Property Crimes in Illinois

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Illinios defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, property crimes, identity theft, Theft, robbery, and burglary are felonies in the state of Illinois unless the value of the property damaged or taken is less than $300. Furthermore, property crimes are classified either as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the overall property value involved.  Punishment for felony property crimes can include fines and/or prison. Property crime law is also very extensive in Illinois. It is considered an “index crime” because this is how these crimes are listed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The following provides information on the different types of property crimes and how they may be committed.

Arson, Burglary and Vandalism

Arson, burglary and vandalism are all considered property crimes when they only involve property and no personal harm was committed against another individual during the course of the crime.

Identity Theft

In addition to physical property, identity theft is treated as a property crime in Illinois. Identity theft occurs when someone uses personal information without the individual’s knowledge to commit fraud. This is now considered a federal offense and has been since 1998 when Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act. The penalties for violation of this statute are harsh and those who violate the law face up to 20 years in prison.

Computer Crimes

The Illinois Computer Crime Prevention Law makes unauthorized use of a computer a criminal offense and defines three categories under the law. Computer tampering can include unauthorized access to a computer, program or data stored thereon. Unauthorized access is itself a misdemeanor. Tampering or destroying the computer, the software or data thereon is also considered either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the damage caused and whether this was a first or subsequent offense. Deliberately spreading a computer virus, for example, is a crime in Illinois.

Aggravated computer tampering with the intent of disruption of vital services to a state or local government or public utility is also considered a felony, particularly if, as a result, serious bodily harm and injury occurred.

Computer fraud is also a felony in the state and occurs when access to or use of a computer, program or data thereon is gained or used to deceive or defraud.

Location of The Offense Can Also Add To Punishment

Depending on where the crime is committed, the punishment for the same can also become more severe. Property crimes committed in or near churches or schools are also considered Class 3 Felonies.

Being charged with a property crime may place your professional and personal reputation in jeopardy. If you or someone you know has been charged with a property crime, you will need the help of an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney today for help in your case.
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