judge signing orderThis is the next post in my series on the handling of Class “4” felony charges in Peoria, Illinois. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible if you or a loved one have been arrested. It is important that you speak with counsel sooner, as opposed to later, as all felony charges carry the potential for incarceration. By retaining representation, you help to ensure that your rights remain protected. In this article I will address the common question of “what is an Illinois Class 4 felony?” If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office to speak with a criminal defense lawyer.

Class 4 felony charges can result in one to three years in an Illinois prison

While Class 4 offenses are the lowest-level felony charge in the state of Illinois, they still carry the potential for prison time. One convicted of such a charge faces the potential of one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Importantly, the potential length of incarceration can be greater if the offense is eligible for an “extended term.” This will occur if the allegations involve aggravating factors such as prior convictions, the use of a gun, or the commission of a hate crime. In addition to the potential for incarceration in prison, a defendant runs the risk of being burdened with a permanent criminal record. This burden can result in disqualification from job opportunities, being denied housing, and other problems stemming from not being able to pass a background check.

Common examples of Class 4 felonies include identity theft or credit card fraud involving $300 or less, using another’s debit or credit card without their consent, selling stolen property online, using a forged prescription form, as well as other offenses. The possible defenses to a Class 4 charge will depend on the nature of the offense. It may be possible for your lawyer to gain the exclusion of evidence which was taken through law enforcement’s violation of the Fourth Amendment. Other potential issues can involve the exclusion of statements taken in violation of the Miranda decision. It may also be possible to outright defend the charges. No matter the situation, your counsel will also work to achieve a favorable outcome with the prosecution.

Peoria defendants may face multiple counts when charged with a Class 4 felony

If you are charged with a Class 4 felony then it is important to understand that it may only be one of several charges brought against you. It is common for prosecutors to bring multiple counts which stem from one course of conduct. An example of this would include someone who breaks into a home, steals property, and then sells stolen items online. The individual would face Class 4 charges for selling the items online. They would also, however, face additional counts for breaking into the home and for theft. If a defendant is convicted on all counts then they run the risk of the sentences being run consecutively.

As a Peoria criminal defense lawyer, I am familiar with the handling of such matters. I understand that this is a serious time in your life and my office will give your case the attention it deserves. As a former prosecutor I am familiar with the workings of our local court system and I will protect your rights throughout the process. Contact my office online or by telephone to schedule an initial consultation. I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.