What is considered a violent crime in Illinois? If you’re like most people, you know that the penalties for being convicted of a violent crime are usually tougher than they are for non-violent crimes, but what makes a crime “violent,” and what kinds of sentencing could you face if you’re convicted?
Here’s what you need to know.
What is Considered a Violent Crime in Illinois?
Violent crimes, which are also called “offenses against persons” under Illinois law, are crimes that involve the use of force (or even the threat of force) against an alleged victim. Some crimes that certainly fit into this category include:
- Sexual assault
- Child abuse or child endangerment
- Hate crimes
- Armed violence
- Domestic violence (called domestic battery under the law)
- Solicitation of murder for hire
- Weapons-related offenses
That’s not a complete list, though. Some crimes, when committed by force or when committed with the threat of force, can be considered violent even if, under normal circumstances, they wouldn’t be.
Related: List of violent crimes in Illinois
What Happens if You’re Convicted of a Violent Crime in Illinois?
If the court convicts you of a violent crime, the sentence you receive will depend on several factors. Most importantly, your sentence will depend on the crime you are convicted of. For example, you’ll probably get a longer prison sentence for homicide than you would for getting into a bar fight after a night of drinking.
Related: How strict are Chicago’s gun laws?
Many violent crimes are felonies, which carry prison sentences as punishments. There are five classes of felonies in Illinois, with the least serious being Class 4 and the most serious being Class X:
- Class 4 felonies are punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison
- Class 3 felonies are punishable by 2 to 5 years in prison
- Class 2 felonies are punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison
- Class 1 felonies are punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison
- Class X felonies are punishable by 6 to 30 years in prison
Class X felonies are reserved for crimes like murder, while things like domestic battery are considered Class 4 felonies.
Have You Been Accused of a Violent Crime?
If you’ve been accused of a violent crime, we may be able to help you. Call us right away at 847-920-4540 – don’t talk to the police about your situation before you speak with a lawyer. If it’s easier, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Related: Felony defense in Chicago