Most crimes in Illinois are charged and prosecuted in state court, so while the types of conduct that qualify as criminal activity are relatively constant throughout the country, it is important to keep in mind that each state’s criminal code is unique. For instance, some states still use the death penalty, which the Illinois Legislature banned in 2011. Similarly, Illinois, like most states, has its own rules and procedures when it comes to sentencing, so it is critical for those who have been accused of committing a criminal offense in Illinois, to speak with an experienced Wheeling criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in state law and can help you formulate a strong defense.
Of the many types of criminal offenses in Illinois, crimes of violence are perhaps considered to be the most serious and are defined as including any offense that involves the use or threat of force against another person. The most commonly charged crimes of violence are assault, battery, robbery, homicide, and sexual assault. These types of offenses are almost always punished harshly, with sentences ranging from a month in jail to life imprisonment. In fact, even seemingly minor offenses, such as a bar fight, could land someone in prison if he or she has a criminal history, an object that qualifies as a weapon was used, a serious injury was sustained, or another aggravating factor exists.
In Illinois, possessing, manufacturing, transporting, selling, and distributing controlled substances is unlawful. The type of charge that a defendant faces depends primarily on the type and amount of the substance in question. For instance, a person who is found in possession of less than 10 grams of cannabis can be charged with a mere civil law violation, which is only punishable by a fine. However, if a person is convicted of possessing up to 100 grams of cannabis, he or she faces misdemeanor penalties, unless the individual has already been convicted of a similar offense on a prior occasion, in which case, the crime could be elevated to a felony.
The possession, sale, or production of other types of controlled substances is penalized more harshly. For instance, anyone found in possession of between 15 and 100 grams of heroin, cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine, or morphine can be charged with a Class 1 felony and could be sentenced to between four and 15 years imprisonment. Those who are charged with multiple offenses face even more burdensome penalties.
Under Illinois law, a person can be charged with theft if there is evidence that he or she knowingly:
The penalties that a defendant faces for a conviction of this type of offense depend on the value of the property in question, the defendant’s criminal record, and where the theft occurred.
To speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer about your own pending charges, please call the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus at (847) 966-0300 today. Initial consultations are offered free of charge.
Senior Partner Jonathan Minkus has successfully defended individuals charged with every conceivable criminal offense, from traffic misdemeanors to death-penalty eligible homicides.