Chicago Property Crimes Attorney

Chicago Property Crimes Lawyer

Experienced Criminal Lawyer Serving Clients Throughout Illinois

Many crimes that are prosecuted in the State of Illinois involve the destruction or theft of someone else's property. These crimes fall under the classification of "property crimes." Although these crimes sometimes are viewed as being not as serious as violent crimes or crimes resulting in serious injuries, the fact is that being charged and convicted of a property crime can have life-altering consequences. It is important to have legal counsel who is going to fight to get the best possible outcome for his clients, which is what you will find at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney. With more than 25 years of experience on both sides of the table working as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, Hal M. Garfinkel has the skills and the dedication to fight aggressively and effectively as a Chicago property crimes lawyer.

Types of Property Crimes in Illinois

There are many different types of property crimes, but three that are commonly prosecuted in Illinois are:

  • Retail Theft – This is the most commonly charged theft, resulting when a person takes property from a merchant without payment and with the intent to permanently deprive the merchant of the use and benefit of that property;
  • Robbery – This involves the taking of property, with the exception of a motor vehicle, from someone through the use of force or the threat of force; and
  • Burglary – A person may be charged with this if he enters the residence, including an apartment or trailer, watercraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, aircraft, or any building (other than a residence) with the intent of committing theft or a felony.

Other Illinois property crimes include arson, car theft, embezzlement, fraud, identity theft, vandalism, and white collar crimes, although this list is not inclusive of all crimes that fall within this classification.

Property crimes may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. There are a number of factors that will be considered when charges are being filed, including:

  • The nature of the criminal act;
  • The value of the property that was stolen or destroyed during the criminal activity;
  • Whether violence or the threat of violence was used during the commission of the crime;
  • Whether someone was injured during the commission of the crime; and
  • Any criminal history of the person being charged

A conviction for a property crime can lead to incarceration in jail or prison, significant legal fines, and a criminal record that will follow the person for the remainder of his life. Being convicted of crimes like this can lead to a social stigma that will affect the person who is charged with the offense, as well as his family. In addition, the financial impact can be tremendous, both in the short-term and from the loss of employment opportunities for many years to come.

Property crimes involve the theft or destruction of someone else's property. These offenses can involve any activities in which a person willfully deprives someone else of property. The penalties for these crimes will usually depend on the value of property that was stolen or destroyed, and in some cases, the identity of the alleged victim or the place where the alleged crime took place may also play a role in the severity of the charges.

Multiple different kinds of offenses may fall under the category of theft, including embezzlement, fraud, or identity theft. Retail theft (commonly known as shoplifting) involves stealing merchandise from a store, altering price tags, or otherwise paying less than an item's price. Destruction of property could result in vandalism or arson charges. Robbery charges may apply if property is taken by force or threat of violence. Burglary involves entering a building or other structure with the purpose of committing a crime.

Property crimes such as theft or robbery may involve taking cash or other items from someone without their consent, including failing to return property that was borrowed or leased from someone else. Retail theft may involve any items sold in a retail store, including food, clothing, jewelry, or electronics. Fraud and identity theft may involve illegal transfers of money, accessing someone else's bank accounts, or using someone else's personal information to make purchases, open accounts, or obtain loans. Arson or vandalism may involve the destruction of property such as buildings or vehicles.

In any situation, a criminal defense lawyer can help you determine the best defense strategy against criminal charges. Even if you expect to plead guilty, your attorney can negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor, and in some cases, the charges may be reduced, or you may be able to receive a lesser sentence, such as probation or community service, rather than being required to pay large fines or serve time in jail.

There is no reason to be dishonest with your attorney. Your lawyer needs to know all the facts about your arrest, the crime you are charged with, and what you actually did. Your attorney/client privilege means that anything you discuss with your lawyer will be completely confidential, so you will not need to worry about telling them something that could be considered incriminating. By understanding all the facts, your lawyer can help you determine the best strategy to help you minimize the potential consequences you may face.

Property crimes may be charged as felonies depending on the value of the property that was allegedly stolen or destroyed. Theft of property or criminal damage to property worth more than $500 is a felony, as well as any theft from a school, church, or government property. Arson, robbery, burglary, and motor vehicle theft are also felonies. Retail theft is a felony if more than $300 worth of property is stolen or if a person used an emergency exit while shoplifting.

Fight Your Chicago Property Crimes Charges

If you are being investigated for a property crime or have been charged with a criminal offense in Chicago, the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney can offer experienced and aggressive legal representation at an affordable rate. We are able to develop effective defenses and have had charges reduced or dismissed completely in some cases. Our first consultation always is free and we will come to you if that is easier, even if you are incarcerated. To schedule a meeting, contact us by calling at 312-629-0669 or completing our online contact form. We are available to take your call 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

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