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In the United States, criminal offenses are generally divided into two main categories: felonies and misdemeanors. These terms are often used interchangeably, but a major distinction between the two is the period of punishment or incarceration. Misdemeanor offenses entail a maximum jail time of twelve months, while felonies carry incarceration sentence of more than twelve months. If you have been convicted for a crime, it is essential to determine whether it is a felony or misdemeanor to develop a legal strategy accordingly.
Types of Felony Charges in Illinois
When a person breaks the law, judges assign a value to each crime based on its severity. There are five classes of felony, starting with Class 4 felony being the least serious and Class X felony being the most significant. Each class carries a different set of fines and punishments under Illinois law.
Class 4 Felony
This class of felony carries a prison sentence of 1 to 3 years, which can be extended to 3 to 6 years based on the specific circumstances of the crime. You will have to pay $25,000 in fines as well. Some examples of a class 4 felony are stalking, aggravated assault, DUI, and possession of drugs in small quantity.
Class 3 Felony
A Class 3 felony is punishable by fines of up to $25,000 and 2 to 5 years of imprisonment. The sentence may be extended from 5 to 10 years based on the severity of the crime. Some examples of a Class 3 felony include battery, aggravated battery, theft of between $300 and $2,000, and assault.
Class 2 Felony
A Class 2 felony conviction can result in 3 to 7 years of incarceration, which may be increased to 14 years for an extended term. You will have to pay a fine of up to $25,000. Arson, criminal transmission of HIV, theft of $2,000 to $10,000, and drug possession are some examples of a Class 2 felony.
Class 1 Felony
In Illinois, a Class 1 felony entails a fine of up to $25,000 along with a prison sentence of 4 to 15 years. The jail time can be increased up to 30 years for an extended term. Criminal sexual assault, drug possession, and theft of amount between $10,000 and $100,000 are a few examples of a class 2 felony.
Class X Felony
Under this class, punishments for the most serious crimes are delivered by courts. A criminal can be sentenced to imprisonment for 6 to 30 years with a fine of up to $25,000. An extended term for Class X felony may entail life sentence of up to 60 years in prison. Some examples of Class X felony include battery with a fire arm and aggravated criminal sexual assault.
Felony charges – at any level – can lead to serious consequences. It is best that you work with an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your rights and aggressively fight on your behalf to reduce or drop charges altogether. Contact the law firm of Michael D. Ettinger & Associates on 708-377-5426 to discuss your case today.