When a person is accused of committing a robbery here in Illinois, one thing that can matter considerably in their case is whether or not they are accused of having had a gun or other dangerous weapon on them during the alleged robbery. This is because being accused of committing a robbery while armed with a gun or other dangerous weapon can lead to a person facing armed robbery charges rather than traditional robbery charges.
Under Illinois law, committing a robbery while carrying a dangerous weapon, such as a gun, falls under the offense of armed robbery. The charge of armed robbery is a more serious charge than both the regular robbery charge and the charge of aggravated robbery. The regular robbery charge is a Class 2 or Class 1 felony charge (it can vary based on the specific circumstances) and an aggravated robbery charge is a Class 1 felony charge, whereas an armed robbery charge is a Class X felony charge.
Class X felonies carry more severe penalties than Class 1 or Class 2 felonies. Also, a person convicted of armed robbery can face additional prison time on top of the traditional Class X penalties if it is found that, during the armed robbery they were convicted of, they: carried a gun, fired a gun or killed, permanently disfigured, permanently disabled or caused great bodily harm to a person by firing a gun.
As one can see, as high as the stakes are in regular robbery cases, they can be even higher when a person is accused of armed robbery.
Skilled criminal defense attorneys can help Illinois robbery suspects understand what robbery charges they could face, what penalties can be given for a conviction on such charges and what approaches they could take in their defense efforts.