Bloomington Retail Theft Attorney

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. 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.

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.

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 will personally listen to your side of the story and guide you throughout the legal process.

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