Felony Definition

In Illinois, a felony specifies a serious charge with a possible prison sentence of over 1 year.  Felonies are considered more serious charges than misdemeanors and include higher fines and prison sentences.  There are several classes of felonies ranging from Class 4 to Class X. Class 4 felonies are less severe.  Class X felonies are the most severe crimes.  The circumstances of the crime determine its class.

Types of Illinois Felony Crimes

Crimes in Illinois that are classified as felonies include (this is not a comprehensive list):

  • Violent Crimes
    • Animals for entertainment―dog fighting
    • Animal torture
    • Threatening public officials
    • Hate crimes
    • Stalking & Aggravated Stalking
    • Compelling confession
    • Compelling Organization Membership―threats to join or leave a gang
    • Intimidation & aggravated intimidation
    • Mob action
    • Aggravated Domestic battery
    • Aggravated Battery & Heinous Battery
    • Vehicle endangerment―dropping something from an overpass
    • Vehicular hijacking & Aggravated vehicular hijacking
    • Child Abduction―violation of child custody into car or building
    • Unlawful restraint, Aggravated unlawful restraint & Forcible detention
    • Kidnapping
    • Home Invasion & Vehicular Invasion
    • Intentional homicide of an unborn child
    • Reckless homicide, DUI
    • Reckless homicide
    • Involuntary manslaughter
    • Murder 2nd degree
    • Murder 1st degree
  • Weapons Violations
    • Unlawful use of firearm
    • Aggravated discharge of firearm
    • Reckless discharge of firearm
    • Unlawful sale of firearm
  • Sexual Crimes
    • Incest
    • Posting of identifying information on pornographic internet site
    • Criminal sexual assault
    • Criminal sexual abuse
    • Predatory criminal assault of a child
    • Criminal transmission of HIV
  • Drug Crimes
    • Possession of more than 30 grams of cannabis (marijuana)
    • Prescription forgery
    • Possession of heroin, cocaine, morphine, methamphetamine, lysergic acid or LSD
    • Sale, manufacture or possession with intent to traffic drugs
      • Over 10 grams of cannabis
      • Cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, morphine or LSD
  • Theft and Property Crimes
    • Theft of property from person
    • Theft of property over $300
    • Receiving stolen property over $300
    • Theft of a firearm
    • Retail theft over $150
    • Financial exploitation of an elderly or disabled person
    • Financial Identity theft over $300
    • Fraud
    • Forgery
    • Robbery
    • Burglary
    • Arson
    • Looting
  • Alcohol & Traffic Crimes
    • DUI with revoked or suspended license
    • Aggravated DUI
    • Leaving the scene of an accident with injuries or death
    • Aggravated fleeing to elude police
    • Aggravated reckless driving

Many crimes that are misdemeanors for a first time offense can become felony offenses after repeated occurrences.  For example, in most cases, depending on the circumstances, the first time offense for driving under the influence (DUI) is classified as a class A misdemeanor.  However, after the third conviction, this becomes a felony charge.

Illinois Felony Penalties

  • Class 4 Felony
    • possible imprisonment of 1-3 years
    • fines of up to $25,000.
  • Class 3 Felony
    • possible imprisonment of 2-5 years
    • fines of up to $25,000
  • Class 2 Felony
    • possible imprisonment of 3-7 years
    • fines of up to $25,000
  • Class 1 Felony
    • possible imprisonment of 4-15 years
    • fines of up to $25,000
  • Class X Felony
    • possible imprisonment of 6-30 years
    • fines of up to $25,000

Crime Data in Illinois

The most recent data available from the FBI is from 2012.  In 2012 there were 385,416 crimes committed in Illinois.  53,403 were violent crimes and 332,013 were property crimes.  The breakdown of these crimes are as follows:

Violent Crimes: Murder Rape Robbery Assault
Report Total: 744 3,570 19,471 29,618
Property Crimes: Burglary Theft Motor Vehicle Theft
Report Total: 71,101 235,222 25,690

Crime Data in Chicago

In 2012 there were 140,618 crimes in Chicago.  27,295 were violent crimes and 113,323 were property crimes.  The breakdown of these crimes are shown in the tables below:

Violent Crimes: Murder Rape Robbery Assault
Report Total: 500 unreported 13,506 12,277
Property Crimes: Burglary Theft Motor Vehicle Theft
Report Total: 22,775 73,538 17,010

Cook County Crime Data:

The crime data available for cook county is from 2008.  The total number of offenses was 245,604.

Violent Crimes: Murder Criminal Sexual Assault Robbery Assault
Report Total: 584 2,208 19,501 20,053
Property Crimes: Burglary Theft Motor Vehicle Theft
Report Total: 38,809 138,955 24,554