Going to the mall, or the store in general, can be a fun pastime for many young adults. There is always a nice pair of sneakers that a famous athlete might wear, an expensive purse, or a dress that everyone is raving about. For many young people, it may be tempting to take these high value clothes, accessories, or other items without paying for them. However, if this happens, the person doing this act has committed retail theft, which has some very serious consequences.
What is Retail Theft?
Retail theft occurs when a person intentionally takes any merchandise from a store with the intention of keeping it and without paying the item’s full retail price. Retail theft also applies when a person changes the label of the marked merchandise to pay less than the full value of the merchandise. “Theft by emergency exit” is committed when a person steals merchandise from a store and escapes using a designated emergency exit.
What are the Consequences of Retail Theft?
If a person commits retail theft by stealing less than $300 worth of merchandise, or less than $150 worth of motor fuel, then they will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
If the same person commits retail theft a second or subsequent time, then they will face a Class 4 felony. They will also be charged with a Class 4 felony if they have previously been convicted of any type of theft, burglary, robbery, fraud, or forgery. A Class 4 felony is punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
If someone steals over $300 in merchandise or $150 in motor fuel, they will be charged with a Class 3 felony, which is punishable by two to five years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
What are the Consequences of Theft by Emergency Exit?
If a person commits theft by emergency exit and steals less than $300 in merchandise, then they will be charged with a Class 4 felony. If they had previously been convicted of robbery, burglary, fraud, or forgery, then the charge will be a Class 3 felony. Any theft by emergency exit that includes more than $300 worth of merchandise will constitute a Class 2 felony, which is punishable by three to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.
Contact Your Oak Brook Retail Theft Defense Attorney
Whether you are a teenager or an adult, shoplifting products is never a good practice to get into, and the consequences of a conviction can affect your life for years to come. If you or a loved one has been accused of retail theft, you do not have to fight the battle alone. With Myers Law by your side, you are guaranteed top-quality legal representation. To schedule a free 15-minute consultation, please call an experienced Wheaton criminal defense attorney at 844-9-THE-LAW (844-984-3529) to get the help you deserve.