An Overview of Violent Crimes in Illinois

violent crime, assault, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyNews stories and government reports often focus on the numbers and trends related to violent crime. Aside from the obvious social and cultural impact of such actions, the penalties for violent crimes are the among the harshest in the criminal justice system. To provide a level of statewide consistency, many violent crimes carry mandatory minimum sentences.

What Crimes Are Considered Violent?

Violent crimes involve harm or threat of harm to other people. They are considered to be much more serious than property crimes like theft or trespassing. Common examples of these type of offenses in Illinois include:

  • Murder;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Battery;
  • Robbery;
  • Assault and/or battery;
  • Kidnapping;
  • Reckless discharge of a weapon; and
  • Arson.

Domestic violence crimes are also considered violent crimes. If you are charged with a violent crime, bail is likely to be set higher upon your arraignment, if you are eligible for bail at all.

Penalties for Violent Crimes

Violent crimes fall into two broad categories under Illinois law: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are punishable by a maximum of up to a year in jail, while felonies are punishable by up to one year or more in prison, including life in prison for some offenses. While some crimes that are based upon threats or minor harm to a person may be misdemeanors, most violent crimes are considered felonies.

Under Illinois law Class 1 and Class X felonies are the most serious kinds of crimes. These crimes carry penalties of anywhere from four years to life in prison. Sexual assault, murder, and kidnapping are examples of these kinds of serious violent crimes.

In many cases, if there is a criminal history of related crimes, penalties will be harsher and probation will often not be considered.

Defenses to Charges of a Violent Crime

There are a variety of defenses available for defendants accused of violent crimes. Because each case is unique, the specific defenses available will depend on the facts of the case. Common defenses include:

  • Police misconduct in the investigation;
  • Mistaken identity;
  • Self-defense;
  • Alibi; or
  • Mental defect or disability that made the defendant unable to understand to do what they were doing or the consequences of their actions.

A successful criminal defense case starts with the defendant. If you have been charged with a violent crime, you need to speak with a tough and knowledgeable Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Do not talk to anyone about your case before you speak with a lawyer. Call 847-253-3100 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation and get the assistance you need in protecting your rights.


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