Armed Robbery Under Illinois Law
According to 720 ILCS 5 § 18-2, a person commits armed robbery when they commit a robbery or aggravated robbery (i.e. take property from another person as outlined 720 ILCS 5 § 18-1), and they:
- are armed with or carry on or about their person a dangerous weapon (other than a firearm),
- are armed with or carry on about their person a firearm,
- discharge a firearm during the commission of the robbery/offense, or
- discharge a firearm during the commission of the offense and cause another person great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death.
What Is the Penalty for Armed Robbery in Illinois?
Armed robbery is considered a Class X felony, which is punishable by up to 30 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000. However, is important to note that time can be added to the court-imposed sentence in certain cases:
- An additional 15 years can be added to a prison sentence if the offender was carrying a firearm.
- An additional 20 years can be added to a prison sentence if the offender discharged the firearm they were carrying.
- An additional 25 years can be added to a prison sentence if the offender discharged their firearm and caused a person’s death, serious injury, or permanent disfigurement or disability.
Even after being released, a person convicted of armed robbery may have mandatory parole for up to three years. Felony convictions can also impact a person’s employment and educational opportunities, professional license eligibility, and job prospects.
Examples of Armed Robbery Cases
Here are a few real-life examples of violations 720 ILCS 5 § 18-2:
- Earlier this year, Deon Brown of Waukegan, Illinois was sentenced to 11 years for his role in the armed robbery of a Lake Delton, Wisconsin store. In July 2020, Brown and his co-conspirator, Cortez Thurmond robbed Alpha Red Studio in Wisconsin as well as Gifts of the World, and the robbery of Gifts of the World was caught on video by surveillance cameras. Brown had a firearm with an extended magazine, and reportedly, he hit one customer in the back of the head with the firearm and struck another in the mouth before taking her handbag. In 2020, Brown was also under active supervision in Illinois because of a felony armed robbery conviction.
- Earlier this month, Darryl L. Oliver was arrested and charged with armed robbery and unlawful use of a weapon; his bail has been set at $50,000, and his next court hearing is set for September 21st. Allegedly, Oliver stole cooler bags and about $300 from the register at a CVS Pharmacy with a handgun, which he supposedly used to threaten store employees.
- During Mexican Independence celebrations, a person allegedly carjacked five people and took a few necklaces from two of the persons in the vehicle. While no one was injured, It is believed that the offender was armed. However, reports do not say what type of weapon the suspect allegedly had.
Defenses Against Armed Robbery Charges
The prosecution will need to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the offender took property from the alleged victim with the intent of depriving the owner of the property permanently; they will also need to prove that the defendant used force or the threat of force as well as a firearm or other dangerous weapon during the commission of the robbery.
In trying to prove these elements, the prosecution will use evidence and information obtained from the police investigation. A defense tactic often employed is calling the police evidence and/or conduct into question. For instance, an officer may have compromised the evidence and investigation if they coerced a statement, failed to read the defendant, or buried or overlooked exculpatory evidence.
Other defense strategies that can be used in armed robbery cases include (but are not limited to):
- Challenging a witness identification
- Arguing that there is a lack of evidence
- Seeking to prove that you committed the crime under threat or duress
- Demonstrating that you were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol during the commission of the offenses
Contact Our Firm for Legal Counsel
At the Law Office of Steven Fine, we are committed to helping our clients protect their rights and freedoms. If you or a loved one are under investigation for or have been charged with armed robbery, you should retain our services as soon as possible. We can not only help ensure your civil rights are not violated (i.e. illegal search and seizure, police misconduct, etc.) but can also help you develop a strong case strategy. Backed by over two decades of legal experience, our attorney provides our clients with personalized attention and individualized solutions.
Let us fight for you. Schedule a case consultation today by calling (312) 436-0638 or completing our online contact form.