What Charges are Considered Violent Crimes in Illinois?

Updated on 08/11/2023 / Under

Illinois has multiple violent crimes, types of crimes include murder, kidnapping, and aggravated battery or assault. Other violent crimes include armed robbery, home invasion, and vehicular hijacking. Criminal sexual assault, stalking, and domestic battery are also classified as violent offenses. Additionally, arson, robbery, and burglary can be considered violent crimes.

In violent crime cases, the prosecution must prove that the accused intended to cause harm or death beyond a reasonable doubt. A conviction for a violent crime can result in a sentence ranging from probation to life in prison. The severity of the sentence depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history, the nature and seriousness of the offense, and the impact on victims.

Chicago violent crimes attorney Alex Ktenas

If you need qualified advice on a violent crime conviction in Illinois, contact Ktenas Law Firm today and speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Various Violent Crimes in Illinois

Violent crimes such as murder and assault are a major concern in society. According to statistics, a considerable portion of crime figures are attributed to them. A weekend in Chicago was recently detailed in a CBS report, where five individuals lost their lives and 22 were injured, including a 14-year-old victim. Incidents like these often prompt calls for justice and stricter penalties for perpetrators.

a crime scene being marked off from violent crimes in Illinois

Each state has its definition of violent crimes. In Illinois, all felonies involving physical harm or threat of physical harm against another person are considered violent crimes. These crimes carry much tougher punishments due to the higher risks of injury or death and the deep psychological impact they have.

First-Degree Murder

First-degree murder is considered a violent crime in the state of Illinois. It is defined as an act committed with the intent to kill another person, resulting in that person's death. This type of murder is typically premeditated and requires planning or forethought beforehand. It carries the most severe penalty, which could range from a minimum prison sentence of 20 years to life imprisonment, or even a death sentence.

Second-Degree Murder

Second-degree murder is a violent crime charge that is considered to be a serious criminal offense in the state of Illinois. It is defined as an intentional killing without premeditation, or the intent to kill.

Generally speaking, this type of murder occurs when someone acts recklessly during an altercation or causes harm to another person with malice aforethought. The penalty for second-degree murder in Illinois can include up to 20 years in prison.

Related Content: Understanding the Different Types of Murder Charges

Homicide and Attempted Homicide

In Illinois, homicide and attempted homicide are considered violent crimes. Homicide is the killing of another person without legal justification or excuse, while attempted homicide is an unsuccessful attempt to take the life of another person. Both are serious offenses that carry severe penalties in Illinois.

a scale with a gavel on one side

Homicide can be further divided into two categories: first-degree murder and second-degree murder. First-degree murder is the premeditated killing of another person, while second-degree murder is the intentional killing of another person without premeditation. Attempted homicide can include both first and second-degree murder charges, with sentences ranging from probation to life in prison; depending on the severity of the charge.

Aggravated Battery and Assault

Aggravated battery and assault are two of the charges that are considered violent crimes in the state of Illinois. Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon is defined as knowingly causing great bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement, to another person. Aggravated assaults involve a threat of violence accompanied by the apparent ability to carry out the threat. Both charges carry serious penalties and can result in jail time or prison sentences.

In Illinois, domestic violence crimes are considered violent offenses and can lead to serious criminal charges. These crimes include aggravated battery, aggravated assault, stalking, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, interfering with the reporting of domestic violence, violation of an order of protection, and certain forms of intimidation.

  • Aggravated battery involves knowingly causing great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement to another person using a deadly weapon.
  • Aggravated assault is a threat of harm or violence accompanied by the apparent ability to carry out the threat.
  • Stalking is repeatedly following, harassing, or threatening someone with the intent to cause fear or emotional distress.
  • Kidnapping is the unlawful taking or confinement of another person without their consent.

Related Content: Domestic Violence During the Holidays

Interfering with the reporting of domestic violence is preventing or hindering the reporting of an act of domestic violence to authorities. These crimes carry severe penalties, including fines and/or jail time.

