What Are The Penalties For Misdemeanors?

If you've been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Illinois, the most important thing you should know is that these crimes need to be taken seriously. Even though the jail time and fines are less than for felonies, a criminal conviction on your record can affect your life for many years to come.

Turn to Fawell & Fawell, Ltd., for vigorous legal representation. From our Wheaton office, attorney Alex Fawell defends clients throughout the western Chicago suburbs. Call 630-480-6253 for a free consultation.

Class A And Class B Misdemeanors

The maximum sentence for a Class A misdemeanor is up to one year in jail. The maximum fine is generally $2,500 unless the offense specifies a different amount. Class B misdemeanors have a maximum sentence of up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,500. Class C misdemeanors have a maximum sentence of up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,500.

Sentences of probation or conditional discharge are often available, but may depend on the charges or your background. Depending on the case and the jurisdiction, alternative sentences may be available, including work release, boot camp, drug court, EM or payment of restitution.

Petty Offenses

The maximum sentence for a petty offense is up to six months probation and the maximum fine is $1,000.

Court Supervision

Court supervision is essentially a deferred dismissal of your case. The period of supervision is generally 90 days for traffic tickets and six months to two years for misdemeanors. Only in very rare instances can the period of supervision be over two years.

Once you complete the period of supervision successfully, the charges are dismissed. Successful completion involves not getting any other charges during the supervision period and complying with any other terms, which may include paying fines and costs, performing community service, attending counseling or various other conditions depending on your case. In certain types of cases, sentences of court supervision have additional conditions required by statute.

Felonies, certain misdemeanors and certain traffic offenses do not allow for a sentence of court supervision. If you are seeking court supervision but are ineligible based on your charges, you should consult with a lawyer to explore any options you may have, including getting your charges reduced or pleading to any alternative sentencing programs available.

Generally, successful completion of court supervision allows your record to be expunged or sealed. In most cases, you must wait two years from the date that you complete your supervision to expunge your record. For certain types of cases, the waiting period is five years. See the expungement section for more information.

Conditional Discharge

Conditional discharge is essentially a less-intensive form of probation. You are not assigned to a probation officer, but you must comply with certain conditions: You must not break any law, you must report or appear as ordered by the judge, you must not leave the state without the judge's permission, and you must not possess a firearm if the offense is any felony or a misdemeanor involving bodily harm.

Beyond the mandatory conditions listed above, the judge may also impose other conditions, such as community service, counseling, treatment, fines and restitution. Certain crimes require that the judge impose other conditions.

Unlike court supervision, successful completion of conditional discharge does not result in a dismissal of your case. You are found guilty and a conviction is entered on your record. You are released from jail under the condition that you comply with the judge's orders. In other words, complying with the conditions only prevents you from being given a harsher sentence.

If you violate the conditions of your sentence, the state's attorney will file a petition to revoke (PTR). You can be held in jail or on bond while awaiting a hearing on the PTR. If you are found to be in violation of a condition of your sentence, the judge will resentence you. While you may be resentenced to conditional discharge, the judge may impose more conditions, or you could be sentenced to jail.

Probation

Like conditional discharge, probation is a sentence wherein you are conditionally released from jail. You are assigned a probation officer who you must report to as directed. Also, you must not break any law, you must report or appear as ordered, you must not leave the state without permission, and you must not possess a firearm if the offense is any felony or a misdemeanor involving bodily harm.

Beyond the mandatory conditions listed above, the judge may also impose other conditions, such as community service, counseling, treatment, fines and restitution. Certain crimes require that the judge impose other conditions.

Generally, probation is a conviction. However, there are alternative types of probation for first-time felonies and certain first-time drug cases. The availability of these sentences depends on your charges and your background.

To learn more, call our law firm at 630-480-6253 or contact us online.