Chicago has been named one of the most dangerous cities, with extremely high crime rates. Turning on the news each night, you likely see devastating videos of gun violence leading to lost lives. While it is no secret that Chicago has more than its fair share of violent crimes, statistics show that property crimes actually make up 76 percent of criminal offenses in Chicago in 2018. As a city known for its crime, it is important to know what actions constitute the most common offenses if you are a Chicagoan. Knowing who you can turn to if you find yourself facing criminal charges is even more critical. The legal team at Luisi Legal Group assists clients in defending themselves against all of the following charges.
Of all the crimes committed in Chicago, theft is the most common, with nearly 65,000 offenses recorded in 2018. The definition of theft is fairly obvious; it means taking something that does not belong to you. This also includes knowingly obtaining stolen property, even if you are not the one who stole it. The consequences of theft are dependent upon the price of the item. The lowest charge one can face is a Class A misdemeanor for items under $500 in value. However, when the price begins to surpass $100,000, those found guilty have committed a Class X felony.
The next highest number of offenses is significantly lower than the theft statistics, sitting at more than 11,700 burglary offenses. Many assume that theft and burglary are similar actions; however, burglary requires the breaking and entering of someone else’s property with the intent to commit a felony or theft. Even if the felony or theft is not committed, intent to do so is enough to be considered a burglary. The severity of the charge depends on where the burglary is committed and if any damage is done. This offense is always considered a felony, although the charges are less severe if no damage is done to the property.
Surprising to most, robbery is considered a violent crime rather than a property crime. While it does involve taking property, what makes a “theft” a robbery in the eyes of the law is the use of force or a threat to commit the crime. In other words, if a person attempts to steal something from another person and threatens the property owner or uses violent force against him or her, the charge escalates to a robbery. This increases even more when weapons become involved. All robberies are also considered felonies, with slightly over 9,600 committed in 2018.
Call a Cook County Criminal Defense Attorney
Due to the high number of offenses committed on Chicago’s streets, the police force is always on high alert for criminal activity. Rarely do offenses fly under the radar, and in some cases, individuals can find themselves caught up in a situation that they would have never imagined. Finding a proper criminal defense attorney is the best way to address any charges you may be facing. The attorneys at Luisi Legal Group work tirelessly for all of our clients regardless of the charges or the details of the situation. We make all of our clients a priority to help reduce their sentences or avoid a conviction altogether. If you are facing criminal charges, call our Chicago, IL theft defense lawyers at 773-276-5541 for a free consultation.