Crystal Lake Felony Criminal Defense Lawyers
Attorneys Serving McHenry County & the Surrounding Areas
Felony crimes are serious, carrying more serious consequences than misdemeanors. The increased consequences include both more serious direct penalties and more significant long-term impact. If you’ve been charged with a felony, it is in your best interest to seek legal advice and representation as soon as possible.
Sentencing for Felonies in Illinois
Felonies are crimes that are punishable by one year or more in prison. The maximum sentence for a misdemeanor is never more than one year, and misdemeanor sentences are served in county or city jails, rather than state prisons.
However, the sentencing range for felonies varies significantly, depending on the classification of the crime and other factors.
Sentencing ranges for felonies by classification are:
|Classification||Sentencing Range||Possible Extended Sentence|
|Class X Felony||6 – 30 years||30 – 60 years|
|Class 1 Felony||4 – 15 years||15 – 30 years|
|Class 2 Felony||3 – 7 years||7 – 14 years|
|Class 3 Felony||2 – 5 years||5 – 10 years|
|Class 4 Felony||1 – 3 years||3 – 6 years|
Depending on the nature of the crime, felony convictions may carry additional direct costs and consequences. Some examples include:
- Restitution to crime victims
- Driver’s license suspension
- Mandatory sex offender registration
Some additional effects of a felony conviction in Illinois include:
- Limitations on or disqualification from access to public benefits
- Restrictions on access to educational loans and grants
- Difficulty in securing employment
- Exclusion from consideration for some rental properties
- Loss of the right to vote while incarcerated or on parole
In addition, a non-citizen convicted of a felony may be deported on the basis of the conviction.
Crimes Charges as Felonies in Illinois
Given the seriousness of the consequences associated with a felony conviction in Illinois, you might expect that only the most serious crimes would be charged as felonies. However, very small differences in the facts of a case may mean the difference between a misdemeanor charge and a felony charge. For example, theft of an item valued at $475 is a misdemeanor. However, an otherwise identical theft of an item valued at $505 is classified as a felony.
Class X Felonies
A Class X felony is the most serious and carries the harshest penalties. Only a small number of crimes as classified as Class X felonies. These crimes generally involve violence or a threat to public safety. Some examples include:
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Armed robbery
- Aggravated criminal sexual assault
- Aggravated arson
Several Class 1 and Class 2 felonies become Class X felonies when certain aggravating factors are present.
Class 1 Felonies
Some Class 1 felonies include:
- Criminal sexual assault
- Residential burglary
- Vehicular hijacking (commonly known as carjacking)
Class 2 Felonies
Some examples of Class 2 felonies are:
Class 3 Felonies
Class 3 felony crimes in Illinois include:
- Theft of property valued at more than $500, but less than $10,000
- Involuntary manslaughter
Class 4 Felonies
Class 4 felonies are the least serious felony charges in Illinois, though they still carry serious penalties Some examples include:
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated domestic battery
- Reckless discharge of a firearm
Although “felony” generally designates the most serious type of crime, in Illinois there are two charges that are outside the felony/misdemeanor classifications: murder, and habitual criminal status. Both carry a maximum sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.
Talk to an Experienced Felony Defense Lawyer
A felony conviction can result in more than just a significant prison sentence. A felony criminal record can impact many areas of your life, and many of the effects don’t end when you are released from prison or parole.
If you’re facing felony charges, don’t gamble with your future. Talk to an attorney who is experienced in handling serious felony cases as soon as possible. Just schedule a free consultation to get started.