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  • Evan M. Howard

What is Extended Term Eligible?


Judges cannot sentence a person to a jail term in excess of the maximum allowed

penalty defined by Illinois law. That is the case unless there are certain “aggravating factors” present, listed under 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.2. There are a ton of different factors that

go into what “aggravating factors” will make a defendant extended term eligible. Some example of those factors are:

  • the age of the victim

  • the brutality of the offense

  • the proximity of the offense to schools

The most widely used sentencing guideline use by the State for extending a defendant’s sentence is 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.2(b)(1). This statute reads:

(b) The following factors, related to all felonies, may be considered by the court as reasons to impose an extended term sentence under Section 5-8-2 upon any offender:

(1) When a defendant is convicted of any felony, after having been previously convicted in Illinois or any other jurisdiction of the same or similar class felony or greater class felony, when such conviction has occurred within 10 years after the previous conviction, excluding time spent in custody, and such charges are separately brought and tried and arise out of different series of acts;

This states that any person convicted of a felony, after already being convicted of a same or greater class of felony within a 10 year period, then you can be extended term eligible. Back to our example: Say you are convicted of a Class 4 felony in 2008, and then in 2015 you are convicted of a Class 3 felony.

Because the 2008 conviction is within a 10 year period and the felony class is greater than the 2008 conviction, you may be extended term eligible. If the State plans to use the extended term sentencing, it must provide this information to the defendant before the trial or it must be included in the charging information.

Review the table on my Illinois Criminal Penalties Blogpost, to how extended term eligibility can affect your sentencing. If you think you might be extended term eligible, contact Howard Law to discuss what options may be available to you at (312) 469-0758.

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