Articles Tagged with aggravated vehicular hijacking

a-l-117960-copy-300x198Although crime has been on the decline in Chicago as of late, carjacking is still a common occurrence throughout the city. Due to the nature of a city/urban environment, many people live in close quarters who are using vehicles for their commute, leading to the prevalence of this particular crime. Car jacking crimes can take on many different forms. For example, carjacking is nearly always more of a serious offense than car theft due to the vehicle being taken by force or intimidation, or sometimes both. Certain actions leading up to the illegal obtainment of the vehicle may qualify as an aggravating factor to your offense.

Under Illinois law, an aggravated carjacking is sentenced as a class X felony, which is a mandatory six to 30 years in prison, while a plain carjacking offense is a class 1 with a four-to-15-year minimum sentence.

Armed and Dangerous

chris-lawton-357168-copy-300x200For purposes of the law in Chicago, vehicular hijacking covers a range of vehicles, including boats. The key issues that arise when facing such a charge can be understood by looking at the example of a rather hapless Chicago teen who stole an SUV belonging to the FBI. There were several criminal matters arising out of that act that would all be considered during the trial.

First of all, the teenager was on probation and already had an extensive criminal record. The probation violations were dealt with as a separate issue but also one that could aggravate the crime despite the fact that the perpetrator  was a minor. His lawyers inevitably wanted to minimize evidence of his past crimes as much as allowable under the current law.

Compounding and Relevant Factors

DSCF6253mMost of us are familiar with the term carjacking from television, movies, and video games. It is legally referred to as vehicular hijacking, and it is defined as the use of force or the threat of the use of force to steal another person’s vehicle. Vehicular hijacking, or carjacking, is a serious violent crime in Illinois and the penalties are harsh. You will be facing felony charges and a lengthy prison term, as well as fines, if you are accused of carjacking, and you will have a permanent blight on your criminal record.

What Exactly is Carjacking?

Under Illinois law, you can be charged with carjacking if you take a motor vehicle from another person by the use of force, or by the threat of the use of force. It is considered more than a simple robbery – it is a separate charge entirely, and it is a Class 1 felony. If you are convicted of carjacking, you could face up to 15 years in prison. The penalties are significantly harsher than those for robbery and burglary offenses, which are usually charged as Class 2 felonies and carry shorter sentences and lower fines.