Practice Areas

property crimes/Theft Attorney

I’ve been charged with a property-related crime, now what?

The Ivec Law Firm is your best defense against burglary and theft charges.  Former Will County State’s Attorney JohnPaul Ivec can defend you when you have been charged with property-related crime. Call the Ivec Law Firm if you are charged with any of the following offenses:

  •            Burglary
  •            Residential burglary
  •            Theft
  •            Criminal trespass
  •            Criminal damage to property


Burglary and Theft

The crime of burglary involves entering or remaining on another’s property, such as a building, motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft, without the owner’s permission and with the intent to commit a felony or theft.  Burglary is a Class 2 felony, which is punishable by a term of probation or 3-7 years in prison. Burglary committed in a school, day care center, day care home, or place of worship is a Class 1 felony, which is punishable by a term of probation or 4-15 years in prison.  (720 ILCS 5/19-1) 

Residential burglary, involves the unauthorized entry or unauthorized remaining in a dwelling place with the intent to commit theft or a felony. A conviction for residential burglary is a Class 1 felony that carries a potential sentence of 4-15 years in jail, and is not probation eligible, although in certain circumstances TASC probation may be available. (730 ILCS 5/5-5-3 (G), 20 ILCS 301/40-5, 720 ILCS 5/19-3)

The crime of theft involves obtaining or exerting unauthorized control over property of another by force, deception, or threat, or obtaining control over property knowing that it is stolen or under such circumstances as would reasonably induce someone to believe that the property was stolen; and intending to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property; or knowingly using, concealing or abandoning the property in such manner as to deprive the owner permanently of such use or benefit; or using, or abandoning the property knowing such use, concealment or abandonment probably will deprive the owner permanently of use or benefit of the property. (720 ILCS 5/16-1) The punishment for theft varies depending on the value of the property that was stolen and whether or not the property was taken from a person. Possible sentences can range from probation, conditional release, and court supervision, which is not a conviction, to prison terms of up to 30 years.


Criminal Damage to Property

The crime of criminal damage to property involves knowingly damaging the property of another other or recklessly by means of fire or explosive damaging the property of another.  Criminal damage also includes knowing damaging your own property with the intent to defraud an insurer and intentionally, without proper authorization, opening any fire hydrant.  The penalties range from a Class B misdemeanor eligible for court supervision to a Class 1 felony punishable by 4-15 years in prison depending upon the value of the damage and whether the property damage was government supported or at a school or place of worship. (720 ILCS 5/21/-1)


Defenses to Property Crimes

Fortunately, you do not have to accept these punishments without a fight.  You have a right to fight the charges against you and to force the government to meet its burden of proof before you are convicted. There are many defenses that you could raise in defense of burglary or theft charges including:

  •            Lawful possession of or entry onto property
  •            Illegal seizure of evidence
  •            Mistaken identity
  •            Insufficient evidence against you
  •            No specific intent to commit theft or felony (for burglary)
  •           The owner of the property or land damaged consented to the damage.


An effective defense in a burglary case should include a thorough investigation of the circumstances of the offense with an eye toward any evidence tending to show that the accused lacked the specific intent to commit a theft or felony. Without this specific intent, a burglary prosecution will fail.


A Theft Defense Attorney on Your Side

You have a right to the assistance of an experienced theft attorney, like JohnPaul Ivec, to help you defend against the charges that you are facing.  JohnPaul Ivec can help you navigate the complex criminal process.  He will bring 18 years of experience and the invaluable “inside” perspective of a former prosecutor to work for you in your defense.  He will scrupulously examine the facts of your theft case and will consider every possible defense to the charges against you. Marshaling his experience and expertise, JohnPaul Ivec will zealously present your best possible defense.

Although sentences for property-related convictions can be very severe, there are provisions of Illinois law that permit leniency, especially for first-time offenders, and crimes involving petty amounts.  A knowledgeable and persuasive theft defense attorney like JohnPaul Ivec can protect your freedom and our financial future by advocating for the least onerous punishments that the law allows for property-related convictions.

Are you, a loved one, or a friend facing theft charges in the Plainfield/Joliet area, Will County, or elsewhere in Illinois? Let JohnPaul Ivec examine your case and help you determine what defenses are available to you.  Contact the Ivec Law Firm TODAY for a FREE consultation at 815-439-9909; or email at


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