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Archive for the ‘theft’ tag

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.

Burglary: It Is Not Just Breaking and Entering

January 21st, 2015 at 10:41 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal law statutes, Illinois criminal lawyer,Thanks to police procedural shows and courtroom dramas, the public has a lot of ideas about what the law is and what it is not. Unfortunately, since every state has different laws and television writers are not bound to accurately represent any of them, sometimes these ideas about the law can be mistaken. This can be particularly problematic when it comes to criminal law. One example of a crime that is often misconstrued is burglary.

So What is Burglary?

Most people think of burglary as breaking into a house or business to steal something. And this is, in fact, correct: that would be a burglary. But in Illinois, the crime of burglary includes much more than those two possibilities. Like all state crimes in Illinois, burglary is defined by statute. According to the state statute:

A person commits burglary when without authority he or she knowingly enters or without authority remains within a building, housetrailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof, with intent to commit therein a felony or a theft.

This means two things. First of all, burglary is not just about breaking into buildings. In Illinois one can commit burglary in planes, trains, automobiles, and a whole host of other areas. The other important thing that most people do not realize is that burglary does not have to be about stealing something. While intent to commit a theft is sufficient to make the crime a burglary, it is not the only way. An intent to commit a felony while one is unlawfully in one of the covered areas is also sufficient to make the crime a burglary. What, then, is a felony? A different Illinois statute defines a felony as “an offense for which a sentence to death or to a term of imprisonment in a penitentiary for one year or more is provided.” Thus, an intent to commit a serious crime is enough. For example, breaking into someone’s airplane to commit an aggravated battery would count as a burglary. It is important to note, however, that if the underlying crime is theft, the theft does not have to be a felony theft. Any sort of theft is enough to constitute a burglary.

Residential Burglary

There is a crime in Illinois called “residential burglary” that is closer to what people may commonly think of as burglary. This crime requires the unlawful entry into or remaining in the dwelling place of another in order to commit the theft or felony. One type of residential burglary occurs when a person falsely represents him or herself to be a government representative or utility worker to gain access to someone’s dwelling in order to commit a theft or a felony.

Call us Today

If you or a loved one is charged with burglary, or any other criminal offense, you will need the assistance of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. That is why you should call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our phone number is (847)394-3200

The Basics of Shoplifting in Illinois

April 14th, 2014 at 4:20 pm

shoplifting, theft, retail theft, Illinois criminal law, criminal defense, lawyer, ChicagoShoplifting is typically a crime committed by citizens who follow the majority of other laws. The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention reported that between 2001 and 2006, roughly 10 million people were caught shoplifting. It is also estimated that almost 10 percent of all Americans shoplift.

The National Self Help & Support Center defines shoplifting as “theft or stealing of any kind from a retail store…taking merchandise from a retail store without paying for it or without intending to pay for it.”

What’s important to know is that shoplifting laws are different in every state and many laws also vary between each local jurisdiction as well. This post is specific to Illinois

If you have been caught shoplifting for the first time, you should call a criminal attorney to help you get a lighter penalty for your first offense. Many factors will be considered when the court decides what your sentence will be including if you have completed an education program and if you have shoplifted previously.

Information from the store where you have been accused of shoplifting will also be accounted for such as what you stole and what occurred when you were caught. Whether or not you had a proper ID when you were caught will also be included.

Another detail that is taken into account it how much you shoplifted, the value of the item(s) that were stolen. Typically, the offense is less serious and only considered a misdemeanor if it costs under $500. However, if the cost exceeds $500, the charge may escalate to a felony and have more serious consequences.

It is possible to get community service, be sentenced to an education program related to shoplifting, or some other form of sentence other than prison if the charge is not extreme.

Also note that you do not have to be the person who actually took the merchandise from the store to be charged if you are with someone when they have shoplifted. You may be seen as an assistant to the shoplifter.

Lastly, shoplifting occurs in many forms including changing the price tag on an item and buying for an incorrect price. You can also be charged for shoplifting if you are sampling foods that you have not paid for as you shop. For example, if you are walking through the produce section of a grocery store and you pick a few grapes off of the bunch and eat them that is a chargeable offense.

If you have been charged with shoplifting, contact a criminal attorney to help you in an Illinois court today. Even if you have been wrongly accused or the charge is small, an attorney can help you get a better or alternative sentence today.

Criminal Sentencing in Illinois

May 3rd, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Different crimes have different punishments. Below are some of the punishments for different types of criminal convictions related to theft.

Criminal Sentencing in IllinoisTheft
This includes previous theft, armed robbery, possession of a burglary tool, home invasion, residential burglary, burglary, forgery, and “certain motor vehicle felonies relating to the possession of a stolen or converted motor vehicle or section 8 of Credit Card and Debit Card Act.” This does not include theft from a person and nothing that is above $300. This will result in 1 to 3 years of jail time or up to 18 months of a discharge with conditions or 180 days in jail with probation. A fine may also be charged of up to $25,000.

Tampering with or Theft of Communication Services
This covers if a wired communication service or device has been tampered with or stolen, and the defendant has also been convicted of another theft type of theft as listed above, or of fraud, which includes any violations of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 in any federal or state jurisdiction. This crime will result in 1 to 3 years of jail or 18 months of discharge with conditions or 180 days in jail with probation. It may also include a fine of up to $25,000.

If the defendant has previously been convicted on at least two occasions for similar crimes, it can result in two to five years in jail, or up to 30 months of discharge with conditions, or 180 days in jail with probation and a fine of up to $25,000.

Retail Theft
If the value of the stolen merchandise is under $300 or $150 in motor fuel, but the thief has previously been convicted of theft, it may result in 1 to 3 years in jail or up to 18 months of discharge under conditions or 180 days in jail with probation and a fine of up to $25,000.

If the thief escaped by an emergency exit, but the merchandise still does not exceed $300 and the thief has been convicted of a previous theft, the person could face a fine of up to $25,000 along with 1 to 3 years of jail time, or 180 days of jail with probation or up to 18 months of restrictive discharge.

If you have been accused of a crime, contact a Rolling Meadows criminal attorney before proceeding any further. Christopher M. Cosley can help you avoid criminal charges.

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