Illinois Theft

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/16-1

A person commits theft when he or she knowingly:

  1. Obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the owner; or
  2. Obtains by deception control over property of the owner; or
  3. Obtains by threat control over property of the owner; or
  4. Obtains control over stolen property knowing the property to have been stolen or under such circumstances as would reasonably induce him or her to believe that the property was stolen; or
  5. Obtains or exerts control over property in the custody of any law enforcement agency which any law enforcement officer or any individual acting in behalf of a law enforcement agency explicitly represents to the person as being stolen or represents to the person such circumstances as would reasonably induce the person to believe that the property was stolen, and
    1. Intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property; or
    2. Knowingly uses, conceals or abandons the property in such manner as to deprive the owner permanently of such use or benefit; or
    3. Uses, conceals, or abandons the property knowing such use, concealment or abandonment probably will deprive the owner permanently of such use or benefit.

As you can see, the offense of theft is not just “taking something that does not belong to you”. Theft encompasses a wide variety of acts that could amount to stealing something. Theft can be a simple taking, but it can also be done by deception (for example, person A tells person B that person A will sell person B’s jewelry and give person B the money, so person B gives person A the money and all along it was person A’s intent to just keep person B’s jewelry); or by threat (person A tells person B to give him his lunch money or person A will hurt person B). As is the case with all crimes, the burden is on the State to prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Sentence

VALUE OF PROPERTYTAKEN

SENTENCE IF THE PROPERTY IS NOT TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM A PERSON

SENTENCE IF THE PROPERTY IS NOT TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM A PERSON – BUT THE THEFT OCCURS IN A SCHOOL, PLACE OF WORSHIP, OR ON GOVERNMENT PROPERTY.

SENTENCE IF THE  PROPERTY IS

TAKEN FROM A PERSON

SENTENCE IF THE PROPERTY IS TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM A PERSON – BUT THE THEFT OCCURS IN A SCHOOL, PLACE OF WORSHIP, OR ON GOVERNMENT PROPERTY

Not greater than $500

CLASS A MISDEMEANOR

364 DAYS MAX

CLASS 4 FELONY

1-3 YEARS

Probation IS possible

CLASS 3 FELONY

2-5 YEARS

Probation IS possible

CLASS 2 FELONY

3-7 YEARS

Probation IS possible

Greater than $500 but not exceeding $10,000

CLASS 3 FELONY

2-5 YEARS

Probation IS possible

CLASS 2 FELONY

3-7 YEARS

Probation IS possible 

CLASS 3 FELONY

2-5 YEARS

Probation IS possible

CLASS 2 FELONY

3-7 YEARS

Probation IS possible

Greater than $10,000 but not exceeding $100,000

CLASS 2 FELONY

3-7 YEARS

Probation IS possible

CLASS 1 FELONY

4-15 YEARS

Probation IS possible

CLASS 2 FELONY

3-7 YEARS

Probation IS possible

CLASS 1 FELONY

4-15 YEARS

Probation IS possible

Greater than $100,000 but not exceeding $500,000

CLASS 1 FELONY

4-15 YEARS

Probation IS possible

CLASS X FELONY

6-30 YEARS

PROBATION IS NOT POSSIBLE

CLASS 1 FELONY

4-15 YEARS

Probation IS possible

CLASS X FELONY

6-30 YEARS

PROBATION IS NOT POSSIBLE

Greater than $500,000 but not exceeding $1,000,000

CLASS 1 FELONY

4-15 YEARS

Probation IS NOT possible

CLASS X FELONY

6-30 YEARS

PROBATION IS NOT POSSIBLE

CLASS 1 FELONY

4-15 YEARS

Probation IS NOT possible

CLASS X FELONY

6-30 YEARS

PROBATION IS NOT POSSIBLE

Greater than $1,000,000

CLASS X FELONY

6-30 YEARS

PROBATION IS NOT POSSIBLE

CLASS X FELONY

6-30 YEARS

PROBATION IS NOT POSSIBLE

CLASS X FELONY

6-30 YEARS

PROBATION IS NOT POSSIBLE

CLASS X FELONY

6-30 YEARS

PROBATION IS NOT POSSIBLE


ENHANCED PENALTIES

THEFT BY DECEPTION, WHERE THE OFFENDER OBTAINS MONEY OF PROPERTY VALUED AT $5000 OR GREATER, FROM A PERSON AGE 60 OR OLDER

