According to reports, this 19-year-old man allegedly stole a passenger vehicle from its owner. After law enforcement arrested this man, the authorities charged him with criminal trespass to vehicles and possession of a stolen vehicle.
The Illinois man secured his release from police custody with a $3,000 personal recognizance bond in advance of a September 24 arraignment. While this legal case continues to develop, it seems like a proper instance to review several applicable laws and penalties under the Illinois Criminal Code.
Criminal Trespass to Vehicles
720 ILCS 5/21-2 explains the Illinois laws against criminal trespass to vehicles. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly and without authorization:
- Enter any part of any vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or snowmobile; or
- Operate any vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or snowmobile.
In this context, the knowledge and authorization requirements are exceedingly important. To qualify as a violation, a person must know — or have a reason to know — that they are entering or operating another person’s vehicle. Moreover, the alleged offender must act without authorization, from the owner, under the law, or otherwise.
Section 21-2 also establishes the Illinois penalty for criminal trespass to vehicles. Any person who violates this section will typically face Class A misdemeanor charges. Upon conviction for these charges, the Illinois punishment can include a maximum of 364 days in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.
Possession of a Stolen Vehicle
625 ILCS 5/4-103 details the Illinois laws against possession of a stolen vehicle. Under this section, it is unlawful to receive, possess, conceal, sell, dispose, or transfer a vehicle — knowing or having a reason to know that the vehicle was stolen.
Under Section 4-103, it is possible to infer knowledge that a vehicle was stolen if:
- A reasonable person would believe the vehicle to be stolen, based on the surrounding facts and circumstances of the case; or
- The alleged offender exercises exclusive and unexplained possession over a stolen vehicle.
Section 4-103 also furnishes the Illinois penalty for possession of a stolen vehicle. Any person who violates this section will usually face Class 2 felony charges. Upon conviction for these charges, the Illinois punishment can include three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines.
Do You Need Legal Help?
No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at email@example.com or by completing an online form.