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Chicago Misdemeanor Attorney

Criminal offenses are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. Felonies are the most serious criminal offenses possible. Misdemeanor offenses are considered less serious. Federal and state government recognize the distinction between misdemeanors and felonies, although there are significant differences in how criminal offenses are categorize and punished. 

Misdemeanor Crimes 

A misdemeanor offense usually carries a potential jail sentence of less than one year, while felony offenses carry a potential incarceration sentence of a year or more. Examples of misdemeanor offenses include simple assault, shoplifting, trespassing, disorderly conduct, and other low-level crimes. However, every state classifies crimes differently, and a crime considered a misdemeanor in one could be considered a felony in another. 

Misdemeanor Penalties 

Even though misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies, there is no guarantee that a conviction would carry lenient penalties. Misdemeanors can come with significant consequences. Although penalties can vary greatly depending on the states and the nature of the crime, they typically involve one or more of the following punishments: 

  • Jail – Misdemeanor offenses can be punished with up to a year in a county or city jail. 
  • Fines – Misdemeanor convictions will also typically involve some kind of fine, though the amount of the fine can differ significantly. 
  • Restitution – Misdemeanors involving property damage, loss of money, or other damages will include restitution orders. Restitution is money payed to compensate the victim for any loss or damages incurred. These orders can also include paying for prosecution costs or other court fees. 
  • Probation – A probation sentence is also possible if convicted of a misdemeanor offense (some felony offenses can also have a probation alternative). Probation typically lasts at least 12 months, during which time the convicted has to comply with court ordered conditions. These require the person to refrain from committing more crimes, reporting to a probation officer, paying all fines or restitution in the case, or performing community service, though individual conditions can differ significantly from case to case. 

Examples of Misdemeanors

Here are a few examples of misdemeanors: 

  • Public Intoxication: This is when someone is drunk in public. Usually, the drunk person is being unruly. 
  • Speeding: Disobeying the speed limit usually results in a fine or a form of alternative sentencing. 
  • Trespassing: Trespass is considered an unlawful intrusion. It is different from burglary in that property is not necessarily stolen or damaged. 
  • Vandalism: Vandalism is the intentional destruction of another persons property. 

A misdemeanor in Illinois is any crime that is punishable by a term of less than one year in local or county jail. Illinois lawmakers have designated misdemeanors as Class A, B, or C. 

More serious crimes (felonies) are punishable by state prison terms of one year or more. 

Class A Misdemeanor

A class A misdemeanor in Illinois is punishable by: 

  • up to one year in jail 
  • up to two years of probation (formal supervision), and a fine of up to $2,500

For example, prostitution is a class A misdemeanor.

Class B Misdemeanor

A conviction for a class B misdemeanor can result in a sentence of: 

  • up to six months in jail 
  • up to two years of probation, and a fine of up to $1,500

Possession of two-and-a-half to ten grams of marijuana is a class B misdemeanor. 

Class C Misdemeanor

A class C misdemeanor is punishable by: 

  • up to 30 days in jail 
  • up to two years of probation, and a fine of up to $1,500 

For example, possession of less than two-and-a-half of marijuana is a class C misdemeanor.

Statute of Limitations

All misdemeanors in Illinois are subject to a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a time limit, after which criminal prosecution is no longer permitted. It generally begins to “run” when the crime is committed.

Chicago Misdemeanor Attorney

If you or a loved one were arrested for a misdemeanor offense in Chicago, Illinois, you should know that this offense, as a misdemeanor, carries significant sentencing possibilities. Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney William Carlos Weeden is uniquely qualified to defend your Illinois criminal case. Drawing upon years of experience as a former prosecutor, criminal law professor, and police misconduct administrator, Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer William Carlos Weeden will analyze the particular circumstances of your case and help you formulate a winning approach. Whether challenging police procedure, negotiating an acceptable plea bargain, or taking your case to trial, Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney William Carlos Weeden  will aggressively defend your rights and freedom.  Contact our office today at (773) 683-1060 for a confidential initial consultation at no cost.

Call us: 773.683.1060 Criminal Matters 24hrs/7days

Law Office of William Carlos Weeden

The information on this website has been provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship or warrant that a certain result will be attained in a specific case. The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and the certificate, award or recognition is not a requirement to practice law in Illinois. We encourage you to contact us or another legal professional for advice regarding your individual situation.

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