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Barry Boches & Associates

How Long Can A Theft Case Potentially Last?


Every case is different. I’ve had some cases that went on for years and others that were resolved in less than 60 days; it depends on how many other cases the prosecutors have and whether you’re in custody. If you file a speedy trial demand and in custody, you’re entitled to have your case brought to trial within 120 days, as long as you don’t occasion a delay in the middle of it. If you decide to run a motion to suppress a confession, that prolongs the period, but it’s 120 days if you don’t, and if they don’t manage to hold the trial within that time, they have to dismiss the cases with prejudice.

Even if you’re not in custody, it’s 180 days, so it gives them a little more time; unfortunately, many people don’t file speedy trial demands because they don’t want make the prosecutor mad, although I have a couple of cases going right now with speedy trial demands on because I might know that a witness who doesn’t want to cooperate and won’t be around for a number of months, and we want to get everything resolved and not have it continue until the witness happens to show up a year later.

In short, there is no time limit on how long it can take; it depends on each jurisdiction and how many cases they have to deal with; if there are only 10 cases up in that courtroom that month or that week, you know they’ll get to it, but if there are 300, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be pushed to the middle like everyone else. The average misdemeanor at least in this county takes 3-6 months, while the average felony is probably a little longer; a lot longer if you’re going to trial and it can be backed up even more if you’re not in custody because custody people have to first, since those in custody automatically have a speedy trial demand in effect.

If My Teenage Son or Daughter Shoplifted, Should I Take It Seriously?

You should take that seriously because those under 17, at least in Illinois, will be taken in and it will be up to the store how it is dealt with; if a 5-year-old steals a couple of packs of gum, they’ll call their parents and have them yell at the child, but they do have the option of turning it over to police, who will turn you over to the juvenile criminal system. There are a number of different things they can do, such as administrative sanctions, or the can file what’s called a delinquency petition; everything is just different if they’re under 17.

The cases aren’t captioned, People of the State of Illinois versus Juvenile, it’s captioned, “In the interest of” because those under 17 are given the benefit of the doubt on many things and they want to rehabilitate you and help you out. At 17 and older, they figure you’re old enough to know better, and they’re less likely to help you out. A parent has to take it seriously if the kid’s 15 or 16 because they can still be charged for theft and referred to juvenile court. Some cases, if they’re big enough, can be referred to adult court, although those are usually something more of a violent nature, like armed robbery, murder or rape, not theft.

If you have a 15-year old with you who is stealing stuff, be careful not to be tagged into the whole thing; if you say you saw them taking something and did nothing about it, even if you didn’t take anything, you can be seen as an accomplice and be charged with aiding in the commission of the offense and be held accountable”.

For more information on Timeframe Of A Theft Case, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (847) 244-4636 today.

Barry Boches, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free phone consultation (847) 244-4636.

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