Attorney Jennifer Patton has been practicing law for almost 30 years. She is also a former prosecutor, which is a unique advantage that can help to strategize a defense in anticipation of what the prosecution might bring against you. She aims to give clients one-on-one attention and will provide personalized legal counsel every step of the way in your Bloomington felony case.
CLASS 1-4 FELONIES
Class 1 felonies include offenses like burglary of a residence, school, or place of worship; criminal sexual assault; and second-degree murder. Class 1 felonies are punishable by 4-15 years (15-30 years for an extended term), as well as 2 years of mandatory supervision. Unless the defendant committed the offense while serving probation for a previous felony, a judge may impose probation or conditional discharge for up to 4 years.
Prison sentences for Class 2 felonies last between 3-7 years (7-14 years for an extended term) and up to 2 years of mandatory supervised release. The judge may also impose a sentence of periodic imprisonment (18-30 months) or up to 4 years of probation or conditional release. Some examples of Class 2 felonies include:
- aggravated domestic battery (causing severe injury or involving strangulation);
- robbery; and
- unlawful purchase (or attempted purchase) of a firearm.
Class 3 felonies generally carry a prison sentence of 2-5 years (5-10 years for an extended term), as well as 1 year of mandatory supervised release. Those convicted of a Class 3 felony may also be sentenced to periodic imprisonment for up to 18 months or to probation for up to 30 months. Some crimes categorized as Class 3 felonies are:
- aggravated battery in certain places (public property, places of worship) or against certain victims (the elderly, pregnant women, teachers);
- theft of property worth between $500-$10,000; and
- possession of less than 5 grams of meth.
Lastly, a Class 4 felony is usually punishable by 1-3 years in prison (3-6 years for an extended term) and 1 year of supervised release, as well as periodic imprisonment for a term of up to 18 months and/or up to 30 months of probation or conditional release. Note that crimes not categorized into a felony class will be considered Class 4 felonies. The following are also examples of common Class 4 felonies:
- identity theft of credit, money, or property worth $300 or less (first offense);
- using someone's credit or debit card without consent;
- selling stolen property online if it's worth $300 or less; and
- unauthorized possession of a blank or altered prescription form.
If you have been charged with a felony in Illinois, it is critical that you consult an experienced defense attorney immediately to discuss your next legal steps. Keep in mind that, while the statute of limitations for crimes is generally 3 years, serious felonies like murder or sex crimes have no time limit. As a result, it is in your best interests to seek out an attorney as soon as possible to get started on your defense.
Sentencing Rules for Felonies in Illinois
Crimes punished by at least 1 year in state prison or life imprisonment are felony crimes in Illinois. Illinois law groups felonies into different classes for the purposes of sentencing, where the most serious felonies are first-degree murder and Class X felonies, followed by Class 1 through Class 4.
Upon conviction, a defendant might face a range of sentences depending on the nature of the crime, such as:
- a "determinate" sentence to state prison for a set amount of time;
- periodic imprisonment, under which the defendant may be committed to a county, municipal, or regional correctional institution for periods of time (not allowed for the most serious felonies); and
- probation or conditional release (not allowed for Class X felonies).
Note that judges may sentence defendants to longer terms of imprisonment (extended terms) based on certain aggravating factors like when the defendant:
- has a criminal history;
- caused or threatened serious harm;
- committed the crime against an elder (60 or over) or disabled person; or
- targeted the alleged victim because of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
First-Degree Murder and Class X Felonies
First-degree murder is its own class of felony in Illinois and the most serious. Anyone convicted of first-degree murder could face a sentence of 20-60 years in prison (60-100 years for an extended term). In the presence of certain aggravating factors, the sentence could be life in prison.
The next most serious class of felonies is Class X, which allocates prison sentences of 6-30 years (30-60 years for an extended term), as well as 3 years of mandatory supervised release. However, those convicted of a Class X felony may not be sentenced to periodic imprisonment, probation, or conditional release.
Some examples of Class X felonies are:
- firing a gun while committing aggravated battery;
- committing a felony (except for certain especially serious crimes) while armed with a gun, stun gun, or taser;
- home invasion while armed with a dangerous weapon; and
- participating in the manufacture of 15 or more grams of meth.