, they may be felonies with life-altering effects in which working alongside an experienced attorney may be your strongest defense. If you’ve been charged with assault, battery, or domestic violence, it may be the case that your actions were misunderstood or misinterpreted. Or you may not have done anything at all and may have been falsely accused because someone else was feeling hurt or angry, or perhaps you were legally justified in your actions such as defending yourself from being harmed. There are two sides — sometimes more — to the story of every assault, battery, or domestic violence charge. We will listen to your side of the story and help ensure that it’s heard by police and prosecutors — and a judge or jury, if necessary. When all of the facts are revealed, you may have options for fighting your assault charge and getting it dismissed or reduced so that the consequences of this type of offense don’t follow you for years to come.

Weapon Crimes

Illinois has numerous statutes regarding the use, possession, and carrying of weapons and firearms. We are prepared to handle any type of firearm charge you might face.

These are some of the most common types of firearm charges:

If you’ve been charged with a weapons or firearms offense, don’t hesitate to contact us to learn your options for a defense. When you’re facing a criminal charge, your freedom, and your future are on the line, but with our help you may be able to fight the charge and avoid the serious consequences of a conviction.

Traffic Violations

Virtually every driver will get a traffic ticket at some point in his or her life. For many people, a traffic ticket is a minor annoyance. They pay the fine, move on with their lives, and forget about it. However, sometimes a traffic violation is more than just a ticket. Some Illinois traffic violations are misdemeanor crimes — or even felonies.

Consequences of a criminal traffic offense can include:

If you’ve been charged with a criminal traffic offense, you don’t have the option of simply paying a fine to make the ticket go away. That’s when you need the help of an experienced attorney to fight your charge and try to get it dismissed or reduced. We have defended countless criminal charges in courts in and around St. Clair County and helped numerous people charged with criminal traffic offenses to avoid jail time and fines and keep their drivers’ licenses.

Criminal Traffic Violations

Criminal traffic offenses in Illinois are just that — crimes. These are serious legal matters and cannot be resolved by paying a ticket, as you would if you were cited for speeding.

When you are suspected of committing a criminal traffic offense, you get charged in a criminal court and must choose to defend yourself or enter a guilty plea. If you’re found guilty, you face a potential jail or prison sentence and fines, just as though you’d committed a theft, assault, or some other type of criminal offense.

The severity of your criminal traffic charge and penalties depend on the nature of the offense. Some criminal traffic offenses can be felonies when they involve another person being injured or killed.

Some types of criminal traffic offenses handled by Foley & Kelly LLC include:

Illinois Traffic Tickets

Common types of traffic tickets in Illinois include:

Even a relatively simple traffic ticket might be worth challenging when you face the long-term financial consequences of a black mark on your driving record. If you’ve had multiple traffic tickets within the space of a couple of years, you likely will see a marked increase in your car insurance rates. You may even face suspension of your driver’s license if you have too many negative points on your driving record or have received three moving violations within one year.

Sex Crimes

Sex crimes are some of the most emotionally devastating and complicated types of Illinois criminal offenses. These cases often involve many nuances and the word of one person against another — and often with ambiguous physical evidence, making the story of what happened unclear. Simply being charged with a sex crime can result in a stigma that affects your job and your relationships, not to mention the harsh penalties if you’re found guilty. Illinois law takes sex crimes very seriously.

Many are charged as felonies and a conviction can lead to negative long-term consequences that may include:

Common Types of Illinois Sex Crime Charges

We has experience handling a broad range of criminal offenses, including numerous types of sex crimes. Among the types of cases we can handle include:

Theft & Fraud

The terms theft and fraud can mean many different things. Theft could involve examples such as shoplifting from a retail store, stealing a car, or taking money out of someone’s purse. Fraud could involve actions such as using someone else’s debit or credit card, signing someone else’s name to a document without their consent, or scamming someone into giving you money or property through the use of false pretenses. At their most basic, theft and fraud mean taking something that doesn’t belong to you. With fraud, there’s the added element of deception or trickery. Regardless, theft and fraud can be serious criminal charges in Illinois. Theft and fraud can be misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances. Typically, the greater the value of the money or property you allegedly stole or obtained through deception, the harsher the penalty if you’re convicted. Penalties for theft also may be more severe when the money or property is taken from someone’s physical person.

Common Types of Illinois Theft & Fraud Charges

These are some of the most common types of theft and fraud charges you might encounter in Illinois.

Property Crimes

Property crimes are those that involve knowing, reckless, or intentional damage or destruction of someone else’s property. Property crimes could include actions such as spray-painting graffiti on the side of a building, smashing someone’s window, or setting fire to someone’s property. Illinois treats property crimes seriously, particularly when the damage is done to an occupied building or results in physical harm to another person. Property crimes can be misdemeanors — or they can be serious felony offenses with harsh statutory penalties, depending on the circumstances of the offense.

Common Types of Illinois Property Crimes

The phrase “property crimes” is a relatively broad term that can describe a number of different actions for which you may be charged in Illinois. Some common examples of property crimes include:

Even misdemeanor property crimes may be punished with a jail sentence. If you’ve been charged with arson, criminal trespass, criminal damage to property, institutional vandalism, or another property crime, your best chance at avoiding the consequences of a guilty finding is with the help of an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney.

Public Crimes

Some offenses are considered crimes when they involve behavior that essentially makes the public the victims of the crime, or involve an offense against the preservation of peace or administration of justice. These types of offenses may be known as public nuisance offenses or crimes against the peace and the public. Some crimes against the peace and the public may be relatively minor and have correspondingly light punishments, but they are nonetheless crimes and result in a permanent criminal record if you’re found guilty. Depending on the circumstances, some of these types of crimes can have serious penalties under Illinois law, particularly if the offense involves interfering with the duties of a police officer or the administration of justice.

Common Types of Offenses

A crime against the peace or public can take many forms. Illinois has numerous laws criminalizing behavior that disturbs the peace or community, or involves interfering with the duties of law enforcement. A couple of common examples of this type of offense include:

If you’ve been charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, or another offense against the peace or public, it’s important to take the charge seriously. Whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony, you could face jail time and possibly thousands of dollars in fines.

Violent Crimes

Criminal charges involving violence are among the most aggressively pursued and harshly punished in Illinois. These offenses are almost always treated as felonies and are typically associated with using force or the threat of force against another person. While the mere accusation of committing a violent act can ruin relationships and tarnish your reputation, the full impact of a conviction can be devasting with a wide range of penalties including life-long imprisonment. Due to their grievous nature, if you are charged with a violent crime in Illinois, there will be a tremendous amount of pressure on law enforcement to hold someone accountable. The police and prosecution won’t be interested in protecting you. In fact, they will likely use every available resource at their disposal to get a conviction. This makes it critical that you avoid making any statements before consulting an attorney who can properly advise you and will be equally aggressive in crafting your defense.

Violent Crimes & Penalties in Illinois

In Illinois, violent crimes come in various forms and with aggravating factors such as an offender’s previous criminal history, the nature of the offense, and how the victim was affected coming into play, the full weight of a conviction can be extreme. Some of the most common violent offenses include: