Illinois Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/18-4

A person commits Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking when he or she knowingly takes a motor vehicle from the person or the immediate presence of another by the use of force or by threatening the imminent use of force and:

  1. The person from whom the vehicle is taken is physically handicapped or over the age of 60 years old; or
  2. A person under the age of 16 years old is a passenger in the motor vehicle at the time of the offense; or
  3. The person carries on or about their person, or is otherwise armed with a dangerous weapon, other than a firearm; or
  4. The person carries on or about their person or is otherwise armed with a firearm; or
  5. The person personally discharges a firearm during the commission of the offense; or
  6. The person personally discharges a firearm that causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement or death to another during the commission of the offense.

Keeping in line with vehicular hijacking laws mirroring robbery laws in Illinois, the Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking statute closely resembles the Armed Robbery statute. Additionally, to counter the possibility that a minor child may be in the vehicle at the time of the vehicular hijacking, the General Assembly have included this circumstance as an aggravating factor to Vehicular Hijacking, thereby increasing the penalties.

Regarding the above aggravating factors, it is important to note that knowledge of the existence of these factors (or lack thereof) does not mitigate the charges. So if an individual hijacks a vehicle and, only after the hijacking, realizes there is a sleeping baby in the backseat, the person would not be able to escape a charge of Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking.

The Sentence

If 1) or 2) above:

  • Class X Felony
  • 6 to 30 years in state prison
  • Fine of up to $25,000
  • Must serve at least 85% of prison term

If 3) above:

  • Class X Felony
  • 7 to 30 years in state prison
  • Fine of up to $25,000
  • Must serve at least 85% of prison term

If 4) above:

  • Class X Felony
  • 6 to 30 years in state prison
  • Mandatory 15 years added to initial sentence
  • Fine of up to $25,000
  • Must serve at least 85% of prison term

If 5) above:

  • Class X Felony
  • 6 to 30 years in state prison
  • Mandatory 20 years added to initial sentence
  • Fine of up to $25,000
  • Must serve at least 85% of prison term

If 6) above:

  • Class X Felony
  • 6 to 30 years in state prison
  • Mandatory 25 years to natural life added to initial sentence
  • Fine of up to $25,000
  • Must serve at least 85% of prison term

Probation Possible? No.

Supervision Possible? No.

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James A. Payonk, Jr.

~ Attorney at Law ~

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

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