Is Stealing From Your Employer Theft in IL?
Depending on the line of work, it’s not uncommon for employers to take things home from the job. Maybe this is some pencils, pens, and printer paper from an office job. Or maybe you work for a mechanic and borrow some tools… permanently. Is this considered theft? Could you be charged with a crime for taking things from your employer?
Short answer: yes. Stealing from your employer is a severe offense in the state of Illinois. According to the Illinois Criminal Code, theft is defined as “the unauthorized taking of property from the possession of another.” This includes taking money, goods, or services without the consent of your employer.
When an employee takes something from their employer without permission, it is considered theft. This can include anything from cash to office supplies to company property. It can also include taking company time, such as using company equipment or company hours for personal use.
In order to avoid potentially life-changing consequences, it’s essential for employees to understand the laws and regulations surrounding theft in the workplace.
How Is Theft from an Employer Penalized in Illinois?
The penalties for theft in Illinois vary depending on the value of the stolen property. If the value is less than $500, the penalty is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum punishment of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. If the value exceeds $500, the penalty is a Class 3 felony, with a maximum punishment of five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
In addition to criminal penalties, an employer may also choose to pursue civil action against a thieving employee. This could result in you being ordered to pay restitution or damages to your employer. This is separate from any criminal charges and penalties, and you may be found liable in civil court even if you are not found guilty of theft in criminal court.
Additionally, it’s important to note that an individual can be charged with theft even if they did not intend to steal something. If you take something from your employer without permission, you can be charged with theft – even if you didn’t intend to keep it permanently.
Moreover, you can even be charged if you take something from your employer without permission and later return it. Finally, know that if you are caught stealing from your employer, they are within their rights to fire you – and probably will. This could have serious consequences for an individual’s livelihood, especially in cases where the employee has a family to support.
Additional Consequences That Come With Stealing from Your Employer
Stealing from your employer can also have severe consequences on your career and future employment prospects. Many employers conduct background checks on job applicants, and a theft conviction could prevent you from being hired by other companies in the future. This can make it difficult for individuals to find employment in their chosen field and may force them to take jobs unrelated to their experience and qualifications. In terms of personal consequences, a criminal record can have a negative impact on your reputation and relationships and make it difficult to obtain loans, credit, and housing.
As you can see, stealing from your employer is a truly severe offense in our state. If you are facing charges of theft from your employer, it is essential to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Do this as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you, the potential penalties, and the best action to take. They can also help you understand your rights and work to protect them.
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.