Kidnapping vs. Aggravated Kidnapping in Illinois

There are some significant differences between kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping in Illinois. The following sections will outline key definitions and penalties for both of these kidnapping offenses.

Definition of Kidnapping in Illinois

As detailed in 720 ILCS 5/10-1, it is unlawful to knowingly imprison or otherwise detain another person without legal justification. Illinois law includes force, threat of force, and deception as possible ways in which a perpetrator can kidnap a victim. If the perpetrator acts against the victim’s free will, then it can qualify as kidnapping in Illinois.

Penalties for Kidnapping in Illinois

Kidnapping is generally a Class 2 felony in Illinois. The penalties for a Class 2 felony include but are not necessarily limited to:

    Sentence Range of three to seven years; Extended Term of seven to 14 years; Fines up to $25,000; Mandatory Supervised Release Term of two years; and Probation or Conditional Discharge for up
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Illinois Man Accused of Kidnapping Visiting Chinese Scholar

Illinois resident Brendt Christensen is currently awaiting trial on kidnapping charges, according to an article by The Chicago Tribune. Christensen is charged in connection with the disappearance of Yingying Zhang, a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois. Prosecutors admitted that while Zhang is still missing, she is most likely dead. Prosecutors also claim to have recordings of Christensen describing intimate details of Zhang’s abduction.

Christensen’s criminal defense attorneys question the credibility of this alleged recording. Referencing their client’s constitutional rights, they want to ensure a fair trial as well as a chance to examine all of the evidence.

In light of this news story, it feels like an appropriate time to review the Illinois laws concerning kidnapping.

What does Kidnapping Mean in Illinois?

The Illinois Criminal Code defines kidnapping in 720 ILCS 5/10-1 as a Class 2 felony, providing the guidelines quoted below.

“He or she knowingly:[...]