The 6 Steps That Our Misdemeanor Lawyers Use to Get Misdemeanors Dismissed in Illinois

Lawyers for Misdemeanors in Chicago

Attorney Gus Kostopoulos has practiced criminal and misdemeanor law for 25 years. He was previously the First Chair prosecutor of a misdemeanor courtroom and had prosecuted thousands of misdemeanor cases a year.

Over the years, Gus and his team of misdemeanor defense lawyers have developed the following 6 step system to win misdemeanor cases.  We get many, if not most, of our clients’ misdemeanor cases dismissed using this system.

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The 6 Step System That Our Misdemeanor Lawyers Use to Get Misdemeanors Dismissed in Illinois

Misdemeanor Definition & Penalties in Illinois

What is a Misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor is any criminal offense that carries a jail term of less than a year. Common misdemeanors include Theft, DUI, Retail Theft, DUI, Domestic Battery, Battery, Cannabis, Trespassing, Disorderly Conduct, and Telephone Harassment.

There are three classes of misdemeanors in Illinois.

Class A Misdemeanor

A Class A Misdemeanor carries a sentence of up to 365 days in jail.

Class B Misdemeanor

A Class B Misdemeanor carries a sentence of up to 180 days in jail.

Class C Misdemeanor

A Class C Misdemeanor carries a sentence of up to 30 days in jail.

Our Law Firm’s Six-Step System to Get Misdemeanors Dismissed

Step 1: Get Misdemeanors Dismissed at Initial Court Date.

Our misdemeanor lawyers will first try to get misdemeanors dismissed on the initial court date. If the prosecutors do not have the necessary evidence and witnesses to proceed, our team can often force the prosecutors to completely dismiss the case at the first court date.

Our team will often issue subpoenas for witnesses and evidence before the first court date. If the government has not fully complied with our subpoenas, it may lead to a dismissal of the first court date.

One of the primary goals of our law firm is to have the charges against their clients dismissed, when possible, at the first court date. Achieving this outcome saves clients time and resources and alleviates the stress associated with ongoing legal proceedings.

A first court date dismissal is the best way to win a misdemeanor case since the case ends quickly and the resolution entails no jail, community service, or other conditions.

Below are examples of cases that our misdemeanor lawyers have won at Step 1.


Our client was a 21 year old who was an employee of a department store.  She used the company’s gift card return system to steal money from the store.

Prosecutors take a much harder line on cases where the alleged thief was a store employee than they do in ordinary shoplifting cases.  She was afraid of jail and criminal conviction.

On the first day of court, our legal team was able to convince the prosecutor to COMPLETELY DISMISS ALL CHARGES!


Our client and his ex girlfriend had a young child together. They had broken up and were arguing.

The ex girlfriend accused him of having beaten her up after an argument. The police arrested our client for Domestic Battery.

Our client was afraid of jail and afraid of a permanent criminal conviction on his record.

On the first day of court, our legal team was able to convince the prosecutor to COMPLETELY DISMISS ALL CHARGES!


A client was charged with a drug possession case in which he could have been sentenced to jail and a criminal conviction. A drug conviction would hurt the client’s ability to get a job in the future. 

Our firm took an aggressive stance in defending this case.  We fought the case at a  hearing alleging that there was not sufficient evidence to establish probable cause for the offense.  The judge agreed with our argument and dismissed the matter on the first court date. 

The client’s case was COMPLETELY DISMISSED.  He did not have to do any jail and did not suffer a criminal conviction.

On the first day of court, our legal team was able to convince the judge to COMPLETELY DISMISS ALL CHARGES!


Step 2: Get Misdemeanors Dismissed via Deferral or Diversion Agreement.

If the case is not dismissed at Step 1, our attorneys will work to get the case dismissed by negotiating with the prosecutors for a diversion or deferral agreement

What is a Misdemeanor Deferral Agreement?

A deferral agreement is an agreement between the Defendant and the prosecutor, where the prosecutor agrees to completely dismiss a Misdemeanor case in exchange for the Defendant doing certain things.

These things can include community service, counseling, refraining from consuming alcohol or drugs, paying restitution,  and other things.

What is a Misdemeanor Diversion Agreement?

