request
X

FREE CONSULTATION

Thank you for your interest in The Law Offices of Andrew M. Weisberg. Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

*Indicates Required Fields

bbb-rating

Call Today for a FREE CONSULTATION

SE HABLA ESPAÑOL

(773) 908-9811

AVAILABLE 24 HOURS/7 DAYS

menu

X

request

(773) 908-9811

AVAILABLE 24 HOURS/7 DAYS

FOLLOW US:

Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

blog_homeBlog Home

Motor Vehicle Theft Charges in Illinois – How They Work

If a car isn’t locked, does getting inside and going for a ride still qualify as theft?

 

Jamesha McChristine allegedly saw a woman exit her car and leave it running in a driveway on Dec. 20, 2017. McChristine is accused of entering the open car door and driving away in the car. She allegedly crashed it into two other vehicles that were parked in Elmhurst, along with landscaping owned by the city. Then she allegedly crashed it into a building and tried to flee the scene on foot before her arrest. She is now facing multiple felony charges, but is pleading not guilty.

 

In the State of Illinois, if you are facing charges of theft of a motor vehicle, you risk serious felony punishments. Taking a vehicle through unauthorized use, deception, or threats can result in prison time and heavy fines. For these reasons, it’s important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as charges are filed.

 

Illinois Auto Theft Definition

 

In Illinois, an individual may be charged with motor vehicle theft or possession of a stolen motor vehicle if any of the following acts occur.

 

  • An individual possesses, receives, sells, conceals, transfers, or disposes of a vehicle with knowledge that vehicle was stolen or converted.
  • An individual knowingly modifies or alters a vehicle identification number.
  • An individual knowingly misrepresents or conceals the vehicle’s identity.
  • An individual possesses, receives, sells, purchases or disposes of a vehicle while knowing the identification number was modified.

For a conviction to occur, intent to permanently deprive the vehicle owner of the vehicle’s use or benefit must be present. If the intent was not to permanently separate the vehicle from the owner, a theft charge can be dismissed.

 

Other unique situations apply to unlawful possession of a motor vehicle. For example:

 

  • A renter is required to return a vehicle to the rental operation within 10 days of a written demand or within 24 hours if false identification was provided by the renter.
  • An individual who takes another’s vehicle for a joyride will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor of criminal trespass.
  • An individual commits the act of carjacking by using or threatening force to take a vehicle from another person.

A charge of possession of a stolen motor vehicle applies if the defendant has control over a vehicle known to be stolen.

 

Knowledge and intent are important factors in motor vehicle theft and possession cases, and a skilled attorney will understand how the laws apply to your specific case.

 

Penalties for Motor Vehicle Theft in Illinois

 

Penalties vary based on the vehicle’s value. Possession of a stolen motor vehicle is a Class 2 felony with 3-7 years of prison time. Carjacking is a Class 1 felony punishable by 15 years in prison. Motor vehicle theft is a Class X felony if aggravated charges apply, and can result in up to 30 years in prison.

 

, Motor Vehicle Theft Charges in Illinois – How They Work

Additional penalties may involve a suspended or revoked driver’s license, probation, community service, and restitution.

 

Since these charges come with serious penalties, it’s essential that you consult with a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Call today to set up a free case review. We’ll help you put together the strongest possible defense to fight your charges.

 

 

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 in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes.

 

Our Blog

What Are The Signs Of Sex Trafficking in IL?

Sex Crimes | Sex Trafficking

Sex trafficking is a crime taken very seriously in Illinois. Being accused of it can have a big impact on your life – and being convicted of it can shift the trajectory of your path forever.

For many people, sex trafficking is something that is only seen on television and in movies, but the truth is that it happens in plain sight every single day. If you know what to look for, you may be able to understand when sex

[...]

IL Drug Crimes: When Are They a Class X Felony?

Drug Crimes

There are federal laws against drugs, but these cases are handled at the state level most of the time. Due to this division, you can find varying laws between states when it comes to drugs – and some states are harsher than others.

Illinois has drug laws that run the gamut, from misdemeanor crimes to the most serious of felonies, known as Class X felonies. A Class X felony conviction can have a serious and lasting impact on your life,

[...]
Law Offices of Andrew Weisberg