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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerIllinois state law broadly defines theft. Unfortunately, because of the unspecific regulations, many citizens are left with answerless questions. In short, the definition of theft is taking ownership of anything that does not belong to you. The description applies to anything from stealing a car to failing to sign out of a rental home on time. When it comes to theft charges, questions are natural. Here are a few of the more frequently voiced concerns. Remember: to find answers specific to the details of your case; you should contact an attorney directly. The answers here are generalized and may not apply to your situation.

How Are the Varying Degrees of Theft Differentiated?

Theft breaks down into several levels dependent on the dollar amount of the item or items taken. In Illinois, the breakdown is as follows:

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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois shoplifting lawyerPsychologists believe that, although people are inherently good, when given the opportunity to get something free through stealing, many people are likely to make an attempt. With this in mind, grocery stores and retailers across the country prefer to have a staff member in each department. These employees are intentionally placed to dissuade shoplifting through their presence. Managers and loss prevention specialist believe making eye-contact with someone debating shoplifting discourages the potential offender, keeping them honest and decreasing loss. Although thwarted on the sales floor, there are other opportunities for theft to occur. Money and product are often lost at the checkout counter.

Tactical or Mistake?

Everyone makes mistakes. Upon returning home after a shopping trip, customers will find that - while scanning quickly and providing excellent customer service by having a conversation - the cashier accidentally missed an item, and the store did not receive proper payment. At the self-checkout lane, items mistakenly are not scanned for many reasons, even when passed over the barcode reader. However, this is an opportunity that many use to obtain items without payment. There are two behaviors used most frequently to cheat at self-checkout lanes. These tactics are:

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Posted on in Criminal Defense

Illinois criminal law statutes, Illinois defense attorneyBy definition, stealing is taking possession of something that is not yours, regardless of tangibility. The idea of saving money by taking ownership of something that you did not purchase is not a new idea, however with the birth and growth of virtual items, the list of things available to steal has also grown. Now, the Internet is nearly essential to function in daily life, requiring a monthly internet bill that some budgets cannot cover. Therefore, hacking into someone else’s wi-fi network seems like a valid option. However, this is still a form of theft that can get you into trouble.

Why Is It Stealing?

The Internet is seemingly unlimited, without a visible ownership due to the nature of the product. While some individuals do actively invite complete strangers to use their internet connection by leaving their network open without a password, the majority of the population leans toward their privacy. There are a variety of reasons for people to limit the usage to people they know, including:

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