What’s the Penalty for Stealing Gas in Illinois?

If you’re convicted of theft of motor fuel, you could end up serving time behind bars – but how much time depends on how much gas you’re convicted of stealing. You may need to hire a Chicago criminal defense lawyer to help preserve your rights. This guide explains. 

Theft of motor fuel occurs when you knowingly dispense gas into a storage container or in a car’s fuel tank and leave without paying for it. If you’re charged with this crime, the possible penalties depend on the value of the gas.

If the full retail value of the gas is less than $150, the court can find you guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. 

If the retail value of the gas is over $150, you’re looking at a Class 3 felony. 

But there’s more: If you’re convicted of theft of motor fuel, you lose your driver’s license for up to 6 months – and that’s just for your first offense. If you have a second or subsequent conviction, your license can be suspended for up to a year.

Related: Theft and retail theft defense in Chicago

What Should You Do if You’re Caught Stealing Gas?

If you’re caught stealing gas, or if the police suspect you of stealing it and arrest you, you have the right to get in touch with an attorney. Your attorney can help protect your rights, answer your questions and represent you in court to help you get the best possible outcome. 

You need to know that even if a misdemeanor crime (such as theft of motor fuel valuing less than $150) seems minor, a conviction will go on your criminal record – and it’ll stay there unless you take steps (and pay fees) to have it sealed or expunged in the future. That means employers, landlords and even creditors who pull background checks will be able to see that you have theft of motor fuel on your record.

Related: Can you go to jail for pulling a fire alarm?

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney?

If you’ve been accused of a crime, we may be able to help you – and don’t worry: It’s completely confidential. Call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below to schedule your free, private consultation with an experienced and skilled Chicago criminal defense attorney now.

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