Mar 23

There are some significant differences between kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping in Illinois. The following sections will outline key definitions and penalties for both of these kidnapping offenses.

Definition of Kidnapping in Illinois

As detailed in 720 ILCS 5/10-1, it is unlawful to knowingly imprison or otherwise detain another person without legal justification. Illinois law includes force, threat of force, and deception as possible ways in which a perpetrator can kidnap a victim. If the perpetrator acts against the victim’s free will, then it can qualify as kidnapping in Illinois.

Penalties for Kidnapping in Illinois

Kidnapping is generally a Class 2 felony in Illinois. The penalties for a Class 2 felony include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Sentence Range of three to seven years;
  • Extended Term of seven to 14 years;
  • Fines up to $25,000;
  • Mandatory Supervised Release Term of two years; and
  • Probation or Conditional Discharge for up to four years.

Definition of Aggravated Kidnapping in Illinois

As established in 720 ILCS 5/10-2, a kidnapping offense can become aggravated kidnapping under certain circumstances. Aggravated kidnapping applies to following situations:

  • Ransom Demand: If the perpetrator demands a ransom to release the victim, then it qualifies as aggravated kidnapping;
  • Minor Child: If the victim is a minor child under 13 years old, then it qualifies as aggravated kidnapping;
  • Mental Disability: If the victim has a mental disability, then it qualifies as aggravated kidnapping;
  • Harm or Injury: If the perpetrator injures the victim, then it qualifies as aggravated kidnapping;
  • Mask or Hood: If the perpetrator wears a mask or hood during the offense, then it qualifies as aggravated kidnapping;
  • Dangerous Weapon: If the perpetrator has, displays, or uses a dangerous weapon during the offense, then it qualifies as aggravated kidnapping;
  • Firearm: If the perpetrator has, displays or uses a firearm during the offense, then it qualifies as aggravated kidnapping; and
  • Disfigurement or Death: If the perpetrator causes disfigurement or death during the offense, then it qualifies as aggravated kidnapping.

Penalties for Aggravated Kidnapping in Illinois

Aggravated kidnapping is generally a Class X felony in Illinois. The penalties for a Class X felony include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Sentence Range of six to 30 years;
  • Extended Term of 30 to 60 years;
  • Fines up to $25,000;
  • Mandatory Supervised Release Term of three years; and
  • Probation or Conditional Discharge is not available.

Do You Need Legal Help?

No matter what the criminal offense, all criminal 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 johnprior@thepriorlawfirm.com or by completing an online form.

(image courtesy of Jaanus Jagomagi)