A diversion agreement is the same as a deferral agreement, except that the Defendant enters a plea of guilty at the time of agreement.  If the Defendant completes all of the conditions of diversion, the judge lets the Defendant then withdraw his plea of guilty and the prosecutor completely dismisses the Misdemeanor case.

What Are the Advantages of a Misdemeanor Deferral or Diversion Agreement?

The  advantages of a diversion or deferred prosecution agreement are that the judge will completely dismiss the misdemeanor case.

The Defendant will not go to jail and will not have a criminal conviction on his or her record.

In many cases, the Defendant can file to expunge this arrest. The expungement will completely erase this case from his or her record. It will all be gone within a few months of the arrest.

Legally, it is like the arrest and prosecution never happened.

Our client was a college educated professional who was charged with DUI.  His industry is very highly regulated and any plea of guilty to DUI would have catastrophic consequences for his career.

Our attorneys reviewed the police reports.  The police had pulled over our client for speeding and improper lane usage. The police noticed that our client had been drinking and asked our client to step out of his car and perform field sobriety tests.  Our client failed the field sobriety test.  The police arrested our client and brought him to the police station. At the police station, our client blew above the legal limit on the breathalizer. 

Upon a careful  review of the evidence, the case could not be won at trial.

Our attorneys then worked towards getting a deferral agreement.  We had our client complete a DUI evaluation, we also gathered employment awards, character references, and other positive things about our client.

We then submitted a mitigation package to the prosecutor explaining the career consequences that this case would have on our client, and highlighting his family, good character and other positive attributes.

Our attorneys were able to convince the prosecutor to COMPLETELY DISMISS THE DUI case in exchange for a fine and a promise to complete alcohol counseling classes.

Under Illinois law, a DUI can never be expunged from a person’s record. 

But since the DUI was dismissed as part of our deferral agreement, we were able to get our client’s DUI charge COMPLETELY EXPUNGED OFF OF HIS RECORD

Our legal team was able to convince the prosecutor to COMPLETELY DISMISS THE DUI CHARGES!


A 42 year old college educated corporate employee was accused of stealing many thousands of dollars of his company’s products and selling them on eBay.  Our firm successfully negotiated to have ALL CHARGES COMPLETELY DISMISSED upon completion of a theft class. He received NO JAIL, NO CONVICTION

A District Loss Prevention Manager for a large national retail chain came into police department to report an employee theft.

The loss prevention manager related the following in summary: It was brought to the attention of the national retail chain’s headquarters that an employee, who later became our client, was taking merchandise from one of the company’s store locations without making payment for the merchandise. The loss prevention manager further explained that a corporate loss prevention investigator located a plethora of merchandise for sale on eBay and other websites, appearing to be from the national retail chain’s store. The loss prevention manager completed a controlled buy and confirmed an athletic electronic device on one of these websites belonged to a specific store location and was not purchased through legitimate means.

The loss prevention manager spoke with our client and was able to obtain a voluntary statement where our client made admissions to stealing the merchandise.  Before being represented by our law firm, our client had made a full written statement and completely incriminated himself during this investigation.

The items taken included, but were not limited to, clothing, sunglasses, electronics, and golf clubs.

The total value of merchandise taken was over $4,500.00.

Our client was in danger of receiving up to 364 days in jail and sufferring a permanent criminal conviction on his record.

Prosecutors and judges consider the facts of each case. The fact that the client stole many thousands of dollars, was in a position of trust as a corporate employee, and engaged in a sophisticated scheme, would be reasons for the judge to impose jail and a conviction.

A permanent criminal conviction, and jail, would be devastating to our client’s life and future career prospects.

Our lawyers went to court with the client and reached a negotiation with the prosecutor for a deferral.  Our lawyers got the prosecutor to completely dismiss all charges upon our client completing a one day theft class.

Our client received no jail and no criminal conviction.

After our office got the case dismissed, we filed a petition for expungement. We then successfully convinced another judge, at an expungement hearing, to expunge the client’s case and the case file was completely expunged off of our client’s record.

Our legal team was able to convince the prosecutor to COMPLETELY DISMISS THE CHARGES!


Our client was charged with striking a family member.  Upon review of the evidence, it appeared that the government had enough evidence to sustain a conviction for Domestic Battery.

