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Chicago has been named one of the most dangerous cities, with extremely high crime rates. Turning on the news each night, you likely see devastating videos of gun violence leading to lost lives. While it is no secret that Chicago has more than its fair share of violent crimes, statistics show that property crimes actually make up 76 percent of criminal offenses in Chicago in 2018. As a city known for its crime, it is important to know what actions constitute the most common offenses if you are a Chicagoan. Knowing who you can turn to if you find yourself facing criminal charges is even more critical. The legal team at Luisi Legal Group assists clients in defending themselves against all of the following charges.

Theft

Of all the crimes committed in Chicago, theft is the most common, with nearly 65,000 offenses recorded in 2018. The definition of theft is fairly obvious; it means taking something that does not belong to you. This also includes knowingly obtaining stolen property, even if you are not the one who stole it. The consequences of theft are dependent upon the price of the item. The lowest charge one can face is a Class A misdemeanor for items under $500 in value. However, when the price begins to surpass $100,000, those found guilty have committed a Class X felony.

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IL defense lawyerThe state of Illinois does have separate laws in place to differentiate between robbery and burglary. Both are very similar crimes that involve someone breaking into a specific property, vehicle, or business and either taking items or has the intent to steal items.

The act of burglary is defined by Illinois law as a person(s) unlawfully entering a property without permission of the owner with the intent to steal items while on site. Even if no property is taken, a person can be charged with burglary if the intent to steal is proven.

Illinois law defines robbery as a person(s) taking property from another person with the use of force or threat. The law does not cover automobiles, but Illinois does have a separate law for vehicular theft.

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IL defense lawyerMost people use the terms theft, robbery and burglary interchangeably and for the most part, they can be used that way in general conversation. In the criminal justice world, theft, robbery, and burglary each have their own meanings and often have different consequences, depending on which crime you are accused of. If you are accused of one of these crimes, it is very important that you understand what constitutes each crime and what kind of punishments you are facing.

Theft

The Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 states that you are committing theft if you:

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Posted on in Theft

Il defense lawyerOftentimes people will use the terms theft, robbery, and burglary interchangeably, though under the law, these terms have very different meanings and each contains different consequences. These crimes all include a person taking or attempting to take property from another person, but the elements of these crimes differ, as well as the consequences for committing them. Theft is a general term used when property is stolen from a person without the intention to return it. If you are being charged with a theft crime, it is important to know what you are being charged with and the penalties that you face.

What Constitutes Theft?

Theft is a broad term that can cover a variety of crimes. Theft encompasses any crime in which a person takes property from another person without the intention of returning it. In the state of Illinois, a person commits theft when they:

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Posted on in Theft

Chicago criminal defense attorneysTheft is a crime which can span the proverbial gamut in terms of gravity, at least in Illinois. From a minor retail theft offense to a Class X felony, theft charges can be a minor inconvenience or a life-changing mistake. Either way, if a person has been charged with a theft-related offense, it is imperative that they familiarize themselves with the potential consequences, but also with their rights and responsibilities in responding to such a charge. Misconceptions abound with regard to theft crimes, and if a defendant is not aware of the potential penalties for each charge, he or she may receive an unpleasant surprise upon sentencing, should it progress that far.

Types of Offenses

As you might expect, there are multiple theft charges specified under Illinois law with varying degrees of punishment in the form of fines, jail time, or both. The reason there are so many types of potential charges is that there are multiple factors that must be considered in each case—not only the market value of the property in question, but also the degree of physical harm inflicted (if any), and the intent and circumstances surrounding the taking. The statute specifically defines theft as taking property from someone else, without their permission, with the intent to use, conceal, abandon or otherwise deprive the original owner of the item. All these criteria must be met, as well as assessing the value of the stolen item and other relevant factors.

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