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IL defense lawyerWhile there are many similarities between a misdemeanor and a felony, the single most central commonality being the fact that they are both categories of criminal offenses in the Illinois justice system with which you can be charged, there are major contrasts that can mean the difference between not much time in jail and low fines to major prison time and substantial fines. Here is a closer look at the differences between felonies and misdemeanors in Illinois.

Definitions and Examples

Ultimately, the primary difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is the severity of the crime. The Illinois criminal justice system views certain crimes as less serious than other crimes, which is why they are separated into these two categories and then delineated into different classes with different penalties (shown below). The following is true of misdemeanors and felonies in Illinois:

Misdemeanors—These are not as serious as felonies, but they can still cause damage to your life and reputation, including affecting your opportunities for employment, housing, finances, and education. Fortunately, with the right lawyer, some misdemeanors can be expunged. Examples of misdemeanors include:

  • Assault and battery
  • Theft
  • DUIs and other drinking-related charges
  • Drug possession and other drug-related charges
  • Sex crimes

Felonies—These are more serious than misdemeanors; in fact, they are the most serious of criminal classifications. This means the penalties are steep. It also means that many felonies can never be expunged from your record as they can with misdemeanors; in other words, depending on the felony, you might be branded a felon for life as having committed these types of crimes in Illinois. Examples of felonies include:

  • Burglary
  • Forgery
  • Stealing cars
  • More severe drug charges, sex crimes, or DUI

Classes and Associated Penalties

Depending on what you are being charged with, there are different classes of penalties for misdemeanors and felonies. Here is a summary of each:

Misdemeanors:

  • Class C Misdemeanors lead to penalties up to the following:
  • Fines of $1,500
  • 30 days in jail
  • Class B Misdemeanors carry with them these penalties:
  • Fines up to $1,500
  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • The consequences of Class A Misdemeanors include:
  • Fines up to $2,500
  • Up to a year in jail

 Felonies:

  • Class 4 Felonies lead to the following penalties:
  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Up to three years in prison
  • Class 3 Felonies carry with them the following consequences:
  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Up to five years in prison
  • Class 2 Felonies could result in the following punishments:
  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Up to seven years in prison
  • Class 1 Felonies could lead to these penalties:
  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Up to 15 years in prison

Other than the consequences for homicide, Class X Felonies are the most severe in penalties, requiring the following punishments to be served:

  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Up to 30 years in prison

Contact a Kane County Felony Defense Lawyer

If you are facing felony or misdemeanor charges, call an Aurora IL misdemeanor defense attorney at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation. The Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola will give you a fighting chance in the Illinois criminal justice system because Brian has experience as a prosecutor and knows how to anticipate the prosecution’s arguments to better prepare for your case and convince the judge and jury to deliver a verdict in your favor.

 

Sources:

http://www.icjia.state.il.us/assets/pdf/ResearchReports/Policies_and_Procedures_of_the_Illinois_Criminal_Justice_System_Aug2012.pdf

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-4.5-55

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/Media%20Law%20Handbook%20Chapter%2005%20-%20Crimes%20and%20Punishment.pdf

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IL defense lawyerSince there is no federal mandate for masks or social distancing to help combat the coronavirus, states are taking their own approach. Many, including Illinois, have opted for a mask mandate that requires people to wear cloth masks in public. Despite this mandate, police have no real way to enforce such mandates. The burden of enforcing these rules has fallen primarily on retail workers, who have the power to deny service and remove customers from a business if they refuse to comply.

As a result, many individuals around the country have assaulted such workers. Some states have not taken any steps to provide any additional protections for essential workers, but Governor Pritzker recently signed a bill into law allowing prosecutors to charge those who assault workers for upholding mask bans with a felony.

Assaults on Workers and Felony Charges in Illinois

To be more specific, assaults on workers who are enforcing mask or social distancing policies can be punished with aggravated battery felony charges. Before this new law, ordinary battery charges were only considered misdemeanors. Such an offense was punishable by up to a year in prison and fines up to $2,500. By elevating the unique case of coronavirus-related assaults to a felony, punishments become steeper. A felony can be punished by up to five years in prison and as much as ten years if the defendant has a criminal history. Also, these prison sentences can be paired with fines of up to $25,000.

Claiming Self-Defense to Fight Assault Charges

A common strategy for defendants and their attorneys is to argue that the defendant acted out of self-defense. However, to successfully win a case by claiming self-defense, any action the defendant took must have been reasonable. For example, if someone threatens a defendant and the defendant reacts with an action far more severe than the original threat, a self-defense argument may not be plausible.

Contact an Elgin, IL Defense Lawyer

Assault is a criminal offense that carries strong penalties. If you are charged with assaulting a worker for upholding medical policies, you should work closely with an attorney who has a wide breadth of experience defending clients from criminal charges in Illinois. To work with an Elgin, IL criminal defense attorney, schedule a free consultation with The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola by calling 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/08/11/illinois-coronavirus-assaulting-worker-enforcing-face-masks-felony/3342856001/

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Posted on in Felonies

IL defense lawyerIllinois law defines five categories of felonies. Each level is associated with different crimes. All the crimes at each level tend to carry equal or similar punishments. If you, a friend, or a loved one ever face charges for a crime in Illinois, it is crucial to understand the fines and penalties that are associated with the crime. Class X felonies are the most severe category of crimes in Illinois, a step below first-degree murder. A criminal defense attorney in your area can help you understand the consequences of a Class X felony. Work with an attorney you can trust to build your case and aggressively defend you in court.

