The charge of THEFT most often alleges that you obtained or exerted unauthorized control over property of another person with the intent to deprive that person permanently of the use or benefit of the property. See, 720 ICS 5/16-1(a)(1)(A). Your theft charge can range from a class A misdemeanor all the way up to a class X felony offense. Theft charges increase in severity based on the value of the property you allegedly took. Other factors, such as where and how you allegedly took the property also can function to increase the severity of the offense.
Basic Levels of Theft Charges
Class A Misdemeanor
Theft of property exceeding $500 in value. Up to a $2,500 fine and 364 days in jail.
Class 3 Felony
Theft of property exceeding $500 and not exceeding $10,000 in value. Possible 2-5 years in prison, up to $25,000 fine.
Class 2 Felony
Theft of property exceeding $10,000 and not exceeding $100,000 in value. Possible 3-7 years in prison, up to $25,000 fine.
Class 1 Felony
Theft of property exceeding $100,000 and not exceeding $500,000 in value. Possible 4-15 years in prison, up to $25,000 fine.
Class 1 Felony
Theft of property exceeding $500,000 and not exceeding $1,000,000 in value. Mandatory 4-15 years in prison.
Class X Felony
Theft of property exceeding $1,000,000 in value. Mandatory 6-30 years in prison.
Your Lake County criminal theft charge can create a permanent criminal record. If you are charged with misdemeanor theft, you may be eligible for a disposition of court supervision. Court supervision does not lead to a conviction for the offense. If otherwise you have a clean criminal record, in most cases supervision allows the expungement of the record of your arrest. Court supervision also may be available as a sentencing option in an ordinance-level Lake County theft case.
As a general rule, court supervision is not allowed for a felony theft charge. This means that if you plead guilty to or are found guilty of a felony theft charge, you will be convicted of the offense. A conviction for felony theft will lead to a felony conviction being added permanently to your record. A felony conviction also could lead to high fines, jail time, and possibly even a prison sentence.
Whether you are charged with misdemeanor or felony theft, the HoffmanLaw Office has the experience necessary to powerfully defend your case. If you have an upcoming court date in your case, it is important to remember that you are presumed innocent of the charges against you. As can be seen here, there are a number of elements of the offense of theft the prosecution is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution must prove you “exerted unauthorized control” “over property” “of another person” and that you “had the intent to deprive that person” “permanently” “of the use or benefit of the property.” If, especially because of your defense lawyer’s work in your case, the prosecution fails to prove any one of these necessary elements of the offense of theft, then you should be found not guilty.
The HoffmanLaw Office has almost two decades of experience in Lake County, Illinois criminal court. We have many years of experience with theft and related charges. We understand the issues that arise in Lake County theft prosecutions and will fight for a positive resolution of the charges against you.
Whether you are charged with misdemeanor or felony theft, the HoffmanLaw Office has the experience necessary to powerfully defend your case.
~Attorney Matt Hoffman, the HoffmanLaw Office