Illinois Criminal Laws + Sentencing, Hearings & Statute of Limitations

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Are you wondering what is going to happen to you if you are arrested for a federal crime in Illinois? In Illinois as in all states, the federal government must inform you of what charges they have filed against you. After you learn of these federal charges, you are likely to be held under federal custody in the federal district of Illinois where the trial will occur. This will be the case until you have your preliminary hearing.

About the Preliminary Hearing

In Illinois, the federal government must hold your preliminary hearing within three days of your arrest on federal charges. This is your first opportunity to challenge whatever evidence the federal prosecutor has against you. Keep in mind that at this state, the burden of the feds is very low. They only need to show probable cause, and not reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt only comes into play during the federal trial.

Also note that any witnesses against you in the federal preliminary hearing can testify about hearsay. So, in the majority of cases, the federal government in Illinois will have sufficient evidence to keep you locked up until trial. However, the first hearing still is a good time for your attorney to do discovery, and learn about what the weaknesses there are in the case against you.

About the Bond Hearing

The bond hearing in an Illinois federal court occurs if you are being held on any federal charge, and you seek release as the case is being conducted. Most cases require that you be a legal US resident or citizen to get bond. If you have any warrants, you probably are out of luck.

To increase your chances of getting bond during the hearing, your attorney should call character witnesses on your behalf, who state that you are of high character and will not flee Illinois.

Federal Jurisdictions in Illinois

The state of Illinois has three federal, judicial districts:

  • Central

  • North – includes Chicago

  • South

Sentences for Federal Crimes in Illinois

If you commit a federal crime in Illinois, you will be prosecuted by the federal government. Note that the state also can prosecute you. For instance, drug trafficking can be prosecuted on both the federal and Illinois state levels.

If you are convicted by a federal judge, the judge must stick to the federal sentencing guidelines, just like in any state. These are the rules that the federal judge must follow when devising your prison term. The guidelines are based upon the seriousness of your crime, as well as your prior record.

These federal guidelines are written by the US Sentencing Commission. These rules assign all federal crimes to one of 43 different offense levels. Every criminal offender is given one of six classifications of criminal history, based upon his or her prior record.

The point at which the offense level and the criminal history of the convicted meet on the sentencing table determines the range of your prison sentence.

Top Illinois Federal Crime Issues

According to the Department of Justice, the vast majority of federal cases in Illinois and most states involve immigration, drugs, fraud and guns. In 2012, over 80% of federal crimes were of these types.

Immigration cases made up more than 30% of federal crimes in Illinois and around the US. Most of these cases involved people entering the US without legal cause.

Recent Crime News IL

  • IL Man Convicted in Triple Homicide Case

  • Zion IL Man Tied to Multiple Bank Robberies

  • Hotel Employee Accused of Arson in Nauvoo IL

  • Underwood IL Murder Nets Federal Charges

Statute of Limitations in IL

Below are statutes of limitations for common crimes for IL:

Civil Violations

  • Assault – 2 years

  • Contract – 10 years

  • False imprisonment – 2 years

  • Fraud – 5 years

  • Judgements – 20 years

  • Libel – 1 year

  • Personal injury – 2 years

  • Property damage – 5 years

  • Slander – 1 year

  • Wrongful death – 2 years

Criminal Violations

  • Arson – No limit

  • Assault – 3 years

  • Burglary – 3 years

  • Murder – no limit

  • Manslaughter – no limit

  • Rape – no limit or 3 years, depending on case

  • Kidnapping – 3 years

  • Robbery – 3 years