An Overview of Illinois Felony Charges and Their Consequences

joliet felony criminal lawyerWhen it comes to crime classifications, each state has its own unique system and way of organizing specific crimes. In the state of Illinois, there are three main classifications of crimes: petty offenses, misdemeanors, and felonies. A petty offense is simply a minor violation — like a traffic ticket — for which the consequence is paying a fine. A misdemeanor misdemeanor is more serious than a petty offense and can carry up to one year in jail, depending on the type of misdemeanor. A felony is the most serious type of crime and can be punishable by up to life in prison.

The Illinois crime classification system contains five classes of felonies, or five different levels for a felony charge, in addition to first-degree murder, which is charged as a separate class of felony. Fines for any felony can be up to $25,000 in addition to any other requirement that certain fines, fees or restitution be paid. A felony conviction can affect you for the rest of your life, so it is important to understand the possible consequences.

Felony Classifications

The five types of felony classes range from the least serious (Class 4 felonies) to the most serious (Class X felonies and first-degree murder). Each felony has the possibility of a prison sentence, an extended sentence, fines and restitution. Many felonies, though not all, also have the possibility of probation or conditional discharge. Courts can impose any combination of punishments for felonies as the judge sees fit, though fines or restitution are not permitted to be the only disposition for a felony.

Felony classifications in Illinois are as follows, from most to least serious:

First-Degree Murder: First-degree murder convictions can result in:

  • 20 – 60 years in prison or an extended sentence of 60 – 100 years in prison; or
  • Natural life imprisonment.

In 2011, the death penalty was abolished in Illinois, making the state the 16th in the nation to eliminate capital punishment as a sentencing option.

Class X Felony: Crimes that are classified as a Class X felony can include aggravated sexual assault and armed robbery. A conviction of a Class X felony can result in:

  • 6 – 30 years in prison; or
  • An extended sentence of 30 – 60 years.

Class 1 Felony: Crimes classified as Class 1 felonies can include vehicular hijacking and residential burglary. Consequences can be:

  • 4 – 15 years in prison; or
  • An extended sentence of 15 – 30 years.

Class 2 Felony: Class 2 felonies can include crimes such as aggravated battery and robbery. Consequences can be:

  • 3 – 7 years in prison; or
  • An extended sentence of 7 – 14 years.

Class 3 Felony: Class 3 felonies can include crimes such as involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide. Consequences can be:

  • 2 – 5 years in prison; or
  • An extended sentence of 5 – 10 years.

Class 4 Felony: Class 4 felonies can include crimes such as unlawful restraint or stalking. Consequences can be:

  • 1 – 3 years in prison; or
  • An extended sentence of 3 – 6 years.

Are You Facing Felony Charges? Contact a Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney

A felony conviction can affect you for your entire life. Do not hesitate — contact the skilled Will County defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. today. Call us at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.

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