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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 DUI lawyerAs COVID-19 changes how we live, some laws are changing or being created so that businesses can adapt accordingly. Staying informed on these changes is important, since they will give you more options with which to safely enjoy time with family and friends during the coronavirus pandemic, and they can help keep your favorite local businesses afloat, too! A recent and drastic change in alcohol laws gives you some new freedoms as a driver. If you are wrongly accused of breaking these new laws or you are charged with having an open container of alcohol in your vehicle, it is still very important to reach out to a trusted DUI attorney to thoroughly defend your rights.

The New “Cocktails to Go” Law

Up until recently, alcoholic beverages purchased at a restaurant or bar had to be consumed on the premises and nowhere else. However, as so many businesses face economic hardship due to COVID-19, the Illinois legislature is trying to make appropriate and necessary adjustments to help support the economy while keeping people safe. For that reason, you can now order ‘cocktails to go.’

If you imagine yourself sipping from a margarita on your way home, you have the wrong idea. Since restaurants have largely been operating on a “delivery or takeout” model, the Illinois government expanded the law to include liquor so that bars were not excluded from customers’ business. This means that you can go pick up mixed drinks and drive home with them, or a delivery driver has the right to drive them to you. The key tenet of this new rule that will prevent people from being charged under ‘open container’ laws is that the drinks must be in sealed and tamper-proof containers. This way, it should be immediately obvious whether or not a driver is abiding by the new rules or breaking them to drink and drive.

The “cocktails to go” law also requires that delivery drivers be 21 or older. When they arrive to drop off an order, they must verify the customer’s age, just the same as if they were at the bar themselves. Also, delivery drivers are required to take note of the customer’s level of intoxication.

Contact an Aurora DUI Attorney

With changes in alcohol and driving laws, you need a skilled attorney who can understand how to navigate a changing legal landscape to defend against open-container or DUI charges. At the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, you will meet an experienced Aurora DUI attorney who will aggressively defend your rights. To schedule a free consultation, call 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-pritzker-cocktails-to-go-bill-20200602-4ebzrzzfnbc2lgslv7wzvr5sfi-story.html

 

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IL defense lawyerAnyone with misdemeanor or felony charges on their record used to have to fear that they would be automatically disqualified from a prospective job, but recent federal and state legislation helps provide an even playing field for all job applicants, regardless of what their criminal record looks like. Employers have a little leeway in determining whether any past convictions should bar you from the job you are applying for, but there is a much greater chance that anyone can make it much deeper into the hiring process before those discussions arise. If you ever need help determining if your criminal record can be sealed or expunged, or if you think a potential employer is violating any of the laws discussed below, reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The Illinois Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act

On January 1, 2015, the “Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act” took effect. Prior to this, employers were allowed to inquire about applicants’ criminal records during the application process. This typically led employers to make a swift negative judgment of anyone with a felony or misdemeanor on their record, even if the applicant was more than qualified for the job in question.

The Job Opportunities Act forbids this. Instead, employers are only allowed to ask about an applicant’s criminal record if they have already been deemed qualified for the position. This rule is designed to help push employers to give former convicts a second chance. There are a few fields, like medicine, that still allow for employers to conduct a criminal background check on applicants since many types of misdemeanors might immediately suggest that the applicant is not up for the task.

If an employer deems that an applicant’s past conviction is a cause for concern and they do not want to hire them because of it, they are encouraged to notify applicants in writing of the specific offense that disqualified them from the job. Although this can be up to the employer’s discretion, the Qualified Applicants Act’s purpose is to push employers to only turn an applicant away if their record poses a serious, tangible risk in that profession.

Contact a Kane County Defense Lawyer

The Illinois Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act was designed to help reintegrate those with prior felony or misdemeanor convictions reintegrate into society and receive a fair chance at attaining a job that they are capable of holding. To protect your rights and ensure that you are being given the opportunities that you deserve, work with the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola. Our Aurora criminal defense attorney will strive to defend your case in court and help expunge or seal whatever possible from your record. To schedule a free consultation today, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-illinois-laws-criminal-records-118-biz-20170117-story.html

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

 

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