judge pointing fingerThis is the next post in my series on the handling of Class “1” felony cases in Peoria, Illinois. My last article addressed the question of “what is a Class ‘1’ felony?” It is important to know that there are many types of conduct which fall under this classification. Also, an accused individual may face several “stacked” counts for which sentences may be run consecutively. The severity of such charges make it imperative that you contact an attorney as soon as possible if you have been arrested. In this article I will discuss the potential sentences associated with a Class “1” charge. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer.

Class “1” Illinois felonies typically carry a sentence of four to fifteen years. Any such charge, however, can carry an extended term. This would make the minimum sentence at least fifteen years with the maximum being thirty. The potential penalty can be elevated to an extended term if the defendant was convicted of another Class “1” felony, or a greater charge, within the last ten years. Other factors which can extend the term include the level of violence involved in the offense, the victim’s age, whether the offense occurred at a school or place of worship, etc. Also, as I discussed in my last article, any sentence imposed for a Class “1” charge can potentially be run consecutively to time imposed for additional counts. This would mean that a defendant must complete the Class “1” sentence before time would begin to count towards the other charges.

Most first-offenders will be eligible to receive probation as opposed to being required to serve time. It is important to remember, however, that the Court has discretion as to whether or not to grant probation. When deciding whether a defendant will be given a chance under supervision, the Court will consider factors such as the nature of the offense, any prior convictions (including misdemeanors) which the defendant has, whether the accused individual has accepted responsibility for their actions, whether it appears that they show remorse, and more. If a defendant does receive probation then the Court will dictate a sentence which must be served. That sentence will be suspended pending the defendant’s successful completion of probation. If probation is successfully completed then the case will be closed. If the defendant violates their probation then the Court may require them to serve the previously dictated sentence.

There are several other consequences which flow from a conviction. As mentioned in my previous articles, these include being barred from owning a gun and increased difficulty with passing a background check. Important is the fact that a conviction will also lead to stiffer penalties for any future charges which one may accrue. Suppose, for example, that a defendant is convicted for a Class “1” felony. They are granted probation and successfully complete their supervision. A few years after their case is closed, they are arrested on a misdemeanor for which the Judge may either grant probation or impose a jail sentence. The prior felony conviction would make it much more likely that the Judge would require incarceration. While how the Court will rule in any situation depends on the facts of the case, this example shows how a conviction can lead to harsher sentences for future offenses.

If you or a family member have been arrested then contact my office today to speak with a Peoria felony defense lawyer. My office believes that everyone is entitled to aggressive representation and respect. We understand that this is an important time in your life and we will give your case the attention it needs. Contact us online or by telephone today. I also service the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. I also handle federal cases in Urbana.