Return Your Rentals to Avoid Felony Theft Charges
Instead of purchasing items such as tools, machinery, or even linens and tables for a one-time use, many Americans choose to utilize rental options. Through the usage of a rental company, items are available for a fraction of the cost of buying the product brand new or used. As of January 1, 2017, a new law enforcing the return of equipment rentals became active. If you choose to retain the rented equipment past the due date, you may now face criminal felony theft charges.
Introduction of Illinois Senate Bill 1120
With a significant portion of the population on a strict budget, frivolously spending money to purchase items for a short project is avoided at all costs. Businesses began to rent out services and equipment at a relatively small price to alleviate the predicament in the community. Patrons decide their due date for the return of the rented product based on the estimated length of time for project completion. Many times, the actual completion date is well after the initial estimation, leaving the rental establishment without the use of their equipment for an unknown amount of time. With this new bill, if a person knowingly obtains the temporary use of labor, services, or equipment only available for hire with the intention of keeping it past the due date, criminal charges may ensue.
For this law, rental services pertain to anything available for hire, including library materials. Theft is committed if a person, without justifiable cause, fails to return the rented item to the agreed upon location at by the agreed upon return date. Upon observance of the failure, the company must send a written letter by certified mail to the address on file prompting the return of the item within three business days of the receipt of the letter. A discovery that the renter signed with a name other than their own or gave a false address is usable as evidence of intent. Included services to the new law include:
- Renting or leasing a motor vehicle,
- Usage of a vehicle through a “driveway” mode of transportation,
- Renting or leasing equipment totaling more than $500.00,
- Renting or leasing personal property totaling more than $500.00, or
- Borrowing library material totaling more than $50.00, or for sentencing purposes, totaling more than $300.00 within a 90-day period.
Do You Need Further Assistance?
The details surrounding this new legislation are new, leaving many with questions regarding their particular circumstances. If you face charges of theft due to a failure to return a piece of property, it is in your best interest to contact a qualified and experienced defense attorney. If you would like to discuss your options with a Maywood, IL theft defense attorney, contact Stringini & Garvey, P.C. today by calling 630-834-9595. We utilize our combined experience of over 65 years to defend the rights of all of our clients in Addison, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Bloomingdale, and all surrounding Chicagoland areas.