Felony Division

The Felony Division handles the most serious criminal offenses. A felony offense is an offense for which a term of imprisonment in a penitentiary for one year or more is provided. Fines for felony offenses may also be imposed which are limited to $25,000 or the amount specified in the offense, whichever is greater.

The party bringing the complaint is the State of Illinois as represented by an attorney called the prosecutor. The individual charged with the crime is called the defendant. The role of the prosecutor is to prove that the defendant committed the crime.

Some common examples of these types of cases are crimes against individuals such as murder, kidnapping, sex offenses, and aggravated assault. However, felonies may also involve property such as robbery, burglary, arson, and possession of stolen goods.
Also included in the Felony Division is the Bond Court. The law requires that a defendant who is arrested must appear before a judge within 48 hours of arrest. To comply with this law, individuals arrested in Lake County will appear in Bond Court within 48 hours of their initial arrest. In addition to the initial appearances, the Bond Court also does preliminary hearings. The Bond Court operates five full days per week and is open for limited hours on weekends and holidays.

Types of Cases

The Felony Division routinely hears the following types of cases:

Criminal Felony (CF)

As outlined above, felony cases are those criminal violations that can result in a sentence of death or to a term of imprisonment in a penitentiary for one year or more. 

Contempt of Court (CC)

The most common contempt cases are those where a defendant or trial participant fails to maintain the proper decorum in the courtroom. Contempt citations also occur where an individual refuses or fails to act as directed by the court.

Mental Health (MH)

Mental health cases deal with matters of involuntary commitment of those with mental illnesses. Mental health cases also deal with discharge from the commitment and restoration of legal status.

Miscellaneous Criminal (MX)

In the Felony Division, the three most common miscellaneous criminal cases are eavesdropping, fugitive from justice, and criminal forfeiture cases.

Eavesdropping cases are those where a law enforcement agency asks the court for permission to monitor or record the conversation of a party without the party’s knowledge. Fugitive from justice cases involve the extradition of persons in or out of the State of Illinois. Asset forfeiture cases involve the forfeiture of property used in committing a crime, such as an airplane, boat, or motor vehicle used to transport drugs.