Archive for the ‘Vehicular Hijacking’ Category
October 11th, 2016 at 7:00 am
Stealing a motor vehicle is a serious offense in Illinois. There are several different theft crimes that involve the unauthorized taking of a vehicle, and state prosecutors do not take kindly to criminal defendants who allegedly take things that do not belong to them. Theft crimes involving a vehicle include stealing a car, trespass to a motor vehicle, carjacking, and failure to return a rental vehicle. If you are facing criminal charges that involve the theft of a vehicle, you need to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Stealing a Car
In Illinois there is no specific statute focused directly on the theft of a vehicle. Instead, when a car is stolen state prosecutors pursue the criminal defendant under the traditional Illinois theft statute. Car theft is committed when a person knowingly takes a vehicle belonging to another without permission and with the intent to deprive the vehicle’s owner of the use of the vehicle permanently.
If a person takes a vehicle belonging to another without permission, but only intends to temporarily deprive the vehicle’s owner of his or her use of vehicle, such as when the vehicle is taken out for a joyride, then the criminal defendant could be charged with joyriding. This offense is also sometimes referred to as criminal trespass to vehicle. While not necessarily as serious as stealing a car, criminal trespass to a vehicle is not a criminal charge to take lightly.
Hijacking a person’s car by force or by the use of threats of force is known as carjacking in Illinois. Carjacking is a serious offense that can be upgraded to aggravated carjacking if certain other circumstances exist at the time of the carjacking incident. For instance, carjacking charges can be enhanced when aggravating factors exist, such as a firearm was used or discharged during the carjacking, a child under the age of 16 was in the vehicle at the time of the carjacking, a victim of the carjacking incident was over the age of 60 years old or was physically handicapped, or a victim of the carjacking was injured or killed by a firearm during the carjacking.
Failure to Return a Rental Vehicle
Whenever a person rents a vehicle, a term of his or her rental contract is the date and time that the rental vehicle must be returned to the rental agency. When a renter does not return a rental vehicle on time, the renter is in breach of his or her rental contract agreement. But not only that, the renter is also committing theft because he or she is depriving the rental agency of the use of the rental vehicle.
Accused of a Vehicle Theft Offense? Contact a Lawyer
Any theft crime is a serious matter, but theft crimes involving a vehicle are particularly serious. If you have been charged with the crime involved in the theft of a vehicle, please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. We are available to help you today.
February 19th, 2015 at 10:22 am
To many people, hijacking sounds like something that happens on an airplane in an action movie from the late twentieth century. While it is that, hijacking is also a type of crime that happens right in in Illinois. Specifically, Illinois law prohibits what it calls “vehicular hijacking.” If you find yourself charged with this crime, you will need the help of a felony criminal defense attorney.
What is Vehicular Hijacking?
Illinois statute defines vehicular hijacking as a person knowingly taking a motor vehicle from another person by either using force or by threatening the imminent use of force. It is basically the same as robbery, except instead of taking some other type of property, the hijacker takes the victim’s car. It is important to note that the car has to be taken directly from the person or from the person’s presence. Thus, stealing a car from an empty garage would not count as vehicular hijacking. Vehicular hijacking is a slightly more serious offense than robbery, in that even in its most benign forms it is a Class 1 felony.
What is Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking?
There are six ways a regular vehicular hijacking can become aggravated vehicular hijacking under Illinois law. The first two of these are punishable as Class X felonies. These two types are:
- Vehicular hijacking where the vehicle is taken from someone over age 60 or someone who is physically handicapped; and
- Vehicular hijacking where a person under the age of 16 is a passenger in the vehicle when the hijacking occurs.
The other four types of this offense are as follows:
- The third type of aggravated vehicular hijacking is a Class X felony for which the court must sentence an offender to at least seven years in prison. These are vehicular hijackings where the hijacker has a dangerous weapon other than a firearm.
- The fourth type involves a hijacker who is armed with a gun. This is a Class X felony but it comes with a 15-year firearm add-on to the sentence.
- The fifth type occurs when the hijacker personally discharges the firearm during the hijacking. This is a Class X felony, but it comes with a 20-year mandatory firearm add-on.
- The final type involves the hijacker firing a firearm and someone getting seriously hurt because of it. This is a Class X felony that carries with it a firearm add-on of 25 years to natural life.
Vehicular invasion is a related crime. This Class 1 felony is committed when a person knowingly, by force and without legal justification, enters a motor vehicle or reaches into one when the following two conditions are met:
- There is at least one person in the vehicle; and
- The person reaching into the car or entering the car is doing so in order to commit a theft or a felony.
Call an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are charged with vehicular hijacking or any other criminal offense, you will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847)394-3200 to schedule a case consultation to discuss your situation and determine how we can best be of help.