What Are The Different Types Of Theft Cases That You Handle?
We handle all types of theft cases. There are three types. There is what we call a local ordinance violation, which is a violation against the local municipality. So that would be, for argument’s sake, a violation against the city of Chicago. That is not considered a criminal offense, that is more what we call a civil offense, but you have to go to court for that. There is what we call a local ordinance, or OV is what they call it around here, this is the people of the city of Chicago versus you. Then we have criminal charges here in the state of Illinois, which is misdemeanor, and felony offenses. What distinguishes the two is always going to be the dollar amount we are dealing with.
In the state of Illinois, if I am stealing less than $300 from someone, or from an entity short of it being a retail theft, it is a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to a year in the county jail. Once you are above $300, then it turns into a felony offense, or higher. Therefore, between $300 and $10,000 is one felony offense, between $10,000 and $100,000 is another, over $100,000 is the higher penalties, and fines. If they feel that you inappropriately acquired possession whether it is money, or property, it is all based on the dollar value.
What Are The Alternative Programs Available To Theft Offenders In Illinois?
Under the Illinois compiled statutes, the alternative programs are called ILCS. So under section 730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.4, it is called second chance probation. That is specifically designed for people with low end theft charges. If you are found guilty of a low-end theft charge, the law says you are eligible for this second type of probation, even if it is a felony charge. If it is a misdemeanor charge, which is less than $300, then you are eligible for that court supervision as I mentioned to you before in the DUI arena. Usually it is a twelve-month period, and you must stay out of trouble, make restitution to the people who you stole from, maybe do a minimal amount of public service, and then your record is wiped clean.
The supervision and the second chance probation for low-end felonies are identical. What they mean is that the successful completion of whatever the term is that you are on, court jurisdiction, you do what you are supposed to do, and then the charges are dismissed.
What Are The Major And Collateral Consequences Of Having A Theft Conviction On Record?
First, a theft conviction on your record is a conviction, no matter the crime. In todays’ society, you are perceived as a criminal. If it is a misdemeanor then it is a misdemeanor conviction, if it is a felony, well then you are a convicted felon. That in and of itself will never be advantageous to you, especially when you are applying for schools, employment, and financial status. In a perfect world, if I am an employer to all things being equal, and I had two prospects, most people will not hire someone with a criminal past.
Let us take it one-step further, what if someone sees that this is a theft conviction, a criminal conviction at that, and a felony? Therefore, if I was hesitant to hire this person because they had a pot conviction, or a DUI conviction, how am I going to feel when I find out that this person is a convicted felon, and they are working for me? Do I have to worry about this person stealing from me? Stealing from my clients? Stealing from my customers? Short of a sex offense, it is about as damning as a conviction as you can have on your record, when trying to get your life back on track.
It scares many people, because this person was proven to be someone who lacks honesty, who lacks veracity, so the question is, do I want that person to work for me? It is something that you have to take in to consideration when you are defending someone, not only in terms of trying to take care of this case today, how am I going to take care of this today? How will it affect me down the road? Everyone does a record check, and they will find out if you have a criminal past. As a defense attorney, you need to be very aware of future ramifications on a plea of guilty, or these convictions for your clients, because this can affect them in the future.
Is There Any Way To Have A Theft Conviction Removed From Your Record In Illinois?
Yes, you do have the ability to have a theft conviction removed from your record in the state of Illinois. It all depends on what your overall record is, if you have a clean record, but only a minor theft conviction, it can be removed. If you are under theft supervision, which is a non-conviction, it means the charges have been dismissed you can have this expunged. Some convictions can actually be sealed. So yes, there are antidotes depending on the severity of the case. It will still be there, but no one can see it.
They say nobody can see this record, but the Federal Government can if you are applying for federal employment. For example, a top-secret security clearance position, or TSA, but there are ways to seal these records, and there are ways to expunge some of them, which means take them off your record completely as if they never happened. Generally, that is for low-end type of cases. Higher levels of cases, this will not happen.
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