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.
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.
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.
We have represented thousands of clients over the last 20 years with great success.
On the first Court date, we immediately file with the Court a Motion for Discovery which requires the Prosecutor to give us all of the evidence that they have against you, including police reports, statements, the accuser's criminal background, pictures and video and audio tapes of 911 calls. We have to make sure there are no surprises. The Prosecutor is required to give us all the evidence they intend to use against you, even if the evidence shows that you are innocent.
Upon reviewing all of the evidence, we will then typically file a Motion to Dismiss, Motion to Quash Arrest and Suppress Evidence, Motion to Suppress Statement and any other motions if required by the facts and law. The idea is to win the case before it goes 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. We understand how important it is that you clear your name and not be labeled a criminal. We have a proven track record of winning criminal cases with thousands of grateful and satisfied clients. When our attorneys appear in Court, our clients are represented by a highly skilled criminal defense attorney with one goal in mind: To Win!
If you have a Theft charge in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County or Kane County, give us a call. We can help.