Request a Free Consultation Flyout

Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon.


Dec. 4 2020

Class X Felonies Carry Mandatory Sentencing in Illinois

Posted By: Sami Azhari

Class X Felonies Carry Mandatory Sentencing in Illinois

There are many different types of felonies recognized in the state of Illinois. The most serious is a Class X felony – and it can result in a long prison sentence.

A Chicago man recently pled guilty to an armed robbery that will now put him in jail for 20 years. Why so long? Because armed robbery is a Class X felony in the state. He could have served up to 30 years for his crime under the penalty range.

Citizens need to be aware of Class X felonies – what they are, the penalties associated, and other factors that can tack on even more time to a sentence. After all, you don’t want to go to jail for the rest of your life for a crime you weren’t aware could be punished so harshly.

Class X Felonies in Illinois

There are several crimes that are always classified as Class X in Illinois courts. Some of the most common include drug crimes, armed robbery, child pornography (and related offenses), and predatory criminal sexual assault. Learn more about each below.

Drug Crimes

Serious drug crimes in this state are Class X felonies and include charges for illegal activities like:

  • Possession of cocaine with the intent to deliver or manufacture
  • Participating in the manufacturing of methamphetamines
  • Possession of more than 5000 grams of cannabis with the intent to deliver
  • Engaging in a criminal drug conspiracy as a part of a gang

Armed Robbery

When one person knowingly takes property from another with the use of force or threatening force and uses a dangerous weapon or firearm during the crime, then they can be charged with a Class X felony.

Child Pornography and Related Offenses

Often, a Class X felony is charged in child pornography offenses that contain movies and videos of a child engaged in a sexual act. Not only do those found guilty of these crimes face a harsh prison sentence and fines, but must register on the Illinois Sex Offender registry for life, as well.

Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault

If a person older than 17 commits an act involving sexual contact with a victim 12 years old or younger, then it is considered predatory criminal sexual assault and is a Class X felony.

Second Conviction of Criminal Sexual Assault

If someone is convicted of criminal sexual assault, also known as rape, for a second time, then it is considered a Class X felony.

Aggravated kidnapping, aggravated arson, aggravated battery of a child, home invasion, and aggravated vehicular hijacking are also considered Class X crimes.

Sentencing Guidelines for Class X Felonies

In an Illinois case involving a Class X felony, a judge cannot sentence the defendant to probation or condition release. They must be sentenced to a term in prison. Class X felony sentencing must meet the following guidelines:

  • Minimum of 6 years and a maximum of 30 years, or between 30 and 60 years for an extended term, in prison
  • Three years of mandatory supervised release

Aggravating Factors in Class X Felonies

Chicago Class X Felony Lawyer

As if Class X felonies and their punishments weren’t steep enough, they can get worse. If certain aggravating factors are present in the case, then it may add up to 30 years onto a sentence. Factors that are considered aggravating include:

  • An offense against someone over the age of 60
  • An offense against someone with a disability
  • An extensive criminal history
  • If the defendant threatened or caused serious harm to the victim
  • If the crime was motivated by the gender, sexual orientation, color, race, or national origin of the victim

Contact the Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys at Azhari LLC

Facing a Class X felony in Illinois is a serious matter that requires expert legal representation. At Azhari LLC, we have the experience and dedication to help you navigate these challenging legal situations. If you have questions about the Class X felony charges you are facing, reach out for answers from a Chicago criminal defense attorney you can trust, and learn how we can assist you in building a strong defense. Your future is at stake, and we are here to fight for you every step of the way.

About the Author

Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by Avvo (2013 and 2018), SuperLawyers (2015-2020), The National Trial Lawyers, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.