St. Charles Felony Attorneys

Trusted Kane County Lawyers Handling Theft, Drug Crimes, and Other Felony Charges

Felonies are classified as serious criminal offenses. Unlike misdemeanors – which are generally considered to be lesser offenses – felony offenses generally carry sentences that include at least one year of imprisonment. As a result of how high the stakes of a felony conviction are and how complex the criminal defense process is for felony defendants, the U.S. Supreme Court observed in the case of Gideon v. Wainwright that "lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries."

If you are facing felony charges, you should speak with an attorney immediately. The same is true if you are a loved one of someone who has recently been arrested for alleged wrongdoing that is particularly serious in nature, and you are looking for ways to help. A defendant's post-arrest conduct will form the foundation of a strong legal defense strategy in response to a felony charge. By seeking professional assistance immediately, you can better ensure that your rights will remain protected and that any evidence in your favor is gathered and preserved before its integrity can be compromised.

Classifications of Felonies in Illinois

Every state has its own criminal code. As a result, those who are prosecuted for state crimes – as opposed to federal crimes – are subject to the unique laws of the state where they have been charged. In Illinois, felonies are categorized in five ways:

  • Class 4 felonies: Punishable by at least one year of imprisonment
  • Class 3 felonies: Punishable by between two and five years imprisonment
  • Class 2 felonies: Punishable by between three and seven years imprisonment
  • Class 1 felonies: Punishable by at least four years and up to 15 years imprisonment
  • Class X felonies: Punishable by at least six years and up to 30 years imprisonment (a sentence of natural life imprisonment may be levied against certain Class X felons)

In addition to years of imprisonment, felony sentencing can include steep fines, terms of probation, and a host of additional consequences. Some common felony offenses include aggravated DUI, sexual assault, homicide and other violent crimes, drug crimes, and theft of money or property valued at $500 or more.

Secondary Consequences of a Felony Conviction

In addition to harsh sentences, those who are convicted of felonies in Illinois often have to grapple with life-altering secondary consequences. These are challenges that are not imposed by the courts, but instead, they flow from the practical realities of being a felony offender.

For example, many people lose their jobs after being convicted of a felony, because their employer needs to fill their position while they are in prison, because their conviction leads to the loss of a professional license, because their circumstances violate the terms of an employment contract, or because employers can generally fire workers at will and may use a felony conviction as an excuse to do just that.

People who have been convicted of felony offenses are saddled with a criminal record that is searchable by potential future employers, financial lenders, admissions staff at institutions of higher learning, landlords, and even volunteer coordinators. Searchable felony records tend to make it much more difficult for offenders to secure housing, education, financing, and employment.

Felony convictions can also strain relationships, impact child custody orders, and affect a person's life in any number of additional ways. As a result, is it crucial to do everything possible to defend against these types of convictions.

Contact a Reputable St. Charles Criminal Defense Lawyer

At Goostree Law Group, we understand the long-term implications of a felony conviction, and we do everything we can to defend our clients' rights in these cases. All too often, people facing serious charges plead guilty because they believe that there is no way to effectively fight the tactics used by prosecutors. Our team understands the ins and outs of the law, and our aggressive advocacy ensures that our clients have the best possible chance of avoiding serious consequences as a result of alleged misconduct. To learn more, call our team at 630-584-4800 or reach out online to schedule a free consultation. You deserve to have legal representation from an attorney you can trust, and we can provide you with exactly that.

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