Criminal Law

Criminal Law

Criminal Law deals with behaviors that are illegal and punishable by imprisonment and/or fines. Criminal charges are brought by the state against individuals for conduct that is against the law because it is damaging or harmful to property, and/or the safety, well-being, and moral-welfare of people. Crimes are usually categorized as felonies or misdemeanors based on their nature and the maximum punishment that can be imposed.

JEP lawyers working on Criminal Law provide services that may include:

  • Felonies, including assault, aggravated battery, burglaries and murder
  • Misdemeanors, including disorderly conduct, public intoxication, theft and trespassing
  • DUI
  • Paul Lytle

    Lytle & Milan, LLC

    www.lytlemilan.com

    Paul Lytle is a partner at Lytle & Milan, LLC. Paul’s mission is to provide legal representation that is accessible, responsive, and accountable to the unique needs of individuals and families throughout the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area. In a divergence from traditional billing practices, Paul seeks to fulfill his commitment to accessibility by offering clients a range of customizable solutions that includes flat rate fees, unbundled services, and limited scope representation. Paul provides clients with comprehensive representation in the areas of Criminal Defense Law and Family Law. Paul also provides limited representation in matters of Consumer Law. As an active member of the community, Paul is extremely proud to provide pro bono services in conjunction with such notable non-profit organizations as CARPLS, LAF, and Universidad Popular. Paul serves in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and Will County. Paul can be reached at (312) 690-4111 or paul@lytlemilan.com.


  • Phillip Sprouse

    Sprouse Law Office

    www.sprouselawoffice.com

    Phillip J. Sprouse is dedicated to providing client-focused representation and increasing access to justice. His practice is concentrated on Criminal Defense and he represents both adults and juveniles on all classes of felony and misdemeanor cases. He offers a range of fee agreements to help clients afford legal representation. Phillip believes that to achieve the best outcome in a case, a defense attorney must be willing and able to take a case to trial if appropriate. He also understands that being involved in the criminal justice system can affect every part of a person’s life and he believes that an attorney should inform their client what to expect during the process of a criminal case. Phillip is proud to volunteer part of his time with First Defense Legal Aid providing representation to people in Chicago Police Department custody. Phillip serves in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will, McHenry, and Lake County. Phillip can be reached at 312.550.5869, or at phillip@sprouselawoffice.com.


  • Robert Alexander

    Vanguard Advocates, LLP

    vanguardadvocates.com/

    Rob is a fighter and guide for people facing the criminal prosecution system in Chicagoland. He is a founder and partner at Vanguard Advocates, LLP, a law practice focused on people and problem-solving. Vanguard Advocates, LLP is driven by a mission to provide legal services that are affordable, with clear and predictable pricing, so that your focus can be on your criminal, traffic, or juvenile justice issue. If your case is over, Vanguard Advocates, LLP stands ready to help you with criminal records relief, including adult records sealing and expungements. Rob earned a BA at Morehouse College and his JD at DePaul University College of Law. He is licensed in Illinois and a member of the Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association. Rob serves in Cook, DuPage, and Lake County.

    Rob can be reached at robert.alexander@vanguardadvocates.com or 312-219-5931.


  • Courtney Kelledes

    Rights and Restoration Law Group, LLC

    rightsandrestorationlawgroup.com

    Courtney Kelledes fights for individuals with past records and criminal justice system involvement to restore their rights and opportunities. Before co-founding Rights and Restoration Law Group LLC, Courtney was the Director of Employment Training at Growing Home in Englewood. There she led a multidisciplinary team in providing holistic employment support to motivated job seekers. Prior to Growing Home, Courtney was Cabrini Green Legal Aid’s Lead Attorney of Collaborative Partnerships where she successfully represented hundreds of individuals in petitions for Sealing and Expungement, Certificates of Rehabilitation, Health Care Worker Waivers, Executive Clemency, and Professional Licensing. Courtney currently volunteers with the Chicago Community Bond Fund, John Howard Association C-Number Project, Cabrini Green Legal Aid, CARPLS, and DePaul’s Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project. Courtney graduated from DePaul University College of Law cum laude, with a certificate in public interest law, and earned her bachelor’s degree cum laude from Eastern Michigan University.

    Courtney serves in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will, McHenry, and Lake County. Courtney can be reached at (312)672-9967 or courtney@rightsandrestorationlaw.com.


  • Sussetthe Renteria

    Renteria Law Group

    Sussethe Renteria is a daughter of Mexican migrants. As a Latina, she has first-hand knowledge of the impact of discrimination on the Spanish speaking community. At a very young age she witnessed how language barriers and obstacles have negatively affected her community. Due to this, she has always strived to help.

    Sussethe’s practice focuses on criminal defense. Her work experience allows her to have a unique approach in her criminal defense cases. Her background in substance abuse counseling helps her to empathize with her clients throughout their cases. Simultaneously, her experience as a prosecutor at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office gives her an advantage in negotiations for her clients.

