Mundelein, Illinois Retail Theft Lawyer

Mundelein, Illinois Retail Theft Lawyer

 

Mundelein, Illinois, Illinois Retail Theft Attorney Matthew R. Gebhardt examines the offense of Retail Theft and its penalties under the laws of the State of Illinois.

Retail theft, or shoplifting, can seem like a minor crime, but it’s not. Convictions for retail theft can have serious and lasting negative consequences. Depending on the value of the item stolen, shoplifting can be charged as an ordinance violation, misdemeanor or a felony in Mundelein, Illinois, Illinois. Convictions can result in fines and jail time. Additionally, retail theft is considered a “crime of moral turpitude,” which can negatively impact citizenship status.

Definitions of Retail Theft

The “traditional” retail theft occurs when a person knowingly:

(1)  Takes possession of, carries away, transfers or causes to be carried away or transferred any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment with the intention of retaining such merchandise or with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value of such merchandise.

There are, however, many other forms of Retail Theft prosecuted in Mundelein, Illinois, Illinois.  Some of these include:

2) Alters, transfers, or removes any label, price tag, marking, indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment and attempts to purchase such merchandise at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of such merchandise; or

(3) Transfers any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment from the container in or on which such merchandise is displayed to any other container with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of such merchandise; or

(4) Under-rings with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of the merchandise; or

(5) Removes a shopping cart from the premises of a retail mercantile establishment without the consent of the merchant given at the time of such removal with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such cart; or

(6) Represents to a merchant that he, she, or another is the lawful owner of property, knowing that such representation is false, and conveys or attempts to convey that property to a merchant who is the owner of the property in exchange for money, merchandise credit or other property of the merchant; or

(7) Uses or possesses any theft detection shielding device or theft detection device remover with the intention of using such device to deprive the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment without paying the full retail value of such merchandise; or

(8) Obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the owner and thereby intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property when a lessee of the personal property of another fails to return it to the owner, or if the lessee fails to pay the full retail value of such property to the lessor in satisfaction of any contractual provision requiring such, within 10 days after written demand from the owner for its return. A notice in writing, given after the expiration of the leasing agreement, by registered mail, to the lessee at the address given by the lessee and shown on the leasing agreement shall constitute proper demand.

 

(Source: P.A. 97-597, eff. 1-1-12.)

 

SENTENCING

The sentence imposed on a retail theft is determined by many factors.  The shorthand version is as follows:  Retail theft under $300 is a Class A Misdemeanor while retail theft over $300 is a Class 3 Felony.  There are, however, MANY other factors can lead to a Felony retail theft charge.  The specific sentencing details follow:

(1) A violation of any of subdivisions (a)(1) through (a)(6) and (a)(8) of this Section, the full retail value of which does not exceed $300 for property other than motor fuel or $150 for motor fuel, is a Class A misdemeanor. A violation of subdivision (a)(7) of this Section is a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent offense. Theft by emergency exit of property, the full retail value of which does not exceed $300, is a Class 4 felony.

(2) A person who has been convicted of retail theft of property under any of subdivisions (a)(1) through (a)(6) and (a)(8) of this Section, the full retail value of which does not exceed $300 for property other than motor fuel or $150 for motor fuel, and who has been previously convicted of any type of theft, robbery, armed robbery, burglary, residential burglary, possession of burglary tools, home invasion, unlawful use of a credit card, or forgery is guilty of a Class 4 felony. A person who has been convicted of theft by emergency exit of property, the full retail value of which does not exceed $300, and who has been previously convicted of any type of theft, robbery, armed robbery, burglary, residential burglary, possession of burglary tools, home invasion, unlawful use of a credit card, or forgery is guilty of a Class 3 felony.

