Tag Archives: felony theft

St. Charles identity theft attorney

The Internet has become one of the most important elements of the modern world. As Internet use becomes more and more pervasive, so do Internet-based crimes. Cybercrime can include identity theft, information theft, hacking, phishing, fraud, and more. Hacking and other types of cybercrimes are looked upon by some people as little more than a recreational activity. A number of television shows and movies have glamorized certain forms of cybercrime while downplaying the severity of these offenses. To be clear, identity theft and other types of Internet crimes are serious criminal offenses that are punishable by harsh fines and substantial jail time in Illinois.

Financial Identity Theft Versus Criminal Identity Theft

Financial identity theft occurs when an individual illegally acquires another party’s financial information and uses it to make withdrawals from the victim’s bank account, open credit card accounts in the victim’s name, apply for loans, make unauthorized purchases, and more. There are countless ways that this type of identity theft can happen. For example, financial identity theft may occur when the alleged offender finds the victim’s credit card details discarded in the trash and then uses the data to make purchases online. Data breaches may allow people’s bank account information and PIN numbers to be released online and available to the public. More recently, devices called credit card skimmers are being used to steal the information contained in a credit or debit card’s magnetic strip.

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Naperville criminal defense attorneys, felony theftPrison crowding is a problem in virtually every state, including Illinois. The cost of incarceration is incredibly high, and some believe that certain crimes are too harshly punished in the state of Illinois. One of those laws may be changed in the near future, as House Bill 337 proposes to change felony theft from stealing over $500 in property to over $2,000, according to Fox Illinois News.

Currently, according to Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/16-1, stealing up to $500 in property, and not directly from a person, which is robbery, is a Class A misdemeanor. Stealing over $500 is a Class 4 felony, however. A Class 4 felony is punishable by one to three years in prison, while a misdemeanor is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and is a much lesser offense.

By increasing the felony threshold to $2,000, it “would put Illinois in line with many of the states around the Midwest and also states around the country,” according to proponent of the bill, Representative Elgie R Sims Jr. “Our state's criminal justice system does not recognize individuals who are a threat to public safety. “It incarcerates and incapacitates individuals because they have committed a crime—often times crimes of poverty.”

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