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Criminal Law

Robbery Charges

Unlike the children’s game of “cops and robbers”, in Illinois, robbery is a felony with life-altering, serious consequences. If convicted, you face penalties including prison time, costly fines, or community service hours. Additionally, your reputation and record could be permanently tarnished. This criminal record will make the small things, like procuring a loan, getting accepted into college, and getting a job, extremely difficult.  When your reputation and freedom are on the line, don’t leave your conviction up to chance without contacting the Law Offices of Peter W. Lewis.

 

 

Theft Charges

Crimes of theft in Illinois are defined as the taking another person’s property with the intent to permanently withhold that person the use or benefit of the property.  There are many different types of theft crimes in this state and the exact theft charge you receive depends on the circumstances surrounding your case.  The value of the item that is taken plays a major role in theft crimes. For example, in Illinois, the retail theft results for charges involving stolen property that is worth below $500.00, is considered a misdemeanor. Whereas, retail thefts involving stolen property valued at over $500.00 is considered a felony. As you will read below, the theft crime penalty depends on a variety of situations, such as how the item is taken, where the item is taken from and from whom the item is taken.  These charges are the most common types of theft related charges in Illinois:

 

 

Theft   (720 ILCS 5/16-1)

In Illinois, a person commits theft when he or she knowingly does one of the following:

        (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;

AND

            (A) Intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property; or

            (B) Knowingly uses, conceals or abandons the property in such manner as to deprive the owner permanently of such use or benefit; or

            (C) 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, theft requires a person to know they are taking property of another and intending of depriving the property’s owner of the use and benefit of that property.  The most common example of theft is shoplifting from a store.

 

The punishment for theft in Illinois varies and is determined by several factors.  Theft of property not from the person themselves (which would be robbery) and not exceeding $500 in value is a Class A misdemeanor.  On the other hand, theft of property exceeding $500 and not exceeding $10,000 in value is a Class 3 felony.  The punishment for theft goes up in severity according to the increased value of the property taken.

 

Burglary

 

(720 ILCS 5/19-1) Burglary.

    (a) A person commits burglary when without authority he or she knowingly enters or without authority remains within a building, housetrailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof, with intent to commit therein a felony or theft.

 

The breaking and entering of a non-residential building is considered plain burglary.  If there is a breaking and entering of a person’s home, then the charge is considered residential burglary.  As you can see from the language of the statute, a burglary occurs when you enter somewhere you aren’t supposed to be with the intent to steal something or commit any other type of crime when you get in.   Please be aware, you do not have to be successful in taking any property or completing any other crime to be charged with burglary.

 

(720 ILCS 5/19-3) Residential burglary.

    (a) A person commits residential burglary when he or she knowingly and without authority enters or knowingly and without authority remains within the dwelling place of another, or any part thereof, with the intent to commit therein a felony or theft. This offense includes the offense of burglary as defined in Section 19-1.

 

The second type of burglary in Illinois is residential burglary.  The difference between the two types of burglaries is whether the building broken into is a residence or a non-residence.  The other substantial difference between the two charges is the punishment.  A sentence of probation is possible for plain burglary, however for residential burglary, probation is not possible and the minimum sentence for a first time offender is 4 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

 

Robbery and Aggravated Robbery

(720 ILCS 5/18-1) Robbery; aggravated robbery.

    (a) Robbery. A person commits robbery when he or she knowingly takes property, except a motor vehicle, from the person or presence of another by the use of force or by threatening the imminent use of force.

    (b) Aggravated robbery.

        (1) A person commits aggravated robbery when he or she violates subsection (a) while indicating verbally or by his or her actions to the victim that he or she is presently armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon, including a knife, club, ax, or bludgeon.

 

The charge for taking property from someone’s person by force is robbery.  If the taking of the property is done in a way that the perpetrator makes the victim believe they armed with a dangerous weapon, the charge is considered aggravated robbery.  Robbery is a Class 2 felony, unless the victim is 60 years of age or over or is a person with a physical disability, or the robbery is committed in a school, day care center, day care home, group day care home, or part day child care facility, or place of worship, in which case robbery is a Class 1 felony. Aggravated robbery is a Class 1 felony.

 

Armed Robbery

(720 ILCS 5/18-2) Armed robbery.

    (a) A person commits armed robbery when he or she commits a robbery; and

        (1) he or she carries on or about his or her person or is otherwise armed with a dangerous weapon other than a firearm; or

        (2) he or she carries on or about his or her person or is otherwise armed with a firearm; or

        (3) he or she, during the commission of the offense, personally discharges a firearm; or

        (4) he or she, during the commission of the offense, personally discharges a firearm that proximately causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death to another person.

 

In Illinois, armed robbery is a Class X offense and is not a charge for which probation is possible.  Additionally, with the presence of a firearm during the commission of an armed robbery, an extra 15 years can be added to the Class X sentencing.

 

Car Theft/Grand theft auto

Retail theft/shoplifting

 

We understand that the outcome of your criminal case will determine. We understand how serious your situation is, and you can count on us to provide you with the best advice and legal counsel available. You can have confidence in our defense decisions knowing that we are drawing on years of criminal defense experience and knowledge.

 

 

 

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