Most people are aware that if you are charged with retail theft or shoplifting in Illinois, you may face harsh criminal consequences that could seriously affect your future. These effects frequently include being able to find work, qualify for housing, and receive loan approval, among other things. With all mentioned above, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
What Are the Penalties for Retail Theft?
The severity of the punishment for retail theft typically depends on the value of the goods that were either stolen or attempted to be stolen. You will likely be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor, which has a maximum punishment of one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500, if the value of the item was $300 or less. If the value of the item exceeded $300, you may be charged with a Class 4 felony, which carries a potential jail term of one to three years.
What Are Your Options?
Individuals who have been charged with retail theft may have a number of ways to handle their case. The choices that are available, if any, rely heavily on the unique facts and circumstances of each case. For a first-time offender in particular, the following are some possible lines of action:
A Supervisory Sentence – This means that a period of court supervision with specific requirements will be imposed on the defendant. The charges might be dropped if the offender complies with the guidelines of his or her supervision and avoids getting arrested again.
Programs for First Offenders – Deferred prosecution and diversionary programs fall under this category. An agreement that allows the charges to be kept active while the defendant completes specific classes or programs aimed at rehabilitation may be able to be achieved through discussions and negotiations between the defense attorney and the prosecution. The prosecution can agree to drop the charges if they can show that the program was successfully completed. Before the prosecution will agree to drop the charges, an offender can be forced to complete a specified amount of community service in addition to or instead of this kind of program.
A Plea Bargain – This is typically a choice where the defendant consents to admit guilt to a few charges in exchange for fewer charges or a lenient sentence. Such agreements depend on the prosecutor’s judgment and require the judge’s blessing before becoming binding.
Contact a Cook Country Retail Theft Attorney
Whether facing shoplifting or felony theft accusations, hire a skilled Cook County criminal defense attorney to secure your full legal protection. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at [[title]] will guide you through the legal process and provide you with a strong defense. Contact [[phone]] immediately now for a free consultation, to explore all possible choices, and to start planning your defense right away.