With prices going up and wages stagnant, retail theft is becoming a more common occurrence in Illinois. Getting arrested for retail theft is a serious matter that can carry heavy consequences, like fines, jail time and a permanent criminal record. If the price of the stolen goods exceeds $300, you could even be charged with a felony.
Steps to Take If You Are Facing a Retail Theft Charge
Facing a retail theft charge can certainly be a frightening experience. However, what you do after the fact can have a major impact on the outcome of your case. Here are a few steps to take if you are charged with this crime.
Do not run away from store security. When you are about to be detained by store security for shoplifting, you may feel nervous and scared. However, that does not mean you should try to flee the scene. Doing so can make you look guilty and further complicate your case. To avoid more issues, comply with security.
Say as little as possible to the police. After the police detain you for retail theft, they may try to ask you questions about what happened. The officers may even lead you to believe that they will go easier on you if you admit guilt. Do not discuss the details of your case with police because they are not there to help you. Tell them that you do not want to talk about your case without a lawyer present.
Consult a criminal lawyer. Shoplifting is considered a serious offense, so you should not attempt to represent yourself. It is in your best interest to hire a skilled Illinois criminal attorney. This attorney will defend you to the best of his or her ability and prepare you for court proceedings. He or she will also ensure that your rights are protected and that you do not say or do anything that will harm your case.
Avoid further arrests. When you are already dealing with a retail theft charge, the last thing you want to do is get arrested again. If you get charged with another crime, it can lead to harsher consequences.
Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with retail theft, you should get in touch with a Kane County criminal lawyer. At the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we will fully assess your case and come up with the best defense. Call us at 847-488-0889 to schedule a free consultation.