What Are the Types of Felonies in Illinois?

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Felonies are the most serious crimes under Illinois law, and a felony conviction can result in a lengthy prison sentence, costly fines, and secondary effects like difficulty finding work or obtaining a loan. Illinois law groups felonies into different classes depending on their seriousness. First-degree murder is a class of its own, followed by Class X felonies, and then Class 1, 2, 3, and 4. 

First-Degree Murder

First-degree murder is a distinct class of felony under Illinois law, underscoring the severity of the offense. A person convicted of first-degree murder in Illinois faces a minimum prison sentence of 20 years, though life imprisonment is a possibility under certain circumstances. A conviction may carry additional penalties, including fines and restitution.

Class X Felonies

Class X felonies are the most severe and include specific sexual assault crimes, certain high-level drug offenses, armed robbery, and most violent crimes. The penalties for conviction of a Class X felony in Illinois include a minimum of six to 30 years in prison, fines, and restitution. However, Illinois law allows the court to impose an extended prison sentence if aggravating circumstances, such as a prior felony conviction, exist, in which case a person could face 30 to 60 years behind bars for a Class X felony conviction.

Class 1 Felonies

Class 1 felonies are the second-most serious classification of felonies in Illinois after Class X felonies. Criminal sexual assault, residential burglary, and various drug crimes are Class 1 felonies. A person convicted of a Class 1 felony in Illinois will face four to 15 years in prison, fines, and restitution. In certain circumstances, however, the court may impose an extended prison sentence ranging from 15 to 30 years.

Class 2 Felonies

Class 2 felonies include crimes such as burglary, arson, and some drug offenses. A conviction for a Class 2 felony in Illinois typically carries a prison sentence ranging from three to 7 years. However, the court may extend the sentence to 7 to 14 years if certain aggravating factors exist.

Class 3 Felonies

Class 3 felonies include offenses like aggravated battery, involuntary manslaughter, and low-level drug crimes. A person convicted of a Class 3 felony will face two to five years in prison. However, the court can impose a maximum of 10 years in prison under certain circumstances.

Class 4 Felonies

Class 4 felonies are the least serious felony crimes under Illinois law, including crimes such as minor theft, certain DUI offenses, and low-level drug possession. Typically, a conviction for a Class 4 felony carries a prison sentence of one to three years, but the court may impose an extended sentence of up to six years in prison if certain aggravating factors exist.

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