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Archive for the ‘theft’ tag

Is Breaking into a Car Burglary?

February 19th, 2019 at 5:37 pm

Illinois defense lawyerTwo individuals were recently arrested for multiple burglary charges in the area of 95th Street and Book Road in the Northwest Side. Naperville police say the pair first burglarized a home and then continued to steal from multiple vehicles. Both are facing felony charges, and it raises the question of whether or not vehicle burglary is a felony, or if these charges pertain only to the home they are suspected of breaking into.

Burglary and Illinois Law

According to 720 ILCS 5/19-1, burglary is defined as when a person without permission enters a “building, house trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof with the intent to commit a felony or theft.”

The same statute also states that any violation of this law is considered a Class 3 felony. Under this law, if convicted, the two individuals mentioned above will face felony charges, possibly one for each vehicle entered.

The law does not distinguish locked vehicles from unlocked vehicles. This means even if there was no actual “breaking” into the vehicle, a person could still face vehicle burglary charges. However, the prosecution would have to prove that the defendant broke into the vehicle with the intention to steal or commit a felony.

Criminal Trespass to a Vehicle

A charge that is often associated with vehicle burglary is criminal trespass to a vehicle, outlined in 720 ILCS 5/21-2. Under this law, anyone that enters into a vehicle and operates it is also guilty of a crime. This law includes any type of vehicle including aircraft, watercraft, and snowmobiles.

This law is not part of Illinois’ burglary laws but instead, the state’s trespassing laws. Although still against the law, this crime is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which is a much lesser charge than the felony charge individuals will face with burglary charges.

Defenses to Vehicle Burglary

Many of the defenses used in burglary cases could also apply to vehicle burglary cases. For example, if an individual had permission to enter the vehicle, or even thought they had permission to enter it, they could be found innocent of vehicle burglary.

A person can very easily enter into a vehicle thinking it was theirs. This is one defense that is used often in vehicle burglary cases, but not in cases involving other types of burglary. Many people drive the same make and model of car, and if a person believes the car to be their own, they may mistakenly get in. This would not constitute vehicle burglary.

Call a Rolling Meadows Vehicle Burglary Lawyer that Can Help

Facing any type of burglary charges can be very stressful and traumatic. Felony charges are very serious and can result in high fines and several years in prison if convicted. However, a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help get charges dropped or reduced to a lesser charge. If you have been charged with burglary or vehicle burglary, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will review your case with you and discuss the many options you may have for a defense. We offer a free initial consultation so do not wait another minute. Let us start fighting for your freedom today.

 

Sources:

https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2-chicagoans-charged-with-naperville-residential-vehicle-burglaries/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-1

Is Theft from a Garage Burglary?

December 12th, 2018 at 2:15 pm

IL defense lawyerBurglary is a serious felony offense, regardless of the value of the property taken, unlike theft, which is often a misdemeanor crime if the value of the property taken was low. For example, stealing a bike would be considered a misdemeanor of petty theft if the value of the bike was only $300, as per Illinois statute 20 ILCS 5/16-1. If that same bike was stolen out of someone’s residential garage, the crime would automatically be upgraded to a felony. Why is this? Burglary is considered a crime of violence, and the offense is punishable as such.

Types of Buildings, Structures, and Vehicles that Involve Burglary

Burglary is defined as knowingly entering, or without authority remaining, in any of the following:

  • Building;
  • House trailer (such as an RV);
  • Aircraft;
  • Watercraft; or
  • Motor vehicle.

The second element to burglary is that the defendant entered one of the above places or vehicles with the intent to commit any felony or any degree of theft. Examples of these felonies include arson, destruction of property, vandalism, assault, sexual assault, homicide, and more. Or, if any theft occurs or the defendant’s goal was to commit a theft, then burglary has occurred. As such, wandering into someone’s open garage to notify the owner that their car is being towed is not burglary. Breaking into their garage or entering it without permission to steal a bike or any other object is burglary.

Residential Burglary Is a Class 1 Felony

Committing burglary of a residential building, including a garage, is a Class 1 felony, punishable by four to 15 years in prison, as per Illinois 720 ILCS 5/19‑3.

Criminal Trespass Is a Class A Misdemeanor or a Class 4 Felony

Criminal trespass is a much lower level offense than burglary. The only elements that are different include that the defendant did not have any intention to commit, and did not commit, a felony or theft when the knowingly entered the residence of another person. Criminal trespass is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail if a defendant knowingly entered or remained in a residence (without intent to commit a felony or theft). If a defendant entered a residence and knew or had reason to believe that another person was in the residence, and the defendant remained in the home after knowing this, then the offense is raised to a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison.

