A Chicago woman was recently sentenced to 4-and-a-half years in prison for her role in a robbery earlier this year. According to reports, the woman expressed interest in purchasing an iPad from a couple who had advertised it on social media. She gave the couple a false name and agreed to meet them to purchase the tablet. When the couple arrived, they noticed that the woman was with a man. As the couple began to show the woman the features of the tablet, the man reportedly displayed a semi-automatic handgun. The woman grabbed the iPad from the couple, got into the car, and they sped away. The woman and her male partner were both charged with armed robbery and theft.
In Chicago, robbery and theft are two distinct crimes. They both involve depriving someone of their property. However, the behavior that is involved in taking the property will affect the criminal charges that are filed. Theft is considered to be a property crime. Robbery is considered to be a violent crime. If you’re being charged with either crime, call Chicago criminal lawyer Gus Kostopoulos today for a free consultation.
What is Theft in Chicago?
Theft is the crime of intentionally taking property belonging to another person with the intent to deprive them of the ability to use it. In Chicago, the crime of theft is defined in 720 ILCS 5/16-1. Any of the following acts can be considered theft:
- Obtaining or exerting control over someone else’s property without permission;
- Obtaining control over someone else’s property through deception;
- Obtaining control over someone else’s property through the use of threats;
- Obtaining control over someone else’s property knowing that it has been stolen; or
- Obtaining control over someone else’s property that is the custody of law enforcement.
These acts will be considered theft if you also:
- Intend to deprive the owner of the use, benefit, or enjoyment of the property forever;
- Use, conceal, or abandon the property in a way that will deprive the owner of its use or enjoyment;
- Use, conceal, or abandon the property in a way that will likely deprive the owner of its use or enjoyment.
In simpler terms, theft is taking something that doesn’t belong to you without permission. When you take the property you understand the owner will be deprived of the item’s use.
What is Robbery in Chicago?
Robbery is the crime of taking property from another person using force or threats. In Chicago, the crime of robbery is defined in 720 ILCS 5/18-1. You can be charged with robbery in Chicago if you:
- Knowingly take property;
- From the person or presence of another person;
- Using force or threatening to use force.
In Chicago, robbery is essentially the crime of theft, but more serious. There are two key elements to the crime of robbery. The first is taking property from the body or presence of another person. The second is using force or the threat of force. The crime of robbery requires that a victim is present at the time of the theft. The aggressive nature of the crime makes it more serious than theft.
Note, the fact that you use force or threaten to use force is important. If you take something from another person, but do not use force or threaten force, you can be charged with the lesser crime of theft.
What are the Penalties for Theft and Robbery in Chicago?
In Chicago, theft can be a misdemeanor or a felony. The severity of the charge will depend on the value of the property you stole. You can be charged with misdemeanor theft if the value of the property you take is less than $500. You can be charged with felony theft if the value of the property you take is greater than $500.
Misdemeanor theft is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of $2,500.
The sentence for felony theft depends on the value of the items that are stolen.
- Property valued between $500 – $10,000 → 2-5 years in prison;
- Property valued between $10,000 – $100,000 → 3-7 years in prison;
- Property valued between $100,000 – $500,000 → 4-15 years in prison;
- Property valued between $500,000 – $1,000,000 → 4-15 years in prison, without probation;
- Property valued over $1,000,000 → 6-30 years in prison.
Robbery is always a felony in Chicago. Robbery will be charged as a Class 2 Felony unless there are some aggravating circumstances. If aggravating circumstances exist, you can be charged with a Class 1 Felony. Aggravating circumstances include:
- The use of a firearm;
- The victim was over the age of 60 or disabled; or
- The crime is committed at a school, day care center or home, or place of worship.
A Class 2 Felony is punishable by 3-7 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000. A Class 1 Felony is punishable by 4-15 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.
An Attorney Can Help Reduce Negative Consequences of a Chicago Arrest
Have you been arrested for theft or robbery in Chicago? If you have, do not wait to call an attorney. The prosecution will begin to build a case against you immediately. Hiring an attorney to handle your case will help to limit the consequences of your arrest. Contact our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today to schedule a free consultation. We will review your case, explain your legal rights, and answer the questions you have.
Kostopoulos Law Group
125 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 300 A
Chicago, IL 60606