Domestic Battery carries a danger of up to 364 days in jail and permanent criminal conviction that can never be expunged or sealed.

A conviction would be devastating to our client’s life and career.

Our attorneys spoke to the prosecutor and convinced the prosecutor to offer our client diversion.

Our client completed a counseling a class and then the prosecutor dismissed all charges against our client.

Our law firm later won an expungement hearing and got the case expunged off of our client’s record.

Our legal team was able to convince the prosecutor to COMPLETELY DISMISS THE CHARGES!


Our client was charged with possession of illegal drugs.

Our client had a good job and a respectable position in society.

A drug conviction would have had devastating consequences on our client’s life and career.

The attorneys from our firm were successful in securing a deferral agreement with the prosecutor.  Our client completed a drug counseling class and then the prosecutor completely dismissed all charges. 

Our legal team was able to convince the prosecutor to COMPLETELY DISMISS THE CHARGES!

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Step 3: Our Misdemeanor Lawyers Dismiss Misdemeanors via Pretrial Motions.

If the case is not dismissed at Step 2, our attorneys will explore using pretrial motions to dismiss the case. Pretrial motions are formal requests to the Court, seeking a specific action or decision before the case proceeds to trial. Our law firm often uses pretrial motions to dismiss cases or achieve other favorable outcomes. Types of Pretrial Motions
    1. Motion to Dismiss: This motion asks the Court to dismiss the case due to a lack of evidence, insufficient charging documents, or other legal deficiencies. Our attorneys may argue that the prosecution’s case fails to establish probable cause or that the charges are based on insufficient or inadmissible evidence. If the Court grants the motion to dismiss, the case will be terminated, and the Defendant will be released from the charges.
    2. Motion to Suppress Evidence: Our attorneys may file a motion to suppress evidence if we believe that the evidence was obtained illegally or violated the Defendant’s constitutional rights. Common grounds for a motion to suppress include unlawful searches and seizures, coerced confessions, and violations of the right to counsel.  (see Miranda v. Arizona ) If the Court grants our motion and suppresses the evidence, the prosecution may be left with insufficient evidence to proceed, leading to Dismissal of the case.
    3. Motion to Quash Arrest: In cases where our attorneys believe that the Defendant’s arrest was unlawful or without probable cause, we will file a motion to quash the arrest and suppress any evidence obtained as a result. (See Mapp v Ohio)  If the Court agrees with the defense, the evidence may be deemed inadmissible, weakening the prosecution’s case and potentially leading to a dismissal.
    4. Motion to Dismiss for Violation of the Right to a Speedy Trial. The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Illinois Constitution guarantees the right to a speedy trial. If the prosecution fails to bring the case to trial within the legally mandated time frame, our attorneys will file a motion to dismiss for violation of the right speedy trial. If the Court finds that the Defendant’s right to a speedy trial has been violated, the case will be dismissed.

Our client was driving when he was pulled over by the police.  The police officer claimed to smell the odor of cannabis.  The police officer noticed a pill bottle that the officer testified had cannabis in it.  The officer searched the car and found illegal drugs.  The officer charged our client.

Our law firm filed a Motion to Suppress the evidence due to an illegal search.  After winning the hearing, we convinced the judge to suppress the evidence and we caused the case to be thrown out.



Our client was a 35 year old man charged with a first DUI. He has a prior conviction for Resisting a Police Officer.

Our client had  gotten drunk and crashed his car into multiple parked cars. The police found him passed out in his car with his head on the steering wheel pushing the horn to continuously blow. 

In light of the accident, his prior criminal history and the strong evidence against him, our client was afraid of being convicted and sent to jail.

Our law firm aggressively defended the case.  We discovered that the State may have difficulties in procuring  some of the evidence and witnesses. We then filed a Demand for Speedy Trial.  When the State could not bring the case to trial within the time period, we succeeded in getting the case completely dismissed.



Step 4: Get Misdemeanors Dismissed via Pretrial Dismissal.

If the case is not dismissed at Step 3, our attorneys will then set the case for trial.

Prosecutors who were unwilling to dismiss the case on the first court date, and were reluctant to offer a deferral or diversion offer, will often sing a different tune on the day of trial. They may not have all of they evidence and witnesses necessary to proceed.

