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Theft Crimes in Illinois Require Knowledge and Intent

January 25th, 2017 at 9:12 am

theft crimes, Rolling Meadows Theft AttorneyTheft is one of the most commonly committed crimes in Illinois. Theft in the broadest sense involves someone knowingly taking property that belongs to another without permission and with no intention of giving the stolen property back to its proper owner. There are a number of criminal offenses that stem from theft, including:

  • Petty theft. Petty theft is also known as misdemeanor theft. Petty theft occurs when the item that was stolen has a value of $500 or less.
  • Shoplifting or retail theft. Shoplifting occurs when a person knowingly takes an item from a merchant without paying full price for the stolen item.
  • Receipt of stolen property. Receipt of stolen property occurs when someone knowingly accepts property that he or she knows to be stolen.
  • Stealing a motor vehicle. Stealing a motor vehicle arises when a person takes a vehicle belonging to another without permission.
  • Robbery. Robbery occurs when a person takes property belonging to someone else by the use of force. Robbery can become aggravated robbery if a weapon was used as the threat of force.
  • Burglary. Burglary occurs when a person knowingly breaks into a building belonging to another without permission to be there with the intention of committing theft of some other felony offense.

In many theft scenarios, law enforcement arrests whomever stands accused of committing the theft crime, and then the state prosecutor presses charges against the accused. Oftentimes, the state prosecutor will look at the evidence surrounding the alleged crime and will bring charges for every crime that might have been committed. To be sure, criminal defendants often face multiple charges for a single alleged crime.

Each theft-related crime has its own unique elements that must be proven by the prosecution in order to obtain a conviction. A skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney will demand that the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the theft crime with which he or she has been charged.

You deserve fair treatment under the law and fair trial, and your criminal defense attorney should fight for your rights and on your behalf.

Knowledge and Intent Are Key Elements of Theft Crimes

A common thread shared by all theft-related crimes is that knowledge and intent are key elements to establish that the crime was committed.

  • Knowledge means that the person who allegedly committed the crime knowingly did so.
  • Intent means that the person who allegedly committed the crime has no intention of returning the property that he or she has taken from the rightful owner without permission.

The elements of knowledge and intent are often the prosecution’s weakest arguments, and a seasoned criminal defense attorney knows this. Many criminal cases turn on whether the criminal defendant had knowledge that he or she was stealing or whether the criminal defendant had no intention of returning the property that he or she had taken.

Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Anyone who is facing theft-related criminal charges needs to consult with an experienced Rolling Meadows theft attorney immediately. Do not hesitate to reach out to us today for professional help with your case.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=61900000&SeqEnd=62600000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=62600000&SeqEnd=63400000

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Written by Staff Writer

January 25th, 2017 at 9:12 am

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