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Class X Felonies: What Do They Mean for You?

Posted on in Assault & Battery

class X felonyYou may have noticed in some Illinois news stories that people are charged with Class X felonies. The term “Class X felony” may raise questions for some, as it does not seem to cleanly fit into the scheme of Illinois felony classifications. Other Illinois felonies, except for first degree murder, are be classified as Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class 4 felonies.

Class X Felony Defined

In short, a Class X felony is one of the most serious types of felonies that can be committed in Illinois. Some examples of Class X felonies include:

  • Aggravated arson;
  • Aggravated battery with a firearm;
  • Aggravated battery of a child;
  • Aggravated vehicular hijacking;
  • Armed robbery;
  • DUI (6th or subsequent DUI conviction);
  • Home invasion;
  • Certain crimes involving possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell;
  • Certain other violent crimes such as aggravated rape; and
  • Certain sexual offenses, such as aggravated criminal sexual assault.

This type of crime carries a mandatory penalty of incarceration lasting from six to 30 years.  There can also be a hefty fine for certain offenses of up to $25,000. Following the sentence, there is typically a mandatory supervised release period of three years. Notably, people convicted of a Class X felony cannot be sentenced to probation no matter how sympathetic their personal circumstances may be. The six-year minimum sentence is also mandatory for people who have never committed a crime before. The Department of Corrections may not release a person convicted of a Class X Felony on parole or on conditional discharge before completion of the minimum sentence.

Extended Term Class X Felonies

If aggravating circumstances are present, such as when the person already recently committed a Class X felony, the sentence can be 60 years of incarceration. These offenses are known as “extended term Class X felonies.” Illinois lawmakers created the Class X felony classification to increase penalties for the most serious offenses, to standardize criminal sentencing for similar offenses, and to penalize some extensive repeat criminal offenders.

If you have been charged with a Class X felony, it is advisable to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. A defense attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to have charges dropped to a lower class felony. This may be especially helpful in cases in which the individual may be willing to plead guilty for a lesser offense. Alternatively, a skilled criminal defense attorney can examine the facts of the case and make legal arguments to exclude pieces of evidence that are crucial for the prosecutor’s case.

Charges for a Class X felony do not necessarily have to result in a six to 30 year jail sentence. Our skilled team of Naperville criminal defense attorneys at Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. may be able to help you through the process and achieve a more favorable outcome for your case. Contact us at 630-472-9700 for more information.

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