Illinois Felony Defense Attorneys

DuPage County Defense Attorneys Serving Chicagoland Communities

Chances are that if you have been charged with a felony, you are experience one of the worst moments of your life. At The Law Office of J. Patrick Nelson, PC, we understand and are sympathetic to your situation. A felony conviction puts your future and your freedom in jeopardy. Whether it is avoiding prison, keeping the felony off your record, or winning the case outright — we are confident in the ability of our criminal defense attorneys to get you the result you're seeking.

Three Decades of Winning

Our first felony jury trial wins came in the late 90's. The positive results continue to this day. We have won cases ranging from Class 4 to Class X felonies in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will, Kendall, Madison, Winnebago, Lake and McHenry Counties.

What is a Felony?

Criminal offenses are divided into three categories in Illinois. The first is petty offenses, which include local ordinances and traffic tickets. Petty offenses usually include a fine and almost never involve jail time. Misdemeanors, by definition, are offenses punishable by less than a year in jail. All misdemeanors are eligible for probation. Felonies are crimes punishable by more than a year in prison.

Penalties for Felonies in Illinois

Felonies are classified by the number of years a defendant could potentially serve if convicted. They range from a Class 4 to Class X, and even Class M (or First Degree Murder). For most felonies sentences a defendant will receive good time, or day for day. This means he or she will only serve 50% of the sentence. Some felonies, however, are not eligible for good time — instead a defendant may be required to serve 85% of his or her sentence. A conviction for First Degree Murder requires a defendant to serve 100% of the sentence imposed by the court. The range of penalties is as follows:

  • Class 4 — 1 to 3 years
  • Class 3 — 2 to 5 years
  • Class 2 — 3 to 7 years
  • Class 1 — 4 to 15 years
  • Class X — 6 to 30 years

These are the general parameters, there are several exceptions that can extend the maximums. For example, some Class 1 felonies have a range from 4 to 20 years, and some Class X felonies have a maximum of 60 years or life in prison, and other have a minimum of 15 years.

Extended Term Eligible

When you appeared before the Judge you may have heard him or her ask the State if you were extended term eligible. What does that mean? It only applies if you have previously been convicted of a felony. If you have a previous conviction for an equal or more serious felony, then the maximum sentence you could be facing will increase. For example, if you are charged with a Class 3 Felony and you have a prior conviction for a Class 1 felony, then the sentencing range for your Class 3 is now 2 to 10 years. The Illinois sentence ranges can seem complicated — please feel free to call us for a free consultation to discuss these and other issues surrounding your case.

Consecutive v. Concurrent Sentencing

Another wrinkle in the Illinois sentencing statute is consecutive v. concurrent sentencing. This is only at issue when you are charged with more than one offense. Consecutive simply means that the two sentences must be served "back to back." Concurrent means that the two sentences can be served at the same time. Concurrent is obviously preferable to consecutive. A prime example of consecutive sentencing is when someone picks up a new charge while out on bond for a separate prior offense. If convicted of both, the sentences would have to be served back to back, and any good time accrued could only be credited to one sentence. Again, give us a call to discuss how this effects your case.

What Will The Law Office of J. Patrick Nelson, PC Do for Me?

If you are charged with a felony (no matter how serious) and you come in to The Law Office of J. Patrick Nelson, PC, be assured that we will put at your disposal all of our 30 plus years of experience, our vast network of expert witnesses, and every other tool at our disposal.

For a free consultation call 630-480-4280, email, or complete our online information form. Based in Wheaton, our felony defense attorneys work with clients throughout the Chicago area.

Winning your case will be our first and last goal.