In Illinois, crimes are divided into two main categories: property crimes and violent crimes. Below we are going to detail the difference between the two, plus the penalties involved for both in our state.
The FBI defines crimes along a hierarchy, and property crimes are lower on the scale than violent crimes. Property crimes are ranked lower because no threat of force or force is used against the crime victims.
Property crimes encompass four main areas:
- Burglary: Unlawful entry into a business, home, or structure with the intent of committing a crime
- Larceny-theft: Intentionally depriving someone else of their property
- Motor vehicle theft: Intentionally taking someone else’s motor vehicle
- Arson: Intentionally burning a structure or property
Property crime statistics
Here are several statistics on property crimes, based on national findings from 2011.
- Over nine million property crimes occur in the United States every year.
- They are about nine times more common than violent crimes.
- Property crimes have shown a slow decrease between 2007 and 2011 of more than 8 percent.
- Larceny-theft is the most common form of property crime, occurring in 68 percent of reported cases.
- Burglary was the second-most common form at just over 24 percent of reported cases.
- Motor vehicle theft comprised almost 8 percent of reported cases.
- Arson figures were not reported.
Property crime penalties
Charges for property crimes are usually felonies.
For example, a burglary charge is normally a Class 2 felony with a penalty of 3 to 7 years in prison. However, it can be raised to a Class 1 felony if committed in certain settings.
Residential burglary comes with harsher penalties. It is typically a Class 1 felony with a penalty of 4 to 15 years in prison. Possession of burglary tools is a Class 4 felony with a penalty of 1 to 3 years in prison.
Violent crimes are ranked higher on the FBI crime hierarchy because force or threat of force is used against the victims of the offense.
Violent crimes encompass four main areas:
- Murder and non-negligent manslaughter: Taking someone’s life – with or without intent
- Forcible rape: Sexual assault
- Robbery: Taking property or money
- Aggravated assault: Causing bodily injury or serious bodily injury
Violent crime statistics
Here are several statistics on violent crimes, using national information available from 2012.
- About 1.2 million violent crimes occur annually in the United States.
- Nearly 400 violent crimes occur per every 100,000 U.S. residents.
- Aggravated assaults are the most common violent crime, at almost 63 percent of reported cases.
- Robbery makes up almost 30 percent of reported cases.
- Forcible rape comprises almost seven percent of reported cases.
- Murder makes up just over one percent of reported cases.
Violent crime penalties
Charges for violent crimes are almost always felonies. Felony charges fall along the following scale:
Murder: 20-60 years in prison
Class X felony: 6-30 years in prison
Class 1 felony: 4-15 years in prison
Class 2 felony: 3-7 years in prison
Class 3 felony: 2-5 years in prison
Class 4 felony: 1-3 years in prison
Felonies also have fines of up to $25,000 per conviction.
Getting Help for Your Charges
If you are facing any of these charges, the penalties can be nothing short of life-altering. To reach a positive outcome, you need help from a skilled Chicago criminal attorney who will know which defense strategy is most likely to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
About the Author
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases, and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by SuperLawyers, the National Trial Lawyers Association, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.