Retail theft, also called shoplifting, may seem like a relatively minor crime. However, the truth is that shoplifting in Skokie can have serious consequences, and may result in jail time, large fines, and other consequences that impair opportunities and privileges. Which is why if you have been charged with shoplifting, you need a Skokie retail theft attorney on your side who is experienced in handling cases like yours.
720 ILCS 5/16-25 of Illinois Code addresses the crime of retail theft. According to language of the law, a person commits an act of retail theft when they knowingly take merchandise that is held for sale in a retail store without paying for the full retail value of the merchandise. Retail theft can also be committed when a person removes or alters a price tag and attempts to purchase the items at a price other than the full retail value. This means that even if a person pays for an item in part, if the person intentionally does not pay for the item in full, they could still be committing an act of retail theft.
The penalty that a person who is convicted of an act of retail theft will face is dependent upon the value of the merchandise that was shoplifted. If the full retail value of the merchandise does not exceed $300 (or $150 if the merchandise involved was motor fuel), then the crime is a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense. A subsequent offense charge is increased to a Class 4 felony. If the amount of retail involved in a first offense is valued at more than $300, then the offense is a Class 3 felony.
Class A misdemeanors are a class of offenses that are less serious than any classes of felonies, but the punishments are still consequential. Indeed, this offense can be punished by an incarceration period of up to one year, and a fine of up to $2,500.
A Class 4 felony, on the other hand, is punished by an incarceration period of not less than one year, and up to three years. The potential fine amount is also increased.
Finally, a Class 3 felony is the most severe of the retail theft offenses, and is punished by an incarceration period of two to five years, and a fine of up to $25,000.
Committing an act of retail theft may not seem like a big deal to you, but it could have a huge impact on your future. If you have been charged with shoplifting in Skokie, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side who can assist you in building your case and protecting your best interests. At the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus, our Skokie retail theft attorney is ready to advocate for you. Contact us today for your initial consultation and to begin the process of building your defense.
Senior Partner Jonathan Minkus has successfully defended individuals charged with every conceivable criminal offense, from traffic misdemeanors to death-penalty eligible homicides.