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IL defense lawyerShoplifting 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.

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