Retail Theft Conviction Alternatives in Illinois
Shoplifting is one of those crimes in which anyone may have a proclivity. From a juvenile doing it to impress their friends to a single parent trying to provide for their family or even an elderly adult who mistakenly forgot the item at the bottom of the cart, shoplifting charges are not bound by age, race, or gender. Mainstream media has somewhat glorified the act by making it the subject of many Hollywood movies and song played on the radio, perhaps leading to an increase in shoplifting cases. However, the state of Illinois still believes stealing is not a victimless crime and anyone convicted of such allegations face harsh penalties. Fortunately, other alternatives are possible to conviction, given agreeable circumstances and utilizing the assistance of a proven attorney.
Penalties accompanying shoplifting convictions depend primarily on the retail value of the item or items taken. The retail value is the cost at which the store sells the item, traditionally the full price regardless of a current sale or discount. If the item or items when added together amount to less than $300.00, the charge is a Class A misdemeanor, whereas over the $300.00 threshold is a Class 4 felony. If the offense occurred as a group effort, the total between all included parties determines the severity of the charges. Specifically, even if your portion of the theft amounted to the cost of a pack of gum, the charges also include the cost of the items taken by your alleged accomplices. Maximum penalties include:
- Less than $300.00: A year in jail and a fine of $2,500.00, or
- Over $300.00: One to three years in prison and a fine of $25,000.00.
Although the state fully recognizes the impact theft crimes have on retailers, individuals often do not fully understand the cyclical impact to not only themselves but to their community. Therefore, under certain circumstances, Illinois utilizes the misjudgment as a learning experience and occasionally offers alternate solutions. Three such alternative punishments include:
- Deferred prosecution, and
- Community service.
Understanding The Alternatives
If this is your first time facing shoplifting charges, you are likely wondering about what happens next and how this will affect your future. There is no doubt that time spent incarcerated not only hinders educational and employment opportunities, it also prevents future events such as taking out a loan. If you are interested in discussing your situation and whether or not one of these alternatives are an option for you, contact a Glendale Heights, IL shoplifting defense attorney by calling Stringini & Garvey, P.C. today by calling 630-834-9595 to schedule your free initial consultation. We use over 65 years of combined experienced to defend our clients in Maywood, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Bloomingdale, and all surrounding Chicagoland areas.