More commonly referred to as carjacking, regular and aggravated vehicular hijacking are Illinois crimes that involve the theft of motor vehicles. In both cases, the perpetrator uses force, or the threat of force, to complete the crime. Though there are many subtle differences between the regular and aggravated versions of this offense.
What are the Illinois Laws Against Vehicular Hijacking?
The Illinois laws against vehicular hijacking appear at 720 ILCS 5/18-3. Under this section, vehicular hijacking occurs when a person:
- Knowingly takes possession of another person’s motor vehicle;
- Takes the motor vehicle directly from in the presence of another person; and
- Uses force or the threat of force to complete the act.
How Does Illinois Punish Vehicular Hijacking?
Section 18-3 also provides the punishment structure for vehicular hijacking. In Illinois, this offense is a Class 1 felony. If convicted, the perpetrator usually faces a prison sentence between four and 15 years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000.
What are the Illinois Laws Against Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking?
The Illinois laws against aggravated vehicular hijacking appear at 720 ILCS 5/18-4. The aggravated version of this offense applies when a person commits vehicular hijacking and:
- The vehicle is taken from a disabled person or elderly individual who is at least 60 years old;
- A minor child under 16 years old was a passenger at the time of the offense;
- The perpetrator has a dangerous weapon, other than a firearm, at the time of the offense;
- The perpetrator has a firearm at the time of the offense;
- The perpetrator discharges a firearm during the offense; or
- The perpetrator causes serious physical harm, disability/disfigurement, or death by discharging a firearm during the offense.
How Does Illinois Punish Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking?
Section 18-4 also details the punishment structure for aggravated vehicular hijacking. In Illinois, this offense is a Class X felony. If convicted, the perpetrator usually faces a prison sentence between six and 30 years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000. Probation is not an option when convicted for a Class X felony in Illinois.
Additionally, Section 18-4 creates certain escalated penalties for various types of aggravated vehicular hijacking offenses. If the perpetrator discharges a firearm and causes injury or death, for example, then the prison sentence can increase by 25 years to life.
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.