What is a forcible felony in Illinois?
The Illinois criminal code specifically describes some felony offenses as forcible felonies. There is also a general “catch all” or “residual clause” that describes general crimes of violence as a forcible felony.
If you’re not ready for all this and you’re still looking the fundamentals, go here.
Forcible Felony Statutes
The Illinois Criminal Code defines a forcible felony this way…
These Specific Crimes Are Defined As Forcible Felonies In The Statute
- First Degree Murder
- Second Degree Murder
- Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault Of A Child
- Aggravated Criminals Sexual Assault
- Criminal Sexual Assault
- Residential burglary
- Aggravated Arson
- Aggravated Kidnaping
- Aggravated Battery Resulting In Great Bodily Harm
- Aggravated Battery Resulting in Permanent Disability Or Disfigurement
Residual Clause Forcible Felony In Illinois
The residual clause in the forcible felony statutes says that a…
“forcible felony means any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.”Section 2-8 of the Criminal Code of 2012
Technically Any Crime Can Be a Forcible Felony
A felony can qualify as a forcible felony, even if a crime does not have violent intent as an element, if the State proves that “under the particular facts of this case,” the defendant contemplated the use of force and was willing to use it.
Examples of When And Where Forcible Felony Is Used In The Code
The Illinois criminal code makes reference to the commission of a forcible felony. Some examples of where in the code this comes up includes:
- Charging an armed habitual criminal – 720 ILCS 5/24-1.7(a)
- Charging a felony murder – 720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(3)
- Sentencing for A UUW Felon – 720 ILCS 5/24-1.1
- Significant sentencing consequences
- People v. White, 2015 IL App (1st) 131111 (December 2015). Episode 126 (Duration 3:01) (Not All Aggravated Batteries Are A Forcible Felony In Illinois)
- People v. Brown, 2017 IL App (1st) 150146 (May). Episode 377 (Duration 8:07) (attempt armed robbery is a per se forcible felony)
- People v. Sanderson, 2016 IL App (1st) 141381 (April). Episode 180 (Duration 6:40) (Attempted residential burglary is not a forcible felony that can be used to sustain an armed habitual criminal conviction.)
- People v. Wooden, 2014 IL App (1st) 130907 (August) (Vehicular Hijacking is a Forcible Felony in Illinois So No Notice Under 111-3(c) Was Required For This UUW Felon Conviction)