From a general standpoint, kidnapping occurs whenever a perpetrator takes a victim and holds them captive. If these actions occur against the victim’s will or without their consent, it qualifies as kidnapping in Illinois. Furthermore, Illinois law provides for aggravated kidnapping charges, as well. Aggravated kidnapping is appropriate when the perpetrator displays particularly reckless conduct, such as possession or discharge of a firearm.
The Illinois definition of kidnapping appears under 720 ILCS 5/10-1. This section makes it unlawful to knowingly:
- Confines another person against their will in secret;
- Uses force or the threat of force to carry another person and secretly confine them against their will; or
- Deceives another person into going somewhere with the intent to secretly confine them against their will.
Section 10-1 also establishes the punishment for kidnapping. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a Class 2 felony. If convicted, the standard punishment can include three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Probation up to 48 months is available for Class 2 felonies like kidnapping.
The Illinois definition of kidnapping appears under 720 ILCS 5/10-2. A regular kidnapping offense becomes aggravated kidnapping if the perpetrator:
- Demands, or intends to demand, a ransom for the victim’s return;
- Kidnaps a victim under 13 years old or a person with a severe mental disability;
- Inflicts great bodily harm against the victim;
- Commits another felony at the same time;
- Wears a mask, hood, or robe to conceal their identity;
- Has a dangerous weapon or a firearm; or
- Discharges a firearm during the offense, whether or not it results in physical harm, disability, disfigurement, or death.
Section 10-2 also establishes the punishment for aggravated kidnapping. Generally speaking, any person who commits aggravated kidnapping is guilty of a Class X felony. If convicted, the standard punishment can include six to 30 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Probation is not available for Class X felonies like aggravated kidnapping.
Even though aggravated kidnapping is generally a Class X felony, certain types of offenses include extended prison sentences. If an aggravated kidnapping offense involves:
- Possession of a Firearm — The perpetrator’s sentence includes an additional 15 years;
- Discharge of a Firearm — The perpetrator’s sentence includes an additional 20 years; or
- Injury from a Firearm — The perpetrator’s sentence includes an additional 25 years with the possibility of a life sentence.
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 email@example.com or by completing an online form.