man cuffed in jail cellThis is the next post in my series on common issues and questions which arise in regard to Peoria, Illinois felony charges. My last article discussed what to expect when you are charged with a Class “2” felony in Illinois. It is important to remember that a conviction can lead to a prison sentence of not less than three years but no more than seven. However, any Class “2” felony charge is potentially eligible for an extended term. This typically occurs when the defendant has had a felony of the same or greater class of offense within the past ten years. All felony convictions should be taken seriously because they will stay on your record forever unless they are expunged. In this article I will be writing about how to proceed after receiving a Class “1” felony charge. If you require assistance then contact my office today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer.

Illinois Class “1” felony charges can result in a minimum of four years and a maximum of fifteen

Illinois Class “1” felonies are the second most serious class in the state. A conviction can lead to a prison sentence of not less than four years but no more than fifteen years. Any Class “1” felony charge is also potentially eligible for an extended term. If this applies then a defendant can be sentenced to a minimum prison term of fifteen years and a maximum of thirty years. Class “1” felonies are very serious crimes. Some examples of these felonies include second degree murder, criminal sexual assault, and possession of child pornography. Possession of certain controlled substances, such as heroin, opioids, and cocaine, can also result in a Class “1” felony charge.

Since Class “1” felony convictions are extremely serious, they typically cannot be sealed on one’s record. The only way to ensure your record is unaffected is if you qualify for executive clemency and expungement through a pardon. In order to apply for such a pardon, you would have to submit a Petition for Executive Clemency. However, such pardons are typically rare so it is important to remember that your felony conviction may stay on your record forever. Having one on your record can lead to disqualification from employment, housing, and other matters that require a background check. A felony conviction can also make it difficult to obtain a professional license or credentials. Finally, federal law prohibits individuals with a felony conviction from possessing a firearm anywhere in the United States.

A Peoria criminal defense attorney can assist you with defending your Class “1” felony charges

Illinois judges are authorized to sentence defendants convicted of Class “1” felony charges to a term up to four years of probation in place of jail time. This is, of course, subject to the judge’s discretion. Moreover, there may be potential for an early release from prison depending on the severity of the offense. Generally speaking, high-level crimes such as Class “1” felonies, must be served at seventy-five to eighty percent of the sentence imposed. However, such matters will be decided on a case-by-case basis and will depend on a multitude of factors. For instance, judges may base their decisions on whether the defendant is remorseful, cooperative, or has a prior criminal history.

The possibility of receiving a longer sentence will also depend on how strongly you are able to defend your case. It is crucial that you do not handle this kind of situation on your own and that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you. Attorneys have the skill and ability to interpret the law and help you to receive the best possible outcome. If you or a family member have been charged with a crime then contact my office today to speak with a Peoria criminal defense lawyer. I am a former prosecutor who devotes his practice to protecting the rights of the accused. I understand that your current situation can have a serious impact on your future and my office will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone today. We look forward to speaking with you. My office also represents clients in Bloomington, Decatur, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. We also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.