    During her free time, Sussethe enjoys giving back to her community. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she advocated for employment placement and school readiness for teen parents in high school. Now, Sussethe has partnered with a local high school to advocate for minority students that are vulnerable to the school-to-prison pipeline. She works closely as a mentor to students, encouraging them to focus on their education and possibly getting them interested in law school. She provides countless hours of pro bono services to the migrant community. She has traveled to Matamoros, Mexico to assist asylum seekers with their asylum applications. She serves in Cook, DuPage, Lake, and Will County.

    Sussethe can be reached at (708)669-9969 or s.renteria.law@gmail.com.


  • Mark Almanza

    Almanza Law LLC

    www.almanzalaw.com

    Mark Almanza is an alumnus of University of Chicago Law School and a veteran of the United States Air Force. Mark is committed to working with clients to obtain affordable access to the legal representation they deserve. Prior to founding Almanza Law, Mark worked at Lawndale Christian Legal Center, a non-profit law office representing youth in juvenile and criminal court, and has handled numerous felony, misdemeanor, and traffic cases ranging from DUI through First Degree Murder. Mark currently works with First Defense Legal Aid providing representation during arrest and investigations by the Chicago Police Department. As a child of immigrant parents, Mark understands the difficulties the immigrant community faces and is dedicated to helping clients navigate the complexities of the immigration system. Additionally, Mark has experience in real estate issues including handling mortgage foreclosures during the housing crisis and landlord/tenant issues. Mark serves in Cook, DuPage, and Will County. Mark focuses his practice on criminal defense, immigration, and residential real estate. Mark can be reached at (312) 380-9012 or mark.almanza@almanzalaw.com.


  • Roya Samarghandi

    Carmel Law, LLC

    www.carmellawchicago.com

    Roya H. Samarghandi seeks to recalibrate the balance of justice for her clients, regardless of means or circumstance. She has committed her career to reducing the justice gap for low and moderate income clients in their criminal and family law matters. She addresses her client’s needs through honest representation, committed advocacy and the option for alternative fee arrangements. Roya is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, graduating cum laude. She also holds a Masters of Law Degree in International Human Rights from University of Nottingham School of Law (U.K.), receiving merit honors. She enjoys volunteering with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, the Family Defense Center and First Defense Legal Aid.  Roya serves in Cook and DuPage County. Roya can be reached at (312) 945-6250 or at RHS@CarmelLawChicago.com.


  • Nikki Donnelley

    Rights and Restoration Law Group, LLC

    rightsandrestorationlawgroup.com

    Nikki Donnelley is a zealous advocate for individuals coping with the impact of their criminal records, as well as those who are still behind bars. Her passion for working with people impacted by the criminal legal system began while studying public policy at DePaul University, where she studied the implications of local laws on Chicago’s residents. Since this time,Nikki has continued to fight against systemic injustice in her role as a staff attorney at Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA). At CGLA, she represented hundreds of clients in successfully mitigating their criminal records through sealing and expungement, executive clemency, healthcare waivers, certificates of good conduct, and at hearings in front of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.  Notably, in 2017, Nikki successfully argued and won a petition to seal her  client’s conviction for murder- one of the first of such convictions to be sealed in Illinois history.  While at CGLA, Nikki co-launched a project assisting over twenty-five incarcerated survivors of domestic violence file motions to reduce their sentences after there was a change in sentencing laws, allowing domestic battery to be considered by Judges in sentencing. In addition to directly representing clients, Nikki has trained and supervised hundreds of pro bono attorneys representing clients in their petitions for executive clemency.

    Nikki serves in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will, McHenry, and Lake County. Nikki can be reached at (872)239-4533 or  nikki@rightsandrestorationlaw.com.


  • Garrett Thomas

    The Law Office of Garrett Thomas, LLC

    www.garrettthomaslaw.com

    Garrett is an experienced litigator and trial attorney. His practice focuses primarily on criminal defense, civil rights, orders of protection, and related areas. Garrett has navigated clients through a myriad of criminal and civil proceedings in courts across the Chicago area. He studied political science at Washington University in St. Louis and attended law school at Georgetown. During his time in the capital, he clerked at a leading defender office, litigated federal civil rights cases in a student clinic, and helped launch a criminal justice reform initiative. As a new attorney at a criminal justice advocacy organization, he worked in special capacity on his team’s high stakes defense cases, served clients facing asset forfeiture, and argued on behalf of juveniles before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. Garrett has represented clients in a wide range of trials, hearings, negotiations, and investigations. He serves clients throughout Cook County and is licensed to practice law in the state of Illinois and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

    Garrett’s firm is committed to excellent service and regularly obtains positive results for clients. If you need assistance or representation, his office can be reached at 872-256-1228 or info@garrettthomaslaw.com.