Regardless of the degree of offense, robbery is always classified as a felony and almost always carries some amount of jail time. Should your charges escalate to armed or aggravated robbery, you can bet on more than doubling your prison sentence.
What’s more, although robbery of any kind is usually taken up as a state matter, simply because federal statutes exist, the crimes still fall under federal jurisdiction.
What may have begun as a quick and dirty money-making scheme for you could quite possibly compromise nearly every aspect of your future. Take one serial bank robber who’s hit a number of Chicago-area banks over the last few months. His plans worked so well, he’s garnered federal attention and is now wanted by the FBI.
Don’t wind up in the same position!
Illinois Robbery Defined
Legally speaking, robbery consists of taking someone else’s property directly from their person or in their presence against their will through the use of violence or threat of force.
When all of these elements are not present simultaneously, the offense does not constitute a robbery crime. Say you commit theft and use violence only when attempting to flee the scene. You’ll be charged with theft and assault and battery, but not robbery.
Commit robbery involving a weapon, and your robbery charge is automatically considered “aggravated.”
Aggravated Robbery in Illinois
If you tell or indicate to the victim that you have a weapon, even when you don’t actually possess one — say you point your finger under clothing to look like a gun — it’s still considered aggravated robbery.
There are other special regulations related to the delivery of a controlled substance to a victim against their will to aid in the commission of the offense, as well. Talk with your Chicago defense attorney about the specifics of your case if you believe this may apply to you.
Armed Robbery in Illinois
While “aggravated” robbery refers to indicating to a victim you have a weapon, Illinois robbery charges can be escalated to armed robbery when you actually have one on your person. Armed robbery charges can follow any of these circumstances:
- Carrying a weapon including (but not limited to) a firearm, a knife or a baseball bat during the commission of a robbery
- Discharging a firearm while committing the offense
- Discharging a firearm, causing great bodily harm or death of another person while committing armed robbery
Note, whether or not you actually used the weapon in the commission of the offense, simple possession of the weapon suffices for escalation of your charges.
Illinois Robbery, Armed Robbery, and Aggravated Robbery Sentencing and Penalties
The sentence you will receive for a robbery charge depends not only on the degree of offense (simple, aggravated or armed robbery), but also on the presence of certain aggravating circumstances.
Class 2 Felony: Also known as simple robbery. Punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison.
Class 1 Felony: Charged when the victim is over 60 years old or handicapped. Also charged when the crime takes place in a school or church. Punishable by 4 to 15 years.
Class 1 Felony: Punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison, with a possible enhancement to 15 to 30 years in prison, depending on aggravating factors.
Class X Felony: Punishable by 6 to 30 years in prison, with possible enhancement to 30 to 60 years behind bars, depending on other factors present. Additionally, this charge is not eligible for deferred prosecution.
A robbery conviction can be life-changing in many ways. However, a charge does not equate to a conviction. If you’re currently facing robbery or armed robbery charges, there’s still time to protect your freedom and future by fighting back.
About the Author:
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases, and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by SuperLawyers, the National Trial Lawyers Association, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.