Illinois Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/24-1.2

A person commits aggravated discharge of a firearm when he or she knowingly or intentionally:

  1. Discharges a firearm at or into a building he or she knows or reasonably should know to be occupied and the firearm is discharged from a place or position outside that building;

  2. Discharges a firearm in the direction of another person or in the direction of a vehicle he or she knows or reasonably should know to be occupied by a person;

  3. Discharges a firearm in the direction of a person he or she knows to be a peace officer, a community policing volunteer, a correctional institution employee, or a fireman while the officer, volunteer, employee or fireman is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the officer, volunteer, employee or fireman from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the officer, volunteer, employee or fireman performing his or her official duties;

  4. Discharges a firearm in the direction of a vehicle he or she knows to be occupied by any of the individuals listed in (3) above;

  5. Discharges a firearm in the direction of a person he or she knows to be an emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel, employed by a municipality or other governmental unit, while the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel performing his or her official duties;

  6. Discharges a firearm in the direction of a vehicle he or she knows to be occupied any of the individuals listed in (5) above;

  7. Discharges a firearm in the direction of a person he or she knows to be a teacher or other person employed in any school and the teacher or other employee is upon the grounds of a school or grounds adjacent to a school, or is in any part of a building used for school purposes;

  8. Discharges a firearm in the direction of a person he or she knows to be an emergency management worker while the emergency management worker is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the emergency management worker from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the emergency management worker performing his or her official duties; or

  9. Discharges a firearm in the direction of a vehicle he or she knows to be occupied any of the individuals listed in (8) above;

The Illinois Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm is worded very broadly and, as a result, is far reaching. The law punishes an individual when they either knowingly or intentionally discharge a firearm: in the direction of a person or vehicle, in the direction of a broad range of governmental employees (including officers) or towards the governmental employees’ vehicles, in the direction of medical personnel or vehicles containing medical personnel, in the direction of any school employee who is on school grounds and in the direction of emergency management workers or vehicles containing emergency management workers.

With respect to vehicles containing the individuals listed above, those individuals must be performing their official duties. For instance, if someone discharged a firearm towards an ordinary vehicle containing an off-duty officer, the State would not be able to prove paragraph (3) above, albeit, they would most likely succeed on paragraph (2).

Additionally, regarding paragraph (7) above, the law defines “school activity” to include any activity for which students’ attendance or participation is sponsored, organized or funded in whole or in part by a school or school district.

The punishment for Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm is dependent on the actual charge. The minimum charge is a Class 1 Felony while the most stringent charge is a Class X, as shown below.

The Sentence

If (1) or (2) above:

  • Class 1 Felony
  • 4 to 15 years in state prison
  • Fine up to $25,000

If (1) or (2) above within 1,000 feet of school property or school activity:

  • Class X Felony
  • 6 to 30 years in state prison
  • Fine up to $25,000

If (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8) or (9) above:

  • Class X Felony
  • 10 to 45 years in state prison
  • Fine up to $25,000

Time to be Served: 85% of the sentence imposed.

Probation Possible? Yes, for Class 1 Felonies.

Supervision Possible? No.

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James A. Payonk, Jr.

~ Attorney at Law ~

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

(708) 633-6005