This incident occurred on Sunday, March 13. That is when the Normal Police Department recognized the Illinois man from an outstanding arrest warrant. Apparently, the Illinois man was driving a motor vehicle reported stolen in March 2021 by an Iowa rental company. Allegedly, the Illinois man paid cash for the rental to avoid any scrutiny on his suspended driver’s license.
At this point, the Illinois man faces criminal charges for possession of a stolen or converted motor vehicle. This man remains in police custody after declining to post bail and awaits an April 1st arraignment.
While this case continues to develop in legal circles, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois statute governing possession of a stolen or converted motor vehicle.
Illinois Laws Against Possession of Stolen Vehicle
The Illinois laws against possession of a stolen or converted motor vehicle appear at 625 ILCS 5/4-103. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly:
- Possess a motor vehicle or any essential part of a vehicle knowing that it was stolen or converted;
- Alter, deface, remove, destroy, falsify, or forge the manufacturer’s identification number, engine number, or any essential part with an identification number;
- Conceal or misrepresent the identify of a motor vehicle or any essential part of a vehicle;
- Buy, receive, possess, sell, or dispose of a motor vehicle or essential part thereof, knowing that any identification number was removed or falsified;
- Possess, buy, sell, exchange, or give away any vehicle identification number plate, sticker, label, or similar identifying characteristic; or
- Make a false report of the theft or conversion of a motor vehicle to any law enforcement officer.
In this context, it is possible to infer knowledge of the theft or conversion of a motor vehicle or essential part if:
- The surrounding facts or circumstances would lead a reasonable person to believe theft or conversion; or
- The alleged perpetrator has maintained exclusive and unexplained possession over the motor vehicle or essential part.
Illinois Penalties for Possession of Stolen Vehicle
Section 4-103 also explains the Illinois penalties for possession of a stolen or converted motor vehicle. Any person who violates this section will likely face Class 2 felony charges.
If convicted for a Class 2 felony in Illinois, the penalties can include criminal fines up to $25,000 and imprisonment for three to seven years.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.