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Different Levels of Theft Charges

 Posted on July 22, 2019 in Theft

Different Levels of Theft ChargesTheft is a criminal charge that varies in punishment depending on the details of the offense. A conviction for theft can range from a misdemeanor to the highest level of a felony. Illinois law classifies its theft charges based on how much was stolen, how it was stolen, and where the theft took place. Facing a misdemeanor or felony charge could change how you contest the charge against you and whether you may be willing to plead guilty to a lesser charge.

Value of Theft

The lowest-level theft charge is a class A misdemeanor and is defined as theft of $500 or less and not from the owner’s person. A conviction could result in less than a year in prison and fines of no more than $2,500. Retail theft often falls in this category. A second theft conviction is a class 4 felony, punishable by one-to-three years in prison. Thefts that are greater than $500 are also felony offenses in Illinois:

  • Theft greater than $500 and no more than $10,000 is a class 3 felony, punishable by two-to-five years in prison;
  • Theft greater than $10,000 and no more than $100,000 is a class 2 felony, punishable by three-to-seven years in prison;
  • Theft greater than $100,000 and no more than $500,000 is a class 1 felony, punishable by four-to-17 years in prison;
  • Theft greater than $500,000 and no more than $1 million is also a class 1 felony but is non-probational; and
  • Theft of more than $1 million is a class X felony, punishable by six-to-30 years in prison.

All felony theft convictions can also include fines of as much as $25,000.

Means of Theft

Stealing property that was in the owner’s physical possession, such as pick-pocketing, is a class 3 felony. Using force to steal from someone is robbery, which is a class 2 felony. Forcibly taking a vehicle from an owner is vehicular hijacking, which is a class 1 felony. Aggravated robbery, which is implying the possession of a weapon or drugging a victim, is also a class 1 felony. Actually using or possessing a weapon during a robbery is armed robbery, which is a class X felony.

Location of Theft

Where the theft took place is another aggravating factor that will raise the severity of the charge. Thefts of $500 or less are class 4 felonies if they occurred in a school, governmental property, or place of worship.

Contact an Oakbrook Terrace Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being charged with theft does not mean that a conviction is imminent. A Chicago criminal defense attorney at Hartsfield Law can contest the facts of the alleged theft incident. To schedule a free consultation, call 312-345-1700.


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