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Archive for the ‘Rolling Meadow criminal defense attorneys’ tag

What Is a Class X Felony in Illinois?

May 23rd, 2019 at 4:59 pm

IL defense lawyerRecently in Macon County, a man was found guilty of delivering heroin, which is a Class X felony. While many people understand what a Class 1 or Class 4 felony is in the state, what exactly is a Class X felony in Illinois?

Other than first-degree murder, which is not classified, a Class X felony is the worst charge a person can face. It has mandatory jail time, and sentences are typically for a long period of time. Due to this mandatory sentence, negotiating with the prosecution to reduce the Class X felony charge is very difficult. Anyone charged with this type of felony in Illinois must speak to a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney to give them the best possible chance of success in court.

Class X Felonies in Illinois

Under Illinois law, there are ten different charges classified as a Class X felony. These include:

  • Aggravated kidnapping;
  • Aggravated battery with a firearm;
  • Aggravated battery of a minor;
  • Home invasion;
  • Aggravated criminal sexual assault;
  • Predatory criminal sexual assault of a minor;
  • Armed robbery;
  • Aggravated vehicular hijacking;
  • Aggravated arson; and
  • Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.

Penalties for Class X Felonies

The penalties for a Class X felony are some of the harshest in the state. If convicted, those accused face a minimum sentence of six years in prison. The maximum sentence is 30 years. This jail time is in addition to a maximum fine of $25,000. Due to the minimum sentencing requirements for these types of felonies, even first-time offenders will face jail time if convicted.

While the maximum sentence is 30 years, judges are given the discretion to add more jail time if certain aggravating factors were part of the crime. If a judge decides aggravating factors were present, they can sentence a defendant to 30 to 60 years in prison. Some aggravating factors include:

  • When the defendant has been convicted of any crime in the past;
  • When the victim of the crime was over the age of 60 or disabled;
  • When the crime was committed based on discriminatory factors such as the victim’s race, religion, or sexual orientation; and
  • When the defendant caused or threatened serious harm to the victim.

It is also important that anyone facing charges understands that probation is not possible with a Class X felony charge.

Negotiating with the Prosecution

Due to the mandatory sentencing requirements, it is typically very difficult to negotiate with the prosecution when the defendant faces a Class X felony. The State’s Attorney’s office typically chooses the best prosecutors to try a case involving a Class X felony. In addition, due to the fact that a defendant will face jail time no matter what if convicted, the prosecution does not often have reason to negotiate with the defendant.

However, negotiating with the prosecution is the only way probation is possible. If the prosecution is willing to reduce the charge, there is still a likelihood the defendant will face jail time if convicted, but they will also be eligible for probation in many cases.

Charged with a Class X Felony? Speak to a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

Class X felonies are the worst charges a person could face other than first-degree murder. Due to this, and the possibility of extremely harsh penalties, anyone charged with this type of felony must speak to a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for immediate legal assistance. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we know how to negotiate with the prosecution in any case. We will work hard to ensure your rights are upheld and that, when possible, your charges are reduced. No one should leave these types of cases in the hands of an inexperienced attorney. The stakes are simply too high. Call us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation so we can begin discussing your case.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-4.5-25

https://newschannel20.com/news/local/decatur-man-found-guilty-of-delivering-heroin-to-springfield-resident

 

Defenses for Domestic Violence Charges

June 20th, 2018 at 9:40 am

domestic violence charges, domestic violence defense, Rolling Meadow criminal defense attorneys, mistaken identity, domestic violence allegationsDomestic violence is a major problem across the state. In general, the Illinois Domestic Violence Act provides remedies available to those who might be victims of domestic violence. When appropriate, abusers must face consequences for their actions. However, not everyone charged with domestic violence is guilty.

Overall, while the law is meant to protect victims, some individuals may choose to falsely allege domestic violence in order to advance their agenda. If you have been charged with domestic violence in the state, it is imperative that you fully understand the scope of the crime and how to mount a solid defense.

False Allegations

One of the greatest concerns in domestic violence situations is determining who is telling the truth. Situations can turn into a “he said, she said” battle that is hard to handle. With sympathy usually going to the alleged victim, the best way to prove the allegations are false is to poke holes in that person’s story. If you find inconsistencies and false statements that can be corroborated, it may be easier to prove that the alleged victim is making false accusations. False allegations are often used in child custody cases and divorce to get a more favorable outcome.

Self-Defense

Illinois law justifies the use of force against another when someone reasonably believes that type of conduct is necessary to defend themselves or someone else against another’s imminent use of illegal force. If the alleged victim was also attacking you or otherwise using force, alleging self-defense might be applicable.

Insufficient Proof

A prosecutor must meet his or her burden of proof for a defendant to be convicted of a crime. Providing evidence that prevents the prosecutor from meeting his or her burden of proof is a great strategy to get charges reduced or dropped altogether. In domestic violence proceedings, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant is guilty. Beyond a reasonable doubt means that there is no other explanation that can be arrived at from the set of facts of the case.

Mistaken Identity

Along with a defense of false allegations is the defense of mistaken identity. If the alleged victim blamed the wrong person, a defendant can introduce evidence that proves he or she was not even present or responsible for the abuse.

Consent

In very rare circumstances, an alleged victim might have consented to certain activity. In these cases, if you can prove that the alleged victim voluntarily consented, it could serve as a defense.

Let Us Help You Today

If you have been charged with domestic violence, you need an attorney who will advocate for your rights and use every possible defense. It is important to note that while there are defenses available, there is no guarantee that any of these defenses would guarantee acquittal or charges being dropped. While there is no guarantee any given defense will work, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can ensure you are putting the best foot forward. Our passionate Rolling Meadow criminal defense attorneys possess the skills, knowledge, and experience to achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2100&ChapterID=59

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=8200000&SeqEnd=9700000

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