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Understanding the Differences Between Theft, Robbery and Burglary in Illinois

 Posted on August 17, 2018 in Theft

IL defense lawyerMost people use the terms theft, robbery and burglary interchangeably and for the most part, they can be used that way in general conversation. In the criminal justice world, theft, robbery, and burglary each have their own meanings and often have different consequences, depending on which crime you are accused of. If you are accused of one of these crimes, it is very important that you understand what constitutes each crime and what kind of punishments you are facing.


The Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 states that you are committing theft if you:

  • Gain control of property when such control is unauthorized by the owner;
  • Gain control of property through deceit or threat; or
  • Gain control over property you know is stolen.

Sentencing for theft crimes is largely dependent on the value of the property that has been stolen. Theft is considered a Class A misdemeanor if the property was not directly stolen from another person and is valued at less than $300. Class A misdemeanors can carry up to a year of jail time and a fine of up to $2,500.

A theft is classified as a Class 3 felony if the value of the stolen property is less than $300 and was stolen directly from another person. A theft is also classified as a Class 3 felony if the property is worth more than $300 but less than $10,000. A Class 3 felony can carry a sentence of up to five years in a state prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Stolen property valued between $10,000 and $100,000 is considered a Class 2 felony, meaning there is a possibility of up to a seven-year prison sentence and fines up to $25,000.

If the value of stolen property is more than $100,000, the crime is considered a Class 1 felony and can carry a possible prison sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $25,000.


Robbery is committed when someone takes property directly from a person or the presence of a person and uses force or the threat of force to do so. Aggravated robbery occurs when a person commits robbery and indicates verbally or nonverbally to the victim that he or she is armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon.

General robbery is classified as a Class 2 felony, which means a conviction could carry up to seven years in prison and fines up to $25,000. Aggravated robbery is a Class 1 felony and carries possible prison time of up to 15 years and fines of up to $25,000. General robbery is also classified as a Class 1 felony if the victim is over 60 years old or a person with a disability, or if the robbery was committed in a school, daycare center or place of worship.


This crime is committed when a person enters a building or vehicle with the intent to commit a felony or theft. Depending on the circumstances, burglary is considered anywhere from a Class 3 felony to a Class 1 felony. This means that burglary charges can mean a possible prison sentence of anywhere from 5 years to 15 years in prison.

Get Help from a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney

Although these may seem like insignificant crimes, theft, robbery and burglary charges can mean serious consequences. If you have been accused of these crimes, you should contact a knowledgeable Chicago criminal defense lawyer. The Luisi Legal Group can help you fight these charges and get the best outcome possible. Call the office at 773-276-5541 to set up a consultation.







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