Plainfield Retail Theft Attorneys

Retail Theft and Shoplifting Defense in Naperville, Joliet, and Throughout DuPage and Will Counties

Retail theft is a criminal charge that arises from allegations that an individual has taken an item from a retail establishment without properly paying for it. Shoplifting is the most common type of retail theft charge. Penalties for a conviction for retail theft vary depending on the value of the object believed to have been stolen and other aggravating factors. At J. Aldrich Law, P.C., we are experienced in handling all types of retail theft charges. We will carefully investigate the specifics of your arrest and the evidence against you to build a strong case for your defense.

Retail Theft Laws in Illinois

There are many situations that can lead to a retail theft charge. Illinois retail theft laws (720 ILCS 5/16-25) detail actions that are considered retail theft including:

  • Taking an item out of the store without paying for it. – When someone removes an item from a store without paying the designated value with the intention of permanently depriving the merchant of the item.
  • Switching an item’s packaging. – When a person transfers an item from its original container to another one in a retail store in order to pay a lower price for the item.
  • Changing the price tag or bar code on an item. – When the price tag for an item is altered to set a lesser value.
  • Under-rings an item. – When a cashier purposefully rings an item up for less than the designated value.
  • Blocking a security scanner. – When a device is used to neutralize a security scanner so that someone can remove an item from the store without paying for it.
  • Making a fake return. – Returning an item that was not purchased at that store or that is not owned by the accused.
  • Failing to return an item when the term of a rental is over. – When someone has leased an item for a specific amount of time and does not return it to the owner when the term of the lease has expired and fails to return the item within ten days of a written demand for its return.
  • Removing a shopping cart. – When a shopping cart is removed from the premises of a retail establishment without permission of the merchant.

The penalties for retail theft can be severe if you are convicted. For an item that is valued at $300 or less, the charge is a Class A misdemeanor, which could result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500 for a conviction. If the item stolen is worth more than $300, the charge could be a Class 4 felony, which could result in a prison sentence of one to three years and a fine of up to $25,000. There are aggravating factors that can increase the penalties for a conviction such as taking an item out of a store through an emergency exit. Any conviction of misdemeanor or felony retail theft will result in a permanent criminal record, as these charges are not eligible for expungement or sealing.

If you have been arrested and charged with retail theft, contact our attorneys right away at 630-953-3000 to schedule a free initial consultation. We will go over the circumstances of your arrest, answer your questions, and discuss your legal options for defense. J. Aldrich Law, P.C. is located in Naperville, Illinois, and our criminal defense attorneys represent clients throughout DuPage County, Will County, and the surrounding areas.

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address1700 Park St., Suite 203F, Naperville, IL 60563
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