CLASS 2 FELONY

2-5 YEARS

PROBATION POSSIBLE - YES

THEFT BY DECEPTION, WHERE THE OFFENDER FALSELY POSES AS A LANDLORD OR AGENT AND OBTAINS A RENT PAYMENT OR SECURITY DEPOSIT OF LESS THAN $500 FROM A TENANT

CLASS 3 FELONY

2-5 YEARS

PROBATION POSSIBLE - YES

THEFT BY DECEPTION, WHERE THE OFFENDER FALSELY POSES AS A LANDLORD OR AGENT AND OBTAINS A RENT PAYMENT OR SECURITY DEPOSIT OF GREATER THAN $500 BUT NOT GREATER THAN $10,000 FROM A TENANT

CLASS 2 FELONY

3-7 YEARS

PROBATION POSSIBLE - YES

THEFT BY DECEPTION, WHERE THE OFFENDER FALSELY POSES AS A LANDLORD OR AGENT AND OBTAINS A RENT PAYMENT OR SECURITY DEPOSIT OF GREATER THAN $10,000 BUT NOT GREATER THAN $100,000 FROM A TENANT

CLASS 1 FELONY

4-15 YEARS

PROBATION POSSIBLE - YES

THEFT BY DECEPTION, WHERE THE OFFENDER FALSELY POSES AS A LANDLORD OR AGENT AND OBTAINS A RENT PAYMENT OR SECURITY DEPOSIT OF GREATER THAN $10,000 BUT NOT GREATER THAN $100,000 FROM A TENANT

CLASS X FELONY

6-30 YEARS

NO PROBATION ALLOWED


Success Story: Theft is a very common crime, as one could imagine. In the case of many who come to us for representation, there is an issue of whether the property actually belonged to the person who says that the property was taken from them. This happens between husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, friends, co-workers, or other people who have a past relationship of some sort. We have successfully defended clients over the years by showing that the property really did not belong to the person who is claiming it was theirs. Also, we have, at times, been able to successfully show that the value of the property was not what was claimed by the State, which would, as you can see, reduce the possible penalties.

We have tried hundreds of cases over the years. Having experienced trial lawyers is vital; not only for the trial itself, but for the fact that the reputation of our law firm is that we will not hesitate to take a case to trial if it is in the best interests of our client. Our first goal is NOT a plea agreement – it is dismissal --- not guilty. We are skilled trial lawyers who know the art of trying cases before a judge or jury, and the art of cross-examination to elicit testimony favorable to our client’s case.
When you need a criminal defense attorney, you should hire a lawyer who is experienced, aggressive, and will do the work it takes to get the best result for you. We leave no stone unturned in our effort to do the best job we can for a client, and get the best result possible. We are experienced, aggressive, knowledgeable, and detail-oriented criminal defense attorneys We represent clients in Orland Park, Tinley Park, Joliet, Lockport, Homer Glen, New Lenox, Oak Forest, Plainfield, Romeoville, and all other cities in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.

The latest from our blog...

Bicycle Safety Tips

The warm weather has finally arrived in Illinois. Along with that warm weather comes warm weather activities. One of the most popular is bike riding. Many people take advantage of ...

Read more...

Personal Injury and the Cost of Winning

Getting a favorable judgment in a civil trial is a daunting task. Depending on the type of litigation you were involved in, it can also be a very expensive endeavor. ...

Read more...

Seat Belts Really Do Save Lives

One of the simplest—yet most effective—ways to protect yourself from injuries in the event of a car crash is to use your seat belt. Using a seat belt reduces the ...

Read more...

Successful Cases

More Settlements

James A. Payonk, Jr.

~ Attorney at Law ~

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

(708) 633-6005