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Criminal Cases in Lake and Cook County Illinois

Working exclusively for over 19 years as both a Prosecutor and Criminal Defense Attorney has given me the foundation, knowledge, and experience to serve as an exceptional criminal defense attorney today and to determine the best course of action for defending any criminal charge or handling any situation within the criminal justice system. I have developed the ability to see both sides of a case and, more importantly, have an understanding of how all parties see a case and how a judge may interpret a case or rule on certain issues. I have handled thousands of Misdemeanor and Felony cases concerning every type of criminal offense. I take pride in clearly communicating with clients regarding their options and what I believe is in their best interests. I have a passion for trial work and am very comfortable arguing motions and trials before judges and juries in all types of cases. I am also a skilled negotiator and know how to present my client to the court in a professional and positive manner to help the client put their best foot forward in the eyes of the court. I work hard to obtain the best results possible in court conferences and other negotiations often leading to deferred prosecutions or dismissal of charges for first offenders on Felonies and Misdemeanors depending on the jurisdiction and facts of the case. The Richard Albanese Law Office handles cases in Lake County, Waukegan, Park City, Mundelein, Round Lake Beach, McHenry County,  Cook County, Skokie, Rolling Meadows, Chicago and Bridgeview. Our firm handles cases or has competent referral attorneys practicing in many other cities, towns, and villages across Illinois as well as in Wisconsin.

The Difference Between a Felony, Misdemeanors and Ordinance Violations in Lake and Cook County Illinois

Simply put, the line between an Illinois felony charge and a misdemeanor charge is that with a felony charge you are potentially facing a sentence to more than one year in prison and a misdemeanor carries a range of a potential jail sentence from 1 - 364 days. An Ordinance Violation by distinction carries a punishment of a fine only and does not include jail or prison as a sentence. However, Ordinance convictions can often lead to the loss of driving privileges or a record that a potential employer or others doing background checks may discover.

Felony Charges in Lake and Cook County Illinois

There are five tiers or classes of felonies in Illinois, defined by the potential range time of time a defendant may be sentenced to serve in the Illinois Department of Corrections. While the fines for felonies can range, the fines of all five classes of felony are defined as "up to $25,000." Probation and Second Chance Probation as well as Deferred Prosecution Programs are also available and offered depending on a defendant's criminal history, the type of offense, and the jurisdiction prosecuting the offense.

Class X Felony

Minimum Sentence - 6 Years / Maxiumum Sentence - 30 Years. Example charges include:
§ Murder
§ Home Invasion
§ Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault
Class 1 Felony

Minimum Sentence - 5 Years / Maxiumum Sentence - 15 Years. Example charges include:
§ Criminal Sexual Assault
§ Theft Over $10,000
Class 2 Felony

Minimum Sentence - 3 Years / Maxiumum Sentence - 7 Years. Example charges include:
§ Possession of 2000 - 50000 grams (4.5 to 11 pounds) of Marijuana
§ Theft of 2,000 to $10,000
§ Burglary
§ Aggravated Battery of Police Officer
§ Possession of Stolen Motor Vehicle
Class 3 Felony

Minimum Sentence - 2 Years / Maxiumum Sentence - 5 Years. Example charges include:
§ Aggravated Battery
§ Theft Between $300 and $2000
Class 4 Felony

Minimum Sentence - 1 Years / Maxiumum Sentence - 3 Years. Example charges include:
§ Possession of Controlled Substance
§ Retail Theft
§ Stalking
§ Aggravated DUI

Misdemeanor Charges in Lake and Cook County Illinois

A Class A Misdemeanor is the most serious type of misdemeanor charge; the sentence for a class A misdemeanor can include up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. These offenses along with Class B and C misdemeanors are resolved with court supervision, conditional discharge, probation or dismissal through a deferred prosecution program for first offenders. Examples of crimes that would be Class A Misdemeanors are as follows:
§ Battery
§ Retail Theft
§ Aggravated Assault
§ Criminal Trespass to Property or Vehicle
§ Criminal Damage to Property
§ Reckless Driving
§ Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
§ Speeding 36+ mph
§ Possession of Cannabis / Marijuana (10 grams - 30 grams)
§ Prostitution / Solicitation
Class B Misdemeanors:

Sentencing for a Class B Misdemeanor charge can include up to 180 days in jail and / or fines of up to $1,500. Examples of Class B Misdemeanor charges include:
§ Certain types of Assault
§ Possession of Cannabis / Marijuana (more than 2.5 grams but not more than 10 grams)
§ Aggravated Speeding (26-34 mph or more over the posted speed limit)
Class C Misdemeanors:

Class C Misdemeanors are relatively minor charges but can still result in up to 30 days in jail and or fines of up to $1,500. Some examples include:
§ Certain types of Assault Charges
§ Disorderly Conduct
§ Possession of Cannabis / Marijuana (less than 2.5 grams)

Ordinance Violations in Lake and Cook County Illinois

Ordinance Violations are punishable by fine only, but often carry collateral negative consequences such as a loss of driving privileges, building permits or licenses or a record that may be found in a criminal background check. Ordinance violations also are generally civil in nature and therefore require a lower burden of proof to be proven. Some common ordinance violations include:

  • Underage Possession or Consumption of Alcohol
  • Social Hosting (Parents or Guardians serving or allowing consumption of alcohol by minors)
  • Retail Theft
  • Battery
  • Littering
  • Zoning and Construction Violations