The incident in question occurred on March 7th near the 100 block of North Gregory Street. That is when this Urbana man allegedly threw a student to the ground at gunpoint. Then this man allegedly extracted money and a phone from the student with the assistance of several accomplices.
Even though a trial in this case will not occur for some time, this seems like an ideal opportunity to review Illinois laws against and penalties for robbery and armed robbery.
Robbery in Illinois
As explained in 720 ILCS 5/18-1, robbery occurs when a perpetrator intentionally steals property from a victim. Robbery must occur directly from the person or in the presence of the victim. And the perpetrator must use force — or the threat of imminent force — to complete the crime.
In most situations, robbery is a Class 2 felony in Illinois. Upon conviction, the perpetrator can expect a prison sentence of three to seven years and a maximum of $25,000 in fines. There is also the potential for up to 48 months of probation after the prison sentence ends.
If the robbery involves an elderly or disabled person or occurs at a school, care facility, or place of worship, then it is a Class 1 felony. At that level, a conviction can result in a prison sentence of four to 15 years and a maximum of $25,000 in fines. Probation for Class 1 felonies can last for up to 48 months.
Armed Robbery in Illinois
As established in 720 ILCS 5/18-2, a robbery offense can become armed robbery under specific circumstances. To qualify as armed robbery under Illinois, the perpetrator must:
- Have possession of a dangerous weapon or firearm while committing robbery;
- Discharge a firearm while committing robbery; or
- Cause injury, disability, or death by discharging a firearm while committing robbery.
Typically, armed robbery is a Class X felony in Illinois. The traditional punishment includes a prison sentence of six to 30 years and a maximum of $25,000 in fines. Probation is not available for Class X felonies in Illinois.
Depending on the type of armed robbery offense, the penalty can increase beyond traditional levels. For example, armed robbery where the perpetrator:
- Possessed a Firearm: Prison sentence increases by 15 years;
- Discharged a Firearm: Prison sentence increases by 20 years; and
- Caused Injury, Disability, or Death: Prison sentence increases 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.
(image courtesy of Simon Migaj)