Illinois Criminal Sentencing
Illinois law divides crimes into categories: felonies, misdemeanors, and petty misdemeanors or infractions. The type of charge you're facing will depend upon the nature of your alleged offense and the sentence sought by the prosecution.
A Felony: A crime is considered to be a felony if it could result in a prison sentence of one year or more. Other penalties may also apply, such as a fine or restitution, but jail time is the factor that defines the crime as a felony.
A Misdemeanor: Many people are confused by this term. Misdemeanors can result in jail time, but it would be less than one year.
A Petty Misdemeanor or Infraction: A petty offense is a crime that does not have the potential for jail time, but results instead in a fine and possibly other consequences (such as traffic school).
A Wobbler: For some criminal charges, the judge has the discretion of giving a longer prison sentence. In this case, the crime is considered a "wobbler" because it could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
An aggressive Illinois defense attorney, such as the lawyers at Ramsell & Associates, LLC, may be able to negotiate a charge down from a felony to a misdemeanor, or from a moving violation to a non-moving violation, by presenting evidence that the person charged does not have a prior offense, is unlikely to offend again, or that there were extenuating circumstances.
When you need a top Illinois criminal defense lawyer, contact Ramsell & Associates, LLC by email, or call 1-888-FELONYS. With 20 years of criminal defense experience, the firm has an attorney available to meet with you.
Luckily, jail time and prison aren't the only options that a judge has at his or her disposal. A skilled and experienced Illinois defense attorney may be able to negotiate an alternative sentence. The goal of alternative sentencing is to promote personal change and continued contribution to society, while acknowledging that an error was made.
There are many forms of alternative sentencing, including:
- Suspended sentences
- Community service
- Diversion programs
- Work release
- House arrest and electronic monitoring
- Alcohol or drug rehabilitation
- Traffic school
If you're worried that jail time could ruin your career and your life, hire a qualified Chicago criminal defense lawyer who knows how to keep you on the outside. Contact Ramsell & Associates, LLC, today.
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