In Illinois, a Class X Felony is the most serious criminal offense a person can commit, aside from First Degree Murder. If you or someone you know has been charged with a Class X Felony in Illinois you should contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney immediately. A Class X Felony carries a mandatory term of imprisonment.
The only way a person charged with a Class X Felony – including first-time offenders – can avoid time in prison is by negotiating a lesser charge with the prosecution. Enlisting the assistance of an experienced attorney can mean the difference between serious time in prison and probation. Contact the attorneys at Kostopolous Law Group today to learn about how we may be able to help you defend the Class X Felony charges against you.
Class X Felonies Carry Mandatory Prison Sentence
If you are convicted of a Class X Felony you will be sentenced to a minimum of 6 years in prison. The mandatory minimum sentence is required by law. This means that judges are prohibited from sentencing a person convicted of a Class X Felony to probation. This is true even if this is your first arrest and offense.
A conviction of a Class X Felony will be punished by 6-30 years in prison and may also be punished by up to $25,000 in fines.
What Crimes Are Class X Felonies?
If you are charged with one of the following crimes – or a crime that is “aggravated” – you may be facing a Class X Felony.
- Home Invasion;
- Sale of more than 15 grams of a controlled substance;
- Trafficking of more than 15 grams of a controlled substance;
- Possession of more than 15 grams of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver near a school or public park;
- Identity Theft to Obtain Property Exceeding $100,000;
- Aggravated Arson;
- Aggravated Battery of a Child;
- Aggravated Battery with a Firearm;
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault;
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child;
- Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child Under 13;
- Aggravated Kidnapping;
- Aggravated Robbery; and
- Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking.
What is an Aggravating Factor?
Aggravating factors are facts and circumstances surrounding a criminal act that elevate the behavior to a more dangerous or sinister offense. Some aggravating factors are explicitly outlined in Illinois statutes – such as committing certain offenses with a firearm – and others are left to the discretion of a judge.
Aggravating factors can vary and judges will generally weigh the seriousness of the crime and the criminal history of an accused person when determining whether aggravating factors apply.
- Using a firearm or deadly weapon in the commission of a crime;
- Causing or threatening serious bodily harm or death;
- Receiving payment to commit a crime;
- Committing a criminal act against a victim who is part of a protected class – such as a child, police or law enforcement officer, public official, emergency medical professional, firefighter, elderly, or disabled person;
- Using professional status to gain the opportunity to commit a crime; or
- Having a discriminatory motivation for committing a criminal act.
Can a Class X Felony Be Reduced?
Yes, class X felony charges can be reduced.
If you are convicted of a Class X Felony you will be sentenced to time behind bars. The only way to receive a lighter sentence is to convince the prosecution to reduce the charges against you. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to develop a persuasive defense which highlights the reasons why you should not be charged with a Class X Felony. To convince the prosecution to reduce the charges against you, an experienced criminal defense attorney may:
- Emphasize the lack of a criminal history;
- Highlight the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case; or
- Explain that the criminal behavior did not result in any bodily harm.
If the prosecution offers a plea bargain – perhaps reducing the charges to a Class 1 Felony – you may want to consider taking the deal. If you reject a plea offer and proceed to court you will spend at least 6 years in prison if convicted.
Experienced Chicago Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you or someone you know has been arrested and/or charged with a Class X Felony offense you should contact an experienced criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Do not speak with law enforcement or the prosecution about the charges against you. Instead, exercise your Constitutional rights. Remain silent and request that an attorney is present.
At Kostopolous Law Group, our attorneys have years of experience and success in negotiating down Class X Felony charges for our clients. We understand the serious impact a conviction of a Class X Felony can have on your life. You will face at least 6 years in prison – even if you are a first-time offender – if you are convicted of a Class X Felony. We will work tirelessly to craft a defense to keep you from facing these serious consequences. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn about your legal rights and how we may be able to help you.
Kostopoulos Law Group
125 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 300 A
Chicago, IL 60606