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Each crime carries a different felony class status in Illinois, ranging from Class 4, the lowest and least-serious felony classification, to Class X, the highest and most serious felony classification just below murder, which is the only offense that falls outside of this felony class structure. Sentences prescribed for a Class 4 felony conviction range from between one and three years, but the actual time served by those convicted of Class 4 felony offenses is 0.

Felonies | Chicago Crime Defense Lawyer David L. Freidberg

Some examples of Class 4 felonies are possession of any amount of certain controlled substances, retail theft and driving with a revoked license. Indeed, the largest percentage of inmates admitted to prison in Illinois were convicted of a Class 4 felony offense, and the percentage of admissions for Class 4 felony offenses skyrocketed after In , roughly Most offenders serving a sentence for a Class 4 felony offense were convicted of low-level, nonviolent offenses.

Most inmates serving a sentence for a Class 4 felony offense were convicted of Class 4 felony possession of a controlled substance, followed by a Class 4 felony theft offense and driving with a revoked license. Because of the relatively short sentences that are served, individuals convicted of Class 4 felony offenses are given little opportunity to engage in rehabilitative programming, or any substance abuse or mental health treatment they may need before they are released back into society.

This is problematic, as providing limited access to rehabilitative programming in prison increases the chances inmates will recidivate after release, providing low returns to an already expensive and inefficient corrections system. Indeed, while the overall three-year recidivism rate in Illinois is roughly 48 percent, according to the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform, offenders convicted of a Class 4 felony who are admitted to IDOC have higher recidivism rates and more extensive criminal histories as compared to other offenders.

Possession of most controlled substances in Illinois is either a Class 1 felony or a Class 4 felony, with the exception of possession of methamphetamine, which ranges from a Class 3 felony to a Class X felony. The duration of incarceration varies according to the amount of the substance involved.


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  • Illinois Felony Sentences!

This offense carries between four and 15 years in prison, depending on the substance. Possession of more than and less than grams of these substances carries a six- to year prison sentence, and increasing amounts carry longer sentences beyond this.

What is a Class 2 Felony

However, possession of any amount below 15 grams of certain controlled substances — even a barely detectable amount — is a Class 4 felony offense. Meaning, two individuals convicted of possessing very disparate amounts of these illicit substances could receive the same Class 4 felony sentence for possession. Because there is no threshold necessary to trigger a Class 4 felony drug possession offense, individuals caught possessing even 0.

As of June 30, , 1, inmates were serving sentences for Class 4 felony possession of a controlled substance.

What Is a Class 3 Felony in Illinois?

These inmates represented It should be noted that possession of methamphetamine is punished more harshly than possession of most controlled substances in Illinois, and possession of any amount of methamphetamine is at the very least a Class 3 felony. Indeed, possession of less than five grams of methamphetamine is a Class 3 felony, and possession of five to 15 grams of methamphetamine is a Class 2 felony offense.

As highlighted above, possession of 15 grams or less of most controlled substances is a Class 4 felony offense. There is little evidence that requiring tougher sentences for individuals convicted of possessing methamphetamine — as opposed to other drugs — is an effective deterrent, is cost-effective, or provides an added benefit to public safety. Instead, it results in more individuals in prison for longer periods of time, with no added benefit for taxpayers.

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In Illinois, the threshold necessary to trigger certain felony theft statutes is very low, and indeed lower than those in many neighboring states. As of June 30, , This was the top offense of which Class 3 felony offenders were convicted. Similarly, This was the second-most frequent offense for which all Class 4 felony offenders were serving sentences, below possession of a controlled substance. Using reporting data from Rockford, Ill. While the analysis states Rockford numbers are not fully representative of all theft in Illinois, it notes that the numbers match closely the theft statistics in neighboring states.

There are a few types of criminal drug trafficking. Drug trafficking also applies to possession of a controlled substance […]. In an unprecedented move, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has issued an order that allows applicants for state government jobs to apply without having to disclose felony convictions. The administrative order, issued October 3, […]. The courts treat most accidents as a matter of negligence.

Illinois Felony Sentences

The person who is responsible for the accident is considered at fault, or liable. Anyone who is injured or killed by the person at fault can recover damages in a civil action for personal injury or wrongful death. Since the person responsible did not intend […]. Illinois courts apply the term involuntary manslaughter to any accidental death that results from the reckless acts of another.

Recklessness is the key component of involuntary manslaughter. If the acts causing the death were negligent, then the loss of life would be actionable in a civil courtroom, through a wrongful death lawsuit.

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The statute penalizing […]. The impact of the criminal conviction can be long-lasting and devastating. A conviction is usually a permanent record that will never go away. Although Illinois courts have a procedure for expungement and sealing, most felony convictions do not qualify, and very few misdemeanor convictions are eligible.

Unfortunately, the fact that a conviction comes from decades […]. There was a time in Illinois when inmates could get released from state prison in only days. The new early release program has caused confusion in courtrooms throughout the state. To understand it, […]. Defendants in felony cases are subject to special rules in sentencing.