Are you facing felony charges ? A felony is any crime that is punishable by at least one year in an Illinois state prison. Misdemeanor charges, on the other hand, include a prison sentence of a year or less, depending on the severity. If you are facing felony charges, it is important that you consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. With prison time and hefty fines on the line, a guilty verdict can be life changing.
Under Illinois law , felonies are categorized based on the severity of the crime committed. In general, the less serious the crime is, the less severe the punishment is likely to be. Felonies are broken up into five categories – Class 1 through 4 felonies, followed by Class X, which includes the most severe crimes one can commit aside from first degree murder. If you are facing felony charges, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help determine which class of felony you are being charged with and can help you build as best a defense as possible. Below, we break down the punishments associated with each class of felony in Illinois.
Class 4 Felony
The least serious felony charges one can face are Class 4 felony charges. Examples include stalking and aggravated assault. Being the least serious of all the felony classes in Illinois, Class 4 felony punishments include a fine of up to $25,000 and between 1 and 3 years in jail.
Class 3 Felony
Class 3 felonies are a step up from Class 4, and thus carry harsher sentences. Aggravated battery, for example, is a Class 3 felony, and anyone found guilty of committing a Class 3 felony will face between 2 to 5 years in a state prison as well as fines of up to $25,000.
Class 2 Felony
Class 2 felonies—arson, for example—are very serious. Sentences range from 3 to 7 years in prison along with fines of up to $25,000.
Class 1 Felony
Class 1 felonies include high-level heroin and cocaine possession, as well as other very serious crimes such as criminal sexual assault. The punishment associated with a conviction ranges from 4 to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.
Class X Felony
Class X Felonies are the most serious of all felony charges in Illinois. If found guilty, those who have committed Class X felonies face between 6 to 30 years in state prison as well as fines up to $25,000.
Extended Terms in Illinois
In some cases, a judge may determine that extended sentencing is necessary, and may sentence those found guilty of committing a felony to more than the typical prison time associated with the class of felony. Aggravating factors must be present for a judge to add extended terms. For example, a past criminal history, or being involved in a hate crime, would both warrant potential extended terms. Even a Class 4 felony, which is usually punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison, can be extended to up to 6 years if aggravating factors are present. At the top of the list, a Class X felony with extended terms can be punishable by up to 60 years of incarceration.
Are you facing felony charges? A felony of any class can be life changing, so it is important that you consult with an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney who can help build a strong defense. At the Law Office Jack L. Zaremba, our team has years of success defending clients from a variety of charges. Mr. Zaremba himself is a former prosecutor who understands the Illinois legal system. Call 815-740-4025 today to set up a free consultation with us to review your case.