According to official reports, this incident occurred on Sunday, November 29th at approximately 5:20 p.m. That is when the suspect allegedly attempted a vehicular hijacking at a gas station on South La Grange Road in Mokena. Apparently, the suspect attempted a similar incident just before at a similar location.
Until law enforcement arrests a suspect for these attempted crimes, legal charges will remain forthcoming. Though in the meantime, it feels appropriate to review several Illinois statutes that prohibit vehicular hijacking.
720 ILCS 5/18-3 provides the Illinois laws against and penalties for vehicular hijacking. Vehicular hijacking charges are applicable when a perpetrator:
- Knowingly takes possession of a motor vehicle from the person or presence of someone else; and
- Uses force or the imminent threat of force to complete the offense.
Under Section 18-3, vehicular hijacking is a Class 1 felony in Illinois. The statutory punishment for this type of felony includes a prison sentence between four and 15 years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000.
Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking
720 ILCS 5/18-4 details the Illinois laws against and penalties for aggravated vehicular hijacking. A regular vehicular hijacking offense becomes aggravated vehicular hijacking if:
- The victim is disabled or at least 60 years old;
- There was a passenger under 16 years old present;
- The perpetrator was armed with a dangerous weapon;
- The perpetrator was armed with a firearm;
- The perpetrator discharged a firearm; or
- The perpetrator discharged a firearm and inflicted harm, disability, disfigurement, or death.
Under Section 18-4, aggravated vehicular hijacking is a Class X felony in Illinois. The statutory punishment for this type of felony includes a prison sentence between six and 30 years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000. Illinois does not allow probation for Class X felonies.
That being said, the exact nature of the punishment for aggravated vehicular hijacking can change based on the circumstances of the offense. For example, aggravated vehicular hijacking offenses that involved:
- Possession of a Firearm — Include an additional term of 15 years in prison;
- Discharge of a Firearm — Include an additional term of 20 years in prison; and
- Firearm Injury or Death — Include an additional term of 25 years to life in prison.
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.