I feel like I see a story about someone getting caught after stealing a car or robbing a store every day. The news goes on to say that they’re facing criminal charges, but says little about what happens to the victims of theft. I began to wonder, what happens to these victims, and can you get your money back for lost property as a theft victim? I started researching about this online and I came across the Bruno Law Offices website. The attorneys at this office are criminal defense attorneys. They often represent people who have been accused and charged with grand theft. Everyone deserves to have a representative fight for their case in the court of law. It’s part of a fair trial. Their website had some great information on the levels of grand theft and what the penalties often look like.
If someone is a victim of grand theft, they may be able to receive restitution for their lost property. Courts can order that the thief replace, return, or pay the theft victim for their losses. Restitution is separate from a fine. Fines are fees that are paid directly to the court. Restitution is a separate type of payment that goes straight to those affected by crime. There are three things that a court will look at to determine if restitution should be awarded. These include whether the court considers it a necessary part of rehabilitation, if it is necessary to make the victim “whole,” and if the victim’s lost property is directly related to the actions of the defendant.
Unfortunately, many theft victims may not see all of their stolen goods returned. This is because those who involve themselves in these crimes may not have the ability to pay. Ability to pay is something else that courts look at when determining restitution.
In the United States, theft charges are dealt with on a state-by-state basis. Each state has different case law governing the procedures. In the state of Illinois, grand theft is a charge that comes with jail time and some serious fines, as well as a permanent criminal record. The least serious charge is considered a class four felony. These charges can be made when someone steals anything from a church, government property, or has a similar conviction already. Next is a class three felony. These happen when someone steals up to 500 dollars directly from another person, or 500 to 10,000 dollars from a business or store. The next highest charge is considered a class two felony. You become eligible for a class two felony when you steal property from a person or a business that is valued between 10,000 and 100,000 dollars. The high grand theft charge is considered a class one felony. This charge can land you several years of jail time. It would certainly impact you for the rest of your life. You may be charged with grand theft if you are involved in a theft of property valued between 100,000 and 500,000 dollars.