Thank you for your interest in The Law Offices of Andrew M. Weisberg. Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

*Indicates Required Fields




(773) 908-9811





(773) 908-9811



Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

blog_homeBlog Home

Don’t Let the Full Chicago Driveways Tempt You to Steal

Unemployment has hit Illinois hard. As the state works through its plan to tackle COVID-19, many people have been left without jobs.

Many of those who have managed to maintain their jobs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have been working from home. This is good because it keeps people from coming into contact with one another, but it also leaves the door open for a number of other crimes.

With some people out of work and many working from home, more cars in driveways are being stolen.  While some may be tempted to take their chances at stealing a car from one of the many full driveways across the state, it’s not a wise choice.

Why? Because facing charges of vehicular hijacking is likely to lead to far graver consequences in Illinois than finding another way to make it through this crisis. Here’s what you need to know.

Vehicular Hijacking in Illinois: What Is It?

In the state of Illinois, vehicular hijacking is a felony. It can also be called carjacking and it occurs when a person takes a motor vehicle from someone or in the immediate presence of someone by the threat of the use of force or the actual use of force.

Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking

Aggravated vehicular hijacking is a separate vehicular hijacking charge. The difference between vehicular hijacking and aggravated vehicular hijacking is the use of a deadly weapon, such as a gun, during the commission of the crime.

Punishments for an Illinois Vehicular Hijacking Conviction

Under the law in Illinois, vehicular hijacking is a Class 1 felony. It is punishable by up to 15 years in prison but under certain circumstances, a sentence can reach up to 30 years in prison. In the case of vehicular hijacking, it is not possible to get probation instead of a prison sentence.

Punishments for Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking

Aggravated vehicular hijacking is a much more serious crime in Illinois. It is charged as a Class X felony. That means that it will carry a minimum mandatory sentence for someone who is convicted in court for up to 30 years in prison.

In some cases, the punishment can be extended to up to 60 years behind bars. Just as with vehicular hijacking, it is not possible to serve probation instead of prison time if convicted for this felony.

Defenses Against a Vehicular Hijacking Charge in Illinois

There are several vital elements to the offense of vehicular hijacking that must be established in order for conviction. First and foremost, it must be proven that the vehicle was taken in the immediate presence of someone.

No Immediate Presence

Immediate presence legally means that the owner of the vehicle must have been close enough to it for it to be under their control and not be taken without force or the threat of it. If it can be shown there was no immediate presence, then that takes away a key to a conviction for the prosecution.

Insufficient Threat of Force

Another aspect that must be proven in court is the use of the threat of force. The court looks at the level of threat used in the commission of the crime to decide whether the requirements of the legal statute are met.

Lack of Intent

Chicago Vehicular Hijacking Defense Lawyer

Finally, it must be proven that the defendant intended to commit the crime. If it can be shown that they acted without knowledge, then the prosecution will have a more difficult time establishing guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the court of law.

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.

Our Blog

Charged With IL Assault? You Have Rights


Criminal defendants, no matter what crimes they are charged with, have rights in the United States. These rights are protected by the United States Constitution. The problem is, not everyone who is accused of a crime like assault in Illinois takes full advantage of these rights – which is why your attorney is here to help.

What does the state of Illinois consider assault, and what rights do you have if you are accused? These are questions to which every [...]

New Year, New Domestic Violence Charges in IL?

Domestic Battery | Domestic Violence

As far as the state of Illinois is concerned, the family unit needs to be protected. Therefore, when violence erupts between people who share a particular relationship in the state, it’s a crime that is taken very seriously.

Domestic violence is an issue that the state of Illinois has enacted laws in an attempt to curb its occurrence. Being found guilty once of a crime of domestic violence can cause you legal problems, but continuing to have issues in the [...]

Law Offices of Andrew Weisberg