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Theft and Jail Time: What You Need to Know

What Is Considered Theft?

Theft, or larceny, is typically a term used to describe taking property that does not belong to you.  This can happen by way of taking unauthorized control, theft by deception, or by threat. In addition, the person who commits the theft must intend to permanently keep the property from the rightful owner, sometimes including concealment or abandonment of the property.

 What Are the Consequences of Theft?

If convicted of theft, many factors will be used to determine the ultimate consequences you’ll face, including: the monetary worth of the property, the place from which it was stolen, the nature of the offense, and whether the person committing the crime has prior offenses.

According to Illinois Statute Section 5/16-1, the following consequences apply:

  • Theft of property, other than theft from the owner’s person, with a value up to $500 is considered a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine and less than 1 year in prison.
  • Theft committed in a school or place of worship or of government property, or theft committed by a person with prior convictions of theft or a similar crime, is punishable by fines and 1-3 years in prison. It is a class 4 felony.
  • Theft of property from the owner’s person with a value not exceeding $500, or from a property with a value of $500-$10,000 is a class 3 felony and is punishable by fine and 2-5 years in prison.
  • Theft of property with a value of $10,000-$100,000 is a class 2 felony and punishable by fine and 3-7 years in prison.
  • Theft of property valued at $100,000-$500,000 is punishable by 4-15 years in prison and fines. It is a class 1 non-probation felony.
  • Theft of property valued at more than $1,000,000 is punishable by 6-30 years in prison and fines. It is a class X felony.

Peoria Criminal Defense Attorneys: Let Us Fight for You

Not all theft cases are cut and dry.  There are often defenses available that will work in your favor.  Some of these defenses are: lack of intent to permanently deprive, mistake of fact, coercion, owner’s consent or even intoxication.  It is our job as Peoria criminal defense attorneys to examine all the facts and work diligently to make sure your rights are protected. 

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