man in red shirt in cuffsThis is the next post in my series on the handling of Class “X” felony charges in Peoria and other central Illinois areas. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible if you or a loved one have been arrested. It is important to understand that the prosecutors and judges are seldom lenient when it comes to such matters. Retaining experienced counsel can help to ensure that your rights remain protected. In this article I will discuss defending against armed robbery charges. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer.

Illinois defendants can face armed robbery charges if the crime involved a deadly weapon

Robbery is generally charged as a Class “2” felony in the state of Illinois. An offense will be elevated to a Class “X” charge, however, if the defendant is accused of carrying a gun or another deadly weapon to commit the crime. As with other Class “X” charges, a defendant will face six to thirty years in prison and will not be eligible for probation. Also, these minimums can be further elevated to a term of fifteen years to life if the individual is accused of discharging the weapon during the crime or if the victim suffers serious bodily harm. It is also important to understand that if the defendant faces multiple criminal counts the penalties for any additional charges may be run consecutively to the armed robbery charge. This would result in an individual being required to serve all of the time for one charge before time begins to count towards another.

Consider the following example. Joe is a convicted felon and he robs a convenience store by shooting a bullet into the wall while threatening the clerk. He is arrested. Joe will face armed robbery charges and will potentially receive a maximum of life in prison for discharging the gun during the crime. Also, Joe will likely be charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. If Joe is convicted and the Court chooses to run the counts consecutively then he will have to complete the time towards his felon in possession charge before time begins to count towards the armed robbery charge. It should be remembered that how a court will rule in any given situation will always depend on the specific facts of the case.

Potential defenses to a charge of armed robbery

There are multiple issues which may arise in relation to armed robbery charges. Such cases sometimes hinge on the use of an eyewitness identification by law enforcement. If law enforcement used overly suggestive means of securing the identification then it may be possible to prevent the witness from testifying in court. Furthermore, if a firearm was recovered by law enforcement then it may be possible to exclude the gun from evidence if it was obtained through a Fourth Amendment violation. Also, it may be possible to defend the charges at trial. If an outright defense is not possible then an attorney will take steps to secure the most favorable resolution possible for one accused of armed robbery. This may result in an individual serving far less time than they would otherwise.

If you or a family member have been arrested then contact my office today to speak with a Peoria criminal defense lawyer. I am a former prosecutor who devotes himself to protecting the rights of the accused and I understand that this is an important time in your life. I believe that everyone is entitled to aggressive representation and my office will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone to schedule an appointment. We look forward to speaking with you. I also service the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. I also handle federal cases in Urbana.