There is not just one charge for each violent crime in Illinois. Assault charges may become aggravated assault charges if certain factors are present. Burglary can be charged as “burglary” or “home invasion” depending on the building where the crime occurred.
In this post, we’re going to focus on the different charges in our state that are related to robbery. Since we just wrote about simple robbery charges and the difference between robbery and theft in Illinois, we’re going to skip right past that one. If you’d like more information, click on the above link.
The Various Robbery Charges Defined Under Illinois Law
Most crimes are increased when a gun or dangerous weapon is present, and robbery is no different. While robbery is typically a class 2 felony, armed robbery bumps the charges up to a class X felony, the most serious type of crime in Illinois law.
The sentencing guidelines for armed robbery depend on whether or not the robber discharged the weapon or caused bodily harm to victims. Here’s the breakdown:
- Carries, but does not use, a dangerous weapon during crime: Class X felony
- Carries, but does not use, a firearm during crime: Class X felony, with 15 years added to sentence imposed by the court
- Uses firearm during crime: Class X felony, with 20 years added to the sentence imposed by the court
- Uses firearm and causes great bodily injury, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death: Class X felony, with 25 years to life added to the sentence imposed by the court
Even if the robber does not have a gun or dangerous weapon on them during the crime, they may tell the victim that a dangerous weapon is present to scare the victim into giving over money or property. This threat can bump charges up to aggravated robbery.
Aggravated robbery is a charge given to robbery crimes when aggravating factors are present. In addition to using threats of a dangerous weapon, a crime may become aggravated robbery if:
- The robber takes property after giving the victim a controlled substance without the victim’s consent (or through threat or deception)
- The victim is over the age of 60
- The victim has a physical disability
- The crime is committed in a school, day care center, or place of worship
Aggravated robbery is a class 1 felony. Penalties for class 1 felonies include between 4-15 years in prison and heavy fines.
Vehicular Hijacking/Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking
Robbery charges are also bumped up to a class 1 felonies if a motor vehicle is stolen during the robbery. This charge is called vehicular hijacking.
Charges are elevated further to aggravated vehicular hijacking when:
- The owner of the stolen motor vehicle is over the age of 60 or has a physical disability
- A minor under the age of 16 is a passenger when the vehicle is taken
- A firearm or dangerous weapon is present during the crime
- A firearm is discharged during the crime
- A firearm is discharged and causes great bodily injury, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death
Aggravated vehicular hijacking is a class X felony, with the potential of life in prison.
If you currently face any of the above robbery crimes, you face serious penalties. However, you have many options for mitigating your charges or getting your charges dropped with a strong defense. Talk to an Illinois robbery lawyer immediately to start working on your defense strategy.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes.