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A Complete Guide to Robbery: Illinois

What Is Robbery in Illinois?

Robbery refers to using force or threatening to use force to take another person’s property. Illinois categorizes robbery as a forcible felony under its state laws. If the suspect indicates that they have a weapon including a knife, club, ax, firearm or bludgeon, the charge is elevated to that of an aggravated robbery.

A robbery conviction carries severe consequences. To convict a robbery suspect, the prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspect forcibly took the property by using/threatening to use force.

Robbery is a serious crime. It is vital to put forth a strong defense if charged. Look for a criminal defense lawyer to assist you in evaluating the case and building a strong defense. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about robbery in Illinois.

How Do Illinois Robbery Laws Work?

The state of Illinois classifies robbery into three categories which are as follows:

Simple Robbery

As noted above, under Illinois law 720 ILCS 5/18-1, a person commits robbery when they take another person’s property by using force or threatening to use force. Illinois law exempts motor vehicles from robbery and treats it as a different charge. The charge for taking a motor vehicle forcibly or by threatening to use force is referred to as vehicular hijacking.

In Illinois, simple robbery is a Class 2 felony. However, if the victim is 60 or older, the charge is elevated to a Class 1 felony. It is also classified as a Class 1 felony if the simple robbery occurs at a day child care facility, place of worship, childcare center, or school.

Aggravated Robbery

In Illinois, aggravated robbery is a Class 1 felony. Under 720 ILCS 5/18-1 (b), a person commits aggravated robbery when they:

  1. Indicate verbally to the victim that they are armed with a dangerous weapon or firearm. The person may even use actions to indicate to the victim that they are armed with a firearm or any other dangerous weapon. A dangerous weapon includes a knife, club, ax, or bludgeon. The offense is applicable even if the law determines they were not actually armed at the time of the robbery.

  2. Deliver any controlled substance to a victim by injections, inhalations, or ingestion without his or her consent or by threat or deception while taking their property. The suspect would have committed a robbery even if they didn’t use force on the victim.

  3. If the victim is 60 years of age or older, the offense is elevated to a Class X felony.

Armed Robbery

Armed robbery refers to having a firearm or any dangerous weapon on you when committing a robbery. In Illinois, armed robbery is a Class X felony with severe consequences. A person commits armed robbery if:

  • They carry a firearm when committing an offense.

  • They carry a dangerous weapon other than a firearm while committing an offense.

  • The suspect discharges a firearm. Such action may lead to great bodily harm to the victim, including permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or even death.

Penalties and Sentencing for Robbery in Illinois

In Illinois, all classes of robbery are felony crimes. They carry sentences ranging from lengthy prison sentences to hefty fines. Illinois law punishes robbery convicts depending on three classifications:

Penalties for Simple Robbery

Simple robbery is a Class 2 felony, carrying at least three to seven years in prison. It also carries up to $25,000 in fines. If a robbery charge is a Class 1 felony, it is punishable by four to fifteen years in prison.

Penalties for Aggravated Robbery 

Illinois law considers aggravated robbery as a Class 1 felony. Aggravated robbery is punishable by four to fifteen years in prison. A maximum fine of $25,000 may also be applicable.

Penalties for Armed Robbery 

Armed robbery is a Class X felony and is an extremely severe crime in Illinois. It carries a prison sentence lasting anywhere between six to thirty years.

  • If one violates subsection (a)(2) of 720 ILCS 5/18-2, they shall receive an additional 15 years imprisonment.

  • If they violate subsection (a)(3) of 720 ILCS 5/18-2, they shall receive an additional 20 years of imprisonment.

  • Lastly, if they violate subsection (a)(4) of 720 ILCS 5/18-2, they shall receive an additional 25 years or up to a term of their natural life in prison.

These additional terms are to be added to the term of imprisonment already imposed by the court.

Possible Defense for Robbery in Illinois

Most people hope for a favorable conviction without prison time. When facing robbery charges, a defendant has several options for defense at trial. Arguing for your innocence can be difficult. However, these defenses can help you with your robbery charges:


A criminal defense attorney can attempt to prove that you did not commit the crime. You can offer proof or an alibi that you were not at the place where the robbery was committed. Consider involving a burglary and robbery lawyer who can defend your case and cast reasonable doubt on the prosecutor’s arguments.


Acting under duress is when you act under coercion or threat of another person. You can prove in court that you did not commit the crimes willingly. However, the court can reject your defense if there is insufficient evidence of fear of harm.


Entrapment is when someone else pushes you into committing a crime to catch you. Though it can be challenging, the defendant can prove they were made to commit the crime to collect evidence against them.


You can also prove that you were intoxicated against your will and knowledge. Proving that you were not in control of your actions can be an effective defense.

Contact an Attorney From the Hirsch Law Group!

If you or anyone you know is facing robbery charges, consider hiring a criminal defense lawyer immediately. We have a criminal defense team at Hirsch Law Group ready to assist you. With our legal knowledge and experience, we can fight on your behalf to help you attain justice.

federal criminal defense lawyer from the Hirsch Law Group can assist you in the following ways:

  • Walk you through the robbery laws in your state

  • Protect your rights

  • Advise you on the defenses applicable to your case

  • Represent you in court if necessary

  • Negotiate on your behalf during a potential plea bargain

  • Conduct an independent investigation to find evidence that supports your case

  • Challenge any accusations or evidence against you in court

  • Gather and present character witness testimonies on your behalf to demonstrate your innocence or remorse for the offense

Do not hesitate to call us if you suspect you are wrongly accused. We can fight for your case to ensure you are adequately represented. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation on your criminal case.