Shoplifting may seem like a petty crime, and some people may even consider it a right of passage. However, shoplifting charges can be a dark stain on your criminal record and show up when you apply for housing or a job.
In Illinois, to be convicted of misdemeanor shoplifting, or retail theft as lawyers and courts call it, there are several elements that must be proven. Perhaps the most common way someone shoplifts is when “he or she knowingly obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the owner.”
Thus, the state must prove that you knowingly shoplifted. It is not enough to be caught in possession of items allegedly stolen. The state must prove that you knew what you were doing. This can be difficult to prove in some cases and may be a valid defense.
Misdemeanor or Felony?
The value of the goods stolen will determine if the crime is a misdemeanor or felony. Theft of property not from a person and not exceeding $500 in value is a Class A misdemeanor.
Anything above $500 will be a felony. However, if the person has had a prior conviction of certain crimes, including theft or robbery, theft of an item under $500 can be charged as a felony.
Complex Shoplifting Schemes
When most people think of shoplifting, they think of someone walking through a store and taking desired objects. While that might be the most common method, there are other, more complex schemes that someone could be charged.
For example, someone may be accused of forging receipts in the hopes of getting cash back for the supposed value of the items. Someone working with a sales associate may incorrectly ring up an item. Finally, someone may attempt to change out the price tags for an item.
Contact an Oak Brook Misdemeanor Shoplifting Lawyer
As someone accused of a crime, you have numerous rights and protections under the state and federal constitutions. However, it is easy to waive those rights. A criminal attorney will safeguard those rights and ensure that you do not make any moves that would harm your case.
Our firm has represented people of all ages accused of shoplifting. We strive to put your best case forward in the guilt and sentencing aspects of a trial. Our attorney is also seasoned at negotiating plea deals.
The helpful I-88 retail theft attorney at Myers Law LLC can be reached at 844-984-3529 (844-9-THE-LAW). Call today to see what our attorney thinks about your case.