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Intimidation - 720 ILCS 5/12-6

It's cool on TV shows, not so much in real life. Feb. 15, 2023

Cook County Intimidation Defense Attorney

Intimidation involves the threatening of another individual, rather by ones own words or actions or through a third party, to cause that individual to either perform or refrain from performing an action. A conviction for Intimidation will place a Felony charge on your permanent record, which will impact your ability to obtain housing, attend school, and obtaining employment. Intimidation is a serious offense, and individual's charged with Intimidation need an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to fight for their rights and their freedom.

Defining Intimidation

Intimidation is defined by 720 ILCS 5/12-6 which states that an individual commits intimidation when, with intent to cause another to perform or to omit the performance of any act, he or she communicates to another, directly or indirectly by any means, a threat to perform without lawful authority any of the following acts:

(1) Inflict physical harm on the person threatened or any other person or on property; or

(2) Subject any person to physical confinement or restraint; or

(3) Commit a felony or Class A Misdemeanor; or

(4) Accuse any person of any offense; or

(5) Expose any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule; or

(6) Take action as a public official against anyone or anything, or withhold official action, or cause such action or withholding; or

(7) Bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective action.

An important distinction to understand about the crime of Intimidation, is that it does not require the individual making the threats to carry out the threat in question. They only need to have made the threat in order for the State to meet their burden in proving the elements contained in this Statute.

As with any criminal case which involves the spoken word, context and nuance is centerfold in putting together a competent defense against the charge of Intimidation. If during a traffic stop an officer hears me say to my best friend in the passenger seat that if he touches the radio again I'm going to smack him upside the head - it fits all of the elements of the Statute, but you'd be hard pressed to find a States Attorney willing to die on that hill to try the case.

That being said, if a police officer hears me say the same thing to the guy on the other side of the counter at Chipotle when they skimp on the meat portion of my burrito bowl, then I may need to take it to go.

Aggravated Intimidation

Aggravated intimidation is considered to be a heightened offense under 720 ILCS 5/12-6.2, meaning that a specific fact within the alleged incident basically triggers a portion of the Statute raising the offense from Intimidation to Aggravated Intimidation.

A person commits the crime of aggravated intimidation when he or she commits intimidation and:

(1) The person committed the crime in furtherance of gang activities;

(2) The offense is committed with intent to prevent a person from becoming a community policing volunteer; or

(3) Any of the following: the person knew the victim was a peace officer, correctional officer, fireman, community policing volunteer or the offense was committed in relation to the defendant’s official duties or to prevent the victim from performing official duties.

Penalties for Intimidation

Intimidation is considered to be a Class 3 Felony which can be punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than 2 years and not more than 10 years. Additionally, an individual can also have to pay of fine of no less than $10,000.00 and no more than $25,000.00.

On top of this, an individual found guilty of Intimidation will have it placed on their permanent record making it more difficult for that individual to obtain housing, employment, and to be able to attend school.

Aggravated Intimidation, which is gang related, is considered to be a Class 1 Felony, and carries with it one of the most severe penalties in the State of Illinois.

A Class 1 Felony can lead to an individual being sentenced to anywhere between 4-15 years in the Department of Corrections and a fine of up to $25,000.00

Any other form of Aggravated Intimidation is considered to be a Class 2 Felony. Which carries with it a term of imprisonment between 3 to 7 years, and a fine of up to $25,000.00

If you've been charged with Intimidation contact Angelillo Law today.

Intimidation, as well as Aggravated Intimidation, are very serious charges which requires an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney. What you will need is an attorney to vigorously analyze the States evidence in order to find avenues that can be challenged in Court and potentially have the charges dropped against you. Contact my office today to schedule a free consultation.