What Factors Can Increase the Severity of an Illinois Criminal Charge?

 Posted on June 10,2020 in Criminal Law

Rolling Meadows criminal law attorney

Not all crimes are created equally. Some crimes, like assault or murder, are much more serious than lesser crimes, such as theft or traffic violations. Illinois, like all states, has a system for classifying crimes. Crimes are placed into categories of felonies and misdemeanors, of which there are varying “classes” of severity. What many people do not know is that there are also certain factors that can increase or mitigate the severity of the punishment that is imposed on someone who is convicted of a criminal offense. It is important to understand the factors that are commonly used by the prosecution to enhance the charges to “aggravated” in Illinois.

Aggravating Factors in Illinois

Even if someone is convicted of a crime, that does not automatically determine the sentence that he or she will receive. Under Illinois law, a sentencing hearing will occur after the conviction in which a judge will review the case and make a decision as to what the appropriate sentence would be for the specific situation. In some cases, this is when the prosecution has the chance to present any aggravating factors that may be present, which could influence the judge to impose a more serious sentence. Illinois lists 32 unique aggravating factors that could affect a defendant's sentence. Some of the most common factors include:

  • Conduct that threatened or caused serious harm

  • The defendant received compensation for committing the crime

  • The defendant has a prior criminal history

  • The defendant used his reputation or his position in the community to commit the offense

  • The sentence is necessary to prevent others in the community from committing the same crime

  • The victim of the offense is age 60 or older or has a disability

  • The crime was perpetrated against a person because of his or her race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin

  • The offense took place in a school, place of worship, or nursing home

Contact a Rolling Meadows, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer 

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, the penalties can be increased if certain factors were present that lead to aggravated charges. Regardless, you will have to go through the criminal justice system, which can be a scary and daunting experience. That is why it is important to speak with a knowledgeable Arlington Heights, IL felony crimes defense attorney right away. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, has worked both as a Cook County prosecutor and a defense attorney, giving him unique legal experience. To learn how our team can assist you, schedule your free consultation today by calling us at 847-253-3400.




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