Class X Felonies

Some examples of Class X felonies in Illinois include:

  • Aggravated arson
  • DUI (minimum of five prior convictions)
  • Home invasion
  • Aggravated Battery of a child
  • Aggravated Battery with a firearm
  • Aggravated vehicular hijacking
  • Armed robbery
  • Aggravated rape
  • Aggravated criminal sexual assault
  • Possession in large quantities of a controlled substance you wish to sell

Aggravated offenses mean that other circumstances heighten the severity of the charge, like using a weapon. Illinois law penalizes Class X felons with a mandatory 6-30 year prison sentence or a sentence up to 60 years depending on the aggravating factors present.

Some examples of aggravating factors that can impact a court’s ruling are criminal history, an offense against someone with a disability or above 60 years of age, threats, and motivation based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.

Also, when released from prison, anyone formerly convicted of a Class X felony must adhere to a mandatory supervised release period of at least three years. These minimum punishments hold even if the offender has no prior criminal record.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

Exercise your Fifth Amendment rights and speak with an Elgin, IL criminal defense attorney if you face Class X felony charges. At The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we have an extensive history of protecting our clients’ rights and negotiating punishment terms in court. To schedule a free consultation, call 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-4.5-25

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IL defense lawyerIn 2015, the state of Illinois made the act of distributing “revenge porn” a felony offense. This crime is when a person distributes private, intimate photos and videos without permission of the person in the images.

Illinois amended the Civil Remedies for Nonconsensual Dissemination of Private Sexual Images Act - which covers revenge porn - so that victims of revenge porn can collect compensation starting the first of 2020.

What is Revenge Porn?

Typically, revenge porn occurs after a nasty breakup. One ex-partner unlawfully sends intimate material from their ex-partner in order to get back at them for the breakup. According to national statistics, 90 percent of revenge porn victims are female.

Under Illinois’s Civil Remedies for Nonconsensual Dissemination of Private Sexual Images Act, revenge porn includes pictures and/or videos of:

  • Sexual acts with a partner or solo
  • Exposure of a person’s intimate body parts
  • Intimate images of a person under 18 years old

Offenders are guilty of revenge porn if they knowingly distribute these types of images without the consent of the photographed person. Also, if the offender knew that the images were supposed to remain private, but they send them out anyway, they will be convicted accordingly.

Guilty parties will be charged with a Class 4 felony, punishable with a prison term of one to three years and a fine of up to $25,000.

New Amendment to the Law

When intimate photos of a person are distributed to people who were never supposed to see them, the victim can suffer more than just invasion of privacy:

  • Reputation can be harmed
  • If the images went to a boss or co-workers, the victim can lose their job
  • Younger victims in school can experience bullying
  • If put on the internet, the private photos will never go away and can harm a victim’s future goals - college, political aspirations, etc.

The humiliation and other repercussions a victim can experience because of revenge porn are why Illinois now allows those people to collect economic, emotional damages, and punitive damages.

The victim must report the crime and press charges within two years of the incident.

Offenders can defend the charges by proving - or attempting to prove - that they were not the ones that distributed the intimate images of the victim.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Felony sex convictions come with a lot of punishments that will change a person’s life forever. Aside from prison and monetary fines, some sex charges come with a mandatory registration on the sex offender list. The lawyers of the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola can help defend from serious punishments. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County felony defense attorney, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K11-23.5.htm

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/illinois-revenge-porn_n_6396436

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/chicago-politics/new-illinois-laws-going-into-effect-in-2020/2191493/

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Posted on in Felonies

IL defense lawyerThe state of Illinois classifies breaking and entering as a burglary charge regardless of if there were stolen items or not. It is a crime that needs only intent to commit another crime in order to be punishable as a felony.

Illinois law also charges breaking and entering crimes for more than just buildings or households. Burglary can be committed against trailers, aircraft, boats, cars, and public buildings (i.e. schools).

Understanding the Law

Burglary is charged against an offender when they knowingly - and without permission - enter a home, car, etc… of someone else with the intention of committing theft or another felony crime.

If the offender is found without having caused damage to the property and without taking any possessions, they will be charged with a Class 3 felony. Punishments for this crime include a fine of $25,000 and a jail sentence of no more than five years.

Charges become elevated depending on the circumstances of the burglary:

  • Class 2 felony is charged if damage has been done to the property. Punishable by a $25,000 fine and a jail sentence of no more than seven years.
  • Class 1 felony is charged if the burglary has been committed against a school, daycare facility, or place of worship. Punishable by a $25,000 fine and a jail sentence of no more than 15 years.

A lesser Class 4 felony can be charged against any offender caught in possession of tools that can be used in a breaking and entering crime. These tools consist of:

  • Key
  • Crowbar or other device
  • Explosives
  • Lock picks
  • Slim jims

Possession of burglary tools is punishable by a $25,000 fine and a jail sentence of no more than three years.

Burglary Versus Home Invasion

Illinois law has separate punishments for burglary and home invasion because they are essentially different crimes. Residential burglary is entering a person’s dwelling place without permission with the intent to commit another felony.

This crime is usually committed either when no one is home or by the offender attempting to gain entry by tricking the homeowner into thinking they are someone who requires entry into the house.

In comparison, home invasion is a more threatening crime in which an offender - knowing a person(s) is at home - forcibly breaks into the home with the intent to harm the homeowner with a deadly weapon. Home invasion is a Class X felony punishable with a prison term of 30 years with the possibility to add years depending on the circumstances of the crime.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

There are ways to defend against false charges of burglary that include mistake of fact; a person who was given permission to be on the property could be mistaken as a burglar. Strategies for avoiding serious penalties should be discussed with a knowledgeable attorney. The lawyers from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola are ready to defend against any false charges. To schedule an appointment with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+19&ActID=1876&ChapterID=0&SeqStart=63000000&SeqEnd=63800000

 

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