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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerIllinois 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:

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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerInstead 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.

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