Types of Criminal Offenses in Illinois

Criminal Offenses in Illinois

In Illinois, there are three types of offenses. The types of criminal offenses in Illinois, from most severe to least severe, are felonies, misdemeanors, and petty offenses. The potential sentence for someone convicted of a felony in Illinois ranges from a prison term in the Illinois Department of corrections from 1 year up to a life sentence. In addition to a prison, a fine can also be imposed.

There are three classes of misdemeanors in Illinois, Class A, B and C, and each result in a different potential penalty or punishment. A Class A misdemeanor is the most severe and is punishable by a sentence to a term of less than a year but more the 6 months in the county jail and/or a fine not to exceed $2,500. A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by a term of fewer than 6 months but more than 30 days in county jail. A Class C misdemeanor is the lowest level criminal offense, other then a petty offense, and is punishable by a term of 30 days or less in county jail. In addition to jail time, both Class B and C misdemeanors also carry a potential fine not to exceed $1,500.

The maximum penalty for a petty offense in Illinois is $1,000. Someone charged with a petty offense cannot be sentenced to any jail time.

In Illinois, there are two types of ordinance violations that are criminal in nature. In Illinois, you can be “charged” with a municipal ordinance violation or a penal ordinance violation. Depending on which type, if convicted or found guilty of an ordinance violation, the sentence can include jail time and the “conviction” can appear on your criminal record and be included in reports requested by potential employers. If you have been charged with an ordinance violation in Illinois, contact one of our criminal defense attorneys and review our Ordinance Violation blog here.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Illinois, contact one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation.

Ordinance Violations in Illinois

In Illinois, there are two types of ordinance violations you can be “charged” with, municipal or penal. A municipal ordinance violation is not a criminal offense but is quasi-criminal in nature. A penal ordinance violation is criminal in nature and mirrors other misdemeanor criminal offenses in Illinois but instead of being prosecuted by the office of the State’s Attorney’s, the prosecution is handled by an attorney for whichever municipality (or town) has initiated the proceedings. The sentence or penalty for a municipal ordinance violation includes a fine and other penalties, such as restitution (payment of money to the victim), as well as other penalties or conditions authorized by ordinance. If convicted or found guilty of a penal ordinance violation, you can be sentenced to jail time of up to 6 months and other conditions can be imposed including a requirement that you complete an educational program or perform community service hours. However, a sentence of conditional discharge or court supervision disposition is also available for either ordinance violation.

Nonetheless, if you have been issued a ticket for a municipal ordinance violation, you likely feel like you have been charged with a criminal offense and often times the system treats it that way. Ordinance violations are handled in the same courtrooms as other misdemeanor and/or felony offense and you appear before a judge in the same manner as if charged with a criminal offense. Under many circumstances, as long as your attorney follows the proper procedure, you can have your ordinance violation case heard by a jury. The biggest difference between a criminal offense and a municipal ordinance violation in Illinois is the burden of proof. Generally, most people are aware of the burden of proof when charged with a criminal charge – i.e., one must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. While for a penal violation the burden remains behind a reasonable doubt, with a municipal ordinance violation, the burden of proof is “by a preponderance of the evidence“, which simply means the State must only prove that it is “more likely than not” that a violation was committed. This makes the prosecutor’s job much easier, and many of the rules and procedures that the general public tends to be familiar with, such as the requirement that a victim appears in court and testify against the defendant, do not apply.

If you are convicted or found guilty of an ordinance violation,

It can appear on a criminal background check and there are a number of ways a potential employer can find out that you have been charged with, or convicted of, an ordinance violation. However, depending on the type of ordinance violation, one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys may be able to get the ordinance violation sealed or expunged from your record.