Defining Theft Charges in Chicago

ales-nesetril-1070103-unsplash-copy-300x199A teenager from Rosemont is facing multiple felony charges for credit card theft.

18-year-old Salvador Nunez was charged with 30 felonies for using stolen credits card at various northwest suburban Rosemont locations. Rosemont police stated Nunez was charged with 15 Class 3 felonies for stealing someone’s identity and an additional 15 for the unlawful use of a credit card.

The most serious offense in the category of criminal charges is a felony. Felonious acts also carry with them the most severe penalties. The degree of the punishment depends on the class of the felony committed. According to Illinois law, they range from the least serious, a Class 4, to the most serious, a Class X.

Individuals charged with a Class 3 felony can spend as little as five and as much as 10 years in prison. They may also be imposed with fines as high as $25,000.

Rosemont police stated they received a report about a theft from a motor vehicle. A credit card was among the items stolen. That card was used in 15 different transactions throughout Rosemont. Authorities reviewed surveillance video and identified Nunez as a suspect. They located him a few days later and held him for investigation. Reviewing additional surveillance footage and interviews with Nunez culminated in him being charged with 30 felony charges.

An experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer will be able to provide any legal representation you need if you are charged with any of the offenses above.

Clarifying Theft in Illinois

Theft in Chicago has surpassed over 10,000 cases this year. Theft transpires when a person’s actions result in them taking, without authorization, services or property. The act must also be committed with the intent to do the crime.

More officially stated under Illinois law, theft occurs when a person willingly and knowingly:

  • Uses threat or deception to acquire control of another person’s property
  • Acquires control of another person’s property without authorization or permission
  • Acquires property that is stolen (they either know the property is stolen or they should have reasonably known the property was stolen)

The Different Classes of Felonies

In general, criminal statutes in Illinois categorize theft consistent with the monetary amount of the services or property that is stolen. Occasionally, the other circumstances surrounding the theft are taken into consideration.

  • Class A Misdemeanor Theft: The property stolen has a value of $500 or less and is not taken directly from the person of another individual. This is often referred to as petty theft. The common penalty for a Class A misdemeanor is a prison sentence of less than one year and a fine that does not exceed $2,500 for each infraction.
  • Class 2 Felony Theft: The property stolen has a value less than $500 and is directly taken from the person of another individual. Or the property stolen has range in value from $500 to $10,000 and the theft is from a place of worship, a school, or is the property of the government. A person can face three to seven years in prison and a fine up to $25,000.
  • Class 3 Felony Theft: The property stolen is worth more than $500 and less than $10,000. If the value is less than $500, it can be a Class 3 offense if it is taken directly from the person of another individual. This level carries a prison sentence of two to five years and a fine up to $25,000.
  • Class 4 Felony Theft: Committed in a place of worship or school or involving government property, a person will be charged with Class 4 felony theft if they were previously convicted for any offense related to theft.

A Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago can Help

David Freidberg can provide legal representation for you or a loved one if faced with charges of theft in Illinois. To avoid spending any time incarcerated, contact a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago as soon as possible.

Schedule your free consultation or call (312) 560-7100 to discuss your case.  

(image courtesy of Ales Nesetril)