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Chicago Theft Law

Theft refers to dishonestly taking another’s property, appropriating property fraudulently with the intention to keep it or obtaining property under false pretenses. Theft is a broad legal category, and specific types of theft include larceny, embezzlement, extortion, identity theft, burglary, grand theft, petit theft, embezzlement, fraud, car jacking, joy riding, shoplifting, motor vehicle theft and receiving stolen property. The value of the stolen property factors into the severity of the crime. Larceny refers to stolen property that is of great value. Grand theft also covers property of greater value than petit (or misdemeanor) theft of stolen property of relatively small value.

The degree of punishment is proportionate to the severity of the crime. Under Illinois statutes, petit theft involves property stolen that is valued less than $150 (or $300) depending on the type of theft. It is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year and a maximum fine of $2500. Repeated offenses may be treated as a felony with prison terms of one to three years.

The intention to steal must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in order to prove theft. In some instances, a person might be arrested for theft although there was no intention to commit a crime. If the police officer believes there is reasonable cause, you could be arrested regardless of your intention. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible can help you to understand your rights and allow your attorney to prepare an effective defense.

To arrange a consultation to discuss your concerns regarding theft charges, please call 312-368-0611 or use our online quick contact email.

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