Frequently Asked Questions about Illinois Theft Crimes
Illinois state law broadly defines theft. Unfortunately, because of the unspecific regulations, many citizens are left with answerless questions. In short, the definition of theft is taking ownership of anything that does not belong to you. The description applies to anything from stealing a car to failing to sign out of a rental home on time. When it comes to theft charges, questions are natural. Here are a few of the more frequently voiced concerns. Remember: to find answers specific to the details of your case; you should contact an attorney directly. The answers here are generalized and may not apply to your situation.
How Are the Varying Degrees of Theft Differentiated?
Theft breaks down into several levels dependent on the dollar amount of the item or items taken. In Illinois, the breakdown is as follows:
- Class A misdemeanor: $500 or less of personal property or $300 or less of retail property,
- Class 4 felony: $500 or less of school, worship center, or government facility property, or $500 or less of personal property with a prior conviction,
- Class 3 felony: $500 to $10,000 worth of personal property or over $300 of retail property, and
- Class 2 felony: $500 to $10,000 worth of school, worship center, or government facility property.
Are the Charges Dropped If I Return the Item?
This common question has different answers based whether or not there was an intention to return the object at the time of the incident. If the plan to bring it back it can be proven, then there is a viable defense option, but the charges do not automatically drop. Returning the item also can show remorse and positive character qualities, which may assist in plea negotiations.
What Is the Biggest Common Mistake during an Arrest?
Admitting intent to keep the item without returning it is harmful to a case. If an officer asks, you are welcome not to answer the question, but do not lie.
Should I Just Plead Guilty and Deal with the Consequences?
In most situations, you must consider not just the short-term strife caused by the turmoil, but you must also take into account the long-term implications. On job applications and bank loans, a criminal record is visible, which may negatively affect any prospects. Often, fighting the charges is the more desirable option.
Do I Need Representation?
Although many are tempted to avoid the cost of an attorney, it is ill-advised to do so. Theft cases quickly become complicated far beyond the assistance of a simple internet search. Having an attorney to answer the questions and guide you expertly through the process relieves stress and also increases the likelihood of a favorable outcome. If you are interested in discussing your case with a Lombard, IL theft defense attorney, contact Stringini & Garvey, P.C. today. Serving Glendale Heights, Lombard, Maywood, Bloomingdale, and all other surrounding Chicagoland area, we offer prospective clients a free initial consultation. Take advantage of our offer by calling 630-834-9595 today.