This page is provided to give an overview of the types of felony charges and offenses that a person in Chicago or Illinois may face in court. Feel free to look through the site or just call Mr. Weisberg right now to discuss your case.
A felony in Illinois is a criminal offense that is punishable by one year or more in the Illinois Department of Corrections (prison time) and fines of $25,000.00 or more. All felony offenses are serious but some are more severe than others. The vast majority of felony offenses do offer at least the possibility of probation while others carry mandatory prison sentences upon conviction. The difference between probation and a prison sentence often times comes down to the skill and expertise of the criminal defense lawyer. In Illinois, there are six classifications of felony offenses and charges:
Class 4 Felony: 1-3 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (prison time)
Class 3 Felony: 2-5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (prison time)
Class 2 Felony: 3-7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (prison time)
Class 1 Felony: 4-15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (prison time)
Class X Felony: 6-30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (prison time)
Murder: 20-60 years (or more) in the Illinois Department of Corrections (prison time)
Common examples of Class 4 Felonies include: unlawful possession of a controlled substance (PCS), second or subsequent convictions for domestic battery or retail theft (shoplifting), deceptive practice, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, criminal sexual abuse and many other offenses. All felony offenses in Chicago and Illinois carry the possibility of jail time or prison time upon conviction. Most class 4 felony offenses are eligible for probation. The largest factor in determining whether probation is available is the suspect’s criminal record. A person with a clean record will almost certainly receive probation for a Class 4 felony offense while a person with a long history of criminal activity will likely go to prison. It is in cases like this where a skilled and aggressive criminal attorney can make all the difference in the world.
Common examples of Class 3 Felonies include: forgery, retail theft over $300.00, aggravated battery, theft over $500.00 (non-retail), possession of cannabis over 500 grams, possession of cannabis with intent to deliver over 30 grams, failure to register as a sex offender and various other offenses. Most Class 3 Felony offenses carry the possibility of probation instead of prison time. Again, an excellent criminal defense lawyer will often make the difference between probation and prison.
Common examples of Class 2 Felonies include: burglary, theft over $10,000, aggravated battery to a police officer, possession of a stolen vehicle (PSMV), aggravated criminal sexual abuse, filing a false report of vehicle theft, unlawful use of a weapon by felon, robbery and various other offenses. Class 2 felony offenses are quite serious and although probation may be an option upon conviction in most cases, countless people are sent to prison for Class 2 felonies in Illinois. When it comes to a Class 2 felony, the person’s criminal record is very important. If a person has been previously convicted of a Class 2 or greater felony within the past 10 years, the person cannot receive a probation sentence. A top criminal defense attorney can work to get the charges reduced or dismissed to avoid a prison sentence.
Common examples of Class 1 Felonies include: possession of a controlled substance over 15 grams, possession of cannabis / marijuana over 5,000 grams, aggravated robbery, theft over $100,000, aggravated discharge of a firearm, criminal sexual assault and various other crimes. Most Class 1 felony offenses are so serious that probation may not be an option. To avoid prison time on most Class 1 cases the defense attorney must either win the case outright or convince the prosecutor to reduce the charges. A class 1 felony requires the services of an experienced criminal attorney that can analyze your case from every angle to find a way to win.
Common examples of Class X Felonies include: armed robbery, home invasion, aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated battery to a child or senior citizen, attempted murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault, possession of cannabis over 5,000 grams with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance over 15 grams with intent to deliver, theft over $500,000 and various other crimes. By Illinois law, Class X felony offenses are not probation eligible. In other words, if you are convicted of such a crime in Illinois, the judge has no choice but to impose a prison sentence. Other than murder charges, Class X offenses are the most serious cases in Chicago and Illinois. If you or a loved one faces Class X charges, you must hire the best criminal defense attorney you can.
The following is a more exhaustive list of felony charges and offenses in Chicago and Illinois generally. Please note that most criminal matters begin with the statute number “720 ILCS 5/”. Your bail bond sheet may instead say “720 ILCS 5.0/”. For example, an aggravated battery can be noted as 720 ILCS 5/12-4 or 720 ILCS 5.0/12-4. It is the same thing.
A person convicted of felony charges face the real possibility of prison time or jail time, fines, court costs and a permanent criminal record. Countless Americans every year are turned down for employment because of a felony criminal record. Those accused of a felony in the Chicago area can ensure optimal outcomes for their case by securing the services of the experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney Andrew M. Weisberg. Mr. Weisberg’s goal is to help all clients get the charges against them reduced, if not dropped altogether, so they can move on with their lives.
When arrested for and facing serious criminal charges, it is critical to find a great criminal defense lawyer who is at the top of his profession. Finding an experienced criminal defense attorney is the best thing you can do to protect your reputation and avoid jail time or prison time. Mr. Weisberg handles all felony and misdemeanor charges in all Cook County courthouses including Chicago (and all branch courts), Skokie, Rolling Meadows, Maywood (Maybrook), Bridgeview and Markham.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony offense, contact Chicago criminal defense lawyer Andrew M. Weisberg to receive a strong defense. Mr. Weisberg is committed to offering the best possible defense and believes that a strong case starts with building a personalized relationship with the client.