Charged with a Common IL Property Crime? What To Do
In Illinois, certain property crimes are common. “Common,” however, does not mean that they come with light consequences.
While property crimes can be misdemeanors, many can also be felonies. That’s why it’s vital for every citizen to understand common property crimes, including how the law defines them and the consequences of a conviction.
Read on to find out what you need to know.
The Most Common Illinois Property Crimes
The top property crimes in Illinois are:
Burglary is an umbrella phrase for different types of property crimes. In general, however, a person commits burglary if they enter the property of another with the intention of committing another crime once there.
While most people think of breaking into someone’s house as burglary, it’s only burglary when they’re breaking into someone’s house to commit a crime, such as a robbery. Simple breaking into a home would be trespass.
In most cases, burglary is a Class 2 felony in Illinois. But it can be raised to a Class 1 felony if the place entered to commit the crime is a school or a place of worship. A Class 2 felony conviction can send a person to prison for up to seven years. If convicted of a Class 1 felony, a person faces incarceration for up to 15 years.
Theft is committed in Illinois when someone knowing obtains or takes control over the property of another without their authorization with the intent to deprive them of the property permanently.
Theft can be a Class A misdemeanor, or a Class 4, 3, or 2 felony. In some circumstances, it can even be a Class 1 or Class X felony.
What category it falls into depends on the value of the property stolen. If it’s less than $500, then it’s a Class A misdemeanor. Over $500, it turns into a felony, with anything exceeding $1 million considered a Class X felony – a felony that can send you to prison for 30 years.
Motor Vehicle Theft
Motor vehicle theft is much like theft, insomuch as it’s the act of obtaining or knowingly taking control over the property of another without their consent and with the intent to take it from them permanently. It’s simply that in this case, the property in question is a motor vehicle.
Motor vehicle theft penalties hinge on the value of the vehicle taken. Vehicles worth less than $500 typically net a Class A misdemeanor. Any vehicle worth more than that will receive a felony charge.
Even the least severe cases can include sentences up to one year. However, the most serious felonies can send a person to prison for up to 30 years.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.