Oct 28

Local police are searching for suspects involved in an attempted vehicular hijacking offense that occurred in Bloomington, Illinois, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  

This attempted crime occurred on Sunday, October 23, at a grocery store. The victim called the police when four individuals allegedly tried to steal the victim’s vehicle. The crime was ultimately unsuccessful, without resulting in any injuries either. 

At this juncture, police continue to search for suspects in this vehicular hijacking case. In the meantime, it seems like a proper occasion to review the Illinois laws against and penalties for standard and aggravated vehicular hijacking offenses. 

Vehicular Hijacking

720 ILCS 5/18-3 details the Illinois laws against vehicular hijacking. This section makes it unlawful to knowingly:

  • Take a motor vehicle from the person or immediate presence of someone else, and
  • Use force or the threat of imminent force to complete the offense. 

Section 18-3 also outlines the Illinois penalties for vehicular hijacking, a Class 1 felony. The Illinois penalties for a Class 1 felony include criminal fines up to $25,000 and a prison sentence between four and 15 years. 

Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking

720 ILCS 5/18-4 provides the Illinois laws against aggravated vehicular hijacking. A standard vehicular hijacking offense becomes aggravated if:

  • The victim had a physical disability or was over the age of 60 years old;
  • A passenger under the age of 16 years old was in the vehicle;
  • The perpetrator possessed a dangerous weapon other than a firearm;
  • The perpetrator possessed a firearm;
  • The perpetrator discharged a firearm; or
  • The perpetrator caused great bodily harm, permanent disability/disfigurement, or death by discharging a firearm.

Section 18-4 also furnishes the Illinois penalties for aggravated vehicular hijacking. At a minimum, aggravated vehicular hijacking is a Class X felony. The Illinois penalties for a Class X felony include criminal fines up to $25,000 and a prison sentence between six and 30 years. 

That being said, there are enhanced penalties for certain types of aggravated vehicular hijacking offenses. If the offense involved:

  • Possession of a Dangerous Weapon — There is a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison;
  • Possession of a Firearm — There is a mandatory increase of 15 years added to the prison sentence;
  • Discharge of a Firearm — There is a mandatory increase of 20 years added to the prison sentence; or
  • Serious Injury or Death by Firearm — There is a mandatory increase of 25 years to life added to the prison sentence.

Do You Need Legal Help?

No matter what the criminal offense is, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at johnprior@thepriorlawfirm.com, or by completing an online form.