Retail Theft
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Kendall County Retail Theft

Retail Theft, more commonly known as shoplifting, isn’t a joke. This crime can carry real penalties. Read on for our guide from experienced Illinois criminal defense attorneys.

Retail Theft in IlliNOis

There are plenty of ways in which you can be charged with retail theft. Unlike most states, IL has legislation specifically targeting retail theft rather than simply lumping them together with other theft statutes. This makes the overall issue a bit more complicated. There are many details that aren’t mentioned or even relevant to other types of theft.

This is why, if you are accused of retail theft in IL, you should make contacting a local attorney like the skilled professionals at the Law Offices of Andrew Nickel, LLC a priority.

What Is Retail Theft in IL?

In a word, “intent”. Retail theft in IL is basically the crime of having, carrying, or moving any retail product away from the original location. The prosecutor, however, has to be able to prove that the individual had the intent to keep the property.

For example, in a shopping mall moving an item out of the individual store and out to the food court could be retail theft. Doing so accidentally and with a remorseful intent to return it might not be.

Damaging an item to get it at a discounted price, could also be retail theft. There are a lot of ways a person could get trapped in a situation where a skilled attorney from Kendall or Kane County may be necessary.

ILCS Retail Theft

A few of the other ways a person could be accused of ILCS retail theft include the following:

  • Altering, removing, or transferring a label or a price tag with the intent to deceive about the retail value
  • Deceiving about the price to be charged less
  • Faking that a product was already in one’s possession or had previously been paid for
  • Having a theft detection shielding device
  • Transferring a product from one container into another

These actions seem blatant. However, they can easily be misinterpreted.

Retail Theft ILCS

Fortunately, with a knowledgeable lawyer, one can avoid being sentenced for retail theft ILCS for a crime he or she didn’t commit.

Illinois Theft Statute

With the additional retail theft statute to the “regular” IL theft statute, the help of an attorney is helpful for clarification. For example, many people search for the following statutes looking for this information. The current, accurate statute is Illinois Statutes Section 5/16-25.

720 ILCS 5 16 2

720 ILCS 5 16 2: Although many people searching for information regarding retail theft check this, it is an incorrect statute.

720 ILCS 5 16 1

720 ILCS 5 16 1: This is another common search term that actually discusses other aspects of theft rather than retail theft.

Illinois Theft Laws

Theft laws are complex and ever-changing issues. With so many variables (and the stakes being so potentially high), it is wise to contact a local lawyer for experienced and meaningful advice.

Illinois Shoplifting Laws

Shoplifting laws should never be taken lightly. Retail theft can mean big trouble. Many of those who are accused of retail theft are children and young adults, the repercussions at this point could ruin their life. This makes the counsel of an empathetic attorney even more life-changing.

Shoplifting Sentence in Illinois

The shoplifting sentence in Illinois is determined based on what is stolen, what is the value of that merchandise, and the manner in which it occurred. It also is based on whether the person has a criminal past.

When it comes to retail theft in Illinois, first offenses are often a misdemeanor. They usually receive a sentence of less than one year and a fine of no more than $2500. Subsequent crimes receive more stringent penalties.

Shoplifter Punishment

Shoplifter punishment, as with most crimes, depends on the degree of severity. Retail theft of more expensive items, merchandise of higher retail value, and more damaging offenses tend to get heavier sentences.

Felony Theft Illinois

The determinations for felony theft in Illinois are complicated. Under Illinois law, the penalties for retail theft are based on the retail value of the stolen merchandise. Using an emergency exit during a retail theft may also make the difference between a misdemeanor and more serious charges.

Although a first offense for retail theft is a Class A Misdemeanor, it may also constitute a Class 4 Felony if it includes theft by using an emergency door to exit. Follow-up crimes after a first offense are also considered a Class 4 Felony. These are punishable by one to three years in prison and as much as $25,000 in fines.

Retail theft of the items that have a retail value of more than $300 is a Class 3 Felony. This is punishable by between two to five years in prison. Those convicted for this Class 3 Felony also have to pay up to $25,000 in penalties.

If this crime includes an emergency exit, it is a Class 2 Felony punishable by three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

Felony Retail Theft Attorneys

As the crimes and included punishments vary based on very specific circumstances, having one of the qualified felony retail theft attorneys on your side is important.

What Makes It Felony Retail Theft in Illinois?

There a few details that make it felony retail theft in Illinois. As in most states, the retail value of the item/s stolen change the classification from a misdemeanor to a felony. If a weapon is used, the charges are increased.

Plus, if the person committing the alleged crime exited the area through an emergency doorway, it changes the classification, as well. Another qualifying aspect is whether an amount of additional subterfuge is used.

A skilled attorney can help clear up the specifics.

Retail Theft in Illinois First Offense

Generally, retail theft in Illinois first offense charges receives a sentence of less than one-year incarceration and a fine of up to $2500. This is for crimes classified as a Class A Misdemeanor for stealing merchandise of under $300 retail value. This would seem to be a hefty “slap on the wrist” at best.

Even for first offenses, a good lawyer can make a difference. A few of the top defense options include the following:

  • Drunk or impaired
  • Entrapment
  • Lack of intent
  • Mistake of ownership
  • Returning the property

Tiny details, such as how you exited the premises or through which exit, can make a big difference. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for more specifics.

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