They may be less than enthusiastic about trying a case against our experienced trial lawyers without the full availability of all witnesses and potential evidence.

Things That a Prosecutor May Consider in Deciding Whether To Dismiss a Misdemeanor on the Day of Trial

Our law firm’s attorneys get many cases dismissed on the day of trial.

  • Whether the State has the cooperation of relevant witnesses.
  • Whether the State can lay foundation for necessary documents and evidence.
  • Whether the judge is likely to grant a continuance. 
  • The skill of the defense misdemeanor lawyer in being capable of blocking other forms of evidence from coming in at trial.
Our client was driving drunk and, while inebriated, drove on to a random house’s driveway and passed out on their driveway.  The homeowner saw our client’s car in the driveway and our client passed out in the driver’s seat.  The homeowner called the police.  When the police arrived, our client was rude to the police, refused to cooperate, to perform field tests and to comply with the police.  The client was arrested for DUI. 
At a pretrial hearing, our attorney rigorously cross examined the police officer.  On the day of trial, the State did not have sufficient evidence and witnesses to proceed. Our attorneys got the case dismissed on the day of trial.


Our client was shoplifting at a department store at the mall.  The store video caught our client grabbing clothes off of the display racks and hiding them in a bag.  He walked out of the store without paying. Store security detained our client and called the police. Our client admitted to the police that he was stealing. The police arrested our client for Retail Theft.

The client had a prior Retail Theft a few years ago that our firm had gotten dismissed.

On the day of trial, the State did not have sufficient evidence and witnesses to proceed. Our attorneys got the case dismissed on the day of trial.

Our Legal Team Was Able To 



Our client’s girlfriend told the police that our client suspected her of infidelity.  He wanted to see her cell phone.

She told the police that our client grabbed her, threw her on the bed, placed his hands on her neck and choked her with one hand while he used his other hand to read the text messages on her phone.

Our client had no criminal history and was very afraid of jail and a criminal conviction.

On the day of trial, the State did not have sufficient evidence and witnesses to proceed. Our attorneys got the case dismissed on the day of trial.

Our Legal Team Was Able To 




Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Gus Kostopoulos

Gus Kostopoulos is a top-rated domestic violence defense lawyer dedicated to defending your rights. He has earned a reputation as a tough and aggressive attorney who achieves outstanding results for his clients. After graduating from law school as a Dean’s Scholar, he was selected to become an Assistant State’s Attorney. Working as a prosecutor, he was in charge of a team of lawyers and paralegals and thousands of open cases.

Available 24 Hours, 7 Days A Week

Step 5: Our Misdemeanor Lawyers Win the Case at Trial.

Attorney Gus Kostopoulos has been a criminal trial lawyer for 25 years and has won hundreds of cases at trial. Our team of trial attorneys has developed a litigation system that has served our clients very well.

 This litigation system includes the following:

  1. Thorough Case Preparation:

Winning a criminal trial begins long before the trial starts. Meticulous case preparation is the foundation of any successful trial. 

Our lawyers will:

  • Investigate and gather evidence to support our Client’s case.
  • Identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
  • Develop a compelling defense theory that is consistent with the evidence.
  • Prepare for potential challenges and objections during the trial.

2.   Mastering the Art of Storytelling

Judges and jurors often respond to compelling narratives that make sense of the facts and evidence. Our skilled trial lawyers craft a compelling story to present our Client’s case, tying the evidence together in a way that resonates with the judge’s or jurors’ emotions and sense of justice. The defense’s narrative should be straightforward, coherent, and consistent throughout the trial.

3.  Strong Cross-Examination

Cross-examination is the most important part of the trial, as it allows our attorneys to challenge the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses and expose weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Our successful cross-examination techniques include the following:

  • Asking leading questions to control the witness’s testimony.
  • Challenging inconsistencies in the witness’s statements or actions.
  • Highlighting potential biases or motives that may impact the witness’s credibility.
  • Undermining the witness’s expertise or qualifications, if relevant.

4.  Strategic Use of Objections & the Rules of Evidence

Our trial lawyers have mastered the rules of evidence and will 

effectively object during the trial. Properly raised objections can:

  • Exclude inadmissible or prejudicial evidence from the trial.
  • Prevent improper questioning or arguments by the opposing counsel.
  • Stop the admission of evidence that is harmful to our Client.
  • Interrupt the prosecutor’s flow.

