types of criminal charges in Illinois

Types of Criminal Charges

Illinois Criminal Defense Attorneys

What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

Simply put the line between a felony charge and a misdemeanor charge (both in Illinois and nationally) is that with a felony charge you are sentenced to more than one year in jail and a misdemeanor carries a maximum jail sentence of 364 days. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony it will lead to you having a criminal record.

Are there different classes of misdemeanor charges in Illinois?

There are three classes of misdemeanor charges:

Class A Misdemeanors:

A Class A Misdemeanor is the most serious type of misdemeanor charge; the sentence for a class A misdemeanor can include up to 364 days in jail and / or a fine of up to $2,500. Examples of crimes that would be Class A Misdemeanors are as follows:

  • Aggravated Assault
  • Damage to Property
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • Endangering the Life or Health of a Child
  • Possession of Cannabis / Marijuana (10 grams - 30 grams)
  • Prostitution / Solicitation
  • Some types of Theft

Class B Misdemeanors:

Sentencing for a Class B Misdemeanor charge can include up to 180 days in jail and / or fines of up to $1,500. Examples of Class B Misdemeanor charges include:

  • Certain types of Assault
  • Possession of Cannabis / Marijuana (more than 2.5 grams but not more than 10 grams)
  • Aggravated Speeding (30 mph or more over the posted speed limit)

Class C Misdemeanors

Class C Misdemeanors are relatively minor charges but can still result in up to 30 days in jail and or fines of up to $1,500. Some examples include:

  • Certain types of Assault Charges
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Possession of Cannabis / Marijuana (less than 2.5 grams)


Felony Charges in Illinois

There are five tiers or classes of felonies in Illinois, defined by the time of incarceration in a State Penitentiary. While the fines for felonies can range, the fines of all five classes of felony are defined as "up to $25,000".

Class X Felony

Minimum Sentence - 6 Years -- Maxiumum Sentence - 30 Years. Example charges include:

  • Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault.

Class 1 Felony

Minimum Sentence - 5 Years -- Maxiumum Sentence - 15 Years. Example charges include:

  • Criminal Sexual Assault
  • Theft Over $10,000

Class 2 Felony

Minimum Sentence - 3 Years -- Maxiumum Sentence - 7 Years. Example charges include:

  • Possession of 2000 - 50000 grams (4.5 to 11 pounds) of Marijuana,
  • Theft of 2,000 to $10,000

Class 3 Felony

Minimum Sentence - 2 Years -- Maxiumum Sentence - 5 Years. Example charges include:

  • Aggravated Battery
  • Theft Between $300 and $2000

Class 4 Felony

Minimum Sentence - 1 Years -- Maxiumum Sentence - 3 Years. Example charges include:

  • Possession 30 to 500 grams (roughly one ounce to one pound) of marijuana
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Stalking

Helping You Understand the Charges Against You

Regardless of whether you have been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, it's critical that you have an effective advocate on your side pursuing your best interests. Don't make a mistake that could haunt you for years to come. We will fight to minimize the effects of your criminal charges. Call 630.679.0930 or contact us online today.