Video games and television make theft of an automobile seem like an inconsequential act. In reality, being accused of stealing a car can change your entire life. Penalties are severe and may include significant jail time. In Illinois, merely being in possession of stolen goods can lead to theft charges. Some people accused of stealing a vehicle thought that they bought the vehicle legally. When they find out that the vehicle was stolen, they are shocked.
If you or a loved one have been charged with motor vehicle theft, contact a criminal defense lawyer right away. Your attorney can start gathering evidence to aid in your defense.
You May Be Facing Felony Charges Punishable By Up To 7 Years’ Incarceration
The consequences of a theft conviction depend on the value of the item that was allegedly stolen. Stealing a candy bar from a store is obviously not considered as serious as stealing a vehicle worth thousands of dollars. In Illinois, theft of a motor vehicle or possession of a stolen motor vehicle is punishable by 3-7 years in prison. Being in possession of a stolen vehicle valued at more than $10,000.00 can lead to felony charges.
What Should I Do If I Am Arrested for Possessing a Stolen Vehicle?
If you or a loved one were arrested for having a stolen car, the first step is to contact a qualified attorney. Do not speak to the police or answer any of their questions. Criminal defendants have the right to remain silent and staying silent is often the best thing you can do to increase your chances of dismissal or acquittal. When a defendant submits to police interrogations, he or she may say something that is later used against him or her.
Theft of a motor vehicle is an intentional act. The prosecution must prove that not only did you possess the stolen vehicle, but they must also prove that you knew or should have known that the vehicle was stolen. An experienced lawyer can help you build a strong defense against the charges and find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you.
Contact an Elgin Theft Defense Lawyer
Possessing a stolen vehicle can lead to felony criminal charges in Illinois. If you are facing theft charges, contact Aurora criminal defense lawyer Brian J. Mirandola. Mr. Mirandola represents clients throughout Kane County and the Chicago region. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.