Illinois Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors in Illinois

In Illinois, criminal offenses are divided into two main categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are the most serious of all crimes, carrying the harshest penalties. Misdemeanors, on the other hand, are less serious offenses with more lenient sentences. Within each category, there are distinctions between the various classes of misdemeanors – Class A, Class B, and Class C.

Though a misdemeanor carries a maximum jail sentence that is only a fraction of a felony’s, it still leaves a permanent mark on your criminal record. For this reason, an experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyer might strive to have charges reduced from felony to misdemeanor or, if possible, even dismissed completely. When it comes to facing potential punishment, anything less than a felony is preferable.

Illinois Misdemeanor Classes

In Illinois, misdemeanors are classified into three categories. Each of these classes has a different level of crime severity. The most serious penalty in all three classes is up to a year in county jail. A class Misdemeanor can result in sentences of up to 365 days in a county facility, as well as a thousand-dollar fine or more. As with all misdemeanors, a person can be punished by imprisonment, a fine, or both.

Class A Misdemeanors

Class A Misdemeanors are the most serious type of misdemeanor and can include aggravated assault, battery, domestic battery, criminal property damage, criminal trespassing, deceptive practices, obscenity, possession of more than ten grams but less than thirty grams of marijuana, patronizing a prostitute, reckless conduct, retail theft, public indecency, and other similar crimes.

Class B misdemeanors

Class B misdemeanors are less serious than Class A misdemeanors and carry penalties of up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Criminal trespassing on property, telephone harassment, and possession of more than one point five grams but less than ten grams of marijuana are all Class B Misdemeanor charges.

A Class C misdemeanor

A Class C misdemeanor is the least serious of all misdemeanors and carries a punishment of up to thirty days in a county jail facility as well as a $500 fine. Assault, disorderly conduct, and possession of less than two point five grams of marijuana are all Class C Misdemeanors.

Example Misdemeanors in Illinois

Corporal Injury: Corporal injury is a serious misdemeanor offense in the state of Illinois, which generally refers to a physical attack or altercation resulting in bodily harm. It could also include threats and verbal abuse that result in visible injuries.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI): DUI is a criminal act in Illinois, and if convicted it can lead to harsh penalties including heavy fines, suspension of driver’s license, and jail time. In addition to intoxication, dangerous driving behaviors such as exceeding the speed limit or running a stoplight may also be considered a form of DUI.

Prostitution: Prostitution is illegal in the state of Illinois and is punishable by imprisonment and/or fines. This law applies to anyone who engages in intercourse or other sexual activities with another person in exchange for payment or other forms of compensation.

Retail Theft: Retail theft occurs when someone knowingly deprives a store or merchant of their goods without paying for them. This includes shoplifting, switching price tags, switching containers, and failing to scan items correctly at checkout. Penalties can vary depending on the value of the stolen item(s).

Assault: Assault is an unlawful act that involves threatening or physically attacking another person without consent. It ranges from minor pushing and shoving to serious physical injury, and penalties will depend on the severity of the offense.

Drug Possession: Possession of controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines is illegal in Illinois, even for small amounts. Penalties typically involve jail time and fines, though in some cases medical marijuana possession may be permitted.

Cannabis Possession: Cannabis possession is illegal under most circumstances in Illinois, though there are certain exceptions for medical use and research purposes. Penalties for cannabis possession can range from small fines to jail time depending on the amount and type of drug found in possession.

Reckless Driving: Reckless driving is the act of operating a vehicle with disregard for public safety. This includes excessive speeding, weaving in and out of lanes, failure to obey traffic signals, and deliberately endangering other motorists. Depending on the circumstances, reckless driving could be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Indecent Exposure: Indecent exposure is the deliberate exposure of one’s genitals or private areas in public, which is considered offensive or improper to most people. Penalties for this crime often include jail time and mandatory psychological counseling.

Reckless Conduct: Reckless conduct is defined as any action that puts the safety of another person at risk due to carelessness or willful disregard for public safety. Examples of such actions include playing with firework or firearms in a public space, vandalizing property, and driving while intoxicated. Punishments for reckless conduct range from community service to jail time depending on the severity of the offense committed.

Class A Misdemeanors in Illinois

A Class A Misdemeanor under Illinois law is the most serious misdemeanor offense and can result in prison time, high fines, court fees, probation, or court supervision. If convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor, an individual could receive up to 364 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,500.00, mandatory court assessments and other potential sentences.

