Legal Consequences for Shoplifting

 Posted on August 18,2023 in Criminal Law

IL defense lawyerBeing arrested for shoplifting merchandise can be an alarming and stressful experience, particularly if it is your first run-in with the law. In Illinois, theft is taken seriously, and the severity of the legal consequences largely depends on various factors surrounding the incident. Today, we will provide a legal overview of the potential outcomes in such a case. If you are facing shoplifting charges, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to assist you in fighting the charges of which you have been charged. 

Understanding the Offense 

In Illinois, theft is considered a criminal offense involving unauthorized taking or controlling another person’s property. The value of the stolen merchandise plays a crucial role in determining the changes and potential penalties. 

Potential Charges 

Since the value of the stolen merchandise amounts to $100, the offense generally falls under the category of a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are less serious crimes compared to felonies, and they typically carry less severe penalties. 

Misdemeanor Theft Penalties

The offender may face Class A misdemeanor charges for theft involving property valued under $300, which applies to your situation. Class A misdemeanors can land someone in jail for up to one year while also levying fines of up to $2,500.

Factors Influencing the Case

Several factors can impact the outcome and severity of your case. These factors include your criminal history, the circumstances surrounding the incident, and your cooperation with law enforcement. The prosecutor might consider imposing harsher penalties if you have prior convictions or involvement in similar crimes.

Potential Alternatives to Jail Time

Illinois law recognizes the importance of rehabilitation and may offer alternative sentences to incarceration. These can include probation, community service, theft education programs, restitution, or a combination of these options. The court may consider these alternatives if you exhibit remorse, have no or minimal criminal history, and show a willingness to make amends. Alternatives of jail time may not always be on the table, so discuss with your attorney whether such options are possible in your specific case.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

While being arrested for shoplifting can be highly distressing, remember that every case has unique circumstances. Although Illinois treats theft crimes seriously, it also recognizes the potential for rehabilitation and offers alternatives to jail time. By seeking legal assistance and cooperating with the process, you can increase your chances of achieving an outcome you feel desirable in your case. Contact the experienced Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney with Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law. Call 847-253-3400 for a free consultation. 

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