Prosecution for retail theft in Illinois is no laughing matter. You must understand your rights and options. You have the right to an attorney, and it is strongly advised that you exercise this right. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the charges against you, build a strong defense, and protect your interests in court.
What are the Penalties for Retail Theft in Illinois?
The penalties for retail theft vary depending on the value of the property stolen. If the value of the property is less than $300, it is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. This can be bumped up to a Class 4 felony if the individual:
Has a history of stealing things using theft-detection shielding devices or removers
Has been convicted of theft, burglary, robbery, or forgery in the past
Used an emergency exit to help them steal
Stealing motor fuel in value greater than $150 can also bring a felony charge.
A recent bill, the Inform Consumer Act, went into effect January 1, 2023. This act allows the attorney general of Illinois to charge individuals who knowingly violate organized retail theft laws with a Class 3 felony offense. A Class 3 felony is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Using an emergency exit while committing the crime of theft exceeding a value of $300 makes this a Class 2 felony.
A store owner can also seek civil damages for retail theft. The individual charged may have to pay for the stolen merchandise in full, a possible penalty of up to $1000, and the costs of the court and attorneys. The parents or legal guardian of an offender 19 years or younger can be held liable for the civil damages.
What Do I Do if I am Convicted of Retail Theft?
In addition to any fines and jail time, if you are convicted of retail theft, you may also be ordered to pay restitution, which is the value of the property stolen. You may also be required to complete community service or attend a shoplifting diversion program.
When being prosecuted for retail theft, there are a few things you should do:
Hire an attorney to represent you
Do not speak to the police without an attorney present
Gather evidence that can help your case
Be prepared to fight the charges
You need to take the prosecution charges seriously and seek legal representation. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you protect your rights and interests in court.
What Can a Good Defense Attorney Do For My Retail Theft Case?
A good defense lawyer will do everything they can to protect your rights and interests in the face of retail theft charges. They will:
Investigate to gather evidence that can help your case which may include interviewing witnesses, reviewing security footage, and obtaining expert opinions
Negotiate with the prosecution in an attempt at a plea deal, which could result in a reduced charge or sentence
Prepare your case for trial by filing motions, interviewing witnesses, and presenting evidence
Protect your rights throughout the legal process, including the right to a fair trial, the right to remain silent, and the right to an attorney
Contact a Kane County, IL Retail Theft Defense Attorney
When being prosecuted for any charge, it is best to hire a lawyer experienced in those charges. An Elgin, IL retail theft defense attorney from the [[title]] can protect your rights, investigate your case, and prepare you for court, should the need arise. Dial [[phone]] for a free consultation and discuss your case with an experienced and compassionate attorney like Brian J. Mirandola right now.