The most basic definition of theft is taking something that does not belong to you. There are different levels of theft, often categorized into grand theft and petty theft. Not all theft has the same punishment. If you’ve been charged in Illinois with theft or robbery, call a Chicago criminal defense attorney for guidance.
Chicago Lawyer Explains: The Difference Between Robbery, Burglary, Theft and Larceny
In criminal law, theft is the illegal taking of another person’s property without that person’s freely-given consent. It is also considered theft if you knowingly possess stolen property even if you did not steal it. Larceny is a crime involving theft, taking and removing tangible personal property with the intent to deprive a person of their possession(s) permanently.
Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force and/or by putting the victim in fear. Burglary, unlawful entry into a building for the purposes of committing an offense, is a crime. No physical breaking and entering is required; the offender may simply trespass through an open door. It differs from robbery, since there is usually no victim present during a burglary. A competent Chicago criminal lawyer can walk you through the differences.
Robbery differs from simple theft in its use of violence and intimidation. Among the types of robbery are piracy, armed robbery involving use of a weapon, and aggravated robbery involving use of a deadly weapon or something that appears to be a deadly weapon. Robbery requires that the property be taken directly from the person of the victim or from his presence. This differs from larceny which requires that property be taken from the victim’s possession.
Chicago Criminal Lawyer Explains: Illinois Penalties and Jail Time
The penalty for theft in Illinois is dependent upon the value of the amount stolen, the higher the value of the property stolen the more severe the penalty, and whether it was stolen from a person and where the offense took place. Generally, if the theft occurred at a place of worship, school or of government property, the crime is enhanced to one of the fours classes of a felony charge. Felony thefts can include car theft, credit card theft, felony larceny, fraud and embezzlement.
If the value of the stolen property is $300 or less and it was not stolen directly from another person or from a retail store, then the theft charge is Class A Misdemeanor which carries a possible sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Many shoplifting charges fall under this category.
The sentence for robbery is a Class 2 felony, punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison. Aggravated robbery is a Class 1 felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison. Armed robbery in Illinois is very serious offense and a Class X felony, carrying a mandatory prison sentence of 6 to 30 years. Call a Chicago lawyer if you’ve been charged. A Chicago criminal defense attorney or Chicago criminal lawyer can explain possible penalties and jail time in greater detail.
Burglary is prosecuted as a felony and involves trespassing and theft, entering a building or automobile, or intent to commit theft or any crime, for example, vandalism.
These penalties do not take into account special circumstances that may make the punishment more severe such as the location of the crime, school or place of worship, the victim(s) of the crime and an individual’s criminal history.