Reach Out to a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney

Theft, burglary, and criminal trespass are all three very different crimes, with burglary being the most serious. If you have been charged with an offense, an attorney may be able to reduce the charges against you, have the charges dropped, fight for a fair plea deal, or take your case to court and win. Call the Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-1

Counterfeiting Counts as Theft

November 26th, 2018 at 1:48 pm

fraudA Chicago man allegedly scammed potentially dozens of people by selling them counterfeit concert tickets. He was recently caught after he sold a woman two $125 Imagine Dragon tickets on Craigslist, who took the tickets to the concert in June only to learn that they were “very good fakes,” according to the ticket checker. The woman later reported the defendant’s license plates to the police, who discovered that they were the plates of a rental car rented by the defendant’s friend and loaned to him. The defendant, who is under investigation for selling numerous counterfeit concert tickets, has five prior convictions for forgery, counterfeiting, and fraud in Texas and Illinois. A number of charges can be slapped onto those who sell counterfeit tickets.

Forgery Charges for Producing or Possessing a Counterfeit Ticket

Under Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/17-3, forgery has been committed when a person knowingly commits any of the following:

  • Makes a false document or alters a document that could be used to defraud another;
  • Issues, sells, or otherwise gives such a document to another knowing that it is fake or has been altered;
  • Possess with intent to deliver said document;
  • Unlawfully uses the digital signature of another; or
  • Unlawfully uses the signature of another to create an electronic signature.

Forgery is usually a Class 3 felony, punishable by five to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. It is a Class A misdemeanor to forge an academic degree or coin, punishable by one to three years in prison.

Theft Charges

In addition to any forgery charges that a defendant may face, they may also be charged with theft. Theft occurs when a person unlawfully procures another’s possessions or assets without intent to return them. As such, selling a counterfeit ticket will incur a theft charge. Depending on the amount that the ticket or tickets were sold for, the theft charges may be misdemeanor or felony offenses.

Check Fraud and Counterfeiting Money

There are various forms of check fraud, including kiting checks, passing bad checks, and check floating. Another type of check fraud is using counterfeit or forging checks. This includes forging a signature, changing the amount the check was made to, changing the name of who it was made to, or altering it in any other way. Under Title 18, Section 471 of the United States Code, manufacturing counterfeit money is punishable under federal law by a fine of $5,000 and 15 years in prison. Possessing counterfeit money is punishable by $15,000 and 15 years in prison.

Contact a Cook County Criminal Attorney Today

Any type of counterfeiting or forgery is a serious crime. You may be up against half a dozen charges as well, including theft and fraud. You need to call an attorney at once. Contact the office of dedicated Rolling Meadows forgery attorney Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.moneyfactory.gov/resources/lawsandregulations.html

https://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/alleged-ticket-scammer-caught-sold-fakes-in-wisconsin-illinois/article_ea5d852c-7d98-5f76-b4ff-57f54521d962.html

What Is Grand Larceny?

September 27th, 2018 at 9:38 am

Chicago theft and larceny defense attorneyLarceny, more commonly referred to as theft, occurs when a person knowingly obtains the property of another with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of their property, as per 720 ILCS 5/16-1. The degree of larceny or theft that an individual is charged with depends on the value of the property taken. Larceny charges do not include robbery, armed robbery, burglary, carjacking, or other crimes of violence, which are punished more severely than larceny offenses.

“Grand” larceny or “grand” theft is commonly thought of as the threshold between a misdemeanor and a felony charge, though in Illinois that language is not specifically used. Illinois law classifies various degrees of larceny on a scale described below, with the highest felony classification for theft being a Class X felony, which can result in decades behind bars.

  • Class A Misdemeanor – The property taken is valued at $500 or less. Punishment includes a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • Class 4 Felony – The property taken is valued at $500 or less and was taken from a school or place of worship. Punishment includes a prison sentence of one to three years, with a maximum fine of $25,000.
  • Class 3 Felony – The property taken is valued at $500 to $10,000. Punishment includes a prison sentence between two and five years and a fine of up to $25,000.
  • Class 2 Felony – The property taken is valued at $10,000 to $100,000, or it is valued at $500 to $10,000 and was taken from a school or place of worship. Punishment includes a prison sentence between three and seven years and a fine of up to $25,000.
  • Class 1 Felony – The property taken is valued at $100,000 to $500,000, or it is valued at $10,000 to $100,000 and was taken from a school or place of worship. Punishment includes a prison sentence between four and 15 years and a fine of up to $25,000.
  • Class 1 Felony Non Probationary – The property taken is valued between $500,000 and $1 million. Punishment includes a prison sentence of up to 30 years and a fine of up to $25,000.
  • Class X Felony – The property taken is valued at over $1 million, or it is valued at more than $100,000 and was taken from a school or place of worship. Punishment includes a prison sentence between six and 30 years a fine of up to $25,000.

