In Illinois, property crimes are those which involve the taking or damaging of property. This includes, among other crimes, theft, motor vehicle theft, robbery, criminal damage to property, arson, and burglary. Property crimes can but don’t always involve the use or threat of force. Depending on a range of factors, property offenses can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies. If you are arrested, or the police are questioning you regarding a property offense, it’s crucial to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Contact Attorney Daniel Johnson today at (773) 864-9281 for a free consultation.
Theft is the act of taking another person’s property or services without the person’s permission with the intent to deprive them of that property. A person commits theft if they commit any of the following acts:
- Gains control or unauthorized possession over property that isn’t theirs;
- By deception, gains control over property of the owner;
- By using threats, takes control of property that does not belong to them;
- Gains control and possess stolen property knowing that the property was stolen; or
- Gains or exerts control over stolen property that is in the custody of any law enforcement agency and
- Has the intention to permanently deprive the owner of the use or benefit of the property; or
- Deprives the owner permanently of the property or its benefit by knowingly using, concealing, or abandoning the property; or
- Uses, conceals, or abandons the property knowing that this will probably permanently deprive the owner of such use or benefit.
The punishment for theft crimes is dependent on the value of the item or items in question. For example, theft of property valued at $500 or less is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail, while theft of property valued at more than $1 million is a Class X felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Motor Vehicle Theft
Motor vehicle theft and possession of a stolen motor vehicle fall under Illinois’ general theft statute stated above. You can be charged with motor vehicle theft if you steal a vehicle with the intention of not returning, abandoning, concealing, or disposing of it. In contrast, possession of a stolen motor vehicle is knowingly taking possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Penalties for these two offenses vary, largely dependent upon the value of the vehicle.
Vehicular hijacking occurs when a person knowingly takes a motor vehicle from someone by using force or threatening the imminent use of force. Vehicular hijacking is a Class 1 felony, which carries a sentence of 4 - 20 years in prison.
The charge is elevated to aggravated vehicular hijacking if any of the following factors are present:
- The vehicle was taken from a person who is 60 years of age or older
- The victim has a physical disability
- There was a passenger younger than 16 in the vehicle at the time of the offense
- The person taking the vehicle possessed a firearm or other dangerous weapon
- The person taking the vehicle discharges a firearm and causes great bodily harm, disfigurement, permanent disability, or death
Vehicular hijacking is a Class X felony that can carry a punishment of 6 years – natural life in prison depending on the circumstances.
In Illinois, a person can be charged with three different types of robbery offenses: robbery, aggravated robbery, and armed robbery.
Robbery is defined as taking something from another person by force. This is a Class 2 felony punishable by 3 - 7 years in prison. However, if the victim is 60 years or older or has a physical disability, it becomes a Class 1 felony, which carries 4 - 15 years in prison. Also, robbery is a Class 1 felony if committed in a school, a daycare center, a childcare facility, or a place of worship.
Aggravated robbery is taking (or attempting to take) something from another person by force while indicating that you possess a gun or another dangerous weapon. Like robbery, this is a Class 1 felony and carries 4 - 15 years in prison. You could be charged and convicted of this crime even if you didn’t use or even have a deadly weapon. The simple fact of indicating that you possess a gun or another dangerous weapon is enough.
Armed robbery is taking (or attempting to take) something from another person by force while possessing a firearm or other weapon on or about your person or taking something from another person by force, and you discharged a firearm during the offense (even if no one was injured). Armed robbery is a Class X felony punishable by 6 - 30 years in prison.
Criminal Damage to Property
You can be charged with criminal damage to property if you knowingly or recklessly deface, destroy, or damage the property of another without the owner’s permission to do so. In Illinois, criminal damage to property can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the damage caused and who owns the property.
Arson is knowingly damaging real or personal property having a value of at least $150 by fire or explosive without the property owner’s consent. If while committing arson, a person knowingly damages any building or structure, including a nearby building or structure knowing that someone is in the building, or someone suffers great bodily harm, or an emergency personnel worker is injured as a result of the arson, the charge is elevated to aggravated arson.
Arson is a Class 2 felony. However, if arson is committed in a residence or a place of worship, it is raised to a Class 1 felony. And aggravated arson is a Class X felony.
Possession of explosives or incendiary devices is a Class 1 felony and carries a minimum sentence of 4 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years.
A burglary occurs when a person without consent knowingly enters or without permission remains in a building, vehicle, or structure with the intent to commit a felony or theft. If no damage is caused during the burglary, the offense is classified as a Class 3 felony. However, if damage does occur due to a burglary, it becomes a Class 2 felony. In addition, burglary is elevated to a Class 1 felony if it happens in specific locations, such as schools or places of worship.
Some of the other property offenses Attorney Daniel Johnson is prepared to assist you with include:
Attorney Daniel Johnson Is Here for You
- Home Invasion
- Insurance Fraud
- Identity Theft
- Retail Theft
- Residential Burglary
- Possession of Burglary Tools
Attorney Daniel Johnson is experienced in handling property offenses and is always available to help. If you’ve been arrested, questioned by the police, or have any other questions or concerns regarding property offenses in Illinois, please don’t hesitate to call. When you hire Daniel, you can be confident that you’re hiring a dedicated and qualified attorney who cares as much about your case as you do. Contact Attorney Daniel Johnson today at (773) 864-9281 for a free consultation. contact us