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Everything You Need to Know about Robbery in Illinois

February 17th, 2015 at 10:12 am

Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, theft, property crimes,“I got robbed.” This is a statement that is used very often in our contemporary society. While sometimes it is applied metaphorically, such as when complaining about a call in a sporting event, we usually mean it to imply that someone stole something from us. However, like many areas of criminal law, the common understanding of this term and the legal definition are not the exact same. Not all victims of theft are robbery victims and not all thieves are robbers. Instead, robbery is a very specific type of theft.

What is Robbery in Illinois?

In Illinois, the offense of robbery is defined by statute. As one would assume, robbery requires one person to take property from another person. This can be any property except for certain motor vehicles, which are covered by a separate law. What differentiates robbery from mere theft is that in order for a taking of property to be a robbery, the robber must either:

  • Use force; or
  • Threaten the imminent use of force.

There is also another difference between mere theft and robbery. In order for a taking to be a robbery, the property has to be taken either directly from the victim or from the victim’s presence. If, for example, one were to break into a store at night when no one was there and steal the cash register, that person would not have committed a robbery. While the natural response of the store owner might be to say “I’ve been robbed!” that is not technically accurate, and the thief could not be prosecuted for robbery; instead, the thief could be prosecuted for other crimes like burglary.

Robbery is normally a Class 2 felony, unless the victim is over 60 years old, the victim is a physically handicapped person, or the crime is committed at certain places like schools, churches, or child care facilities. In those cases it is a Class 1 felony.

What is Aggravated Robbery?

Some robberies are worse than others in the eyes of the law. Because of this, Illinois law includes another offense called “aggravated robbery.” Aggravated robbery is a Class 1 felony. There are certain ways to turn a robbery into an aggravated robbery. These include:

  • Indicating through your words or actions during the robbery that you have a dangerous weapon, even if you do not have such a weapon; or
  • Taking the property by administering a controlled substance to the victim without his or her consent.

What is Armed Robbery?

Armed robbery is robbery where the robber has a dangerous weapon or a firearm during the act. There are also versions of this crime that deal specifically with discharging a firearm during the robbery and with seriously injuring someone by discharging the firearm. These are all Class X felonies, but in cases where a firearm is involved there are substantial add-ons of prison time in addition to the regular sentence.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

When you are charged with robbery or any other crime, you need a fierce litigator in your corner. That is why you should contact experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley. Call the office at (847)394-3200 today to learn how we can help.

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