Under the law in Illinois, robbery is considered a violent offense. If you are found guilty of crimes involving robbery, the chances of going to prison are high.
Of course, it’s not simply the prison time that is scary when you’re facing robbery charges. There’s also the label of being a convicted felon afterward. That’s why, if you’re being charged with robbery, you need to fight back.
Here’s what you need to know about robbery offenses in Illinois and how you can construct a defense against them.
Robbery in Illinois
Robbery in Illinois is a complex subject. That’s why it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney if you’re facing robbery charges.
However, in general, there are a few different types of robbery charges in the state. They are:
This is defined as taking property from someone with the threat of or use of force. In many cases, it’s prosecuted as a Class 2 felony. This can leave the defendant facing as many as seven years in prison and fines of as much as $25,000.
Certain circumstances can increase charges to a Class 1 felony, which garners as many as 15 years behind bars. For example, for robbing a member of a protected group, like a handicapped person or someone over the age of 60, or if the robbery took place in a daycare or house of worship, you may receive a Class 1 felony charge.
This crime is defined by committing the act of robbery as outlined above—but with the use of a deadly weapon. It can also involve delivery of a controlled substance to another without their consent. This is a Class 1 felony in Illinois and can mean up to 15 years in prison if convicted, as well as fines of $25,000.
If someone commits the act of robbery while either carrying or discharging a firearm, it’s considered armed robbery. This may be charged as the most serious level of offense, which is a Class X felony.
That means that an additional 15 years can be added to a prison sentence on top of what is faced for robbery – or you could face life behind bars. It depends on the facts surrounding the case.
Defenses Against Robbery Charges
If you are charged with robbery, you should make sure to mount the most robust defense possible.
A good criminal defense attorney can work with you to understand the circumstances surrounding your case. They can build a defense based on your individual information, but, in general, the most common defenses include:
- You’re innocent – This is the most obvious defense if you’re being accused of a crime you did not commit. However, it hinges on the fact that you must be able to prove you did not commit the crime, often leaning on a reliable alibi or witness.
- Entrapment – This is a defense used when someone has pushed another into committing a crime, including robbery. It can be difficult to show, because it depends on whether or not you can clearly demonstrate that the crime would not have been committed if not for the influence of the other person.
- Duress – Sometimes people commit crimes because they are forced to. If you can show that you were faced with a threat unless you committed the crime, you may be able to use this as a defense.
Robbery is a serious offense, so make sure to understand charges against you if you are accused of it.
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 Avvo (2013 and 2018), SuperLawyers (2015-2020), The National Trial Lawyers, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.