Can a Lawyer Get Felony Drug Charges Dropped to a Misdemeanor?

Dennis F. Dwyer is a seasoned Chicago criminal defense lawyer committed to protecting the rights of his clients. His extensive experience with criminal law allows him to provide his clients the best legal defense in Illinois.

Every criminal case is unique. Though Illinois statutes define offenses and prescribe penalties, the results of any individual case will vary depending on the circumstances of the offense. Penalties may vary contingent on the severity of the situation, whether the offender has any previous charges and whether any aggravating circumstances apply. Many crimes become more serious if the victim is under 16 or over 65. Additionally the location of the alleged offense and various other factors have an impact on how a crime is charged and penalized. In some situations, it may be possible to get felony drug charges reduced to misdemeanor charges. This is not a hard and fast rule, and largely depends on the circumstances of the case.

Felony Charges

Felony charges are more serious than misdemeanor charges and have a possible prison sentence of over one year and up to life in prison. More serious crimes are ranked as a higher class of felony. In Illinois, less serious felonies are class 4 felonies, and the most serious crimes are class X felonies. Any felony charges should be taken very seriously. Not only do they involve a more complicated court procedure, but they have serious penalties including possible fines of up to $25,000.

Misdemeanor Charges

Misdemeanor charges are for less serious crimes and have possible jail sentences of less than one year and fines of up to $2,500. Though misdemeanors are no laughing matter, they do have a far better result than a felony conviction. With shorter jail sentences, smaller fines, the possibility of supervision, and less disruption to your life, a misdemeanor conviction is far preferable to a felony conviction.

Reduction of Felony Charges to Misdemeanor

If you are charged with a felony, you should immediately consult the help of a reputable Criminal Defense Attorney. Only an attorney can review your charges and help you determine if it may be possible to get your felony charges reduced to a misdemeanor. Many offenses have degrees of severity. The prosecutor has discretion on what charges to file in a case. With the help of an attorney, you may be able to negotiate a plea bargain and get the charges reduced to a lesser offense. There are also some crimes that can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. It may be possible to negotiate with the prosecutor to charge the offense as a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

Reduction of Old Felony Convictions

Any negotiating to change a felony charge to a misdemeanor charge must occur before a conviction results. Once a conviction is entered, in Illinois, the felony charges cannot be reduced to misdemeanor charges. However, it may be possible to get your felony charges expunged or sealed. Not every situation merits expungement, so contact a Criminal Defense Attorney to review your case. Some class 4 felony drug charges can be expunged. There are specific elements that must be met, but if you meet the requirements, you may be able to have your class 4 felony drug charges expunged.

Criminal Defense Lawyer to Help Reduce Charges

In every case, the best result would be dismissed charges or a not guilty verdict. When that isn’t possible, getting felony charges reduced to misdemeanor charges is a much better outcome than receiving a felony conviction. Felony convictions have long lasting detrimental impact on your life. If you are charged with a crime, do not hesitate to call a lawyer experienced in defending felony crimes. Dennis F. Dwyer has extensive knowledge and experience dealing with every type of criminal matter. Call him today to learn how he can help you.

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