Bloomington Retail Theft Attorney
Defending Against Retail Theft Charges in Bloomington, Illinois
If you have recently been arrested and charged with retail theft, it may be in your best interest to speak with a Bloomington retail theft attorney as soon as possible. These situations are not as easy as paying for the stolen items and moving forward with your life. Rather, retail theft is illegal and can be a misdemeanor or a felony; depending on the circumstances. Before you plead guilty, find out how a retail theft attorney in Bloomington, Illinois may be able to help you. Call Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols now.
Understanding Retail Theft
All states have retail theft laws; how they are defined may vary, but in general, it involves the act of taking something out of a retail store without properly paying for it. This could include hiding items in a bag or underneath clothing, changing price tags, or modifying a bar code. Furthermore, it is presumed that concealing any item is enough evidence to suggest the item was intended to be stolen. Thus, it is important to talk with a Bloomington retail theft lawyer following any retail theft charge.
Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols: A Zealous Legal Advocate Who Can Help with Retail Theft Charges
For years, Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols has been amassing a copious amount of criminal legal experience and has successfully defended a large number of people who have been accused of a crime. As leading Bloomington retail theft lawyers, we bring these skills and knowledge to our role in cases that involve a broad range of retail theft cases.
When we defend retail theft charges against the taking of an item that has been sold, stored, displayed, or otherwise held at the store, it will be important for us to review the report made by the arresting officer, surveillance footage, scanning device records, and witness testimony. By doing so, we may be able to identify weaknesses in the case; thereby, ask the prosecutor to reduce the charges against you.
Retail Theft Comes In Various Forms
While the common form of retail theft is physically attempting to steal an item from a store, the offense can occur in other ways. If an individual uses false documentation, such as a fake receipt, to return property of which he or she is not the owner, it can be considered a retail theft. Similarly, using a device to jam the security alarms or changing the price tag or bar code on an item is considered retail theft. Lastly, if an individual has leased an item and failed to return it or pay the value as set by the merchant within 10 days of a written demand for return of the item, it is a retail theft.
Cases We Have Handled
As a skilled Bloomington retail theft lawyer might explain to you that retail theft is an umbrella term that can include a broad range of actions. Depending on the unique factors of your case, the severity of the charges can be increased. Cases we have handled include:
Taking an item without paying for it
- Changing, altering, or removing a price tag or bar code
- Jamming security alarms
- Failure to return borrowed, on lease, property
- Returning an item that is not actually owned by you
- Using fake receipts to return or exchange an item
- Using an emergency door to exit the building with unpaid items
The penalties for retail theft tend to be favorable for shops, and what many people don’t understand is that they are often more severe than one might think. A skilled Bloomington retail theft lawyer may help to strategize the best defense possible.
Penalties for Retail Theft
Under 720 ILCS 5/16-25, if a person knowingly possesses, transfers, carries away, or promotes the carrying away of any item from a retail establishment without paying for or without intending to pay for the item, that person can be found guilty if retail theft.
In Illinois, retail theft can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. In order to be a felony the value of the items stolen must exceed $300 unless it involves the theft of gasoline where the amount need only be over $150. Most felony retail thefts are Class 4 felonies with a punishment of 1-3 years in jail. For a misdemeanor retail theft charge, the punishment carries a maximum of 364 days in jail and up to $2,500.
Summary of Penalties for Retail Theft
For Items Valued at $300 or Less:
- Class A Misdemeanor,
- One Year in Jail, and/or;
- A Fine Up to $2500
- A Permanent Criminal Record
Items Valued At More Than $300
- Class 4 Felony
- One to Three Years in Prison
- A Fine Up to $25000
- A Permanent Criminal Record
If you are not ready to face these consequences, consider call a Bloomington retail theft lawyer now. We defend people who have been charged with retail theft. Retail theft, or shoplifting, may seem like a petty crime, but the penalties that accompany a conviction can be quite stiff.
Retail Theft Defenses
We can review the facts and evidence in a retail theft case and develop an effective defense in order to achieve a positive result for you. Depending on the circumstances of your case and your criminal history you may qualify for deferred prosecution or a deferment program. With free initial consultations, the attorneys at Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols will personally listen to your side of the story and guide you throughout the legal process.