As a criminal defense lawyer in Wheaton, we’ve had many clients that don’t understand the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony. Many people think that all crimes are automatically felonies, but misdemeanors are actually more common than felonies in Illinois.
The main thing to remember about misdemeanors is that they are less serious, which could mean community service, a fine, or prison time. A felony is more serious and will likely result in a fine and prison time. Although these two categories of crime share many similarities, it’s important to note their differences so you know what kind of sentence you might be facing if accused of a crime.
A misdemeanor is the most minor type of offense in the United States. They can range from a speeding ticket to public drunkenness. Misdemeanor criminal charges are those that have a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail or less, usually with no mandatory minimum jail time for most charges. But you are still at significant risk for a jail sentence for many misdemeanor offenses in Illinois, particularly on a second or greater offense.
The following are examples of misdemeanors in Illinois
|Examples (not an exhaustive list)
|Disorderly Conduct, simple assault, traffic tickets, public intoxication
|-maximum penalty of 30 days in county jail-maximum fine of $2,500-payment of court costs-probation period of up to 2 years
|Speeding (26 to 34 mph over the speed limit), criminal trespassing, telephone harassment, window peeping, computer tampering
|-maximum penalty or up to 6 months in county jail-maximum fine of $1,500-payment of court costs-probation for a period of up to 2 years
|Aggravated assault, battery, domestic battery, criminal damage to property, DUI, patronizing a prostitute
|-maximum penalty of up to 364 days in jail-maximum fine of $2,500-payment of court costs-probation
Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony, our attorneys at Sethna Cook will pursue justice on your behalf
A felony is a crime that has the potential to be punished with imprisonment for more than one year. Felonies are typically classified as either violent or non-violent crimes, but “felony” does not always refer to someone who has committed a violent act. For example, if you commit tax fraud it’s considered a federal offense that carries up to three years of incarceration unless it’s done on purpose. The severity of punishment varies based on which category the felony falls under and other factors such as criminal history, location of arrest/conviction, etc.
Felonies range from Class X (most serious) to Class 4 (least serious). If you have been charged with a felony, whatever the class, you need to have a criminal defense lawyer in Wheaton. At Sethna Cook, we have the experience to ensure you get the justice you deserve.
|Examples (not an exhaustive list)
|Drug crimes (such as sale or delivery of paraphernalia, or possession in smaller quantities), obstruction of justice, criminal sexual abuse,
|-prison sentence from 1-3 years-fines up to $25,000-parole conditions and restrictions of rights upon release
|Aggravated battery, theft between $300-$2,000, threatening public officials, criminal sexual assault, possession of child pornography
|-prison sentence from 2-5 years-fines up to $25,000-parole conditions and restrictions of rights upon release
|Arson, aggravated battery, burglary, drug crimes, unlawful possession of a firewarm, kidnapping, bribery, theft over $500
|-Prison sentence from 3-7 years-fine up to $25,000-parole conditions and restrictions of rights upon release
|Possession of explosives, residential burglary, drug trafficking, criminal sexual assault, second degree murder, aggravated robbery, firearms trafficking, trafficking persons, possession of a deadly substance
|-prison sentence from 4-15 years-fine up to $25,000-parole conditions and restrictions of rights upon release
|Serious drug crimes (manufacturing and possession of cocaine), child-pornography, predatory criminal sexual assault, armed robbery, aggravated or reckless discharge of a firearm, aggravated kidnapping, murder
|-prison sentence from 6-30 years-fines up to $25,000
Contact Sethna Cook for a criminal defense lawyer in Wheaton that will protect your rights
Misdemeanors are less serious crimes in Illinois and result in community service, fines, or prison time. Felonies in Illinois are more serious crime with harsher jail penalties and larger fines. If you need a criminal defense lawyer in Wheaton, Illinois contact Sethna Cook for your legal needs. You can call them at (630) 574-3600 to get started today!