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Plainfield theft defense attorney

Under Illinois law, retail theft of items worth $300 or greater in value could put an offender in prison for two to five years with $25,000 in fines. This is the same punishment that someone would receive for aggravated battery, and a new bill is progressing that could raise the ceiling on the amount stolen for these serious charges. Most states in the country have eased their shoplifting and retail theft laws in an attempt to put fewer non-violent offenders in prison, but Illinois remains one of the six most punishing states in the country for crimes of this nature. If you are facing any type of theft charges, it is crucial to work with an accomplished criminal defense lawyer to make sure your rights are protected.

Cook County Laws and New Statewide Bills

Since 2016, the Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, has deemed any retail thefts under $1,000 in value to be a misdemeanor, not a felony charge. This is much more lenient than Illinois state law, and it is important to note that the consequences of your case could dramatically change if you were accused of retail theft in Chicago and other parts of Cook County. 


Defending Against Retail Theft Charges in Illinois

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Joliet, IL shoplifting lawyer

Instances of retail theft can be devastating to a business over time, which is why shop owners and mall operators take security and the prosecution of shoplifting seriously.

Illinois law recognizes retail theft as:


Being arrested on shoplifting charges can be a frightening experience, but even that pales in comparison to the criminal consequences of a conviction. At the very least, a misdemeanor charge, a retail theft conviction can also impact your employment and housing opportunities. Learn more about the criminal and collateral consequences of a shoplifting conviction, your possible alternatives to conviction, and how an experienced criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights with help from the following information.

Consequences of a Retail Theft Conviction

Criminal consequences of a retail theft conviction (those pertaining to the law) depend greatly upon the amount of merchandise or property allegedly stolen, as well as any prior offenses. For those with a clear criminal record who allegedly stole items with a value of less than $300 (or less than $150 for fuel), consequences may include up to a year of jail time, fines, and possible restitution fees, which are paid to the retailer. Second offenses of the same amount are punished as Class 4 felonies and may include consequences of imprisonment for one to three years and fines of up to $25,000, as well as possible restitution to the retailer.

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