Articles Tagged with vehicular hijacking

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

sve4luszh70-ant-rozetsky-300x200Just like in many jurisdictions, Illinois takes vehicular hijacking to be a particularly serious crime as listed in the provisions of the legislative instrument number 720 ILCS 5/18-4. Upon conviction, the defendant can expect a term of imprisonment that ranges anywhere from four to 15 years. There are specific aggravating and mitigating features that the defense attorney should pay careful attention to.

If the judge believes that the aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating features, they can raise the sentencing range to six to 30 years. In exceptional cases, a whole life term may be imposed. Therefore, it is clear that this is the type of offense in which the court has wide discretion. It also means that the defendant will require first-class legal representation in order to bring the categorization down to the lowest end of the seriousness scale.

Procedural and Substantive Considerations in the Legal Framework

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.