Hate Crimes

Hate crimes in Illinois are considered violent crimes and can result in serious charges. Hate crimes occur when someone is targeted because of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or other protected class. Examples of hate crimes include physical assault, vandalism, arson, threats, and intimidation.

an officer picking up a bullet with tweezers at a violent crime scene

Depending on the severity of the crime, a person may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense. In particular, if the crime is committed against someone due to their race or sexual orientation, then it will typically be charged as a felony.

The penalties for hate crimes can include jail time, fines, and community service.

Sexual assault and related offenses in Illinois are considered violent crimes. This includes criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and criminal sexual abuse.

  • Criminal Sexual Assault is the act of non-consensual penetration by force or threat of force.
  • Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault is non-consensual penetration by the use of a deadly weapon or with the intent to inflict harm.
  • Predatory criminal sexual assault of a child is an aggravated form of criminal sexual assault where a person over 17 commits an act of penetration on someone under 13.
  • Aggravated criminal sexual abuse occurs when sexual conduct is committed against another person by force or by threatening or intimidating the victim.
  • Criminal sexual abuse is any type of sexual conduct against another person without consent.

These offenses carry serious criminal penalties, including jail time and/or fines.

Kidnapping and Unlawful Restraint

Kidnapping and unlawful restraint are both considered violent crimes in the state of Illinois. Kidnapping is defined as taking someone against their will and holding them captive, whether in the same place or transporting them elsewhere.

Unlawful restraint, sometimes referred to as false imprisonment, is classified slightly differently but also involves taking someone against their will and restricting their movement. In such cases, the person may be physically restrained, or their freedom may be restricted by the threat of force or intimidation.

Both of these offenses are felonies and can result in serious criminal penalties, including jail time and/or fines.

Penalties for Violent Crimes in Illinois

Illinois categorizes violent crimes as misdemeanors or felonies, with misdemeanors being punishable by a maximum of 12 months in jail and small fines. Felonies, on the other hand, are more severe and can lead to life imprisonment or the death penalty. Examples of Class 1 felonies include first-degree murder and aggravated criminal sexual assault. Class X felonies include non-probational offenses like drug dealing.


Punishments for violent crimes can also include probation, parole, fines, court costs, rehabilitation programs, counseling services, community service orders, and restrictions on owning firearms. Convicted criminals may also have to make restitution payments to their victims or register as predators or sex offenders.

FAQ: How does Illinois handle parole violations?

Maximum Sentence and Fines for Conviction

In Illinois, violent crimes involve force or violence against another person. Acts of violence such as assault, murder, and rape are considered crimes that can lead to a conviction and result in a significant prison sentence and fines.

The severity of the penalty is determined by the gravity of the offense. For a class X felony, such as first-degree murder or predatory criminal sexual assault, the sentence can be 6 to 60 years in prison with fines up to $25,000. For a Class A misdemeanor conviction for battery, the punishment may include up to one year in jail and fines up to $2,500.

Minimum Sentences for Various Degrees of Crime

Illinois defines violent crimes as assault, battery, homicide, and sexual assault. Punishments for these crimes vary depending on their severity.

  • First-degree murder carries a mandatory prison sentence of 20 to 60 years.
  • A Class X felony can result in six to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.
  • Class 1 felonies are punishable by a prison sentence ranging from four to 15 years and fines up to $25,000.
  • Class 2 felonies carry a sentence of three to seven years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.
  • A Class A misdemeanor can result in up to one year in jail and fines up to $2,500.

Violent offenders may also face additional consequences, including registration as a predatory or sex offender, and being ineligible for government benefits.

Call Ktenas Law if You've Been Charged With a Violent Crime!

If you’ve been charged with a violent crime in Illinois, it’s important to know what the specific charges are and how they may impact your life. Violent crimes include any offense that involves physical harm or the threat of physical harm to another person. In Illinois, some examples of violent crimes include aggravated battery, armed robbery, kidnapping, domestic violence, assault and battery, stalking, and murder.

At Ktenas Law, we understand the seriousness of violent crime charges and strive to protect your rights throughout the legal process. Call now at (312) 756-8652 to speak with our experienced criminal defense attorneys who will work closely with you to help you understand each step of the process, fight for the best possible outcome, and minimize the impact of a conviction on your life.