Southern Illinois Criminal Defense

Standing up for the rights of individuals accused of criminal offenses

Facing any type of criminal allegations is always stressful and often frightening. Whether you have received a traffic ticket or have been arrested for a violent crime, you may not know what course of action is best for you. The criminal justice process can be intimidating and confusing and often involves law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges who may not be considering your best interests and upholding your legal rights. For this reason and more, it is imperative that your first call is to a highly experienced and committed criminal defense attorney who has a thorough understanding of criminal cases in Southern Illinois and can guide you through the legal process while ensuring your rights are protected.

Defending a wide range of criminal charges in Southern Illinois

The qualified criminal defense lawyers at Lawler Brown Law Firm have the knowledge and skill to handle a variety of criminal cases, including the following:

  • Traffic law1 violations
  • Commercial traffic tickets
  • DUI
  • Underage alcohol offenses
  • Drug possession or sales
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Assault2
  • Battery or Aggravated battery
  • Theft and retail theft
  • Criminal trespass

These are only a few examples of the types of cases we can defend, so please do not hesitate to call to discuss how we can help no matter what type of charge you may be facing.

Working to limit the penalties faced by criminal defendants

Any type of criminal violation under Illinois criminal law3 comes with potential penalties, many of which can be serious and can significantly affect many aspects of your life. Some of these penalties you may face include:

  • Points on your driver’s license
  • Loss of driving privileges
  • Fines and court costs
  • Probation
  • Community service
  • Jail or prison time

An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to skillfully fight your charges and negotiate with prosecutors to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for help with your case

You always want to have a criminal defense attorney on your side who can help you understand your legal rights, can advise you of your options in your case, and who will guide you through every step of the process. At Lawler Brown Law Firm, we have significant criminal law experience on both the prosecution and defense sides of a case, so we understand how to best help each individual client and build an aggressive and effective defense strategy in every case. If you are facing criminal charges, please call our office today at 618-993-2222 to discuss your case.




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Mineral Rights in Oil and Gas: What You Need to Know

The traditional conception of real property ownership was that a landowner owned his plot of land along with a column of dirt down to the center of the earth and a column of air up to the sky. This conception no longer holds true. It is now common, especially in Southern Illinois, that when one purchases a piece of real property, the purchaser obtains title to the surface of the land, but not the column of dirt beneath it. Very often, the mineral rights to a piece of property have been severed, and the owner of the mineral rights has the authority to mine them. When mineral rights are severed in the conveyance of a piece of property, the severance creates two distinct and separate interests in the land—a surface estate and a mineral estate, either of which can be conveyed, devised, or leased. When this occurs, the owner of the surface estate is subservient to the owner of the mineral estate. This means that he may not interfere with the activities reasonably necessary to extract the minerals from underneath his land. While title to metallic minerals vests2 at the time of conveyance, title to oil and gas does not, due to the tendency of these types of minerals to move around under the earth. Rather, mineral rights in oil and gas do not vest until they are actually discovered. Thus, mineral rights to oil and gas are better conceived of as rights to exploration and, very often, they are mined pursuant to a mineral lease rather than outright ownership. These leases are subject to the same rules as...

When Can Your Neighbors Legally Take Your Land?

When Can Your Neighbors Legally Take Your Land? There is a concept in real estate law that is little known outside the legal world, whereby a trespasser can gain legal title to someone else’s land. The “trespasser” in these cases is usually a neighbor but, nonetheless, someone who does not own your property can become the legal owner by his use of it through a concept known as adverse possession. Claims of adverse possession are creatures of common law in Illinois, and require a showing of several elements. In order to legally take title to land, a person’s use and possession of the land must be: Hostile (against the right of the true owner and without permission) Actual (he or she exercises physical control over the property) Exclusive (In the possession of the trespasser alone and no one else) Open and notorious (the trespasser must use the property as the true owner would without hiding the occupancy) Continuous for a period of 20 years Adverse possession claims are especially common in rural areas (like most of Southern Illinois) as opposed to towns and cities because it is often more difficult to determine where one piece of property ends and another begins. Example of Adverse Possession Let’s take a look at how a hypothetical adverse possession case might play out. Assume there are two property owners—the Smiths and the Joneses—who own neighboring farms. Mr. Smith erects a barn that he believes is on his property, but is actually 15 feet over the property line on the Jones’s farm. Mr. Jones says nothing about this, and Mr. Smith uses this barn as...

Why You Should Never Resist Arrest

Resisting arrest is very common and occurs any time a person interferes with or obstructs an officer’s attempt to make a legal arrest. In Illinois, it is usually charged as a misdemeanor. However, if there is an injury to the arresting officer, the offense rises to a felony. The charge of resisting arrest is defined at 720 ILCS 5/31-1:1 “A person commits the crime of resisting arrest if they knowingly resist or obstruct the performance by a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee of any authorized act within his or her official capacity.” While the most classic examples of resisting arrest are fleeing from the scene or engaging the arresting officer physically, the statute is worded broadly and encompasses a wide variety of behaviors. For example, you can be arrested simply for refusing to put your hands behind your back, refusing to lay on the ground, refusing to put your hands on the squad car, or refusing to clear the scene of a crime when ordered to do so. Resisting arrest is also a difficult charge to escape; even if the underlying charge against the defendant is dropped, resisting arrest is an independent charge and will remain. Thus, it is not a defense to resisting arrest that the underlying charge was dismissed. Further, a conviction for resisting arrest can even lengthen a person’s sentence if they are ever convicted of a future offense. Possible punishment for resisting arrest is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois and is punishable by up to one year in prison and up to a $2,500 fine. If the police officer is injured during the incident,...