Bloomington Retail Theft Attorney
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.
Retail Theft FAQs
A retail theft conviction on your record can cause some major problems in the future, but a Bloomington, IL retail theft attorney from our office can help you fight back against the charges. Read on to learn more about retail theft, and get in touch with our attorneys as soon as possible.
What Is Considered Retail Theft Under The Law?
Retail theft, or shoplifting, involves taking merchandise from a retail establishment without paying for it or obtaining goods through deceptive means. It can also include altering price tags, under-ringing the cost of items, or transferring goods into different containers to avoid full payment. The legal definition can vary, but a retail theft attorney from our office can provide specifics based on local laws.
What Are The Potential Legal Consequences Of A Retail Theft Charge?
The severity of legal consequences for retail theft depends on the value of the stolen items and the offender’s criminal history. Penalties can range from minor fines and community service for low-value theft to significant jail time for high-value or repeated offenses. Each case is unique, so it’s important to consult with a Bloomington retail theft attorney if you want a clearer understanding of potential outcomes.
How Can A Retail Theft Charge Be Expunged From My Record?
Expungement of a retail theft charge depends on several factors, including the severity of the offense, the laws of the state, and the individual’s criminal record. In some cases, first-time offenders may be eligible for diversion programs that, upon successful completion, could lead to the expungement of the charge. An attorney can provide guidance on whether expungement is a possibility in your case.
How Can An Attorney Help In A Retail Theft Case?
An experienced retail theft attorney can help in various ways, including negotiating with prosecutors for reduced charges or penalties, representing you in court, and providing advice on legal rights and defense strategies. They can also assist in exploring options like diversion programs or plea bargains, depending on the specifics of your case.
What Should I Do If I’m Accused Of Retail Theft?
If you are accused of retail theft, it’s important to remain calm and avoid making any statements that could be used against you in court. Politely decline to discuss the incident with store employees or law enforcement until you have spoken to an attorney. Contacting a skilled retail theft attorney from our office as soon as possible is crucial in protecting your rights and building a strong defense.
Get In Touch With A Lawyer Today
Facing a retail theft charge can be a daunting experience, but you don’t have to go through it alone. As experienced retail theft specialists, the team at Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols is committed to providing you with the legal support and guidance you need. If you or someone you know is dealing with a retail theft charge, reach out to us.
Get in touch with us today, and see how a Bloomington retail theft attorney from our office can help you fight for your future.