5.    Compelling Closing Arguments

  • Our trial lawyers will present strong closing arguments that address any remaining weaknesses or concerns the judge or jury may have.
  • Remind the judge or jurors of the prosecution’s burden of proof and the importance of the presumption of innocence.
  • Appeal to the judge or jurors’ emotions, sense of justice, and common sense.

Our Attorneys Win Many Cases at Trial!

Our client, a 28 year old mortgage broker, had been out drinking Long Island Ice Teas and lost control of his car, crashing through a fence.  It was his second DUI within five years and he faced a conviction, jail, revocation of his driver’s license and a mandatory 3 year suspension.

At trial, the prosecutor was relentless in trying to convict our client.  The officer testified that our client had failed all of the field sobriety tests and was swaying and stumbling.

Our attorney, aggressively cross examined the police officer and was able to convince the judge that our client may have suffered injuries which affected his performance of the tests and that some of the field sobriety tests were not National Highway Safety Administration approved.  

After a hard fought trial, the judge found our client Not Guilty of DUI and also Dismissed the Three Year Driver’s License Suspension.

Our legal team was able to convince the judge to COMPLETELY DISMISS THE DUI CHARGE!


Our client’s ex-girlfriend accused him of Domestic Battery.  She claimed that he slapped her, grabbed her, and threw her to the ground, causing her head to hit the sidewalk.

She claimed that our client followed her and again grabbed her and threw her against the wall. She said he then climbed up the side of her apartment building and broke into her apartment. 

The police interviewed our client and he made some damaging statements.  

Our client had never been in trouble before and was in graduate school for a health care profession.  A conviction for Domestic Battery would utterly destroy his life. 

The police officer reported to the station for a report of Domestic Battery. Upon arrival, he met with the accuser. Upon meeting her, he observed a circular raised red mark on the accuser’s right cheek and jaw bone. The officer asked the accuser to meet with him in the front lobby interview room.  

She told the officer that she broke up with our client, who was then her boyfriend. The night before, and into the morning they were both attending a party. At approximately 2:00am in the morning, she agreed to give our client a ride home. The accuser let our client drive her vehicle home. While on the way home, our client asked the accuser if she was seeing anyone. She said that she did not want to answer his question fearing how he may react. The accuser claimed that when she refused to answer his question, our client reached across towards her and allegedly slapped her in the face. She claimed that he became so furious that he began driving recklessly by speeding and swerving the vehicle on the roadway. 

The accuser stated that when they returned to the apartment complex our client parked her vehicle. At this time, she claimed that our client took her cell phone and refused to give her the phone back or her car and apartment keys. She stated he began looking through her phone without her consent. The accuser and our client eventually exited the vehicle and they were arguing in front of the foyer doors. The accuser alleged at this time, our client grabbed her and threw her to the ground, causing her head to hit the sidewalk. The accuser said she then got up and entered the foyer. She claimed that our client followed her into the foyer and again grabbed her and threw her against the wall. The accuser claimed our client then exited the foyer with her cell phone and keys, re-entered her vehicle and locked the doors. The accuser claimed she keeps a spare key by one of the tires. The accuser said was able to unlock the vehicle and began physically fighting with our client until she was able to get her cell phone and keys back. 

The accuser entered the apartment complex and stated our client followed her into the complex and up to her apartment door. When the accuser opened the door to her apartment, she alleged that our client followed her into her apartment, grabbed her by the arms and threw her into a closet. The accuser claimed that our client then left the apartment and she locked the door. The accuser claimed she called her brother and told him what happened. After hanging up with her brother, the accuser walked into her living room and saw that our client had climbed up to her second floor balcony and forced his way into her apartment from the sliding glass door. The accuser claimed the bar that is normally used to provide a secondary lock to the sliding glass door was not engaged. The accuser believed the handle lock was secured and alleged that our client somehow forced the lock to disengage so he could enter the apartment. 

At trial, we aggressively cross examined that accuser as well as the police officer. We were able to undermine the credibility of the accuser and the police.