Restitution

In addition to the fines listed above, the victim can also seek repayment for the value of the property that was stolen and the financial losses they suffered as a result of larceny. This is referred to as restitution. For example, a victim whose pickup truck was stolen may have lost $4,000 in revenue because their small landscaping business went without a truck for a month, and they may have lost $4,000 in productivity during the time period it took to purchase a new vehicle or have theirs returned to them. Thus, they may claim restitution of $8,000.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Larceny Defense Attorney

Theft is one of the most prevalent offenses in Illinois, and here in Cook County, there are over 1,800 counts of theft per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the Illinois State Police. Those charged with any degree of theft need to protect themselves by contacting a skilled attorney. We urge you to contact dedicated Cook County criminal defense lawyer Christopher M. Cosley for assistance today. Call our office at 847-394-3200 to arrange a free consultation.

Sources:
http://www.isp.state.il.us/docs/cii/cii16/cii16_SectionI_Pg11_to_246.pdf
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-1

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

Embezzlement in Illinois: The Need to Know Basics

September 20th, 2017 at 8:48 am

embezzlement, Illinois embezzlement cases, Rolling Meadows white collar criminal lawyer, penalties for embezzlement, theftEmbezzlement is a type of theft that occurs when a person who has been entrusted with another’s property fraudulently keeps that property for his or her own personal gain or illegally transfers it to a third party. Embezzlement most frequently occurs when money is entrusted to the care of someone who then misappropriates that money in some way.

Examples of Embezzlement

While embezzlement can occur in countless ways, common examples of embezzlement include the following:

  • A waitress who pockets cash from a patron’s bill and enters a lesser amount into the cash register so that the till still balances at the end of her shift;
  • A payroll department manager of a large company who adds his family members who do not work for the company to the payroll in order to collect checks that they have not earned; or
  • The person in charge of counting a church’s weekly offerings who pockets $20 in cash from the collection each week.

Penalties

The penalties for embezzlement in Illinois vary depending on the value of what was stolen in accordance with code section 720 ILCS 5/16-1(b) of the Illinois Compiled Statutes. While those convicted of embezzlement can be forced to pay restitution and substantial fines, they can also be sentenced to serve significant time in prison. For example, consider the following prison sentences that can be handed down in Illinois embezzlement cases:

  • Theft not exceeding $500: Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail. However, if the crime was committed in a place of worship or a school, or if the theft was of government property, then the crime is a Class 4 felony (punishable by up to three years in prison). Additionally, if the offender was previously convicted of another theft crime (for example, armed robbery, forgery, residential burglary etc.) then his or her embezzlement crime may also qualify as a Class 4 felony (punishable by up to three years in prison).
  • Theft of $500 to $10,000: Class 3 felony that is punishable by up to five years in prison. However, if the crime was committed in a place of worship or a school, or if the theft was of government property, then the crime is a Class 2 felony (punishable by up to seven years in prison).
  • Theft of $10,000 to $100,000: Class 2 felony that is punishable by up to seven years in prison. However, if the crime was committed in a place of worship or a school, or if the theft was of government property, then the crime is a Class 1 felony (punishable by up to 15 years in prison).
  • Theft of $500,000 to $1,000,000: Class 1 non-probationable felony that is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
  • Theft exceeding $1,000,000: Class X felony that is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Consult With a Local White Collar Criminal Lawyer

As you can see, embezzlement is a serious crime that carries steep penalties in Illinois. Therefore, anyone who has been charged with embezzlement is strongly encouraged to retain an experienced Rolling Meadows white collar criminal lawyer to defend his or her interests. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley our criminal defense team has extensive experience defending clients accused of white collar crimes and is intimately familiar was the unique complexities that white collar cases pose.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-1

Is it Burglary, Theft, or Robbery?

May 10th, 2017 at 8:54 am

burglary, theft, robbery, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerBurglary, theft, and robbery are serious crimes, and each one has distinctive characteristics. Illinois law is very specific in how it defines these crimes and it takes a knowledgeable Rolling Meadows defense lawyer to explain how the laws differ and what the difference means moving forward in your case.

