The Illinois Criminal Code features laws against and penalties for various illegal acts, such as robbery or armed robbery. In general terms, robbery is a theft crime where the perpetrator uses force or the threat of force to complete the offense. The corresponding punishment can vary depending on certain factors, including the type of victim and possession or use of a weapon.
720 ILCS 5/18-1 of the Illinois Criminal Code establishes the rule against robbery. This section makes it unlawful for any person to:
- Knowingly steal anything from a property owner;
- Directly from the owner’s presence or person; and
- By using force or the threat of force.
Section 18-1 does provide an important exception in this context. Robbery crimes do not involve motor vehicles. The Illinois Criminal Code has a separate statute that criminalizes the forceful theft of motor vehicles, which is referred to as carjacking.
At a baseline level, any person who commits robbery in violation of Section 18-1 is guilty of a Class 2 felony. The statutory punishment for a Class 2 felony includes imprisonment for three to seven years and criminal fines up to $25,000.
That being said, robbery can become a Class 1 felony in certain cases. This elevated charge applies to robbery crimes committed against elderly victims of at least 60 years old or at schools, day care facilities, or places of worship.
The statutory punishment for a Class 1 felony includes imprisonment for four to 15 years and criminal fines up to $25,000.
720 ILCS 5/18-2 of the Illinois Criminal Code institutes the conditions for armed robbery. A robbery offense becomes armed robbery if the perpetrator also:
- Possessed a dangerous weapon, outside of firearms, during the offense;
- Possessed a firearm during the offense;
- Discharged a firearm during the offense; or
- Inflicted serious harm, permanent disability or disfigurement, or death by discharging a firearm during the offense.
Any person who commits armed robbery in violation of Section 18-2 is guilty of a Class X felony. The statutory punishment for a Class X felony includes imprisonment for six to 30 years and criminal fines up to $25,000. Illinois does not allow probation or conditional discharge for Class X felonies.
That being said, the applicable prison sentence for armed robbery does change for firearm-related offenses. Armed robbery offenses involving:
- Firearm Possession — Include an extra 15 years of imprisonment;
- Firearm Discharge — Include an extra 20 years of imprisonment; or
- Firearm Harm or Death — Include an extra 25 years of imprisonment.
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.