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Archive for the ‘theft crimes’ tag

Illinois Retail Theft Ring Broken Up

July 13th, 2018 at 7:20 am

Illinois theft charges, retail theft ring, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, theft crimes, retail theft chargesretail theft ring made up of six individuals has been broken up and resulted in charges being filed for all six individuals involved, according to The Times. Thousands of dollars worth of merchandise was stolen by six people throughout Illinois and Northwest Indiana. Both Illinois and Indiana police departments were investigating a string of retail theft instances. The suspects were found after detectives identified the individuals on surveillance tapes.

Additionally, detectives were able to use an informant to gain more information about the six suspects. The theft ring was targeting more high-end items, like electronics and handbags. Two of the suspects are in custody, with warrants out for the other four individuals. The investigation is ongoing as the detectives on the case are looking for additional evidence or thefts committed by the ring.

Retail Theft in Illinois

Retail theft, or shoplifting, is a serious problem throughout Illinois. As such, there are harsh penalties that can be imposed on individuals who are caught stealing from retail stores. An Illinois statute defines retail theft and the various ways in which one might commit retail theft. Retail theft is committed anytime a person knowingly takes possession of merchandise at a store that is offered for sale in a retail establishment. The person must have the intent to permanently deprive the merchant of the item or the benefits of the item.

There are various ways in which retail theft can be committed and include:

  • Taking items from a store without paying – This is one of the most common types of retail theft. This is what people most commonly think of when they think of retail theft;
  • Changing a price tag – It can also be retail theft if an individual alters a price tag on an item in an attempt to purchase it with the new price. Most often, people will try to change the tag to a lower-priced item;
  • Unwarranted discounts – Employees at retail stores can also be guilty of retail theft. Failure to ring up all items at the cash register, or to apply unlawful discounts, is also considered retail theft.
  • Use of a jamming device – In many stores, anti-theft tags are attached to items to alert the store if a person attempts to remove the item without paying. The use of a jamming device so that the merchandise can go through security without sounding the alarm is retail theft.

Contact an Aggressive Theft Defense Attorney for Help

If you have been charged with retail theft, you need an attorney who knows the law well. Skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is ready and waiting to defend you. Attorney Cosley uses every applicable defense to get you the best result possible given the circumstances. With the vast amount of theft crimes, you need an attorney who understands the differences in crimes and can adequately represent you. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Sources:

https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/police-bust-retail-theft-ring-operating-in-nwi-and-illinois/article_e7903fd2-37df-5e92-99e1-4dcfe803c553.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-25

Illinois Football Players Charged with Theft

June 25th, 2018 at 3:10 pm

charged with theft, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, theft charges, theft crimes, stolen propertyTwo University of Illinois football players are currently in the news for more than their football skills. The two linebackers for the Illini stole a deer sculpture from a local park. The pair is being charged with theft with a value between $500 and $10,000.

The two allegedly saw the sculpture on the ground when they were walking home, according to CBS Sports. The deer, named “Startled,” is estimated to be worth $5,000. After taking the sculpture from the park, the two football players placed the deer on their rooftop. The park district director says that steps and measures have been taken so that the deer cannot be placed on any other rooftops throughout the city.

Theft in Illinois

Overall, a theft charge is a serious offense that must be treated as such. Illinois law defines theft as when a person knowingly:

  1. Takes control of the property of another without proper authorization;
  2. Uses deception to obtain control of another’s property;
  3. Uses threat to obtain control over another’s property
  4. Takes control of property knowing that it has been stolen or should have known that the property was stolen given the circumstances; or
  5. Takes control of property that is in the possession or custody of law enforcement, a person who is acting on behalf of law enforcement that informs the person that the property was stolen or makes it known that the property was stolen.

To determine the seriousness of the theft, the statute points to two factors that are considered. These are:

  1. From where the property was taken; and
  2. The value of the property.

Property stolen from a person’s physical person is generally given a harsher penalty. However, property that is stolen from land or the property of another, while still serious, has the lesser of penalties.

