Champaign County Theft Crimes Lawyer
Taking someone else’s property without permission has long been a crime in Illinois, and hundreds of people are charged with theft every year. Unfortunately, any conviction comes with the possibility of jail time, fines, and a public criminal record.
At Patel Law, PC, we can defend anyone against theft charges. Please contact us as soon as possible so one of our Champaign County theft crimes lawyers can begin your defense.
Theft is a Serious Illinois Crime
Illinois defines theft as knowingly:
- Taking or exercising control over someone’s property.
- Using deception to obtain someone else’s property.
- Obtaining control over someone’s property by use of threat.
- Possessing someone else’s property knowing it was stolen or under circumstances where this knowledge is likely.
Some common examples of theft include:
- Robbing someone on the sidewalk
- Shoplifting items from a store
- Taking property from your neighbor’s yard
- Stealing a car
- Pretending to work for a charity to trick people into giving you money
When it comes to penalties, everything depends on the value of the property you stole and how you took it. In Illinois, theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. In fact, some theft crimes are Class X felonies, which are the most serious in our state.
For example, if you stole money or items from the owner’s person, then you face serious charges:
- Under $500 stolen: Class 3 felony, with 2-5 years in prison and a maximum $25,000 fine.
- Under $500 stolen at a church, school, or government property: Class 2 felony, with 3-7 years in prison and a maximum $25,000 fine.
So if you threaten someone at school or church to give you money, you can face felony charges.
In most other situations, theft crimes are charged as follows:
- Under $500: Class A misdemeanor charges, with up to one year in jail.
- Under $500 but a prior theft conviction: Class 4 felony, with 1-3 years in prison.
- Between $500 and $10,000: Class 3 felony, 2-5 years in prison.
- Between $10,000 and $100,000: Class 2 felony, with 3-7 years in prison.
- Between $100,000 and $500,000: Class 1 felony, 4-15 years in prison.
- Between $500,000 and $1,000,000: Class 1 felony, 4-15 years in prison and no possibility of probation.
- More than $1,000,000: Class X felony, maximum of 30 years in prison.
The good news is that it is possible to fight these charges. Our criminal defense attorneys know that the prosecutor must prove all elements beyond a reasonable doubt. That is a high bar, and sometimes we argue that you had permission to use the property or that you lacked knowledge that it was stolen. In other cases, we contest the value of the property, which can reduce the charges you face.
Winning Illinois Theft Cases
At Patel Law, PC, we vigorously defend anyone accused of theft crimes. These cases arise in a variety of contexts, and we pay close attention to the facts. Sometimes, miscommunication has led to an arrest, and we do everything possible to clear your name.
Contact our Champaign County, Illinois theft crimes attorney today to review your case. Our consultations are free and confidential.