Rash of Robberies Near North Chicago Has Residents Demanding Help
To the Chicago residents packed tightly together at the Lake Shore Park field house this January, a rash of recent robberies is all that’s on their mind. They want to know how to prevent themselves from being targeted and what they can do to bring these robberies to an end. Most importantly, they want to know how police are going to help.
These concerned Chicago citizens have reason to worry. Robberies in the state have been on a steady decline since 2016, but robberies in some of Chicago’s most prosperous neighborhoods seem to be on the rise.
What many don’t realize is that it is not just the robberies themselves they should be worried about. Often, when a specific area is called out for crime, law enforcement officials tend to focus efforts there. This can lead to a decrease in criminal activities, but far too often crackdowns like these result in overzealous policing.
If you find yourself accused by the police – or even charged – what should you do? Here’s what you need to know about Illinois robbery law, charges, and associated penalties.
Illinois Robbery: What the Law Says
Robbery is defined as a person knowingly taking someone else’s property by threat or force.
Aggravated robbery is defined the same as robbery, but with a few more conditions such as:
- Threatening with a weapon – even if they don’t actually have a weapon on them
- Threatening another with a controlled substance
- Giving a controlled substance to another without consent
Armed robbery is committed when a robbery is committed and:
- A dangerous weapon is involved
- A firearm is involved
- A firearm is discharged
- A firearm is discharged and results in permanent disfigurement, bodily harm, permanent disability, or even death
Finally, if a robbery is committed and the property stolen is a motor vehicle, then a person can be charged with vehicular hijacking or aggravated vehicular hijacking if:
- The victim is disabled or over the age of 60
- There is a passenger in the vehicle under the age of 16
- A firearm was involved
- A firearm was discharged
- A discharged firearm resulted in bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, permanent disability, or death
How Illinois Penalizes Robbery
Every type of robbery is a felony in the state of Illinois. The type of robbery committed determines the felony level of the crime.
Class 2 Felony
Robbery is a Class 2 felony. If found guilty, you can be sentenced to 3-7 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. Upon release from prison, there is a mandatory parole period of two years.
Class 1 Felony
If the victim of the crime was over the age of 60 or disabled or the crime occurred in a daycare facility, school, childcare facility, or place of worship, then it can be elevated to a Class 1 felony, punishable by 4-15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. It also carries the same parole period after release from prison as a Class 2 felony. Vehicular hijacking and aggravated robbery carry the same penalties as a Class 1 felony.
Class X Felony
Armed robbery is referred to as a Class X felony. The sentence for it is dependent upon the nature of the robbery and is punishable by anywhere from 6-55 years to life in prison. How heavy the sentence depends on the extent of the force used and/or the way the weapon was used during the crime. Class X felonies carry a maximum fine of $25,000 and a three-year mandatory parole period after release. Aggravated vehicular hijacking is a Class X felony as well.
As you can see, robbery is taken very seriously in Illinois. It’s important to know the legal penalties in case you ever get caught up in this situation, as well as what you can to do defend yourself and beat your charges.
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.