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Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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Did You Get Caught Up in the IL Halloween Crime Crackdown?

Halloween is a holiday many people love. It’s entertaining to dress up and attempt to eat your body weight in fun-size candy bars, but Halloween has a side many people don’t consider: An increase in crime.

Unfortunately, something about this holiday causes some to take things too far and engage in criminal activity. Whether this describes you or you feel like you were wrongfully accused, here’s what you need to know if you’ve got caught up in the crime crackdown that seems to accompany Halloween in Illinois each year.

Common Halloween Crimes

What crimes tend to see an increase around Halloween? The most common in the state of Illinois include:

Theft

Theft in Illinois can range from a misdemeanor to a Class X felony, the most severe type of felony here. Illinois defines theft as obtaining or taking control over the property of another knowingly without their consent and with the intention of not giving it back.

What charge a person faces depends on the value of the property taken.

A Class A misdemeanor gets charged in most cases where the property is worth less than $500. It can result in up to 12 months in jail and fines of $2,500.

The most severe theft charge is a Class X Felony. This charge is reserved for property theft valued over $1 million. Someone convicted of a Class X felony can spend as much as 30 years in prison and receive fines of up to $25,000. Restitution is also often ordered to be paid for theft crimes as well.

Vandalism

Vandalism in Illinois is classified as criminal damage to property. The penalties are often determined by the type of property damaged, as well as the value of it.

Criminal damage occurs when a person commits certain acts without the property owner’s consent, such as damage to property, injuring a pet, damage to property through fire or explosion, or starting a fire knowingly on the land of another person, among other acts.

Property damage in Illinois can range in penalties and become harsher as the value of the property damaged increases. Penalties are also harsher if the property involved in the crime is a church or school.

In the least severe cases, property damage up to $300 is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in fines and up to one year in jail. Penalties increase from there, culminating in a Class 2 felony for damage over $100,000. You can face up to seven years in prison and high fines if convicted.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence is one of the most common crimes in Illinois. The occurrence of it tends to increase around a major holiday like Halloween. It is illegal in the state to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.

The penalties depend on if you have any previous DUIs on your criminal record and your blood alcohol content at the time of your arrest. The penalties for this crime can range from one year behind bars to up to 30 years in prison.

 

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.

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