If you have been arrested in Illinois for a crime relating to theft, you need a tough criminal defense attorney who will advocate aggressively on your behalf. A conviction for a crime involving theft can be particularly damaging when looking for a job. Also, if you are not a US citizen, being charged with a theft crime can subject you to deportation.
Theft in Illinois is often charged as a misdemeanor but can also be as serious as a Class X Felony. How theft is classified depends on the amount the property was worth, where the property was taken from and if the property was taken from the person of another. In addition to the potentially harsh consequences of a theft conviction, you are usually liable for the value of the property in addition to any other fees that may be imposed.
In Illinois, theft is anytime a person knowingly:
- Takes unauthorized control over property of another, or
- Obtains control over property of another by threat or deception, or
- Obtains stolen property – by either knowing the property is stolen, or under circumstances that they should know that the property was stolen
A few examples of possible theft charges that Attorney Stephanie Kemen has defended against are below.
Theft 720 ILCS 5/16-1(a)
If the property is valued less than $500, it is usually charged as a Class A misdemeanor. In addition to the standard penalties for a Class A misdemeanor (imprisonment up to a year and a fine up to $2,500), a conviction of theft will generally include restitution for any loss associated with the theft. If the defendant has any prior theft related convictions, a second offense will be charged as Class 4 felony theft.
If the property is valued at less than $500 and the theft was committed in a school, place of worship or on governmental property it is usually charged as a Class 4 felony. This may bring a possible sentence of 1-3 years imprisonment and a fine up to $25,000, plus any payment of restitution for any loss associated with the theft.
If the property is valued between $500 and $10,000, it is usually charged as a Class 3 felony. This may bring a possible sentence of 2-5 years imprisonment and a fine up to $25,000, plus any payment of restitution for losses associated with the theft.
If the property is valued between $500 and $10,000 and the theft is committed in a school, in a place of worship or if the property belongs to the government, it is usually charged as a Class 2 felony. A conviction can result in 3-7 years incarceration and a fine up to $25,000, plus payment of any restitution.
Retail Theft (720 ILCS 5/16-25)
If the property has a retail value of less than $300, retail theft is a Class A misdemeanor. However, if the property has a retail value of more than $300, retail theft is charged as a Class 3 felony.
Theft of Services (720 ILCS 5/16-3)
Theft of services can include not paying for a bar or restaurant bill, a car service or any other service that requires some sort of performance before payment. This is generally charged as a Class A misdemeanor.
You can also be charged with theft of services if you fail to return a rental vehicle within the time specified. This type of theft is a Class 4 felony.
Crimes involving theft can also include charges such as burglary, robbery, carjacking, forgery and fraud. If you are charged with any theft related crime, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Attorney Stephanie Kemen is prepared to defend you against whatever theft crime you have been charged with.