Taplin Defense Firm, P.C.

Criminal Law FAQs

What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

A felony is any offense punishable by one or more years in prison. A misdemeanor is punishable by a jail sentence of up to 364 days.

Illinois misdemeanors range from Class C, the lowest, to Class A, punishable by up to 364 days in the county jail. The lowest level of felony is a Class 4 felony, punishable for 1-3 years in prison. Most felony cases are Class 4, Class 3, and Class 2, which carry a range of 3-7 years in prison. A Class 1 felony carries a range of 4-10 years. Class X felonies carry a 6-30 year range. The highest level of felony is murder, which carries a minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. The death penalty in Illinois was abolished in 2011. Less serious, non-violent offenders end up serving 50 percent or less of their sentences. Under Illinois' Truth in Sentencing Laws, serious, violent offenders serve 85 percent or more of their sentences.

A criminal conviction is the entry of a non-suspended final judgment of guilt by a court. A conviction becomes a permanent mark on a person's criminal record.

Hire an attorney competent in criminal law practice. Do not represent yourself in court. If you cannot afford an attorney, ask for the appointment of a public defender. A competent attorney will always seek for an alternative to a conviction.

Generally no. Convictions are permanent. However a final judgment that is suspended by the court (suspended imposition of sentence in Missouri and court supervision in Illinois) may be expunged, or permanently removed, from a criminal record and removed from the court's index of cases.

The police are not required to read you your Miranda Rights unless you are in police custody and they are asking you to make a statement about the facts.

Generally you should not give a statement to the police. The police may not be able to prove their case without your statement, and therefore any statements that you make will only make things worse for you. If the circumstances necessitate that you give a statement, you should do so only with your attorney present.

If you received a sentence of court supervision, you may answer no to being convicted of an offense. Illinois law specifically recognizes that court supervision is not a conviction.

If your job application asks for arrests, rather than convictions, be sure that you include every arrest, even if the case was eventually dismissed. Only expunged arrests can be omitted from a job application, and even then, some job applications (law enforcement), sensitive military contracting applications, and graduate school level college admission applications might specifically ask you to include any arrests that were expunged.

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Client Testimonials

Real people - real cases

Client Testimonials

Todd is the man. I had a night out with friends that ended with a DUI. I called him the next morning and he walked me through the process. He reassured me that this would not affect my future. I was confident with his representation and pleased with the outcome.


”Todd Taplin is a wonderful defense attorney! He was there when I needed him. He's trustworthy and loyal. His rates are affordable and his service is top notch. He got me a nearly impossible deal. I would recommend his service to anyone who needed it. If I ever have any other problems that would need an attorney, he would be the one.”


”I had never used a traffic ticket lawyer before and was very pleasantly surprised with the results. Todd Taplin got my speeding ticket dismissed altogether and saved me hundreds of dollars! As a bonus, I did not have to take off from work to go to court."


”Todd has always taken care of me! I spent a lot of money with him, but that was because of my own foolish mistakes, but it was worth it. One time I had a warrant pop up I knew nothing about and he called me personally and told me to stay in the house for the weekend. He’ll have it taken care of by Monday and sure enough it was squashed without even turning myself in. He also represented me on Reckless Driving Charges, DUI, and more, and the outcome was always good with him on my side. All in all a great lawyer and cares about his clients.”


”Mr Taplin was an excellent asset to me and my husband during a very trying time! He was affordable and worth the money. He got all of my husbands charges dismissed in a timely manner. He was always very open and communicated exactly what we could expect. If you need a lawyer then I highly recommend Todd Taplin. If we ever need a lawyer in the future there is nowhere else we would go. Thank you Mr Taplin for everything you did for us!"


”Todd was one of the best attorneys I have worked with! Not only does Todd explain everything, he is very responsive and a knowledgeable attorney at a great price.”


”I have used Todd twice now and have been very pleased both times. His office is prompt and helpful."


Areas We Serve

Licensed in Illinois and Missouri

Areas We Serve

  • Edwardsville, IL
  • Glen Carbon, IL
  • Maryville, IL
  • Collinsville, IL
  • Belleville, IL
  • Alton, IL
  • St. Louis, MO
  • St. Clair County, IL
  • Madison County, IL
  • St. Louis County, MO
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