Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Illinois Felony Sentences

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Felonies in the state of Illinois come in several different classes, each which has a different range of prison terms and other penalties.  This article discusses those felony classes and punishments in Illinois.


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Class M Felony in Illinois

Murder charges in Illinois, sometimes referred to a “Class M” can carry either a life sentence or or a sentence of up not less than 20 years and not more than 60 years in prison.  There is also a fine of up to $25,000 that can be imposed by the Illinois Circuit Court upon sentencing.  Sentences for murder in Illinois are 100% sentences, which mean that a person convicted of murder must serve their entire sentence and cannot be released early.

Class X Felony in Illinois


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Class X felony charges in Illinois carry a prison term of at least 6 years and up to 30 years in prison, although some Class X charges have mandatory minimum sentences of 15 or 21 years.  The Illinois Circuit Court can also impose a fine of up to $25,000, although there are certain Class X charges where that fine can be over 10 times higher (e.g. certain drug cases).  Many Class X felony charges also have an 85% mandatory minimum, which requires that person convicted and sent to prison is not able to be released from prison until they have served 85% of their sentence.

Class 1 Felony in Illinois

A Class 1 felony in Illinois carries a prison term of at least 4 years but not more than 15 years.  Some Class 1 felony charges are not probationable, meaning that a person who is convicted must serve a prison sentence.  Other Class 1 felony charges are probationable, allowing a person who is convicted to avoid spending time in prison.  Some Class 1 felony charges in Illinois carry an 85% mandatory minimum, although most do not.  The Illinois Circuit Court can also impose a fine of up to $25,000 at sentencing.


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Class 2 Felony in Illinois

Class 2 felonies in Illinois are punishable by between 3 and 7 years in prison, and a fine of up to $25,000.  Probation, (and punishments that go along with probation such as time in the county jail) can be imposed in lieu of prison.

Class 3 Felony in Illinois

A class 3 felony charge in Illinois can result in a prison sentence between 2 and 5 years, or probation.  The maximum fine for an Illinois Class 3 felony conviction is $25,000.

Class 4 Felony in Illinois

A class 4 felony in Illinois is the least severe felony charge, but it is still a very serious matter.  A person convicted of a Class 4 felony faces between 1 and 3 years in prison, and a fine of up to $25,000.  The court can impose probation instead of prison, along with other conditions of probation such as time in the county jail.

Court supervision is also an option for many felonies in Illinois, which can allow a person to avoid having a felony conviction on their record.  Those charged with felonies in Illinois are well advised to seek an attorney at once.


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