Chicago Robbery and Other Theft Crimes Hit 20-year Low
In Chicago, sometimes it can feel as if violence is something you never stop hearing about. However, what crime statistics show paints a very different story.
The crime trends of 2020 in Chicago were a bit surprising. While shootings at police officers increased, other crimes such as robbery were the lowest they’ve been in years.
This is thought to be an effect of the shutdown of much of the city due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, overall crime dropped a staggering 7 percent compared to the same 10-month period in 2019.
Still, robbery is an issue that many citizens of Chicago have to deal with or have been a part of. Here’s what you need to know about robbery charges in Illinois and the penalties that can be faced if found guilty of these charges.
What Is Robbery Under Illinois Law?
Under the law in Illinois, robbery is when a person takes the property of another with the use of the threat of imminent force or by force. It is considered a violent felony in the state, but it can be charged as either a Class 2 felony or a Class 1 felony.
In most cases, robbery is considered a Class 2 felony. But it will be charged as a Class 1 felony if the victim was handicapped or over age 60 or if the crime took place in a house of worship, nursing home, or daycare center.
Aggravated robbery can also be charged if the crime was committed while armed with a dangerous weapon or if the victim was given a controlled substance without their consent. In this case, it’s a Class 1 felony charge.
What About Armed Robbery?
You’ve likely heard the term armed robbery before and that is another robbery charge that can be faced in Illinois.
When a robbery is committed and a firearm is carried or discharged during the commission of the crime, then that is considered armed robbery.
It is a Class X felony in Illinois, and being found guilty can add many years onto a robbery sentence through an enhanced penalty – up to 15 years maximum.
Penalties for Robbery in Illinois
The penalties for the different levels of robbery charges are:
Class 2 Felony
This carries with it a prison sentence of up to seven years and fines of as much as $25,000 if convicted.
Class 1 Felony
This carries with it a prison sentence of up to 15 years and fines of as much as $25,000.
Defenses Against an Illinois Robbery
If you’re facing any level of robbery charges, then it’s important to understand your rights and to hire an attorney to help represent you in court.
Once your attorney knows the circumstances of your specific case, then they can work with you to formulate the best defense. Common defenses against robbery charges include:
If you didn’t commit the crime, then you need to make that known to the judge, jury, and prosecution in your case.
Remember, in criminal prosecutions, it’s the job of the government to prove you are guilty. That is called the burden of proof and the case must be proven by them beyond a reasonable doubt.
Any evidence you can provide that you didn’t commit the crime will undermine their case and has a better chance of setting you free.
The other common defense to a robbery crime is entrapment. This defense can be a valid one when you have committed a crime, but it was because you were pushed by another person.
The key to its validity is the reasonable belief that you would not have committed the crime on your own. When this is true, then entrapment is an important defense option.
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. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.