Types of Crimes in Illinois
The consequences and seriousness of crimes vary widely. If you need legal defense, contact our DuPage County Criminal Attorneys
There are many different types of crimes, ranging from minor traffic and noise violations to kidnapping and murder. Because of this, the government has developed different classifications for crimes.
These classifications can vary from place to place, so to help you understand which type of crime and potential punishment you're facing, you should speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Call Donahue & Sowa today at 630-232-1780 or contact us online.
Which crimes are misdemeanors?
Misdemeanors, while often serious, are crimes that carry a maximum punishment of one year in jail. They are usually non-violent in nature and are punishable by fines, jail time or property forfeitures.
Usually, defendants only have the right to a court-appointed free public defender if the potential punishment includes jail time. A trial by jury is only held if the punishment could result in more than six months in jail. Those convicted of a misdemeanor are usually still allowed to vote.
Which crimes are felonies?
Felonies are the most serious types crimes and carry penalties of over one year imprisonment. In most situations, felonies entail crimes that are violent, involve weapons or cause severe property damage. They include murder, rape and burglary, among other things. Individuals accused of a felony have the right to a jury trial.
For federal felony charges, defendants also have the right to a grand jury, which determines whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial. Those who are considered "indigent" (unable to hire a lawyer) have the right to an attorney provided by the state at no charge. This is determined based on the defendant's income, assets, debt and overall financial situation.
Even after their debt to society has been paid, individuals convicted of felonies may have to deal with long-term consequences, including:
- Losing the right to vote
- Inability to receive housing assistance, education benefits or certain jobs
- Issues with immigration
- Inability to run for public office
- Losing custody rights in divorce cases
If you've been accused of a crime, you need to know your rights and the potential consequences. Consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help you navigate the criminal justice system.