Chicago Grand Theft Defense Attorney
The National Association of Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) estimates that there are 27 million shoplifters in the United States. Most shoplifting incidents involve low-priced goods such as candy bars, clothing, or construction equipment. In Illinois, thefts that involve more valuable items are called grand theft, and carry harsher criminal consequences such as large fines and decades in state prison.
Grand theft lawyer Michael O’Meara Law knows that many people are falsely accused of grand theft. Perhaps you were told you could borrow the item in question, or perhaps you took it by accident. Whatever the case, you need a capable criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights.
To find out how you can avoid spending time behind bars, call a Chicago Theft & Fraud Lawyer at O’Meara Law 312-909-0706 today.
Understanding the Crime of Grand Theft
In Illinois, theft involves illegally taking another person’s property with the intent to deprive the owner of the use or enjoyment of the property. Grand theft is the equivalent to theft in the first-degree, which involves stealing an item that is valued at more than $500. While this is a good rule of thumb for determining the severity of a theft charge, there are exceptions. Taking an item directly from another person, for example, is automatically classified as grand theft. This is true even if the item in question is worth less than $500. Illinois theft laws also apply to the taking of currency.
The Consequences of Stealing
The theft statute in Illinois lists two factors that are used to determine how serious the crime is: the value of the property and whether it was taken directly from another person. If either or both factors are present in a case, the crime will be classified as grand theft. Theft that does not qualify as grand theft is labeled petty theft. This is a misdemeanor with less severe consequences.
The criminal penalties for grand theft include:
- Class 3 Felony Theft – Stealing property from a person not exceeding $500 in value or stealing items or currency with a value that ranges from $500 to $10,000. Penalties include a fine of up to $25,000 and between two and five years in prison.
- Class 2 Felony Theft – Stealing items or currency with a value that ranges from $500 to $10,000 from a school, place of worship, or the government, or theft of property worth between $10,000 and $100,000. Penalties include a fine of up to $25,000 and between three and five years in prison.
- Class 1 Felony Theft: Stealing items or currency with a value that ranges from $10,000 to $100,000 from a school, place of worship, or the government, or stealing an item that is valued between $100,000 and $1,000,000. Penalties include a fine of up to $25,000 and up to 30 years in prison.
- Class X Felony Theft – Stealing items or currency that are valued at more than $100,000 from a school, place of worship, or the government, or theft of property exceeding $1,000,000. Penalties include a fine of up to $25,000 and between six and 30 years in prison.
Being convicted of grand theft also will result in the following collateral consequences:
- Inability to find a job as a felon
- Disqualification from many professions
- Ineligibility to obtain certain forms of welfare
- Revocation of your right to own or use firearms
- For immigrants, deportation
How Michael O’Meara Can Protect Your Freedom
With over 20 years of experience in the criminal justice system, O’Meara Law can give your case the best possible chance of success. Your grand theft lawyer will advocate zealously on your behalf to ensure that you get the fighting chance you deserve. With so much at stake, you deserve to be well represented in court.
Call 312-909-0706now for a free and confidential consultation.