Individuals who are accused of breaking the law risk significant penalties depending on the severity of the crime they commit. One of those crimes is theft.
Theft occurs when an individual intends to deprive another of the property without permission to do so. The penalties people may face upon conviction of this crime depends on the value of the stolen item. Generally, the more an individual is convicted of taking the more significant the penalties. However, there are other factors that may affect the penalties as well.
An individual who is convicted of taking $500 or less could face up to a year in jail and or up to a $2,500 fine. All other thefts could result in fines of up to $25,000 but the jail time increases depending on the amount in question.
If the amount stolen is $500 or less but the property was taken from a church, school a governmental entity, or if the person was previously convicted of a theft, then the convicted individual could be sentenced up to three years in jail. Theft of property valuing $500 to $1,000 could result in two to five years in jail. If the value of stolen items is between $10,000 and $100,000, then a convicted individual could be sentenced to three to seven years in jail. For property valuing $100,000 to $500,000, the potential sentence faced by a convicted individual is four to 15 years. A conviction for theft between $500,000 and $1,000,000 can result in a prison sentence between four and fifteen years without the possibility of probation, and if it the stolen goods in question are worth more than $1,000,000, then a convicted individual can face a sentence ranging from six to 30 years.
These are significant penalties, but people in Illinois will only have to serve the time if they are convicted. Fortunately, there are defenses available to those who are accused of theft. Understanding these defenses is very important. That is why consulting with an experienced attorney could be very beneficial.