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Defenses to Theft

April 3rd, 2018 at 10:45 am

defenses to theft, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, theft, Illinois theft, theft crimesThe crime of theft is common in Illinois. Moreover, there are several different types of theft with which an individual can be charged. If you have been charged with any type of theft in the state, it is imperative that you reach out to a talented attorney for help with your case.

Definition of Theft in Illinois

Under Illinois law, a person commits theft when he or she knowingly:

  • Takes unauthorized control over another’s property;
  • Deceives another to gain possession of their property;
  • Threatens another to gain possession of their property;
  • Has possession over stolen property with knowledge it was stolen, or should have known that the property was stolen; or
  • Exerts control over property of law enforcement, or someone acting on behalf of law enforcement, who inform the individual it was stolen property. Or, law enforcement/a person acting on behalf of law enforcement leads the individual to believe the property was stolen.

Common types of theft include retail theft, identity theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, burglary, and online theft.

Defense to Theft Crimes

If you have been charged with a theft crime, there are a number of defenses that may be available under Illinois law.

  • Entrapment is “the act of government agents or officials that induces a person to commit a crime he or she is not previously disposed to commit.”  When entrapment is a factor, it is when an individual is induced to commit an act that he or she otherwise would not have. In a theft case, entrapment is used as a defense when there is evidence that the intent to steal came from the person who ‘entrapped’ the defendant, convincing them to commit the crime. The defendant is tricked into committing the theft to apprehend and prosecute the individual.
  • A defendant can claim right or ownership of property. If the defendant can show that he or she truly believed that the property was his or her own, or he or she had a valid claim to the property, it can be a defense to theft. There must be more than the defendant saying “I think it is mine.” There will need to be corroborating evidence that the defendant owned, or had a right to ownership.
  • Return of property is a tricky defense. Generally, giving back stolen property does not negate the theft. A defendant that intended to return the property might be able to use this as a defense by asserting that the property was “borrowed.”

Whatever the theft charge, an experienced attorney can make an enormous difference in your case. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have years of experience defending clients from petty to felony theft. Christopher Cosley is an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney who is prepared to explore and utilize every possible defense. Contact us today for your free consultation.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-606

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Written by Staff Writer

April 3rd, 2018 at 10:45 am

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