In Illinois, there exist two primary categories of criminal offenses: misdemeanor and felony. Misdemeanors entail crimes that carry a potential jail sentence of less than one year, whereas felonies involve offenses with sentences exceeding a year, typically resulting in imprisonment in a penitentiary. Misdemeanors often offer more flexibility in terms of sentencing and potential plea negotiations, but our skilled attorneys have demonstrated success in handling felony cases as well. Felonies encompass the gravest crimes, including murder, rape, burglary, kidnapping, and similar serious offenses. It’s noteworthy that many job applications and background checks inquire about felony history, while not all inquire about misdemeanors. Additionally, non-U.S. citizen defendants may face immigration consequences based on the nature of their misdemeanors or felonies.
Misdemeanors in Illinois
Misdemeanor offenses are categorized into different classes. Class A misdemeanors carry a maximum punishment of one year in county jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Penalties for other misdemeanor convictions may involve probation, supervision, restitution to victims, home monitoring, or community service. Examples of Class A misdemeanor crimes in Illinois encompass:
- Retail theft
- Reckless driving
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
Class B misdemeanors, less severe than Class A, come with a maximum penalty of 180 days in county jail and a fine of up to $1,500. These offenses may include certain instances of criminal trespassing or telephone and electronic harassment.
The least serious criminal offense (aside from ordinance violations and petty offenses) is a Class C misdemeanor. Convictions for Class C misdemeanors are punishable by a maximum of 30 days in county jail or a fine of up to $1,500. These offenses encompass acts like disorderly conduct and assault.
Felonies in Illinois
Felonies represent the most serious crimes across Illinois, characterized by various degrees of severity. The lowest felony classification is Class 4, carrying a potential sentence of one to three years in state prison. Examples of Class 4 offenses include:
- Aggravated assault
- Unlawful use of a weapon
Slightly more serious are Class 3 Felonies, with sentences ranging from two to five years in state prison. Possible Class 3 felony crimes encompass:
- Aggravated battery
- Aggravated theft (dependent on the amount involved)
Class 2 Felonies carry sentences of three to seven years in state prison. Examples of Class 2 felony offenses include:
- Theft of property (dependent on the amount)
- Aggravated domestic battery
- Unlawful use of a weapon by a felon
Next in line is Class 1 Felony, which imposes sentences of four to 15 years in state prison. Class 1 felony offenses may involve:
- Criminal sexual assault
- Theft (dependent on the amount)
- Residential burglary
For the most severe offenses, referred to as Class X felonies, the maximum punishment is typically 30 years in prison. Class X felonies encompass heinous crimes such as rape and other similarly grave offenses.
If you find yourself facing criminal charges in the Belleville IL area, it is crucial to enlist the services of an experienced attorney who can assess your defenses and options. The attorneys at Elovitz Law Offices are dedicated to providing top-notch legal representation throughout every stage of the legal process, whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.