Our legal team was able to convince the judge to COMPLETELY DISMISS THE DOMESTIC BATTERY CHARGE!


Our client was accused of Theft, in that he allegedly stole a semi-truck.  

Our law firm won our client’s case at trial. Our Client was Found NOT GUILTY.

The accuser made a report to the police of a theft of a vehicle. 

Upon arriving at the police station, the investigating police officer was met by the accuser, who was the owner of a truck repair company. He informed the officer that his company did repair work on a freight tractor. The tractor was taken from his lot without the bill being paid in full and without the authorization of his company. 

The accuser had test driven the truck and parked it in their lot with the doors locked. The accuser then walked outside and noticed that the truck that he had just test driven earlier, was gone off his lot. The accuser checked with other employees and no one was aware of the truck missing or anyone coming to pick it up. 

The truck repair company contacted the owner of the truck. The owner of the truck, suspected to be our client, advised the truck repair company that his dispatch located the truck via GPS, and sent a driver to pick up the truck. The driver picked up the truck without paying for the services rendered by the truck repair company. Our client was advised that he was not authorized to pick up the vehicle without payment. Our client informed the truck repair company that he would be at their office before 4pm that day to pay the bill in full. Our client never showed up to pay the bill.  

At approximately 5:30pm, the police officer called our client with the numbers provided to him by the truck repair company. There was no answer and two voice mail messages were left. No call back was received. 

The truck repair company was able to provide a copy of contract signed by our client, a copy of the bill, and a copy of text messages. The police scanned these items into evidence. 

The accuser advised the police officer that he would sign complaints for the theft of services made to his company. 

The police charged our client was charged with Theft of Labor or Services. 

On the day of trial, our team was prepared and ready to try the case.

Our trial attorney aggressively, and effectively, cross examined the witnesses and the police officers who testified against our client.

As a result of our effective trial strategy, our law firm won our client’s case at trial. 

Our Client was found NOT GUILTY OF THEFT.

Our legal team was able to convince the judge to COMPLETELY DISMISS THE THEFT CHARGE!


Our client was accused of striking another woman.  

Our law firm won our client’s case at trial. Our Client was Found NOT GUILTY.

Our client was charged with Battery.

She was visiting a male friend’s residence.  Another woman accused our client with having an inappropriate relationship with the woman’s boyfriend.

The two women got into a verbal argument.  The woman then accused our client of attacking her. 

The woman had another of her friends testify that our client was the aggressor.

Our firm defended this case aggressively and set the matter for trial. 

At trial, our firm’s attorney skillfully cross examined all of the witnesses.

Our Client was found NOT GUILTY OF BATTERY.

Our legal team was able to convince the judge to COMPLETELY DISMISS THE  CHARGE!


Step 6: Get Misdemeanors Dismissed via Court Supervision.

Not every case can be won a trial or dismissed via a pretrial motion. If the case has not been dismissed in Steps 1 to 5, our attorneys will work to avoid a criminal conviction by obtaining a disposition of Court Supervision. 

Under Illinois law, in misdemeanor cases, the judge may “defer further proceedings and the imposition of a sentence, and enter an order for supervision of the defendant”. (See the statute: 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1(c) here)

           This means that the Court will continue the case for a period of up to two years. During that period, the Court may order the Client to complete things such as community service, counseling, or pay restitution. The Court will NOT impose a jail sentence during the period of court supervision. If the Client completes all of the conditions of the Court Supervision Order, the Court will “close the case without entering a conviction against the Client”. (See the statute: 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1(c) here)

For most types of offenses, the Client can later expunge a sentence of Court Supervision. 

The Court can impose Court Supervision even if the Defendant has already lost the case at trial.  

Not every type of misdemeanor is eligible for court supervision.

           Even if the Client is eligible, the judge is not required to grant court supervision.

Factors that the Court may consider in considering a disposition of Court supervision include:

  • The circumstances of the offense.
  • The history, character and condition of the offender.
  • Whether the offender is likely to commit further crimes.
  • Whether the Defendant and the public would be best served if the Defendant were not to receive a criminal record.
  • Whether it is in the best interests of justice.

(See the statute: 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1(c) here)

Our firm’s attorneys are very skilled at presenting evidence and arguments to the Court and obtaining court supervision for eligible clients.

