AZHARI LLC BLOG

Nov. 29 2018

Drive for an Armed Robbery in IL, Face Armed Robbery Charges

Posted By: Sami Azhari

Drive for an Armed Robbery in IL, Face Armed Robbery Charges

In Illinois, you can face armed robbery charges even if you are only the driver and someone else is doing the actual robbing. In this post, we’re going to detail a recent story dealing with this exact situation, let you know how it played out, and tell you more about how robbery charges work in our state.

Armed Robbery at 7-Eleven Results in Charges for Getaway Driver

In January 2015, a man approached two clerks at a 7-Eleven in Carol Stream. He threatened them with a gun and demanded money. This man is now serving a 23-year prison sentence for armed robbery. However, another man who allegedly drove the offender back and forth between the 7-Eleven was recently acquitted on two counts of armed robbery.

The now-convict texted the acquitted man, asking him to provide a ride home from the 7-Eleven. His attorneys argued that he did not know the crime had occurred until he picked the offender up. Prosecutors used police interviews to counter this argument, yet could not place the man at the scene through witness testimony or physical evidence.

The jury deliberated for less than 12 hours before acquitting the man of the armed robbery charges.

How Illinois Handles Armed Robbery Charges

According to Illinois law, armed robbery is one of the most heavily penalized crimes in the state. The statute reads as follows:

“Sec. 18-2. Armed robbery.
(a) A person commits armed robbery when he or she [commits robbery]; and

  • he or she carries on or about his or her person

or is otherwise armed with a dangerous weapon other than a firearm; or

  • he or she carries on or about his or her person

or is otherwise armed with a firearm; or

  • he or she, during the commission of the offense,

personally discharges a firearm; or

  • he or she, during the commission of the offense,

personally discharges a firearm that proximately causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death to another person.”

Chicago Armed Robbery Defense Attorney

If a person is convicted of armed robbery, a Class X felony charge applies. The basic sentencing for a conviction is at least six years in prison and up to 55 years in prison. A fine of up to $25,000 and a mandatory three-year parole sentence will also apply.

Additional sentencing applies to certain violations. For example, a violation of (a)(2) above carries a sentence of 15 years in prison in addition to the set terms of imprisonment. A violation of (a)(3) carries an additional sentence of 20 years, and a violation of (a)(4) carries an additional sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

With charges this serious and life-altering, it’s essential that you contact a skilled Chicago criminal attorney as soon as possible. Your first call after your arrest should be to a knowledgeable lawyer who can help you fight your charges with the right defense.

Defenses to Armed Robbery Charges

To beat armed robbery charges, you need an iron-clad defense strategy. Your attorney may choose one of the following strategies to fight your charges.

Lack of intent

Intent is key in almost every violent crime charge, and armed robbery is no exception. If your attorney can use evidence to prove that you did not intend to commit the crime, your charges can be reduced or dropped.

Lack of knowledge

This defense can work to undermine armed robbery charges if you had no knowledge that a violation was occurring. In the case described above, the defendant’s lawyers argued that the defendant did not have knowledge that an armed robbery had taken place, and he was acquitted based on this defense.

No bodily injury was caused

You can use this defense to get a lesser sentence. As described above, a basic armed robbery charge carries a lighter prison sentence than one in which bodily injury occurred.

No force or threat of force was used

Acts of robbery intrinsically involve the threat of force or use of force. Again, you may receive a lesser charge if your attorney can prove this defense.

No property (or vehicle) was taken from another person

If the robbery attempt did not result in a theft, lower charges could apply that relieve you from a lengthy prison sentence.

Penalties for Armed Robbery in Illinois

Do not take an armed robbery charge lightly. You may think the act of driving someone around is no big deal, but the state disagrees if you do so in the commission of a crime.

Don’t end up convicted of a Class X felony for being a chauffeur – fight 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.