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Fighting Back Against Your Retail Theft Charges – What Are Your Alternatives to Conviction?

 Posted on August 17, 2017 in Retail Theft

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.

For theft of items that exceed $300, or $150 in fuel, the consequences become more severe, even on first-time offenses. Punished as either a Class 3 or Class 2 felony (depending on the circumstances), such consequences can include imprisonment of two to seven years, fines of up to $25,000, and restitution fees to the retailer.

Other consequences not connected to the criminal justice system (also called collateral consequences) can also have a massive impact on the life of a convicted defendant. Examples of such consequences may include difficulty obtaining employment, inability to obtain proper housing, being barred from the establishment that the defendant allegedly stole from, and a civil suit from the retailer for any damages they may have experienced. Thankfully, it may be possible to avoid all these consequences with help from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Possible Alternatives to Conviction

Although some defendants may be ineligible for certain alternatives to conviction, others may find relief through programs like court supervision, deferred prosecution, or community service. However, it is important to keep in mind that such programs require you to successfully complete them to avoid a conviction. Alternatively, you can pursue a complete dismissal of the charges; for this option, it is crucial to ensure you have qualified legal representation.

Contact Our Joliet Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you or someone you love is facing charges for retail theft, contact the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. for assistance. Aggressive advocates that are dedicated to protecting your best interest, our Joliet criminal defense lawyers will pursue the most favorable outcome possible in your case. Get started by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call 815-666-1285 today.


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