We have often avoided jail and avoided convictions for clients, even in very challenging cases.

Client almost causes a Train Accident; Had Prior DUI Arrest.  Blew a .127.  Mandatory 3 Year Driving Suspension Completely Thrown Out. Client Received No Jail, No Criminal Conviction and No Revocation of Driver’s License.  

Our client had been out drinking with one of his friends when they came upon a railroad crossing.  He and his friend had an argument about whether his red Dodge pick up truck could travel on the railroad tracks.

In a lapse of judgment, our client drove his pick up truck onto the railroad tracks for about 100 feet.  The truck then got stuck on the tracks.  He spent over an hour trying to get the truck unstuck. Two trains had approached their position but managed to stop in time.  The entire railway line was immediately shut down and the railroad called the police.

The police arrived and spoke with our client. He told the officer “I was just being stupid, I decided to go four wheeling on the rail road tracks.”  He said that if his passenger wasn’t so fat, that they would not have gotten stuck on the railroad tracks. 

 The officer smelled alcohol on his breath. Our client attempted DUI Field Sobriety Tests but could not keep his balance long enough to perform the tests.  He blew a .127 on the PBT.  (It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of .08 or above).

Our client knew that he was in big trouble.  Since he had recently been arrested for a prior DUI, our client faced a mandatory three year driver’s license suspension. In light of his prior DUI arrest and the fact that he almost caused a railroad accident, he was in serious risk of a long jail sentence, a permanent criminal conviction and revocation of his driver’s license. 

Our attorneys were able to exploit technicalities in the law and obtain a Dismissal of the 3 year driver’s license suspension and a resolution of Court Supervision so that our client did not receive a criminal record.  Our client received No Criminal Conviction and No Jail. Our client’s driver’s license was Not Nuspended and Not Revoked.


Our client was shopping at a gas station mini mart. She got into an argument with the owner of the mini mart.  Our client began throwing things around the store.  She then went outside to  her car.  The owner of the mini mart, followed her outside to get her license plate number.

Our client drove her car into the man who owned the mini mart.  She struck him with her car and fell to the ground and suffered injuries. She then backed her car into a  gas tank and fled t he scene.  The store’s security video captured the entire incident.

The prosecutors sought a conviction against our client and a lengthy jail sentence.

Our attorneys aggressively defended the case.

We were able to convince the judge to grant our client Court Supervision with No Criminal Conviction and No Jail.


Our client got into an argument with her roommate.  The roomate accused our client of grabbing her by the neck, throwing her on the bed.  She accused our client of then banging her head against the wall.  The police saw red marks on the victim’s neck. The police arrested our client.

Under Illinois law, a person charged with Domestic Battery cannot receive Court Supervision.  A person found guilty of Domestic Battery will have a lifelong criminal conviction on his or her record.

Our attorneys were able to negotiate with the prosecutors to have the charge reduced to a lesser charge and for our client to receive Court Supervision.

Our client received no jail and no criminal conviction. 


Our client went into a department store to shoplift clothes.

The store security caught her and the police arrested her.

Our client had a prior Retail Theft.  Since this was her second shoplifting case, she was afraid of jail and a conviction on her record.

Our attorneys were able to obtain a resolution of Court Supervision.

Our client received no jail and no criminal conviction.


Misdemeanor Examples in Illinois

Here are some examples of the most common misdemeanors charged in Illinois

Class A Misdemeanors

  • Aggravated Assault: A person commits aggravated assault when he or she commits an assault against an individual who is on or about a public way, public property, a public place of accommodation or amusemen (720 ILCS 5/12-12).

  • Domestic Battery: Causing bodily harm to, or making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with, a family or household member. (720 ILCS 5/12-3.2).

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI): Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. (625 ILCS 5/11-501).

  • Prostitution: Engaging in, or offering to engage in, any sexual act in exchange for money or anything of value. (720 ILCS 5/11-14).
    • Reckless Conduct: Recklessly performing an act that causes bodily harm to, or endangers the safety of, another person. (720 ILCS 5/12-5).
    • Public Indecency: Performing certain lewd acts in a public place or in a place where others can view the act. (720 ILCS 5/11-30)
    • Theft (property valued at $500 or less): Unauthorized control over the property of another with intent to permanently deprive the owner of its possession. (720 ILCS 5/16-1)
    • Criminal Trespass to Real Property: This offense occurs when a person knowingly enters or remains within a building or on land without the owner’s permission (720 ILCS 5/21-3).

