In the United States, property crimes are fairly common. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), property crime includes offenses such as burglary, larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The FBI states that around 90 percent of property crimes reported in the U.S. in 2017 were either theft or burglary crimes. Though the current trends suggest that property crime has decreased in the past five years, it still remains a common issue in Illinois and throughout the U.S.
According to the Illinois Criminal Code of 2012, burglary occurs when a person knowingly enters a watercraft, motor vehicle, aircraft, building, home, or other dwelling without authorization and intends to commit a felony or theft. The classification of burglary crimes depends on a couple of different factors. If a person does not cause damage to the place they are entering, then the crime is a Class 3 felony, carrying a sentence of two to five years in prison. If damage is caused to the place they are entering, then the crime is a Class 2 felony and carries a sentence of three to seven years in prison.
General theft occurs when a person knowingly obtains unauthorized control over someone else’s property, including through the use of threats and deception. The classification of theft crimes depends mostly on the monetary value of the property that was taken. If the property was valued at less than $500, then the crime is a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a sentence of less than a year in prison. Charges can range all the way up to a Class X felony if the value of the stolen property was more than $1,000,000, which can mean a possible sentence of six to 30 years in prison.
Motor Vehicle Theft
Motor vehicle theft is a serious crime in Illinois. The Illinois Vehicle Code states that a person can be charged with motor vehicle theft or possession of a stolen vehicle if he or she receives, possesses, sells, conceals, disposes of, or transfers a vehicle and knows that the vehicle is stolen. Motor vehicle theft is a Class 2 felony, carrying a sentence of three to seven years in prison.
Arson occurs when a person damages any property worth $150 or more by means of fire or explosives. General arson is a Class 2 felony, carrying a sentence of three to seven years in prison. If the arson is committed at a place of worship or the residence of another person, then the crime is a Class 1 felony, carrying a sentence of four to 15 years in prison. If the person committing the arson knows that there are people inside the building, or if any person suffers great bodily harm or permanent disability because of the arson, the charge is considered to be aggravated arson. Aggravated arson is a Class X felony, which carries a possible sentence of six to 30 years in prison.
Get Help From a Downers Grove, IL Property Crime Defense Lawyer
Property crime occurs regularly in Illinois, and those facing these charges should be sure to understand their options for defense. If you have been charged with any type of property crime, contacting a skilled Westmont criminal defense attorney is crucial to the outcome of your case. At Khan Nayyar & Associates, LLC, we can provide you with the hands-on legal representation that you need. Our attorneys have years of experience defending clients facing a variety of criminal charges, including property crime offenses. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-529-9377.