Shoplifting Defense Attorney in Chicago
Chicago Retail Theft Crime Lawyer
Have you been accused of shoplifting? This is a type of theft crime that is most often charged as a misdemeanor. It may be charged as a felony in certain circumstances, depending on the value of property allegedly stolen and whether the defendant has prior convictions on his or her record.
Retail theft charges can result in a criminal conviction and jail sentence. As a Chicago Premier Shoplifting Attorney, I understand that a single mistake in judgment can lead to severe consequences in your life. As a criminal defense attorney who has practiced law in Cook County for over 20 years, I will ensure that your case is handled with attention to every detail.
Retail Theft Charges
In Illinois. Retail Theft Statute is codified under Section 720 5/16-25. Under Illinois law, a person can be charged with the crime not only by taking merchandise from the store but also by altering or removing price tags from the item or leaving the store with an item using an emergency exit.
Interestingly enough, one can be charged under the statute if he or she removes a shopping cart from the premises of a retail merchant establishment without the merchant's consent. Even if said removal occurred outside of the retail establishment.
Another example of retail theft occurs when a person uses a theft detection shielding device or theft detection device remover to use such device to deprive the merchant permanently of the possession of the merchandise.
Under Illinois law, if the alleged merchandise taken is under $300, the offense will likely be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. However, a person who has been previously convicted of retail theft, robbery, armed robbery, burglary, residential burglary, possession of burglary tools, home invasion, unlawful use of a credit card, or forgery can be charged with a Class 4 felony.
It is important to note that if the prosecution can show the continuing course of shoplifting conduct from one or more mercantile establishments over one year, a person can be charged with a Class 3 felony.
Chicago Premier Retail Theft Attorney
Taking the time to consult with a criminal defense attorney is crucial in the face of an arrest or retail theft criminal charges for shoplifting. A person accused of retail theft must act quickly if you are to ensure the full protection of your legal rights from the very beginning. This protection may make all the difference even when it seems there is irrefutable evidence against you or when the store personnel will testify against you. There may have been a procedural violation or an issue with evidence that an experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer can bring to light, turning your case around and offering you the opportunity for a successful resolution.
Legal Defense for Your Charges
There are particular issues related to shoplifting charges that are important to understand. If security or store personnel suspect you have stolen something, they are not bound by the same regulations as law enforcement personnel. This means that they may search you or your property and recover evidence that would be admissible in court even though they did not have a warrant to search. It also means any statements you make can be used against you even though the store employee did not read you your rights.
For a free case review, contact a Chicago Premier Retail Theft Attorney today!