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Are all theft charges the same?

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Facing criminal charges of any kind is a threat to your future. Whether you are facing federal-level charges or a misdemeanor criminal offense, you will benefit from understanding what you are up against and what it could mean for your future. For example, there is a distinct difference between theft and burglary, according to Illinois law, and knowing the difference between these two property crimes can make a difference in how you prepare your defense strategy. 

Conviction of theft or burglary could result in a lengthy prison sentence and other penalties that may affect the rest of your life. Whether you are under investigation or already facing charges, it is in your interests to begin working on a defense strategy immediately. With the right defense, it is possible to pursue the most effective outcome to your specific case.  

Theft in Illinois 

According to Illinois laws, theft is a crime directed toward property. This can include anything of value, such as a car, real estate, collectibles, cash and more. The crime of theft occurs when a person knowingly takes possession of the property of another person by simply taking it, through deception, by threatening the owner or by assuming ownership of stolen property. In a theft case, there must be clear intent to knowingly deprive the owner of his or her property, as well as conceal or use the property in a way that will permanently deprive the owner of it. 

Burglary in Illinois 

In the state of Illinois, burglary happens when someone enters a building or a vehicle with the intent of theft or assault. There is residential burglary and business burglary, both of which are serious charges. Residential burglary is a class A felony, and business burglary is a class two felony. While they are two distinct charges, it is possible for a defendant to face a burglary charge and a theft charge simultaneously, depending on the nature of the specific case.  

Defending against these charges 

If you are facing theft or burglary charges, you would be wise to act immediately to develop an appropriate defense strategy. Your future interests are at stake, but with the right defense plan, you can fight to avoid a conviction or mitigate the penalties you are facing. As soon as you learn of an investigation into your actions or are facing formal charges, you can begin working on a strategy by which you can confront the prosecution’s case. 

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