Theft Charges

What is Theft in Illinois?

Theft in Illinois is covered by 720 ILCS 5/16-1.  Basically theft is when someone's property is stolen.  There's several ways someone can steal someone's property.  They can physically carry it away or they can trick or threaten someone into giving them their property.  At the end of the day, the thief has possession of someone's property without legal authority.

What is the Sentence for Theft?

Whether the Theft charge is a Felony or a Misdemeanor depends on the value of the stolen property.  If the value of the property is up to $500.00, the Theft is a Class A Misdemeanor (720 ILCS 5/16-1(b)1).  If the value of the property is over $500.00 it's a Felony.  Generally, jail is mandatory if the amount stolen is over 1 million dollars or over $100,000 if the property was stolen from a place of worship, school or government property.  However, probation or Court Supervision are generally available as an alternative to jail depending on your criminal history, the facts of the case, and whether you are charged with a Felony or a Misdemeanor.

Can I Expunge or Seal a Theft Conviction?

In Illinois, Misdemeanor Theft charges can be expunged or sealed depending on your criminal background.  Felony Theft convictions are not eligible for expunging or sealing and can only be removed by a Governor's Pardon.

Convictions can be viewed by the public, employers, credit agencies, schools, government, landlords, etc.  Most employers do not hire people with criminal convictions.  Especially a criminal record for stealing.  Colleges may deny admission or expel a student who gets convicted of a crime.  Landlords can refuse to rent to people with criminal convictions.  A conviction can also affect custody and visitation rights.

The Prosecutor often fails to see the broader consequences of a criminal conviction.  Prosecutors are mostly concerned with getting a conviction and sending people to jail.

Why TRUST Legal Defenders as Your Lawyer for Your Theft Case?

Our lawyers have represented thousands of clients over the last 20 years with great success.

We will immediately file a Motion for Discovery demanding that the State turn over all of their evidence, including police reports, statements, the accuser's criminal background, pictures and video and audio tapes of 911 calls. Your lawyer will make sure there are no surprises.  We will will make sure that the state give us all the evidence they have, even if the evidence shows that you are innocent.

After we get all of the evidence, we will usually file any motion necessary to try to have the case dismissed or evidence thrown out.  We will try to do everything we can to get the case dismissed without going to trial.

When your freedom and reputation is at stake, trust our experienced criminal defense attorneys to fight the State and its hired prosecutors to win your case. Our lawyers understand how important it is that you clear your name and not be labeled a criminal.  We have a proven history of winning criminal cases with many grateful and satisfied clients.  You need to know that you are being represented by a lawyer that knows what to do for you to win your case.  We know what we are doing and we know what it takes to win your case.

If you have a Theft charge in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County or Kane County, give us a call.  We Can Help.