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b2ap3_thumbnail_shoplifting_20170428-021830_1.jpgShoplifting 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.

Traditional Consequences

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:

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Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorneyWhen introduced to the legal system, the jargon is confusing. With words like arrest and charge used incorrectly on a daily basis, it becomes difficult to understand how much trouble you are facing. Other often misunderstood terminology includes felony and misdemeanor classifications. It is important to discern their differences and their potential penalties to build an appropriate defense case.

The Charges

Every state in the United States has a unique legal system. With it, they also have individualized penalties for crimes based on the severity of each. Two classifications in Illinois are:

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Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyerAll Americans have certain unalienable rights bestowed upon them by our forefathers, listed in our Bill of Rights. They consist of 10 individual amendments to the Constitution that protect our rights and freedoms. They include our free speech, the right to a fair and just trial, and more. One in particular that exist but is not broadly understood is the Eighth Amendment, the right to reasonable bail.

The Eighth Amendment Understood

Congress passed the Bill of Rights on September 25, 1789, later to be ratified December 15, 1791. The Eighth Amendment says:

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Posted on in Criminal Defense

b2ap3_thumbnail_probation.jpgEveryone makes mistakes. Some are small and some can be life altering. While we cannot go back and change what has already been done, we can, however, learn from our mistakes and move on. This theory is the driving force behind Illinois’ Second Chance Probation, a probation alternative to a conviction.

What Is Second Chance Probation?

For those clients who have never been in trouble with the law before, there may be a multitude of foreign legal terms to learn. Second Chance Probation should be something you push to the top of your list to research. Under certain circumstances, those who have never been previously convicted of a felony offense, or granted a special diversionary program in lieu of another punishment, may be eligible to receive this special probation. If the probation period is completed and all of the terms have been met satisfactorily, then a conviction will be withheld.

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