Robbery, in and of itself, is a serious offense in Illinois, with the state classifying the crime as either a Class 2 or Class 1 felony, depending on a few present factors. However, if you use a weapon to commit robbery in Illinois, the state elevates the offense to a Class X felony.
The Illinois Criminal Code explains what actions constitute armed robbery. It also explores the penalties associated with a Class X felony.
Armed robbery in Illinois
You commit armed robbery in Illinois if you do one of four things while committing a robbery. Those four actions are as follows:
- You carry on or about your person, or purposely arm yourself, with a dangerous weapon during the commission of a robbery
- You carry on or about your person, or purposely arm yourself, with a firearm for the purposes of committing a robbery
- During the commission of the offense, you discharge a firearm
- During the commission of the offense, you discharge a firearm and, as a result, cause great bodily injury, permanent disfigurement, permanent disability or death to another person
Illinois considers each of the aforementioned offenses as a Class X felony.
Penalties associated with a Class X felony
The penalties associated with a Class X felony are severe. If you simply had a dangerous weapon on you while you committed a robbery offense, the courts may automatically find you guilty of a Class X felony, the most serious felony offense you can commit within the state short of first-degree murder. A Class X felony comes with a minimum prison term of six years.
If you possessed a firearm at the time of the robbery but did not discharge it, the courts may convict you of a Class X felony. Your term of imprisonment would be the number of years the courts impose plus 15 years.
If you discharged a firearm while committing the offense, your term of imprisonment would be what the courts decide, plus 20 years. If you injured or killed someone with a firearm while committing a robbery, your term of imprisonment will automatically increase by 25 years or up to a term of natural life.
An armed robbery charge is not a charge you should take lightly. Without proper help, you risk spending anywhere from 21 years to life in prison.