Know Your Mandatory Minimums

Know Your Mandatory Minimums

Illinois eliminated parole-for-release in 1978 and enacted truth in sentencing in 1998. As a result, many people convicted of serious crimes serve every day of their sentences. Restore Justice compiled a list of the mandatory minimum sentences for a number of these serious crimes. This is important to consider in light of changes to the felony-murder law; prosecutors still have many serious charges with long sentences at their disposal.

Here are the mandatory penalties for some serious crimes in Illinois:


Armed Robbery

Class X felony to carry or use a firearm while committing a robbery

6 years – natural life

Home Invasion

Class X felony for a person to knowingly enter the dwelling of another without authority with knowledge that people are present AND be armed with a weapon and threaten harm OR cause injury OR carry a gun and using force or threatening force or shoot the gun OR commit certain sexual offenses

6 years – natural life

Aggravated Discharge of a Weapon

Class 1 felony for a person to knowingly or intentionally shoot at an occupied vehicle or building

Class X felony for a person to knowingly or intentionally discharge a firearm in the direction of police, EMS, or other assorted “protected class” of individual

4 – 15 years 

10 – 45 years 

Unlawful Use or Possession of a Firearm by Felon

Class 2, 3, or X felony (depending on the specific circumstances of the offense) for an individual to knowingly possess a weapon if the person has previously been convicted of a felony 

2 – 30 years

Subsequent violation, at least 3 – 14 years

Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapon 

Class 2, 4, or X felony depending on the specific circumstances of the offense. Aggravated unlawful use if a person knowingly carries a firearm, stun gun, or taser during an offense, without a license, or uses the weapon to threaten or harm someone

1 – 30 years

Attempted Murder

Class X felony when a person intentionally attempts to commit murder

6 years – natural life 

Vehicular Hijacking

Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking

Class 1 felony to knowingly take a motor vehicle from another person by use of force or threatening imminent use of force.

Class X felony to commit vehicular hijacking on a protected class of victim or carry or use a firearm in the commission of the offense.

4 – 15 years

6 years – natural life

Habitual Criminal  

Mandatory Class X Felony when a defendant, over the age of 21, has been convicted of two prior serious felonies in separate cases and defendant is now being convicted of a third Class 1 or Class 2 felony 

Mandatory life sentence for any individual convicted of a third separate Class X felony (3 strikes law)
6 – 30 years 

mandatory natural life

Firearm Enhancements

Judges are required to add 15, 20, or 25 years (to life) to the sentences of defendants convicted of certain felonies if the defendant was found to have possessed or discharged a firearm during the crime’s commission. This firearm enhancement applies to the following offenses:

Aggravated battery of a child
Aggravated criminal sexual assault
Aggravated kidnapping
Aggravated vehicular hijacking
Armed robbery
Attempted first-degree murder
First-degree murder
Home invasion
Intentional homicide to an unborn child
Predatory criminal sexual assault of a child

15 years if defendant was armed with a firearm
20 years if defendant discharged a firearm 

25 years to natural life if defendant discharged a firearm, proximately causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, disfigurement, or death
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