(3) Any retail theft of property under any of subdivisions (a)(1) through (a)(6) and (a)(8) of this Section, the full retail value of which exceeds $300 for property other than motor fuel or $150 for motor fuel in a single transaction, or in separate transactions committed by the same person as part of a continuing course of conduct from one or more mercantile establishments over a period of one year, is a Class 3 felony. Theft by emergency exit of property, the full retail value of which exceeds $300 in a single transaction, or in separate transactions committed by the same person as part of a continuing course of conduct from one or more mercantile establishments over a period of one year, is a Class 2 felony. When a charge of retail theft of property or theft by emergency exit of property, the full value of which exceeds $300, is brought, the value of the property involved is an element of the offense to be resolved by the trier of fact as either exceeding or not exceeding $300.

(Source: P.A. 97-597, eff. 1-1-12.)

 

Types of Retail Theft Cases in Mundelein, Illinois

 

Mundelein, Illinois charges retail theft offenders in one of 3 ways:  Ordinance Violations, Misdemeanors and Felonies.

 

Ordinance Violations

Ordinance violations or “OV tickets” are the most desirable form of retail theft charge.  The OV violation is typically written by an officer and appears similar to a traffic ticket.  Often times, the offender is not fingerprinted and the offender information is not added to the Illinois State Police files.  This is critical because most background checks will include only those records that were compiled by the Illinois State Police (ISP).  Therefore, a violation of this type is not likely to arise on most background checks if the case is handled properly in court.

 

Often times, after receiving and ordinance violation, you will receive a demand letter in the mail.  This demand letter is from the retailer’s lawyers and it will seek monetary damages as a result of the incident.  People often pay this demand without consulting an attorney.  You should never pay this demand.  If you do, you name will be added to a searchable database of offenders that employers can check for purposes of background.  Do not ever pay this demand without consulting and attorney.

 

Misdemeanors

 

Retail Theft charged as a misdemeanor is a class A offense and is punishable by a maximum of 364 days in county jail and a fine of $2500 dollars.  While it can be expunged and/or sealed over time, it is critical to keep this offense from appearing on your record.  Retail theft is one of the biggest red flags for any perspective employer.

 

Once again, you will receive a demand letter in the mail.  This demand letter is from the retailer’s lawyers and it will seek monetary damages as a result of the incident.  People often pay this demand without consulting an attorney.  You should never pay this demand.  If you do, you name will be added to a searchable database of offenders that employers can check for purposes of background.  Do not ever pay this demand without consulting and attorney.

 

 

Felonies

 

Felony retail theft can be charged in a variety of different ways and classes all which lead to possible penitentiary time.

 

Yet again, you will receive a demand letter in the mail.  This demand letter is from the retailer’s lawyers and it will seek monetary damages as a result of the incident.  People often pay this demand without consulting an attorney.  You should never pay this demand.  If you do, you name will be added to a searchable database of offenders that employers can check for purposes of background.  Do not ever pay this demand without consulting and attorney.

 

 

WHAT MY OFFICE CAN DO FOR YOU

Many criminal defense attorneys apply a one-size-fits-all mentality to defending their clients when charged with Retail Theft in Mundelein, Illinois, Illinois. At the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C., we understand that the circumstances surrounding any shoplifting arrest are unique, and we tailor our defense strategies to match those circumstances. Attorney Matthew R. Gebhardt takes the time to listen to his clients and works with them to build an effective case. We make sure our clients are always informed and can actively participate in their defense.

A former prosecutor, Mr. Gebhardt is a tough litigator and is always prepared to take a case to trial. Wherever possible, however, we look for opportunities to have cases dismissed and charges dropped or reduced. Our goal is to get you through this embarrassing event with as few consequences as possible. If you are ultimately sentenced to court supervision, we may also be able to help you have the arrest wiped from your criminal record through expungement.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for retail theft, contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

As always, the Law Office of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C. offers free consultations for anyone charged with a Retail Theft in Mundelein, Illinois, Illinois or any other municipality.

 

 

 

Mundelein, Illinois Retail Theft Attorney

 

Main Office

555 Skokie Blvd.

Suite 500

Northbrook IL 60062

Office: (847) 239-4703

Email: mrglaw@sbcglobal.net

Website:  www.illinois-defenseattorney.com

Text:  (773) 383-8745

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