Common Class A Misdemeanors include:

  • driving under the influence of alcohol
  • resisting arrest or obstructing a peace officer
  • aggravated speeding 35 mph or more over the limit.
  • possession of stolen property
  • reckless driving, street racing
  • criminal trespass to residence
  • aggravated assault
  • unlawful possession of firearms
  • criminal damage to property
  • possession of cannabis (30-100 grams)
  • fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer
  • theft of motor vehicle parts or accessories
  • driving on a revoked or suspended license
  • leaving the scene of an accident with an attended vehicle involving only property damage
  • retail theft (under $300)
  • endangering the life or health of a child
  • criminal trespass to vehicle
  • possession of alcohol by a minor
  • criminal defacement of property
  • battery, domestic battery
  • delivery of cannabis (10 grams or less)
  • violation of an Order of Protection
  • theft (under $500)
  • reckless conduct
  • possession of drug paraphernalia

Due to the potentially severe consequences of being convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor offense, it is important that individuals facing such charges consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced lawyer may be able to minimize or eliminate any potential negative impact on one’s future that could arise from a conviction. Finding knowledgeable legal representation can help protect rights and ensure the best possible outcome for those charged with a Class A Misdemeanor offense.

Expungement of Misdemeanors

A record in Illinois can be expunged, which means it can be erased to the point where it never existed. The arresting agency then returns the records to the individual. This includes all fingerprint cards, police reports, and booking photographs obtained as a result of the arrest. Circuit clerks then physically and electronically destroy the record. An individual can then claim on paper or in job applications that the arrest never occurred.

Records can be sealed as well. Only law enforcement has access to the records at this point, and the general public does not. The court files are no longer accessible to the public and do not appear in public search engines.

Expungement Eligibility

Expungement is only available to those who meet certain criteria. To be eligible for expungement, an individual must have been acquitted and not found guilty of the charged crime; been released without conviction; resulted in a no probable cause finding; had the case nolle prosequi, had a conviction or sentence set aside and later found factually innocent, received a pardon from the governor, or been placed on supervision and given two years to complete it.

Regardless of eligibility, a person must wait at least five years before applying for expungement. Cases can be sealed or expunged, depending on the judge’s discretion. Some felonies can be sealed or expunged, but it depends on the classification.

Some cases cannot be expunged, such as being found guilty, receiving probation, being convicted of a sexual offense against a minor, receiving a conditional discharge, or receiving DUI supervision.

FAQs on Misdemeanors in Illinois

What are Class B and C misdemeanors in Illinois?

In Illinois, misdemeanors are divided into three categories: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A is the most serious misdemeanor offense and can result in up to one year in jail, a fine of $2,500, or both. Class B misdemeanors can also result in up to one year in jail, but a fine of no more than $1,500. Lastly, Class C misdemeanors are the least serious offenses that can result in fines up to $750 or up to 30 days in jail.

What is the lowest misdemeanor?

The lowest misdemeanor offense is a Class C misdemeanor.

What’s the worst class misdemeanor?

Class A misdemeanors are the most serious misdemeanor offenses.

Is a misdemeanor a felony in Illinois?

No, a misdemeanor is not considered a felony in Illinois. Felonies are much more serious crimes that can result in substantial jail time and hefty fines.

Do misdemeanors go away in Illinois?

Misdemeanors typically remain on an individual’s criminal record for life in Illinois. However, certain records may be eligible for expungement under the First Offenders Act.

What are the most common misdemeanor crimes?

The most common misdemeanor offenses depend on the jurisdiction, but generally include minor property crimes (such as shoplifting and graffiti), possession of small amounts of marijuana, disorderly conduct, and trespassing.

What is Class A misdemeanor in Illinois?

In Illinois, Class A misdemeanors are considered the most serious offenses and can result in up to one year in jail, a fine of $2,500, or both.

How bad is a Class C misdemeanor in Illinois?

Class C misdemeanors are the least serious offenses that can only result in fines up to $750 or up to 30 days in jail.

Do first-time misdemeanor offenders go to jail in Illinois?

<p”>It depends on the severity of the offense. Generally speaking, if convicted of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor, there is a possibility of jail time for first time offense, especially if other sentencing options are unavailable.

How long can a misdemeanor case stay open in Illinois?

A misdemeanor case must be resolved within one year unless certain exceptions or continuances apply.

What is the First Offenders Act in Illinois?

The First Offenders Act allows for certain felony and misdemeanor convictions to be expunged from an individual’s criminal record under certain conditions.

How much is a Class A misdemeanor bond in Illinois?

The bond for a Class A misdemeanor typically ranges from $100 to $2,000 depending on the jurisdiction and locale court system.

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