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Joliet theft crimes defense attorneysCriminal offenses such as theft, robbery, and burglary are often misunderstood crimes because they are frequently lumped together. However, they are different offenses. Under Illinois law, theft occurs any time a person’s actions result in the intentional and unauthorized taking of property or services. 

Theft offenses are typically classified according to the dollar amount value of the item or service stolen and can range from misdemeanors to felonies depending on the circumstances. It is important to know the distinctions between them in case you are ever facing prosecution for theft in Illinois. 

What Constitutes Theft? 

Illinois law defines theft as occurring when a person knowingly:


Joliet property crimes defense attorneyWhen people hear the words burglary and robbery, they may think they are the same crime. Although similar in nature, there are differences that make them separate in terms of penalties. Whether or not a weapon was involved in committing the act also factors into the legal consequences. Burglary is when a person illegally enters a building in order to commit a crime while inside. Robbery involves taking money or property from a person without permission by force or intimidation with the intent to keep the property permanently. In Illinois, both burglary and robbery convictions are serious crimes and can result in significant prison time in addition to steep fines.   

Penalties for Burglary and Robbery

In most cases, burglary is considered a felony. Illinois laws determine burglary penalties based on certain factors such as:

  • The type of crime the offender intended to commit inside the building;
  • If the perpetrator was armed with a weapon;
  • The type of building involved; and
  • If the building was occupied at the time

The penalties for a burglary conviction depend on the felony class. Typically, burglary is a Class 2 felony in Illinois, which may result in a prison sentence of three to seven years. In some situations, burglary can be charged as a Class 1 felony, which can result in four to 15 years in prison. For felonies that are Class 2 or Class 1, the state may increase the sentence if the defendant has prior convictions for Class 2 felonies or higher. The state may also require a fine up to $25,000.

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