01 Nov What Is a Class 4 Felony in Illinois?Posted in Criminal Defense
In Illinois, crimes are classified according to how serious they are. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, which are broken down into five classifications, from most serious to least: Class X, Class 1, Class 2, Class 3 and Class 4. Although a Class 4 felony is the least serious of all felony charges, it still is a serious charge, with serious punishments. A prison sentence for a Class 4 felony conviction is 1 to 3 years, and Class 4 felony convictions can also include fines of up to $25,000.
Some common Class 4 felonies include aggravated assault, stalking, drug possession of a controlled substance, aggravated DUI, driving on a revoked driver’s license, and theft, depending on the amount that was stolen and the circumstances involved.
If you have been accused of a Class 4 Felony in Illinois, be aware that even an allegation of a felony offense can have a devastating effect on your reputation, livelihood and overall well being. If you are convicted, you will have a criminal record that will follow you and affect the rest of your life, including your family and relationships, your education and career prospects, and even your chances of getting decent housing.
Anyone charged with a felony needs the best defense available, as prosecutors will be fighting to impose the steepest of punishment. The seasoned Illinois criminal defense attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. have extensive experience handling all levels of felony offenses. We know the court system and the judges, and we will work tirelessly to reach an outcome that is favorable to you. Our attorneys are thorough in the investigation process of a criminal case and make every effort to settle cases outside the courtroom. If an agreement cannot be reached, we are experienced trial lawyers and know how to defend you in court and fight for your rights and liberty.
Felony Crimes and Punishments in Illinois
According to the Illinois Criminal Code, the circumstances of the crime determine the severity of the felony class. A conviction on a felony charge usually carries a jail sentence of more than 1 year. For the most serious violent felonies, the sentences are significantly more, and many offenses have mandatory minimum jail sentences. If represented by an attorney, an individual charged with a Class 4 felony may receive a sentence of probation according to the sentencing guidelines set forth by the Illinois Revised Statutes.
Effects of Jail Sentences for Class 4 Felonies
Over the past several decades, Illinois’ prison population has increased substantially, with inmate population growing about 182 percent between 1984 and 2014, according to the Illinois Policy Organization, which works for prison reform. The organization points out that people convicted of Class 4 felonies are the biggest driver behind Illinois’ prison population growth, with 55 percent of the increase in prison admissions. Class 4 felony offenders make up the largest sector of incoming inmates in Illinois.
The result has been a big drain on our state due to increased prison budgets, growth in the number of people cycling in and out of prison, wasted human capital and strain on a system that has become too big to manage. To address these problems, in February 2015, Gov. Bruce Rauner created a criminal justice task force to identify areas of the criminal justice system that could be reformed, starting with changing how the state responds to low-level, nonviolent drug and property felonies so that low-level offenders no longer have to serve lengthy prison terms.
Recommendations to change the way Class 4 felony offenders are sentenced include:
- Decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of controlled substances for personal use, and, if this isn’t adopted, lowering the threshold necessary to trigger felony drug possession.
- Increasing the threshold necessary to trigger a Class 4 felony retail theft offense from the current $300.
- Requiring that punishment be more proportionate to the crime committed — allowing offenders to work to reimburse victims for the value of the property taken, and reserving prison space for those who have committed more serious offenses.
Put Your Trust In Us — Contact Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. for a Free Consultation.
When you are accused of a Class 4 felony or any other crime in Illinois, you need to hire the best criminal defense attorney that you can find. Your case may seem impossible, but with skillful representation you have a chance. Remember, the law places a heavy burden on the government, and you have to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The criminal defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances. Whether your criminal law case is seemingly straightforward or highly complicated, we can help. We know the judges and the court system and will aggressively explore every avenue for your defense. We examine the facts, the individuals involved, and the evidence available, and work hand in hand with our clients throughout the criminal process. We explain all elements and processes of the case and come up with an effective defense strategy. Our goal is always to minimize the negative impact of the situation and to focus on protecting your freedoms, liberties and rights.
Don’t delay – call or contact us online for help today if you have been accused of any criminal charges. Our Illinois criminal defense lawyers represent clients in DuPage County, Naperville, Aurora, Wheaton, Downers Grove and Bolingbrook, Illinois, and the greater Chicagoland area.