The Criminal Division prosecutes traffic, misdemeanor, and felony crimes. Felony prosecutions involve serious crimes that pose the greatest threat to the community and may be punishable by prison. Misdemeanor crimes are less serious crimes with a maximum sentence of county jail.
Certain serious or complicated crimes that require specialized knowledge or expertise in order to effectively prosecute are handled by various units in the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Special Prosecutions Unit
The Special Prosecutions Unit is made up of the most experienced, seasoned, and talented assistant state’s attorneys in the Office and charged with developing and prosecuting the most serious, sophisticated, and/or high-profile criminal cases.
Gang Prosecutions Unit
The Gang Prosecution Unit’s mission is to stamp out gang-related crime and activity in McHenry County wherever it arises. The Gang Prosecution Unit is made up of prosecutors who are familiar with gang affiliation, history, and symbolism. These prosecutors take a hardline approach to gangs, aggressively prosecuting gang related crimes and coordinating prevention efforts with law enforcement.
The Arson Unit is made up of prosecutors with specific training in arson related investigations. Specifically, they have attended the Arson Investigation and Prosecution course put on by the Arson Prosecution Task Force (International Association of Arson Investigators Illinois Chapter, Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshall, Office of the Illinois Attorney General and State’s Attorney Appellate Prosecutor), as well as the Arson for Prosecutors Training put on by the Department of Justice: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Prosecutors assigned to the Arson Unit work with local law enforcement during the investigation, charging and prosecution of arson cases.
White Collar Crime Unit
White collar crimes are not victimless crimes. A single scam can destroy a company, devastate families by wiping out their life savings, cost investors millions of dollars, and undermine public confidence in business and public institutions.
The White Collar crime unit is dedicated to prosecuting the full range of corruption and frauds committed by business and government professionals for financial gain. Generally, these crimes are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust. Proving these case requires in-depth analysis and accounting of complicated financial and other business records.
The Unit is made up of two prosecutors and one investigator who have backgrounds in accounting and receive ongoing training to ensure that we have the expertise to track down and hold accountable those who commit even the most sophisticated schemes.
Pictured below are Criminal Division Co-Chiefs, Daniel Wilbrandt and Randi Freese, and First Assistant Rita Gara.