An eighteen-year-old Chicago resident is facing federal charges of carjacking and firearms offenses, a grand jury decided. The teen was already charged with vehicular hijacking and aggravated kidnapping due to an incident where he used a handgun to threaten and carjack that passengers of a Buick Lucerne on July 28th, but a grand jury decided to indict the teen on charges of carjacking and discharging a firearm as well.

Violence in Chicago has been at a high this summer, with July reporting one of the deadliest weekends for homicide deaths in Chicago history, but thankfully this incident led to the arrest of the teen, instead of the investigation flagging and eventually closing. Many other victims in Chicago are not so lucky to have the same type of closure in their cases.

The teen was indicted as part of “Operation Legend”, an initiative between federal law enforcement and local officers, and another 61 people in total have been arrested in the last month due to the work on this initiative, over half of their charges related to firearms.

What is Vehicular Hijacking?

In Illinois, carjacking is referred to under the law as vehicular hijacking, while federally the crime is referred to as carjacking. Both mean the same thing, but will result in different penalties depending on the severity of the crime. Under Illinois Statutes Chapter 720, this hijacking is defined as, “knowingly taking 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”.

In Illinois, car hijacking is considered to be a Class 1 felony, and those accused of this crime will face from 4 to 15 years in prison. If the crime is considered to be an aggravated vehicular hijacking, it is then considered to be a Class X felony, with from 20-25 years as the prison sentence in these cases.

What to Do If You Are Accused of Criminal Charges

Due to the nature of violent crimes like robbery, car theft, and vehicular hijacking, penalties for these crimes can be very steep and proving your innocence will not be an easy task. However, in order for prosecutors to prove your guilt, they must prove that every aspect of these criminal statutes was met. Doing so can be a difficult task, and that’s where a criminal defense lawyer comes in.

A talented criminal defense attorney is the key to mitigating the consequences of criminal charges. At Chicago Criminal Law Firm, we employ only the most experienced defense attorneys to ensure that you have a team of reliable legal counsel on your side to prove your innocence or get your charges reduced.

Contact us today to set up your free consultation with one of your legal professionals and get started on your case.