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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Understanding Property Crimes in Illinois

Posted on in Criminal Defense

property crimeWhen you think of “property,” your mind likely goes straight to your house, apartment, or land. Keep in mind that there are actually two types of property: personal property and real property. Real property is anything that is attached in a permanent state to land, while personal property is everything else. Personal property can be tangible, i.e. a cell phone, or intangible i.e. securities (stocks and bonds).

The Felony Class System in Illinois

Regardless of whether the crime committed involves real or personal property, being convicted of these crimes can have severe consequences. For example, in Illinois, a residential burglary conviction is a Class 1 felony. which requires a sentence between four and 15 years. The class system in Illinois provides for four “classes,” plus a fifth, “class X,” which was recently added to the system. Class X is considered the most severe, followed by Classes 1, 2, and 3. Class 4 is the lowest level felony, meaning it carries the shortest sentences. However, it is still a felony, which means it can have a significant impact on one’s future personal and professional life.

While serious arson convictions may rise to a Class X, most property crimes range from Class 1 to Class 4. If the crime involves real property, violence against a person, or if it occurs in a public place, the crime is more likely to rise to a Class 1 or 2 charge.

What Constitutes a Property Crime?

Common personal property crimes include:

  • Motor vehicle theft;
  • Robbery;
  • Larceny;
  • Possession of stolen property;
  • Shoplifting; and
  • Theft generally.

Common real property crimes include:

  • Trespass;
  • Burglary;
  • Vandalism;
  • Defacing public or private property; and
  • Arson.

Note that in many cases, personal property and real property crimes will overlap. For instance, if a person goes onto property that is not theirs, breaks into the garage and steals the family car, they could conceivably be charged with trespass, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. Plus, if the garage was damaged during the break-in, other crimes could be added as well.

Individually, these crimes carry significant sentences. If charged with more than one Class 3 or 4 felony, or just one Class 1 or 2 felony, a defendant could face years in prison. What the defendant is taking or damaging is a key factor in charging these crimes as well. Stealing a shirt from a clothing store will get you in trouble, but stealing a home stereo system from an electronics store will get you in more trouble. The latter may be a Class 1 felony depending on the value, whereas items of lesser value, like the shirt, may be a Class 4.

What if I Was Charged With a Property Crime?

Our experienced property crimes defense lawyers at Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. understand how difficult it is to grasp the reality of the crimes you have been charged with. Facing the possibility of severe punishments, it is important to have criminal defense attorneys that know how to navigate these types of prosecutions. We serve the greater Cook, Kane, DuPage and Will County area, and are always available to consult with you about your case. It is important to get an DuPage County criminal defense attorney as soon as possible in the process to ensure the best outcome, so please contact us today at 630-472-9700.

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