Charged With Theft or Shoplifting?
Shoplifting and retail theft offenses in Chicago are prosecuted vigorously by the police, prosecutors and retailers due to the large volume of shoplifting that occurs in stores every year. Shoplifting occurs when one takes items from a store that do not belong to them or even tampering with price tags in an attempt to obtain an item for less than the its full value. Even a simple, accidental incident or misunderstanding can lead to criminal charges. Yet for others, deeper psychological issues and disorders deserve swift care rather than retribution and punishment. If you are arrested, you should immediately consult a criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in all possible legal avenues and who is dedicated to helping you.
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Is Shoplifting a Misdemeanor?
Many incidents of shoplifting are charged as misdemeanors, which involve taking items valued at less than $300. A theft plea or conviction, even one that may not be considered serious at present, can lead to future employment and professional licensing difficulties, however. If this is a repeat offense or involves property of a higher value, felony charges could be filed and imprisonment could be imposed. No matter the details, you will need experienced legal counsel on your side.
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While shoplifting or retail theft may seem like a minor offense to some people, when you’ve been charged, the arrest and prosecution can have dramatic and long-lasting effects on your life. Even for a first offense, depending on the value of the items taken, you can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony in Illinois. The possible penalties for shoplifting include jail or prison time, high fines and fees, classes and other penalties and punishments. Most people think that the criminal case is the end of the nightmare of being arrested for retail theft or shoplifting but it is not.
The federal government considers retail theft and shoplifting offenses as “crimes of moral turpitude” and therefore an arrest or conviction for shoplifting can result in deportation or denial of naturalization if the individual is not a U.S. citizen. An arrest or conviction for shoplifting or retail theft may also impact an individual’s chances of getting a job and could result in termination from a currently held position.
Get an Experienced Chicago Theft Lawyer on Your Side.
If you or a loved on has been arrested for theft, retail theft, shoplifting, fraud or organized retail crime it is important to protect yourself and your future. Purav Bhatt is a chicago retail theft lawyer practicing in Cook, DuPage, Lake and Will counties. His office is located in Lincolnwood near many Chicago, Skokie and Rolling Meadows courthouses.
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