What is a Class X Felony in Illinois?

Published: Mar 23, 2017, by admin in Criminal Defense, Legal Blog, Violent Crimes

Under Illinois law, there are five different classes of felonies based on the time of imprisonment in a state prison. Apart from first-degree murder, which is not classified, the most serious type of offense is a Class X felony. If you have been accused of committing a Class X felony, the stakes could not be higher. Having an experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer by your side is the best way to fight the charges against you and help avoid a conviction.

Chicago defense attorney Michael O’Meara has extensive experience handling the most serious types of criminal charges and will aggressively fight to obtain the best result possible in your case. With over 20 years of experience as a former prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer, he knows what it takes to build an effective defense strategy. Call today at 312-909-0706.

What is the Penalty for a Class X Felony in Illinois?

A Class X felony carries a mandatory minimum sentence of six years and a maximum sentence of 30 years. It is also punishable by a fine of up to $25,000. The fact that a Class X felony is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence means that even first-time offenders will face imprisonment if convicted.

If any aggravating factors are present, the judge has the discretion to sentence the defendant to an extended term, which is punishable by 30 to 60 years in prison. There are numerous aggravating factors outlined in the statute. Some of them include:

  • Defendant has a prior criminal history
  • Defendant committed the offense against a person 60 years of age or older or disabled
  • Defendant was motivated on the basis of another individual’s actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical/mental disability, or national origin
  • Defendant’s actions caused or threatened serious harm

An individual who is convicted of a Class X felony cannot be sentenced to probation. The only way for a defendant to be eligible to receive probation is if the prosecution is willing to amend the charge to a lower felony class. This reality, along with the potential jail time facing defendant if convicted, can make plea agreements particularly challenging to negotiate with prosecutors.

What Crimes Are Considered a Class X Felony?

The following offenses constitute a Class X felony:

  • Aggravated battery of a child
  • Predatory criminal sexual assault of a child over 17 years of age and victim under 13 years old
  • Aggravated criminal sexual assault
  • Armed robbery
  • Aggravated arson
  • Home invasion
  • Aggravated kidnapping
  • Aggravated battery with a firearm
  • Aggravated vehicular hijacking
  • Possession of a controlled substance with intent to sale/deliver

How O’Meara Law Can Help

Any possible defenses to a Class X felony charge will depend on the underlying offense and the specific circumstances of your case. If you are facing charges for a Class X felony, you will need a criminal defense lawyer with considerable felony trial experience.

As a former Cook County prosecutor, Michael O’Meara oversaw countless criminal cases involving serious felonies, which gives him unique insight as a criminal defense attorney. He understands how devastating the consequences of a conviction can be and is committed to preserving your freedom, reputation, and future.

Contact us today at 312-909-0706 to schedule your free and confidential consultation.