  • Burglary is defined by Illinois law as entering the property of another, knowingly, and without permission, and with the intent to commit a theft or a felony once inside the property.  It is a common misconception that the property needs to be a home. Boats, cars, railroad cars, even airplanes can be burglarized.
  • Theft, as defined by Illinois law, is the unlawful or unauthorized taking of property from another person with the intent to permanently deprive that person of the property.
  • Robbery is the most serious of these three offenses and generally carries the most severe punishments. The reason for that is the violent nature of the offense. Robbery is basically theft accomplished through the use of force, or the fear of force.

Can a Theft Turn into a Robbery?

This is a question you will want to ask your experienced cook county criminal defense lawyer. Generally, the short answer is yes. Theft can turn into robbery the moment the victim is physically harmed or is put in fear of harm. A common example is a purse snatching incident. If a woman sets her purse down on a table and someone whisks by and takes it, a theft has occurred. However, if that person snatches the purse off of the same woman’s arm, it is likely to be charged as a robbery.

Does a Theft Have to Occur for a Burglary Charge?

The short answer is no. A burglary can occur without the actual theft of property. While most burglaries that are committed involve a theft of some sort, it does not have to happen in order for burglary to have happened in the eyes of the law. For example, if someone breaks into his or her neighbor’s home, sneaks in the kitchen, and makes pot brownies, among other crimes they have also committed a burglary.

Facing Criminal Charges?

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, the first step you should take is to contact your experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Christopher M. Cosley has years of experience defending his clients rights when they have been charged with crimes. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley is equipped with the resources necessary to minimize the damage of any criminal conviction and ensure that your rights guaranteed by the constitution are honored by the prosecution. Contact our Rolling Meadows office at 847-394-3200, 24 hours a day, to speak with our dedicated and relentless criminal defense lawyer.

Source:

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

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-1

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

When Juveniles Commit a Theft That Turns Into Residential Burglary

April 28th, 2017 at 1:42 pm

residential burglary, Rolling Meadows Juvenile Crime LawyerAs the weather begins to warm up, many homeowners in the area will open their doors and garages to allow the sunshine in and to air out their homes after a long, cold winter. In suburbia, it is not uncommon for people to leave their garage doors open during the daytime, and to even leave them open without supervision.

While normally such behavior should be safe, open doors can be inviting, especially to juveniles. Take, for example, a group of teenagers who see an open and apparently unguarded garage and enter in search for beer. One teen in the group might dare another to go steal the beer or something else from the open garage. Under pressure from his or her friends, the unfortunate teen will enter the garage and commit the theft.

When Theft Turns Into Residential Burglary

The teen who steals the beer from the garage, however, has done more than merely commit a theft. Because the teen entered the garage of another without permission, and with the intent to steal the beer, the criminal charges the teen can face will likely be upgraded to residential burglary. Why is the upcharge so bad for a teen? Residential burglary is a felony level offense, even if the offender is only a juvenile.

While someone who is under 18 years of age will likely face juvenile charges for his or her theft of the beer from someone’s garage, it is still a serious matter. When it comes to juveniles who commit offenses, the courts have a lot of discretion in terms of how the juvenile offender should be punished. The potential punishments that a convicted juvenile delinquent could face include:

  • Having to pay a fine;
  • Having to pay restitutions to the victim of the residential burglary;
  • Having to attend mandatory counseling sessions or therapy sessions;
  • Being put on probation, which means that the juvenile avoids detention (the juvenile equivalent of jail), but is required to comply with a number of terms, i.e., rules, that are part of his or her probation;
  • Being placed in juvenile detention, weekend detentions, or mandatory community service-type work programs.

Juveniles sometimes make poor decisions and exercise bad judgement. They also can make mistakes about the criminality of the things they do. First time juvenile delinquents are often treated with more leniency by the court than repeat offenders. Any young person facing theft of burglary charges needs to consult with a juvenile offenses lawyer immediately.

Juvenile Delinquents Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

A juvenile charged with a crime needs a strong criminal defense lawyer fighting for his or her rights. Contact an experienced Rolling Meadows juvenile crime lawyer for assistance with your case.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-3

Check Forgery is a Form of Theft

October 6th, 2016 at 5:20 pm

check forgery, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyDelivering a forged check, a check that is not signed by the real owner of the checking account or a check that is fabricated or altered in some way, is considered to be a deception-based criminal offense under 720 ILCS 5/17-1(B). When a person tries to pass off a forged or fake check as if it were a real check, the person is trying to knowingly defraud the check’s recipient in order to financially benefit from the deception. Check forgery is a form of theft.

