The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120


If I Borrow a Car Without Asking, Is It Stealing?

 Posted on June 30, 2024 in Theft

Kane County, IL car theft defense lawyer

Vehicle theft is taken seriously in Illinois, and there are harsh penalties for those who steal cars or commit crimes related to vehicle theft, such as buying or selling a stolen vehicle. While you may think that borrowing a car is no big deal if you have plans to return it, you could potentially be arrested for vehicle theft should the person you borrowed the car from report your use of the vehicle to the police.

A knowledgeable Illinois car theft defense lawyer is essential to protecting your rights and understanding your options if you have been charged with vehicle theft.

Defining Vehicle Theft in Illinois

In Illinois, vehicle theft is included in the state’s General Theft laws. Under these laws, the following actions can constitute vehicle theft:

  • Taking a vehicle without permission, or using deception to obtain a vehicle

  • Threatening someone in order to take control of their vehicle

  • Knowingly taking or accepting a vehicle that has been stolen

In general, if the owner of a vehicle agrees to let another person borrow a vehicle for a certain amount of time, this is not considered theft. However, if the owner requests the vehicle be returned and the person borrowing refuses to return the vehicle or disappears with the vehicle, this can be considered theft. Additionally, borrowing a vehicle without the owner knowing you are borrowing it can be considered theft.

Penalties for Vehicle Theft

Vehicle theft convictions typically result in felony theft charges. Penalties include fines and jail time, though the severity of the felony and associated punishment depend on the circumstances surrounding the crime and the value of the vehicle that was stolen.

For example, possession of vehicle theft tools is a Class 4 felony, while vehicular hijacking is a Class X felony. Possessing or receiving a stolen vehicle or stolen vehicle parts is a Class 1 or 2 felony depending on the circumstances, and theft of a car can be a Class 1, 2, or 3 felony depending on the value of the car stolen.

Potential penalties for vehicle theft include:

  • Class 4 felonies – These carry a sentence of one to three years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000

  • Class 3 felonies – These carry a sentence of between two to five years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000

  • Class 2 felonies – These carry a sentence of between three and seven years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000

  • Class 1 felonies – These carry a sentence of between four and 15 years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000

  • Class X felonies – These carry a sentence of between six and 30 years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000

Contact an Elgin, IL Vehicle Theft Defense Attorney

Dealing with charges of vehicle theft is challenging, and you will need the assistance of a Kane County, IL vehicle theft defense lawyer if you find yourself facing these charges. Attorney Brian J. Mirandola has over 20 years of criminal law experience, and he will provide you with skilled criminal defense representation.

Call The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.

Share this post:
Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
Back to Top