What is a Felony in Illinois?

Violation-of-ProbationIf you are charged with a felony criminal offense in Illinois, you need to know what you are being charged with and what class felony that criminal charge is classified as. Generally, felonies in Illinois are categorized into one of the four classes of felonies in Illinois. Depending on which class your felony is classified as being, the potential penalty will will vary depend on what class felony your crime falls into. Murder is not considered to be part of the four classes of felonies in Illinois. Murder is considered its own special class.

Generally speaking, felonies are placed into one of four classes. The different classes of felonies in Illinois are set forth as follows:

Class 4 Felonies

A Class 4 felony in Illinois is the least severe felony. Having said that, it does carry a potential jail sentence of between 1 to 3 years in State Prison. It also carries a maximum fine of up to $25,000. You can be sentenced to probation for a Class 4 felony in Illinois.

While most people charged with a class 4 felony are able to avoid prison, I have had cases where judges have sentenced clients to probation along with a short jail sentence in County Jail.

Examples of common class 4 felonies in Illinois are Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapon, Aggravated DUI, Possession of More han 100 grams of Cannabis, Criminal Sexual Abuse, and Reckless Discharge of a Firearm. Depending on your criminal record, the minimum and mandatory sentence for a class 4 felony can be increased or the Class 4 felony may be increased to a more serious class felony.

Class 3 Felonies

A Class 3 felony in Illinois carries a possible prison sentence of between 2 to 5 years. The fine for a Class 3 felony can be up to $25,000. Probation is possible for a Class 3 felony in Illinois.

Examples of a Class 3 felony in Illinois are Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Identity Theft Below $300, Forgery, Involuntary Manslaughter, Reckless Homicide, Theft $500 and Under, Possession of Between 20 to 50 Cannabis Plants, Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance, and UUW by a Felon.

Class 2 Felonies

A Class 2 felony in Illinois carries a possible prison sentence of between 3 to 7 years. The fine for a Class 2 felony can be up to $25,000. Probation is possible for a Class 2 felony in Illinois.

Examples of a Class 2 felony in Illinois are Arson, Aggravated Battery of a Senior Citizen, Aggravated Battery of an Unborn Child, Aggravated Domestic Battery, Burglary, Possession of a Stolen Firearm, Kidnapping, Possession of More than 15 grams of Methamphetamine, Delivery of Less Than 5 grams of Methamphetamine, Robbery, Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, Theft Over $500, Aggravated Identity Theft Over $300, Delivery and Manufacture of Cannabis Over 500 grams, Identity Theft over $2,000, and Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle.

While probation is generally possible for a Class 2 felony, a conviction of some Class 2 felonies may require a jail sentence. For instance, if you are found guilty of an Aggravated Domestic Battery, you will be required to serve at least 60 continuous days in jail. Depending on your criminal record, the class of the felony may be increased and you may be facing a mandatory jail sentence.

Class 1 Felonies

The second most serious class of felonies in Illinois is the Class 1 felony. A Class 1 felony carries a possible prison sentence of between 4 to 15 years and a possible fine up to $25,000.

Examples of a Class 1 felony in Illinois are Residential Burglary, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Sexual Assault, Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, Second Degree Murder, Aggravated Robbery, Vehicular Hijacking, Aggravated Identity Theft Exceeding $10,000 in Value, Possession of More Than 200 Cannabis Plants, Delivery and Manufacturer of Over 2000 grams of Cannabis, and Possession of Over 5000 grams of Cannabis.

As with Class 2 felonies, while probation is generally possible for a Class 1 felony, you may be facing a mandatory prison sentence for a conviction of a Class 1 felony. And example is Residential Burglary. While Residential Burglary is considered a Class 1 felony, probation is not possible for a conviction for a Residential Burglary. If you are convicted of a Residential Burglary you must serve a minimum of four years in State Prison.

Class X Felonies

The most serious class of felonies in Illinois is the Class X felony. Class X felonies are the most serious felonies in Illinois because probation is not possible for a Class X felony. Generally, if you are charged with a Class X felony, you will be facing a mandatory minimum of six years and a maximum of 30 years in State Prison. The maximum fine for a class X felony remains at $25,000. Depending on the specific facts of your case, you could be facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 to 21 years in prison and the possibility of having to serve at least 85% of your prison sentence. The range of penalties for a Class X felony will depend on the facts of your case and your criminal record, if any.

Examples of a Class X felony are Aggravated Arson, Aggravated Battery of a Child, Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault, Aggravated Identity Theft Exceeding $100,000, Aggravated Kidnapping, Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking, Armed Habitual Criminal, Armed Robbery, Delivery/Manufacturer of Cannabis over 5000 grams, Home Invasion, Identity Theft Exceeding $100,000, and Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child.

Murder

Murder as its own special classification in Illinois. Generally, the minimum sentence for a Murder conviction in Illinois is 20 years. The maximum jail sentence for a Murder in Illinois is 60 years. However, depending on the facts of the case, a life sentence can be imposed for a Murder conviction. Any jail sentence imposed for a Murder must be served at 100%. In other words, if you are convicted of Murder, you must serve the entire sentence.

James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, criminal defense lawyer. Recently, the American Society of Legal Advocates named James Dimeas a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois for the Year 2018.” The National Trial Lawyers named James Dimeas a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer.” The National Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys named James Dimeas a “10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction.” Expertise named James Dimeas a “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago.” James Dimeas was recently named a “Best DUI Attorney.” The National Academy of Criminal Defense Lawyers dave James Dimeas the “Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois.” The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys awarded James Dimeas the “Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois.” James Dimeas is rated “Superb” by AVVO, the hate highest rating possible for any criminal defense lawyer in the United States.

If you are charged with a felony in Illinois, you can contact James Dimeas anytime for a free and confidential consultation. You can always talk to James Dimeas by calling him at 847-807-7405.

Additional Blogs

What is a Misdemeanor in Illinois and What Can it Mean for Your Future?, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, October 27, 2018.

What is Double Jeopardy? Can I Be Retried Again?, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, June 18, 2018.