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(773) 908-9811





(773) 908-9811



Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor


The Difference Between Probation and Prison Is Often Times The Skill and Expertise of Your Criminal Lawyer – Chicago Felony Lawyer Andrew M. Weisberg

If you would like to reach Mr. Weisberg quickly and directly, please call his cell phone 24/7 at (773) 908-9811, or fill out the case review form on our website. The consultation is free.

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)

Class 4 Felonies

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. In cases like this, a skilled and aggressive criminal attorney can make all the difference in the world.

Class 3 Felonies

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.

Class 2 Felonies

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.

Class 1 Felonies

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.

Class X Felonies

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.

  • Aggravated Arson (720 ILCS 5/20-1.1) (charge / offense)
  • Aggravated Battery (720 ILCS 5/12-3.05 or 720 ILCS 5/12-4) (charge / offense)
  • Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse (720 ILCS 5/11-1.60 or 720 ILCS 5/12-16) (charge / offense)
  • Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault (720 ILCS 5/11-1.30 or 720 ILCS 5/12-14) (charge / offense)
  • Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm (720 ILCS 5/24-1.2) (charge / offense)
  • Aggravated Financial Identity Theft (720 ILCS 5/16-30 or 720 ILCS 5/16G-20) (charge / offense)
  • Aggravated Kidnapping (720 ILCS 5/10-2) (charge / offense)
  • Aggravated Stalking (720 ILCS 5/12-7.4) (charge / offense)
  • Aggravated Unlawful Restraint (720 ILCS 5/10-3.1) (charge / offense)
  • Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (720 ILCS 5/24-1.6) (charge / offense)
  • Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking (720 ILCS 5/18-4) (charge / offense)
  • Felony Probation Violations
  • Felony Traffic Violations
  • Armed Robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-2) (charge / offense)
  • Arson (720 ILCS 5/20-1) (charge / offense)
  • Attempted Murder (720 ILCS 5/8-4(a) & 720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(1) (charge / offense)
  • Burglary (720 ILCS 5/19-1) (charge / offense)
  • Child Abduction (720 ILCS 5/10-5) (charge / offense)
  • Child Pornography (720 ILCS 5/11-20.1) (charge / offense)
  • Criminal Sexual Abuse (720 ILCS 5/11-1.50 or 720 ILCS 5/12-15) (charge / offense)
  • Criminal Sexual Assault (720 ILCS 5/11-1.20 or 720 ILCS 5/12-13) (charge / offense)
  • Defacing Identification Marks of Firearms (720 ILCS 5/24-5) (charge / offense)
  • Delivery of Cannabis (720 ILCS 550/5) (charge / offense)
  • Delivery of a Controlled Substance (720 ILCS 570/401) (charge / offense)
  • Escape (720 ILCS 5/31-6) (charge / offense)
  • Failure to Register as a Sex Offender (730 ILCS 150/6) (charge / offense)
  • Felony Deceptive Practices (720 ILCS 5/17-1) (charge / offense)
  • Felony DUI/DWI Offenses (625 ILCS 5/11-501) (charge / offense)
  • Felony Murder (720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(3) (charge / offense)
  • Felony Theft (720 ILCS 5/16-1) (charge / offense)
  • Financial Identity Theft (720 ILCS 5/16G-15) (charge / offense)
  • Forgery (720 ILCS 5/17-3) (charge / offense)
  • Hate Crime (720 ILCS 5/12-7.1) (charge / offense)
  • Home Invasion (720 ILCS 5/12-11) (charge / offense)
  • Involuntary Manslaughter (720 ILCS 5/9-3) (charge / offense)
  • Kidnapping (720 ILCS 5/10-1) (charge / offense)
  • Perjury (720 ILCS 5/32-2) (charge / offense)
  • Possession of Burglary Tools (720 ILCS 5/19-2) (charge / offense)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance (PCS) (720 ILCS 570/402) (charge / offense)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Deliver (720 ILCS 570/401) (charge / offense)
  • Possession of Cannabis (Over 30 Grams) (720 ILCS 550/4(d)) (charge / offense)
  • Possession of Cannabis with the Intent to Deliver (720 ILCS 550/5) (charge / offense)
  • Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle (PSMV) (625 ILCS 5/4-103) (charge / offense)
  • Possession of Stolen Property (720 ILCS 5/16-1) (charge / offense)
  • Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child (720 ILCS 5/11-1.40 or 720 ILCS 5/12-14.1) (charge / offense)
  • Reckless Discharge of a Firearm (720 ILCS 5/24-1.5) (charge / offense)
  • Reckless Homicide (720 ILCS 5/9-3) (charge / offense)
  • Residential Burglary (720 ILCS 5/19-3) (charge / offense)
  • Robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-1) (charge / offense)
  • Sexual Exploitation of a Child (720 ILCS 5/11-9.1) (charge / offense)
  • Stalking (720 ILCS 5/12-7.3) (charge / offense)
  • Unlawful Possession of Firearms and Firearm Ammunition (720 ILCS 5/24-3.1) (charge / offense)
  • Unlawful Purchase of a Firearm (720 ILCS 5/24-3.5) (charge / offense)
  • Unlawful Restraint (720 ILCS 5/10-3) (charge / offense)
  • Unlawful Use of Weapons (UUW) (720 ILCS 5/24-1) (charge / offense)
  • Unlawful Use of Weapons by Felons or Persons in Custody of the DOC (720 ILCS 5/24-1.1) (charge / offense)
  • Vehicular Hijacking (720 ILCS 5/18-3) (charge / offense)

A person convicted of felony charges faces 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.

If you would like to reach Mr. Weisberg quickly and directly, please call his cell phone 24/7 at (773) 908-9811, or fill out the case review form on our website. The consultation is free.

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