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Illinois Criminal Code of 1961

Article 30: Illinois Treason Law

Although the crime of treason may sound outdated, it remains on the books in Illinois. In Article 30 of the Illinois Criminal Code, legislators describe the crime of treason, a Class X felony for which a natural life prison sentence is likely imposed. Any person who owes allegiance to the State of Illinois and then levies war against the state or aids its enemies may face these charges.

Lawmakers also discuss two similar crimes in this section: misprision of treason and advocating overthrow of government. The former simply refers to the act of concealing knowledge that someone else is committing treason, a Class 4 felony. The former prohibits anyone from advocating for or organizing around the overthrow of the States current government by violent or unlawful means. A conviction of this crime carries a Class 3 felony status.

Need an Illinois criminal defense attorney? If you've been arrested or charged with a crime in Illinois, call our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.

The text below comes from Article 30 of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 - Article 30

Sec. 30-1. Treason.
    (720 ILCS 5/30-1)

(a) A person owing allegiance to this State commits treason when he or she knowingly:

(1) Levies war against this State; or

(2) Adheres to the enemies of this State, giving them aid or comfort.

(b) No person may be convicted of treason except on the testimony of 2 witnesses to the same overt act, or on his confession in open court.

(c) Sentence. Treason is a Class X felony for which an offender may be sentenced to death under Section 5-5-3 of the Unified Code of Corrections. (Source: P.A. 80-1099.)

Sec. 30-2. Misprision of treason.
    (720 ILCS 5/30-2)

(a) A person owing allegiance to this State commits misprision of treason when he conceals or withholds his knowledge that another has committed treason against this State.

(b) Sentence.

Misprision of treason is a Class 4 felony. (Source: P. A. 77-2638.)

Sec. 30-3. Advocating overthrow of Government.
    (720 ILCS 5/30-3)

A person who advocates, or with knowledge of its contents knowingly publishes, sells or distributes any document which advocates or with knowledge of its purpose, knowingly becomes a member of any organization which advocates the overthrow or reformation of the existing form of government of this State by violence or unlawful means commits a Class 3 felony. (Source: P. A. 77-2638.)

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DISCLAIMER: These excerpts from the law are provided for reference purposes only. Visitors to our Chicago criminal defense lawyer website should be aware that Illinois criminal laws have been amended many times and that Illinois crime laws posted on this site may not be current. In addition, Illinois criminal case law defines precedents for legal determinations that are not defined in the original laws.

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