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Felony / Misdemeanor Lawyers

Kane, Kendall & DeKalb County Felony & Misdemeanor Attorneys

Criminal charges are no laughing matter, and it is important to understand that being convicted can lead to significant changes to your life. In fact, having a criminal record can change the trajectory of your life significantly, and not in a good way. If you want to be able to build a career in a field of your choice and be able to secure funding for school as well as rent from reputable landlords – not to mention avoiding going to prison – then it is in your best interests to do anything you can to avoid being having criminal charges on your record.

At Van Der Snick Law Firm, LTD we understand that life can sometimes take us to surprising places. We want to help you live the life that you dream about, even if you have made a mistake and are at risk of being charged criminally. In order to help you to the best of our abilities, it is important that you contact us for help as soon as possible. This not only gives us more time to prepare a defense, but it also helps us limit any self-incrimination that might result thanks to police interrogations.

Misdemeanor and Felony Charges

In many states, there are two main categories of crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Note that these are the crimes charged at a criminal level – this does not include lesser crimes that are prosecuted civilly. If you have been charged with a crime or are facing criminal charges, you must understand the differences between misdemeanors and felonies in order to best predict the kind of consequences you might be facing as well as just how serious your offenses are being treated.


Misdemeanors are the less serious of the two aforementioned categories. They include things like:

  • Theft & Retail Theft (value less than $300)
  • Driving with a Suspended Driver’s License
  • Driving while Under the Influence
  • Minor Drug-Related Offenses

The exact crimes that are considered misdemeanors versus felonies differs from state to state, and the punishment you receive for them can also vary wildly depending upon the specific circumstances of your case. You should note that you can still serve jail time for a misdemeanor and that should you be facing multiple misdemeanors, you will serve the sentences consecutively, not simultaneously. That means that you will fulfill the sentence for one crime, and then the other begins right after the first ends. This has the effect of some individuals serving years in jail – more years than they might have served had they been charged with a single felony.

Note that misdemeanors have various classifications from A to C, and the punishment you are likely to receive depends upon the class of misdemeanor with which you are charged. Class As are the most serious of the misdemeanors, with the severity fading as you move toward Class C.


As opposed to a misdemeanor, if convicted, you will spend time at either a state or a federal institution. Felonies have five different Classifications in Illinois; there are Classes 1-4, and Class X, with the Class X felony being the worst Class. A Class 1 felony can come along with 4-15 years spent in prison, plus fines that can be as high as $25,000. You will often find yourself responsible for both the time served and the fine. They are congruent punishments. A Class 4 felony is still serious, but is a lower Classification than the others. It often includes 1-3 years spent in prison, plus fines that can still be as high as $25,000. An experienced attorney can often get Class 4 felonies pled down to a misdemeanor, but it depends on the charges you are facing and how quickly you get an attorney involved.

If you commit a more serious crime, you could be charged with a felony. This includes crimes like the following:

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Aggravated Battery / Aggravated Domestic Battery
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Aggravated DUI


Criminal charges can carry with them a whole host of consequences. In addition to serving prison or jail time, you could find yourself paying steep fines. In addition, some charges require things like registration with the sex offender list. This could be for a short time of finite years, or it could be a lifetime registration. Note that this kind of consequence can also affect where you live and where you are hired, meaning that you will have a doubly hard time finding work once you are out of prison or jail.

At Van Der Snick Law Firm, LTD we know that everyone makes mistakes. We will work closely with you to ensure that you receive a trial that is fair, balanced, and in which you are well represented. Our attorneys have intimate knowledge of the criminal justice system, and are happy to help you achieve the most desirable result possible. Contact our law firm today for more information about how we can help, and to set up a consultation!


Class 4 Felony

  • 1-3 years possible imprisonment
  • fines up to $25,000

Class 3 Felony

  • 2-5 years possible imprisonment
  • fines up to $25,000

Class 2 Felony

  • 3-7 years possible imprisonment
  • fines up to $25,000

Class 1 Felony

  • 4-15 years possible imprisonment
  • fines up to $25,000

Class X Felony

  • 6-30 years possible imprisonment
  • fines up to $25,000