Robbery in Illinois is a criminal offense that occurs when a person intentionally takes the property of another through the use of or threat of force.
This offense is ordinarily classified as a Class 2 felony under the Illinois felony classification system. But when the perpetrator does certain acts to scare, immobilize, or elicit compliance from the victim while committing the robbery, the offense is bumped up to a more serious criminal offense known as aggravated robbery.
Aggravated robbery is a Class 1 felony in Illinois and attracts severe punishment upon conviction.
If you are facing such charges, you risk spending many years in prison if convicted. Therefore, it is important that you defend yourself diligently at your trial. Working with a skilled criminal defense attorney can benefit you in such circumstances.
In the meantime, the information in this guide explains how aggravated robbery charges work to help you understand what you’re up against and take the necessary steps to secure your freedom. Please read on to learn more.
The elements of an offense refer to the components or circumstances that the prosecution must establish to secure a conviction. Since aggravated robbery involves robbery in an elevated form, it is important to first examine the elements of robbery under Illinois law before proceeding to those for the aggravated version.
A person commits robbery in Illinois if they;
Intentionally take property (except a motor vehicle) that belongs to another
Took the property from the owner or while another person other than the owner was present (if the owner was absent)
Used force or threatened to use force imminent force to obtain the property.
Aggravated Robbery in Illinois, on the other hand, occurs when a person commits a robbery with the above elements and does the following while committing the robbery:
Indicated to the victim either through words or by their conduct that they were armed with a firearm such as a gun or a deadly weapon. It doesn’t matter if it is later discovered that the perpetrator was unarmed at the time of the robbery. They would still be guilty of the offense.
Injected the victim or caused the victim to inhale or ingest any controlled substance without the victim’s consent unless the substance was administered for medical purposes.
This means that the prosecution must first prove the elements of a robbery and then prove that the above aggravating circumstances were present to secure a conviction for this offense.
As a Class 1 felony, aggravated robbery is punishable by imprisonment for between 4 to 15 years. However, the sentence could be extended to between 15 to 30 years imprisonment if certain factors were present when the offense was committed. Those factors include the following:
The victim was over 60 years old
The victim was a person with a physical disability
The defendant’s conduct caused or threatened serious bodily injury
The defendant was paid or compensated for committing the crime
The offense was committed in a place of worship immediately before, during, or immediately after a worship service
The crime was committed in relation to gang activities
The crime was committed in specific protected locations such as a school or nursing home.
If the defendant has a history of criminal delinquency, that could also be grounds for an extended sentence as well.
Other than these penalties, an aggravated robbery felony conviction can have serious consequences on your future. The conviction would remain on your criminal record even after serving your sentence. This could make it difficult for you to get a job, get good housing, obtain certain professional licenses, or any other benefit that involves background checks.
Adjusting to life after a felony conviction is generally difficult, which is why you must do all you can to avoid it in the first place.
Like other criminal offenses, there are legal defenses and strategies that could help you avoid an aggravated robbery conviction or at least reduce your charges.
However, it may be difficult for you to identify or establish those defenses successfully without legal knowledge. That is why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney or Violent Crimes Lawyer to represent you throughout your case and help you determine the most appropriate defense strategy.
Your Criminal Defense Lawyer can fight for you and plead your case before the judge and jury. They will do all they can to ensure you get off as lightly as possible, which could mean getting your charges dropped, dismissed, or reduced or helping you get a reduced sentence depending on the circumstances of the case.
So, no matter how bad you think your case is, do not despair. Consult a lawyer today so they can assess your case and help you determine the most suitable course of action.
Being charged with committing aggravated robbery is not the end of the world. You have the right and opportunity to defend yourself from your charges and tell your side of the story. However, you must use that opportunity well and seek professional help from a Robbery Lawyer in Chicago to improve your chances of success.
Our fierce and battle-tested lawyers at Hirsch Law Group are prepared to defend you and work toward your vindication during this difficult time.
So, if you have questions about your case or similar theft cases such as armed robbery, contact us immediately.
Let us help you as you fight for your freedom.