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What Are the Consequences for Stealing Gas in Illinois?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

chicago defense lawyerGas prices have skyrocketed over the decades and paying for fuel is one of the most onerous aspects of car ownership. However, the State of Illinois gives no free passes for gas theft. The crime is punished harshly, with serious consequences that can upend your life. Gas theft takes many different forms. The offender may drive to the gas station and siphon gas directly into his vehicle or walk to the pump and fill a jerry can or barrel.

If you are charged with the crime of gas theft, you have the right to legal representation. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can provide you with options and chart a path forward based on your needs.

Misdemeanor v. Felony Gas Theft

Per Illinois law, theft occurs when a party knowingly steals property belonging to someone else. You can also face theft charges for buying or receiving stolen goods. The element of intent is important in a fuel theft case. The offender must knowingly take fuel without paying for it and without any available pretense that would justify his actions (e.g., being told by the station owner not to pay for the gas).

Gas theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the retail value of the gas stolen.

  • Class A misdemeanor: If the retail value of the gas is less than $150, the offender is charged with a class A misdemeanor with possible penalties, including a one-year maximum prison sentence and a fine up to $2,500.
  • Class 4 Felony: If the offender has a prior conviction for retail theft, gas theft is a class 4 felony charge punishable by a prison sentence between one and three years.
  • Class 3 Felony: If the value of the gas exceeds $150, the offender is charged with a class 3 felony, which could result in a jail sentence between two and five years.

Contact an Experienced Chicago Theft Defense Attorney

A criminal conviction has consequences far beyond prison time; you could face serious fines, jail time, and difficulty finding a job or renting an apartment. Thankfully, everyone charged with a crime is entitled to an attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the criminal process, providing a rigorous defense of your rights at each stage.

Luisi Legal Group has been helping Illinois residents in their time of need for years. We believe communication is the cornerstone of legal representation; we go the extra mile to understand the client’s objectives.

If you need an experienced Chicago, Illinois criminal defense attorney that prioritizes client needs, call Luisi Legal Group today at 773-276-5541 for a free initial consultation.

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+16%2C+Subdiv%2E+10&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=39600000&SeqEnd=40100000

 

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