Felony Charge Defense Lawyer
Felony Defense Attorney Illinois
Felony Defense Attorney in Illinois. A felony conviction can jeopardize your reputation, freedom and future. We’re here to make sure a bad situation doesn’t ruin your life. While felonies in Illinois generally carry a minimum one-year prison sentence, the passionate and expert representation of a Drummond Law felony defense attorney can help you avoid jail time altogether. We’ll stand by your side and fight for you when no one else will. Call a Drummond Law Illinois felony defense attorney today at 217-388-1103 or contact us online.
Classes of Felonies in Illinois
Crimes classified as felonies are more serious than misdemeanors and, as such, carry stiffer penalties. Felonies also carry a range of classifications as they vary in severity as well. There are six felony classes in Illinois, listed from most to least severe:
- First Degree Murder: Also called a class M felony, premeditated murder is the most serious crime in Illinois and can carry a term of life imprisonment.
- Class X Felonies: These are typically violent crimes involving a weapon, for example firing or carrying a gun in an armed robbery or aggravated battery. Sexual assault against a child and participating in the manufacturing of more than 15 grams of methamphetamine is also a class X felony, according to 720 ILCS 646/15.
- Class 1 Felonies: This class of felony typically applies to some burglaries or robberies, second degree murder, drug trafficking, and most sexual assaults and child abuse.
- Class 2 Felonies: These felonies include most robberies and burglaries, domestic violence, unlawful purchase, possession or use of a firearm, and kidnapping.
- Class 3 Felonies: These include institutional vandalism, forgery, bomb threats, making a look-alike drug substance, identity theft and insurance fraud.
- Class 4 Felonies: A class 4 felony can be possession of over 100g of cannabis, unlawful sale or delivery of a firearm, obstructing justice, filing a false police report, mob action or looting, or reckless discharge of a firearm.
Drug possession typically results in a felony charge in Illinois, but which class depends on the type of drug and the amount in your possession. If you’ve been charged with any class of felony in Illinois or anywhere in the Midwest, call a Drummond Law felony defense attorney for the best results in your case.
Sentencing Guidelines for Felonies in Illinois
The sentences for the different felony classes differ because the severity of the crimes differs:
|Class||Prison Term||Extended Prison Term||Illinois Compiled Statute|
|Class M Felony||20-60 Years||60-100 Years||730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-20|
|Class X Felony||6-30 Years||30-60 Years||730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-25|
|Class 1 Felony||4-15 Years||15-30 Years||730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-30|
|Class 2 Felony||3-7 Years||7-14 Years||730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-35|
|Class 3 Felony||2-5 Years||5-10 Years||730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-40|
|Class 4 Felony||1-3 Years||3-6 Years||730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-45|
If you are convicted of a felony, you will also have to pay a fine of between $75 and $25,000 and may have to pay restitution to the affected party. While the penalties for a felony are harsh, an Illinois felony defense attorney at Drummond Law can help mitigate them or help you avoid them altogether.
What Is an Extended Prison Term? | Illinois Felony Defense Attorney
In Illinois, courts can impose an “extended prison term” when there are certain aggravating factors in your case. According to 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.2, someone may receive an extended sentence if, for example:
- Their conduct threatened or caused serious harm;
- They were paid or otherwise compensated for committing the offense;
- They are a repeat offender;
- They were obligated by the “duties of their office” to prevent the crime;
- They used their reputation in their profession or community to commit the crime or make committing the crime easier;
- A harsher sentence is necessary to deter others from committing the same crime
- The offense is perceived to be a hate crime
- They were part of an organized gang
- The offense was related to reckless driving or a DUI
- The felony was committed against somebody under the age of 12 or over 60
The statute lists over 50 given reasons for why an extended prison term may apply. If you are facing felony charges, it’s best to reach out to an experienced and knowledgeable felony defense attorney in Illinois right away to understand the full scope of the charges and give your lawyer enough time to form a sound and effective defense strategy.
Are There Alternative Sentencing Options for Felonies in Illinois?
While Illinois law provides sentencing guidelines for judges and juries, depending on the specifics of your case and what class of felony you are accused of, you may very well avoid jail time for a felony with the help of a dedicated Illinois felony defense attorney. For a class 1, 2, 3, or 4 felony, some of the alternative sentencing options available are:
- Impact Incarceration: Also called “boot camp” because it is run like a military boot camp, Illinois law and the Illinois Department of Corrections offer impact incarceration as an alternative to prison for young, first-time offenders, with the stated goal of developing responsibility and self-esteem while addressing the underlying causes of crime. Successful participants typically leave in great physical shape after about 6 months. To be eligible for the program you must meet certain conditions:
- Be between the ages of 17 and 35
- You cannot have already participated or already have served more than one prison term for a felony
- You cannot have been convicted of a violent or sexual crime or any class X felony
- You must be able to participate in strenuous physical activities
- You must not have any mental disorder or disability
- Probation or Conditional Discharge: Sometimes, you can be released on the condition that your report to a probation officer and fulfill other obligations, for example not commit any other crimes, letting the probation officer come to your home, submit to drug tests, not leave the state of Illinois without permission, and perform between 30 and 120 hours of community service. If you violate any conditions, you may be sent to prison. You would not receive probation or conditional discharge if you committed a felony while on probation for a class 1 felony.
- Periodic Imprisonment: This allows you to be released for a period of time during the day to remain employed or pursue education. Periodic imprisonment is reserved for non-violent offenders and has the same conditions as probation. You would serve time in a county jail instead of prison.
- Credit for Home Detention and Good Behavior. While this last alternative won’t help you avoid prison altogether, your sentence may be reduced if you were under home arrest before conviction or for good behavior in prison.
Probation, conditional discharge and period employment each have their own sentencing guidelines depending on which class of felony the conviction is for. If convicted, your Illinois felony defense attorney will help you receive as little sentence as possible. There are no alternative options for people convicted of a class X or class M felony because of the severity of the crimes.
Illinois Felony Defense Attorney | Drummond Law
When you hire a Drummond Law Felony defense attorney in Illinois, we conduct a full investigation of your case and work with you to develop the best defense strategy, which could include questioning witness reliability, ascertaining if there were any errors in police work and more. We’ve built our practice on the belief that a fair trial and expert legal representation are fundamental rights for everyone. If you’ve been charged with a felony, call a Drummond Law Illinois felony defense attorney today at 217-388-1103 or contact us online.