The higher the value of property stolen, the harsher the classification and sentence a theft charge carries. A theft can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. According to the Illinois statute, a theft of items that are worth more than $500, but less than $10,000, is a Class 3 felony. The above deer theft carries a penalty ranging anywhere from probation to five years in prison.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have been charged with a theft crime in Illinois, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help you. The dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office will provide you with insight, guidance, and advice on how to proceed in your case. Contact us today for a consultation; we are eager to assist you throughout each step of your case.

Sources:

https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/two-illinois-football-players-charged-with-theft-for-stealing-a-deer-statue/

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

The Difference Between Burglary and Robbery in Illinois

August 2nd, 2017 at 7:03 am

burglary and robbery, Class 1 felony, Rolling Meadows theft crimes defense attorneys, theft crimes, theft crimes defenseBurglary and robbery are legal terms that are commonly conflated. However, under Illinois law these terms refer to two distinct crimes. In a nutshell, a burglary occurs when a perpetrator enters a structure where he or she is not legally permitted to be with the intent to commit a crime therein, while robbery on the other hand occurs when force, fear, and/or intimidation is used to take property from the person of another. However, it is important to note that burglary and robbery are defined slightly differently in each state.

Illinois’ Definition of Burglary

The Illinois Compiled Statutes, under section 720 ILCS 5/19-1, defines burglary as knowingly entering, or remaining in, a building, watercraft, house trailer, aircraft, railroad car, or motor vehicle without the authority to do so, with the intent to commit a felony or theft therein. However, if the intended felony or theft involves damaging a vehicle, removing part of a vehicle, or tampering with a vehicle then the perpetrator likely has not committed burglary.

Under Illinois law, burglary is generally charged as a Class 2 felony; however, a burglary charge can be elevated to a Class 1 felony if the crime was committed in a day care center/home, school, or place of worship that is not conducted in a private residence.

Illinois’ Definition of Robbery

Under article 18 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes a robbery can be committed in any of the following three ways:

  1. Robbery: Knowingly taking the property (except a motor vehicle) from the person of another through the use of force or by threatening the imminent use of force;
  2. Aggravated Robbery: Committing an act of robbery (defined above) while either (1) indicating to the victim, either verbally or through action, that he/she is armed with a gun or some other dangerous weapon, or (2) delivering a controlled substance to the victim for a purpose that is not medical in nature; or
  3. Armed Robbery: Committing an act of robbery or aggravated robbery (defined above) while (1) in possession of a firearm or some other dangerous weapon, or (2) personally discharging a firearm during the commission of the offense.

Basic robbery is usually charged as a Class 2 felony in Illinois. However, if the victim was 60 years old or older or had a physical disability, or if the robbery was committed in a day care center/home, school, or place of worship then the robbery is elevated to a Class 1 felony. Additionally, aggravated robbery is also charged as a Class 1 felony. Furthermore, armed robbery can be charged as a Class X felony.

Reach Out to Us for Help

Successfully defending against a theft crime like burglary or robbery often takes a great deal of tact and skill as these crimes involve an intent/knowledge component. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, our experienced Rolling Meadows theft crimes defense attorneys are familiar with the various tactics used by prosecutors trying cases like these and know how to skillfully defend against them. If you have been charged with a theft crime in Illinois contact our Rolling Meadows office without delay so that our team can start building your defense as soon as possible.

Source:

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

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

Possession of Stolen Property in Illinois

October 20th, 2016 at 7:00 am

Possession of Stolen Property, Rolling Meadows Theft Crimes LawyerThe crime of theft encompasses many different charges under Illinois law. Not only is it a crime to commit theft by being the person who knowingly takes property belonging to another without permission, which is the case in crimes such as vehicle theft or shoplifting, but it can also be a theft crime if you end up in possession of stolen property. Similarly, it is a crime to be involved in a complicated white collar theft or fraud plot, where you might not be the ringleader of the theft, but are still a beneficiary.

In Illinois, you can be charged with a theft crime even if you are not the person who took the property from its rightful owner. To say this another way, you do not have to be the person who physically commits the theft act; you could be a beneficiary or recipient of stolen property or money and still be just as criminally liable as the actual thief.

