Illinois Robbery Laws

Robbery and armed robbery are violations of Illinois state law. To convict a defendant of robbery, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant took property (anything but a motor vehicle, which we will discuss separately) from another person by using force or by threatening to use imminent force.

Overview of Illinois Robbery Laws

The following chart includes a basic overview of Illinois robbery laws:

Statute

Robbery - 720 ILCS 5/18-1 -- 18-5

Aggravated Robberies

Illinois robbery laws may escalate the charge to that of armed robbery if while committing a robbery, the defendant does any one of the following:

  • Carries any type of weapon (a firearm or other weapon);
  • Discharges a firearm during the crime;
  • Discharges a firearm that within its proximity causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death to another person.

The State of Illinois also treats the robbery of a motor vehicle as a different charge. If a defendant takes a motor vehicle from another person by using force or by threatening to use imminent force, then he/she has committed what is called "vehicular hijacking." This crime may also be escalated into a charge of "aggravated vehicular hijacking" upon proof that the defendant did any of the following during the commission of the crime:

  • Took a vehicle from someone who was over the age of 60;
  • Took a vehicle from someone who was handicapped;
  • A person under the age of 16 was a passenger in the vehicle at the time;
  • Carried a firearm or other weapon;
  • Discharged a firearm;
  • Discharged a firearm that within its proximity caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death to another person.

Finally, there is one more category of the crime of robbery: aggravated robbery. The defendant has committed aggravated robbery if he/she takes the property of another by force or threat of imminent force while either (1) verbally indicating that he/she is armed with a firearm or other weapon, or (2) drugging the victim against his/her consent with a controlled substance.

Defenses
  • Lack of intent
  • Lack of knowledge
  • No bodily injury was caused
  • No force or threat of force was used
  • No property (or vehicle) was taken from another person
  • Intoxication

See Robbery Defenses to learn more.

Penalties and Sentences

All classes of robberies are generally felony crimes in Illinois. Specifically, the crime of plain robbery is a Class 2 felony, which carries a sentence of three to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. There is a mandatory parole period upon release from prison of two years. In the event that the robbery was conducted in a school, day care center of any kind, child care facility of any kind, or place of worship, it will be a Class 1 felony. This carries a sentence of four to fifteen years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. This also has a mandatory parole period upon release of two years.

Armed robbery is what is considered a Class X felony. Depending on the nature of the armed robbery, the sentence can be anywhere between six years in prison to 55 years to life in prison. The factor determining how heavy the sentence will be is the extent of force or threat of force used and/or if the weapon was merely carried, or discharged or discharged and an injury or death occurred. There may also be a maximum fine of $25,000 and upon release the mandatory parole period is three years.

Vehicular hijacking and aggravated robbery are both Class 1 felonies (four to fifteen years in prison, maximum fine of $25,000). If the crime was aggravated vehicular hijacking, it will be considered a Class X felony. The sentence will range anywhere between six years in prison to 55 years to life in prison. The factor determining how heavy the sentence will be is the extent of force or threat of force used and/or if the weapon was merely carried, or discharged or discharged and an injury or death occurred. There may also be a maximum fine of $25,000 and upon release the mandatory parole period is three years.

See Robbery Penalties and Sentencing for more information.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Resources

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