Robbery and burglary are distinct variations of theft crimes under the Illinois Criminal Code. While these crimes may appear similar at first glance, there are subtle differences between their legal definitions in Illinois. In either case, violations are typically charged as felony offenses and are subject to severe penalties.
How Does Illinois Define Robbery?
720 ILCS 5/18-1 furnishes the Illinois definition of robbery. Under this section, a person commits robbery if they knowingly:
- Take property from the person or presence of a victim; and
- Use force or the threat of imminent force to complete the act.
It is important to note an exception to Section 18-1. Robbery cannot involve a motor vehicle. The Illinois Criminal Code has a separate offense for such a crime, which is referred to legally as vehicular hijacking.
What is the Illinois Penalty for Robbery?
The Illinois penalty for robbery also appears under Section 18-1. At a minimum, robbery is charged as a Class 2 felony in Illinois. The punishment can include three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines.
That being said, robbery can lead to Class 1 felony charges in Illinois. This enhanced charge applies to robbery offenses committed:
- Against elderly victims over the age of 60 years old;
- Against victims with a physical disability; or
- In a school, daycare facility, or place of worship.
If convicted of a Class 1 felony in Illinois, the punishment can include four to 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines.
How Does Illinois Define Burglary?
720 ILCS 5/19-1 details the Illinois definition of burglary. Under this section, a person commits burglary if they knowingly and without authority:
- Enter or remain within any part of a building, house-trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or freight container; and
- Possess an intent to commit a felony crime or theft.
What is the Illinois Penalty for Burglary?
The Illinois penalty for burglary also appears under Section 19-1. However, the applicable charge and corresponding penalty can change based on various circumstances.
Burglary is charged as a Class 3 felony in Illinois if the offense does not result in any damage to the building, structure, or vehicle in question. The punishment can include two to five years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines.
Burglary is charged as a Class 2 felony in Illinois if the offense damages the building, structure, or vehicle in question. If convicted for this Class 2 felony, the punishment will be substantially similar to the one described above.
Burglary is charged as a Class 1 felony in Illinois if the offense occurred in a school, daycare facility, or place of worship. If convicted for this Class 1 felony, the punishment will be substantially similar to the one described above.
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.