Retail theft occurs when a person or employee knowingly takes possession of merchandise and transfers it away from retail establishment without paying the full retail price that was labeled on the item. It is also a crime to alter, modifying, or remove a price tag from an item attempting to lower the price.
If the item that was stolen was $300 or less you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. That could result in the following penalties:
- Up to a year in jail
- Fines up to $2,500
- Permanent criminal record
If the stolen item was greater than $300 you could be faced with a Class 3 felony and be sentenced between 2 and 5 years in Illinois Department of Corrections and fined up to $25,000.
So what happens if an item is taken from a store unknowingly? Often times, retail theft is unintentionally committed by consumers who forgot to pay or forgot they had the merchandise in their possession. It is important to contact a criminal defense lawyer to receive knowledgeable legal advice to avoid the hard penalties brought on with retail theft charges
ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR RETAIL THEFT CHARGES
Theft is not taken lightly in the legal system and can possibly lead to serious penalties that can affect your reputation. Owners of stolen items are adamant about seeking justice for retail theft crimes.
If you are charged with retail theft, there are various options you can take to avoid a conviction being marked on your permanent record. One of the main options is supervision, where you receive a sentence of supervision, which means you cannot have any new arrest or violations during your sentence. Deferred prosecution is another option where you complete a theft-deterrent program or community service hours.
If you have been convicted of retail theft, it is crucial to consult with a DuPage County criminal defense lawyer at Martin & Kent, L.L.C. immediately to hear sound legal advice and receive knowledgeable and aggressive representation.