The answer to this question depends on many factors such as your criminal background, the amount of the theft, any mitigating circumstances and other facts surrounding your arrest. In Illinois under 720 ilcs 5/16-25, the severity of the punishment will depend on whether you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor offense. Whether you will be charged with a felony or misdemeanor offense will depend on the value of what was taken. In Illinois, you will be charged with a misdemeanor if the value of the items taken is under $500. Anything above $500 will be considered a felony offense.
Some counties in Illinois offer theft diversion programs. These programs are negotiated with the help of an attorney. Under these programs, a defendant, through his or her attorney, would agree to complete the theft diversion program. Upon successful completion of the theft diversion program, the prosecutor will dismiss the retail theft charge and the defendant will avoid a criminal conviction or potential jail or prison time.
Shoplifting/retail theft is prosecuted very seriously in Illinois but there are alternative solutions to jail time or criminal convictions. A conviction can have very serious consequences on a person’s current and future employment opportunities.
If you or a loved on is facing a retail theft or shoplifting charge in Illinois, contact The Law Office of Purav Bhatt at 773-791-9682 to discuss your case.
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