What is Required to Prove Check Forgery?

Someone who is facing charges for check forgery in Illinois will be mercilessly prosecuted by the state. In order to get a check forgery conviction, the state prosecutor must show:

  1. That the defendant knowingly made or altered a check;
  2. The purpose of defrauding another;
  3. Where the check was made or altered to look like it was issued by another; and
  4. That the check was delivered or issued to recipient of the check with the intent to defraud the check’s recipient.

You can be charged with check forgery even if you do not actually defraud someone. To say this another way, if the check’s recipient, or someone else, figures out that the check is forged before cashing it or does not believe that the check is authentic, you can still be charged with check forgery. Merely handing over a forged check to the check’s intended recipient is enough to be charged with check forgery.

What Are Some Typical Defenses to Check Forgery Charges?

There are a number of different defenses that can be raised against check forgery charges, and which defenses are appropriate for your particular circumstances will depend on your situation. You should consult with an experienced lawyer to get a better understanding of what defenses may be available to you. Typical defenses to check forgery charges include:

  • That the criminal defendant did not know that he or she was issuing a forged check;
  • That the criminal defendant lacked the intent to defraud or deceive the check’s recipient;
  • That the criminal defendant was too young to know the harm in what he or she was doing by forging the check, i.e., infancy—the offender was under the age of 13;
  • That the criminal defendant was forced to make the forged check, i.e., the criminal defendant was under duress;
  • That the criminal defendant was mentally unstable at the time the check was forged; and
  • That the criminal defendant was a victim of identity theft and his or her name was used to forged checks.

Accused of Check Forgery? Get a Lawyer

If you have been charged with check forgery or any other theft crime, it is important that you get in touch with an experienced theft attorney as soon as possible. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Our office is available to help you today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K17-1

Retail Theft Carries Real Consequences

February 11th, 2015 at 8:04 am

shoplift, Illinois defense lawyer, Cook County criminal attorney,Many people think of shoplifting or retail theft as a relatively minor crime. In Illinois that is absolutely not the case. Shoplifting in Illinois will lead you in serious need of an experienced criminal defense attorney. In order to avoid finding yourself in that position, you should understand exactly what retail theft is and how it is punished in our state.

What is Retail Theft?

Generally speaking, what most of us call shoplifting is a type of retail theft. Illinois statute defines retail theft as  one of the following actions:

  • Takes merchandise with the intent of keeping it or depriving the merchant of it permanently without paying for the merchandise;
  • Alters or removes a price tag or similar marking in an attempt to pay less for a piece of merchandise;
  • Transfers merchandise from one container to another in an attempt to deprive the merchant of the full retail value of the merchandise;
  • Under-rings merchandise with the intent to deny the merchant of the full retail value;
  • Steals shopping carts;
  • Knowingly lies to a merchant claiming that the person owns property so he or she can sell the property to a merchant;
  • Uses or possesses theft detection shielding devices or theft detection device removers; or
  • Keeps property that should have been returned by a lessee.

There is also an additional related crime called “theft by emergency exit” that involves using an emergency exit to commit retail theft.

What is the Punishment for Retail Theft?

Usually, for a first offense where the value of the property does not exceed $300 (or $150 if the property is motor fuel) the crime will be considered a Class A Misdemeanor. A second offense can be a Class 4 felony. The prior offense in these cases can be for a wide variety of stealing-related offenses. If the value of the property is greater than $300 then it is a Class 3 felony. Violations relating to the theft detection shielding devices or theft detection device removers are Class A misdemeanors for a first offense, but upon a second offense they can be a Class 4 felony. Theft by emergency exit is a Class 4 felony if the value of the property does not exceed $300. If the value of property is greater than $300 it becomes a Class 2 felony.

Each of these classes of crime is given a range of punishment under the Unified Code of Corrections. The misdemeanor sentences are less than one year in jail. The felonies can carry hefty prison terms, however. Class 4 felonies carry a term of one to three years in prison. Class 3 felonies carry a range of two to five years. The Class 2 felonies carry a range of three to seven years.

Call an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are charged with retail theft or any other type of criminal offense, you will need an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. You should call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. When you call us at (847)394-3200 we can schedule an appointment to go over the facts of your case and figure out how we can best be of help.

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