Property crimes are very serious offenses – and if a court finds you guilty of committing a property crime, you’ll face serious consequences that can include incarceration, probation and hefty fines and fees.
But what are property crimes, and how serious are they in Chicago and the rest of Illinois?
What Are Property Crimes in Illinois?
The term property crime refers to a crime that involves the theft or destruction of someone else’s property. This term is used as a sort of “catch-all,” and it covers both misdemeanors and felonies.
Some examples of property crimes in Illinois include:
- Burglary, shoplifting and theft
- Defacing or destroying property
- Possession of stolen property
- Some kinds of fraud and identity theft
What Determines Whether a Property Crime is a Misdemeanor or Felony?
As with any other type of crime, there are several factors that determine whether a property crime is considered a misdemeanor or a felony. The value of the property involved, whether the crime involved violence and whether anyone was hurt can all affected whether a property crime is considered a misdemeanor or a felony.
Possible Penalties for Property Crimes
The penalties for property crimes vary greatly in the state of Illinois. Depending on the severity of the offense, as well as the specific charge, being convicted can result in probation, prison time, and expensive fines. In some cases, people who are found guilty of property crimes must also pay to replace or repair property that was damaged during the commission of the crime.
What to Do if You’re Accused of Any Property Crime in Illinois
You have the right to have an attorney present when the police are questioning you, and in most cases, it’s a good idea to exercise that right. Your criminal defense lawyer can help you get the best possible outcome and preserve your rights throughout the entire process.