Plainfield Retail Theft Attorneys
Retail Theft and Shoplifting Defense in Lombard, Joliet, and Throughout DuPage and Will Counties
Retail theft is a criminal charge that arises from allegations that an individual has taken an item from a retail establishment without properly paying for it. Shoplifting is the most common type of retail theft charge. Penalties for a conviction for retail theft vary depending on the value of the object believed to have been stolen and other aggravating factors. At Aldrich & Siedlarz Law, P.C., we are experienced in handling all types of retail theft charges. We will carefully investigate the specifics of your arrest and the evidence against you to build a strong case for your defense.
Retail Theft Laws in Illinois
There are many situations that can lead to a retail theft charge. Illinois retail theft laws (720 ILCS 5/16-25) detail actions that are considered retail theft including:
- Taking an item out of the store without paying for it. – When someone removes an item from a store without paying the designated value with the intention of permanently depriving the merchant of the item.
- Switching an item’s packaging. – When a person transfers an item from its original container to another one in a retail store in order to pay a lower price for the item.
- Changing the price tag or bar code on an item. – When the price tag for an item is altered to set a lesser value.
- Under-rings an item. – When a cashier purposefully rings an item up for less than the designated value.
- Blocking a security scanner. – When a device is used to neutralize a security scanner so that someone can remove an item from the store without paying for it.
- Making a fake return. – Returning an item that was not purchased at that store or that is not owned by the accused.
- Failing to return an item when the term of a rental is over. – When someone has leased an item for a specific amount of time and does not return it to the owner when the term of the lease has expired and fails to return the item within ten days of a written demand for its return.
- Removing a shopping cart. – When a shopping cart is removed from the premises of a retail establishment without permission of the merchant.
The penalties for retail theft can be severe if you are convicted. For an item that is valued at $300 or less, the charge is a Class A misdemeanor, which could result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500 for a conviction. If the item stolen is worth more than $300, the charge could be a Class 4 felony, which could result in a prison sentence of one to three years and a fine of up to $25,000. There are aggravating factors that can increase the penalties for a conviction such as taking an item out of a store through an emergency exit. Any conviction of misdemeanor or felony retail theft will result in a permanent criminal record, as these charges are not eligible for expungement or sealing.
If you have been arrested and charged with retail theft, contact our attorneys right away at 630-953-3000 to schedule a free initial consultation. We will go over the circumstances of your arrest, answer your questions, and discuss your legal options for defense. Aldrich & Siedlarz Law, P.C. is located in Lombard, Illinois, and our criminal defense attorneys represent clients throughout DuPage County, Will County, and the surrounding areas.