Under Illinois law, robbery is a theft crime that involves force or the threat of force. Without the presence of threatened or actual force, it does not qualify as robbery in Illinois. For more serious offenses, the perpetrator could face charges for aggravated robbery instead. To understand the difference between these two criminal offenses, it will be helpful to review important definitions and penalties under Illinois law.
What Qualifies as Robbery in Illinois?
720 ILCS 5/18-1 provides the definition of robbery in Illinois. Under this section, a person commits robbery when he or she:
- Intentionally takes someone else’s property;
- From the person or presence of the owner; and
- Using force or the threat of force.
There is an important exception under Section 18-1. It does not qualify as robbery when a person steals a motor vehicle. Illinois has separate laws governing the theft of motor vehicles, which qualifies as either regular or aggravated vehicular hijacking.
How Does Illinois Punish Robbery?
Under Section 18-1, robbery is ordinarily a Class 2 felony in Illinois. If convicted for this level of felony, the standard punishment includes three to seven years in prison, $25,000 in criminal fines, and 48 months of probation.
That being said, the Illinois punishment for robbery can become more severe under special circumstances. This elevated punishment applies when the robbery crime involved disabled or elderly victims. The same is true for robbery crimes that occur at schools, day care centers and homes, child care facilities, or places of worship.
What Qualifies as Aggravated Robbery in Illinois?
Section 18-1 also details the definition of aggravated robbery in Illinois. Under this section, a regular robbery crime becomes aggravated robbery in two different situations.
First, aggravated robbery applies when the perpetrator indicates that he or she is in possession of a dangerous weapon, such as a firearm, knife, or similar instrument. If the victim believes that the perpetrator has such a dangerous weapon, it qualifies as aggravated robbery. This is true even if the perpetrator did not actually possess a dangerous weapon during the robbery offense.
Second, aggravated robbery applies when the perpetrator delivers illegal drugs or controlled substances to the victim without consent. It does not matter whether the delivery occurs through injection, inhalation, ingestion, or other means.
How Does Illinois Punish Aggravated Robbery?
Under Section 18-1, aggravated robbery is usually a Class 1 felony in Illinois. If convicted for this level of felony, the standard punishment includes four to 15 years in prison, $25,000 in criminal fines, and 48 months of probation.
Do You Need Legal Help?
No matter what the criminal offense, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.