Class B Misdemeanors

  • Criminal Trespass to Vehicles: Unauthorized entry into another person’s vehicle without permission. (720 ILCS 5/21-2).

  • Harassment by Telephone: Making phone calls with the intent to harass, annoy, or threaten another person, including making obscene comments or false statements. (720 ILCS 5/26.5-2).

  • Littering: Knowingly depositing litter, debris, or trash on another person’s property or in a public place. (415 ILCS 105/4).

  • Window Peeping: Looking into another person’s dwelling or residence without a lawful purpose for doing so. (720 ILCS 5/26-1(a)(11).

Class C Misdemeanors

  • Assault: Assault occurs when a person engages in conduct that places another person in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery (720 ILCS 5/12-1).

  • Disorderly Conduct: This offense can include various acts that disturb the peace, such as making false reports or threats, or alarming others without a legitimate purpose (720 ILCS 5/26-1).

Common Questions About Misdemeanors in Illinois

DUI Misdemeanor

Is DUI a misdemeanor in Illinois?


DUI is normally a Class A misdemeanor.

In some circumstances, DUI can be a felony. This includes cases where the motorist is a third offender, has injured someone in an accident, or is driving with a revoked license. But nearly all first offender DUI cases are misdemeanors.   

Simple Assault

Is Simple Assault a misdemeanor in Illinois?


Simple Assault is a misdemeanor in Illinois.

Criminal Trespassing

Is Criminal Trespassing a misdemeanor in Illinois?


Criminal Trespassing is a misdemeanor in Illinois.

Crime and Misdemeanor

What is the relationship between misdemeanors and other crimes in Illinois?

In Illinois law, all criminal offenses are classified as follows.

  • Petty Offenses: are offenses that cannot be punished by any amount of jail. Examples include traffic tickets.
  • Misdemeanors: are offenses that may be punished by a period of jail, but that jail term cannot exceed one year.
  • Felonies: are offenses that may be punished by a period of more than one year of incarceration.

Criminal Mischief

What is criminal mischief?

Criminal mischief is an old fashioned term for a misdemeanor offense.

That term is no longer used in Illinois criminal law.


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A lawyer was accused by his girlfriend of Domestic Battery. He selected our law firm to represent him. On the day of trial we were succssful in getting the charges dismissed.


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A police officer was charged with retail theft. He denied the allegations and asserted innocence. He hired our law firm to represent him. We were successful in getting the case dismissed.


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An intellecutal property lawyer was subject to a contempt petition in the federal district court for the Northern District of Illinois. Our firm was successful in getting the contempt petition completely dismissed.

Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Gus Kostopoulos

Lawyers for misdemeanors

My name is Gus Kostopoulos. For the past 25 years, I have practiced criminal law, including Misdemeanor Defense.

I am a former prosecutor. For the past 20 years, I have been a criminal defense attorney aggressively defending people accused of crimes.

My team of attorneys helps people charged with criminal offenses.

The legal system takes criminal cases very seriously.

Fortunately, so do we.

Let me provide you with a free consultation about your case!



1. Exhaustive Research & Preparation

We demand that the government turn over all police reports, videos, and other evidence. Our experienced trial attorneys examine all of it very carefully to look for defenses to win the case.

2. Trial Victory

Our experienced trial attorneys have collectively tried hundreds of case to verdict. We have a successful record of winning cases at trial and are respected by judges and prosecutors.  We are particularly skilled at cross examination of opposing witnesses and police officer and in asserting self defense claims.

3. Trial Dismissal

On the day of trial, our experienced trial attorneys are often able to get a complete dismissal, without having to call a single witness.  Government prosecutors often lack all of the evidence and witnesses that they would like and know that our skilled trial lawyers will prevent them from entering  testimony that contravenes evidentiary rules.  We can then convince prosecutors to dismiss the case.  Sometimes they may motion the judge for a continuance, but our trial attorneys vigorously object, causing the case to get dismissed..

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