Many criminal defendants are often in disbelief when they are charged with a theft crime, especially when they are not the person who took the item or property in the first place. Regardless, these are serious charges that you face. Just like any other criminal offense, if you are charged with a theft charge for possession of stolen property, or receiving stolen property, you need to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Possession or receipt of stolen property is a crime in , that is much akin to theft; the difference being that you may not be the person who actually took the property from its rightful owner. However, if you know, or have reason to believe that the property that is now in your possession is stolen, your possession of that property is considered a theft crime.  

Punishment for Theft Crimes Depends on Value, Circumstances, and Past History

The punishment for theft crime varies and depends upon the seriousness of the theft. When the item stolen has a high value, the penalties are more severe than if the value of the stolen item is low. Someone who steals a car at gunpoint is going to face steeper penalties than someone who shoplifts a magazine. Similarly, when a theft crime is committed at a specific location, such as a church or school, or if the theft involves stealing from a particularly vulnerable victim, such as an old person, then the penalties for the theft can be enhanced. Punishment for a theft crime can also be enhanced if you already have a history of committing theft-related crimes.

Accused of a Theft Crime? Get a Lawyer

People make mistakes all the time, and if you are charged with a theft crime, whether it is shoplifting, stealing, or receipt of stolen property, you should speak with an experienced and skilled Rolling Meadows theft crimes lawyer. Do not hesitate to reach out to our office today for help.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=36500000&SeqEnd=39200000

Illinois Has One of the Lowest Felony Theft Monetary Thresholds in the Country

April 25th, 2016 at 9:23 am

Illinois felony theft, Rolling Meadows Shoplifting LawyerIllinois has one of the lowest felony theft monetary thresholds in the country. Stealing an item that is valued at $500 or more can land you a felony theft charge under 720 ILCS 5/16-1. While it makes sense that Illinois and law enforcement would want to take a firm stance on theft crimes, it makes less sense how seriously they take low-level theft offenses compared to other crimes and compared to how other states handle the same crime.

Stealing something small but valuable, such as a smartphone, watch, or piece of jewelry, could result in a felony theft charge in Illinois. However, only a misdemeanor charge would result in other states. While each state has the authority to define its criminal statutes the way that state legislatures see fit, felony charges for the theft of an item worth $501 is overkill, in the view of many individuals. When you are facing criminal charges for theft or retail theft, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

A recent article published by the Insider Online compared how different states handle felony theft, and analyzed what measures states, particularly Illinois, could take that could help state’s save on correction costs. The article called for reform to Illinois’s felony theft laws, largely because of how Illinois’ felony theft law seems to be lagging when compared to other states, and because Illinois does not regularly adjust the felony theft monetary thresholds to reflect inflation.

How Do Illinois’ Felony Theft Laws Stack Up to Other States?

This is not to say that the Illinois legislature had completely ignored felony theft. In 2010, the felony theft threshold was raised from $300 to $500. However, a $500 threshold is still remarkably low compared to some other states that have a felony theft threshold of $1,000, or even $2,500. Not only that, but by not taking inflation into account periodically, Illinois’ felony theft laws gradually become increasingly punitive over time as the value of the item increases due to inflation.

Addressing Victims’ Concerns With Theft Law Reforms

The article acknowledges citizens’ and victims’ concerns that raising the felony theft monetary amount would encourage criminals to steal more expensive items, and more frequently. But according to a study conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts, there is no notable correlation between increasing felony theft monetary limits and an increase in property-related theft crimes. In fact, theft crime activity overall has been on the decline over the past few decades, largely due to improvements in technology, such as security monitoring technology which discourages theft in the first place, that help law enforcement to identify and apprehend offenders quickly and efficiently.

Let Us Assist You Today

If you are facing misdemeanor or felony theft charges, or retail theft charges, you need the help of an experienced theft lawyer. Please contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows shoplifting attorney for assistance with your case. We can begin helping you immediately.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=36500000&SeqEnd=39200000

http://www.insideronline.org/reader.php?id=46yq

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