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Chicago Retail Theft Attorney

Theft and Retail Theft Lawyer in Chicago

Taking something that belongs to someone else is generally understood to be a crime. Those who are accused of committing theft could face serious criminal charges. These accusations can arise in many situations, including claims that a person failed to pay for services, failed to return property that was rented or borrowed, or took items from a store without paying the full retail price. If you are accused of theft, shoplifting, or related offenses, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, and in addition to potential jail time, fines, and restitution, you could be stuck with a permanent criminal record, which can affect your future opportunities.

If you have been charged with a crime involving theft or retail theft in Chicago or Cook County, you can seek legal advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney and determine how to address these charges. The skilled lawyer at the Law Offices of James F. DiQuattro can review the details of your case and offer guidance on how best to navigate the court system. We will work to protect your rights as you defend against criminal charges, and we can help you determine what options may be available, such as negotiating reduced charges or advocating for a lesser sentence. With our attorney on your side, you will have a better chance of achieving favorable results in your case.

Misdemeanor and Felony Theft Charges in Illinois

Theft generally involves obtaining money or property without the owner's consent. It may involve directly taking items from someone, knowingly removing items from a person's property (such as their home or vehicle), or using deception or threats to gain control over property. Theft charges may also apply if a person obtains or gains control over property that they knew or reasonably believed was stolen from someone else.

Theft may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, and the specific charges will be based on the value of the property involved in a case. Some examples of theft charges include:

  • Theft of less than $500 - If property was not taken directly from a person, this is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a jail sentence of up to one year. If theft occurred in a school or church, or if government property was allegedly stolen, this is a Class 4 felony, and a conviction may lead to a sentence of one to three years in jail. If property was taken from a person, this is a Class 3 felony, and a prison sentence of two to five years may apply.
  • Theft of $500 to $10,000 - This is generally charged as a Class 3 felony. If an offense allegedly took place in a school or church or involved government property, Class 2 felony charges may apply, and a jail sentence of three to seven years may be imposed.
  • Theft of $10,000 to $100,000 - This is usually charged as a Class 2 felony, but theft of this amount from a school or church or involving government property is a Class 1 felony with a potential prison sentence of four to 15 years.
  • Theft of $100,000 to $500,000 - This is a Class 1 felony. Theft of more than $100,000 of government property or from a church or school is a Class X felony, which carries a sentence of six to 30 years.
  • Theft of $500,000 to $1 million - This is a Class 1 felony, and probation will not be available to a person who is convicted.
  • Theft of over $1 million - This is a Class X felony.

Illinois Retail Theft/Shoplifting Offenses

Most people understand shoplifting to involve taking items from a store and leaving without paying for them. However, the offense of retail theft may also apply if a person is accused of taking actions that result in them paying less than the full retail price that should be paid to a store's owner. This could include switching price tags on items, concealing one item within another item, or intentionally under-ringing the price of an item at a self-checkout.

As with other types of theft charges, the value of the merchandise that was allegedly stolen will determine the specific charges for retail theft. Theft of goods with less than $300 or less than $150 of motor fuel is a Class A misdemeanor in most cases. However, theft of less than $300 in which a person left a store through an emergency exit is a Class 4 felony. Theft of goods worth more than $300 or over $150 of motor fuel will generally result in Class 3 felony charges. Theft by emergency exit of more than $300 is a Class 2 felony.

Contact Our Chicago Theft and Shoplifting Defense Attorney

it is important to take immediate action in response to theft or retail theft charges by contacting an experienced criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of James F. DiQuattro, we understand how these cases are prosecuted in Cook County, and we can provide aggressive representation for those who have been accused of property crimes. Contact our office today and schedule a free consultation by calling 312-627-9482.

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