In Chicago—and in the rest of Illinois—robbery is a serious crime. It’s not the same thing as burglary; instead, it’s a completely separate crime. If you’ve been accused of or arrested for this crime, it’s in your best interest to get in touch with a Chicago robbery defense lawyer as soon as possible.
What is Robbery Under Illinois Law?
Robbery is the crime of taking property, such as money, a cellphone or a purse, from someone else by force.
There are three types of robbery: “straight robbery,” aggravated robbery, and armed robbery.
Robbery and Aggravated Robbery Charges in Chicago
Robbery and aggravated robbery are outlined in 720 ILCS 5/18-1, which says, “A person commits robbery when he or she knowingly takes property, except a motor vehicle covered by Section 18-3 or 18-4, from the person or presence of another by the use of force or by threatening the imminent use of force.”
“Straight” or “strong-arm” robbery occurs when you force someone to give you his or her property. For example, if you “jump” someone to steal their wallet, or snatch a purse, you have committed this type of robbery.
This type of robbery is a Class 2 felony. However, if the victim is 60 years of age or older, or is someone with a physical disability, it becomes a Class 1 felony. Robbery is also a Class 1 felony if it takes place in a school, daycare center or daycare home, a childcare facility, or a place of worship.
Aggravated robbery is robbery “while indicating verbally or by his or her actions to the victim that he or she is presently armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon, including a knife, club, ax, or bludgeon.” The law also says that even if you never had a firearm or any other weapon, you can still be charged with and convicted of aggravated robbery.
One example of aggravated robbery is walking up behind someone and pretending you have a weapon (although you don’t), and telling them to give you all their money.
Armed Robbery Charges in Chicago
Armed robbery, which is governed by 720 ILCS 5/18-2, is the act of robbery when you:
- Have a firearm “on or about” your person when you commit the robbery
- Have a weapon “on or about” your person when you commit the robbery
- Discharge a firearm during the commission of the offense
- Discharge a firearm during the commission of the offense that causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement, or death to another person
Armed robbery is a Class X felony, and if you are convicted of armed robbery with a firearm (rather than another type of dangerous weapon), the law says, “15 years shall be added to the term of imprisonment imposed by the court.”
You can be convicted of armed robbery, the most serious type of robbery charge in Chicago and the suburbs, if you actually have a weapon—even a knife—and force another person to give you his or her property.
If you discharge that firearm, the court will add 20 years to your sentence. Finally, if someone is harmed, disabled or disfigured, or killed, the court will add 25 years or more—up to the term of natural life (when you die)—to your sentence.
Talk to a Chicago Robbery Defense Lawyer Today
If you’ve been accused of robbery, aggravated robbery or armed robbery, you need an aggressive robbery defense lawyer on your side; one who will fight hard for you and protect your rights during the entire process. Whether you’re in Chicago, Skokie, Rolling Meadows or Schaumburg, we can give you case-specific legal advice and help you understand the entire process.
Call us at 847-920-4540 for your free robbery case evaluation. We’ll carefully examine all the evidence in your case—and we won’t give up without getting you the best possible outcome.