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Old Orchard Mall Retail Theft

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Old Orchard Mall, 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 a misdemeanor or a felony in Old Orchard Mall, 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 Old Orchard Mall, 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.)

ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING

While the sentencing options above may seem quite rigid, there are sentencing alternatives in Old Orchard Mall, Illinois. On of the best alternative sentences for retail theft in Old Orchard Mall, Illinois is the Cook County Theft Deterrent program. The Theft Deterrent Program is a program offered to first-time offenders. This program requires a $150 registration fee and your attendance at a one day seminar. This seminar examines the hidden costs of Retail Theft and its consequences on your record, your future job prospects and the economy as a whole. After successfully completing the one day program, you will return to court where the judge will enter a dismissal of the charge against you.

Also available for Retail Theft Charges in Old Orchard Mall, Illinois is the Deferred prosecution program offered in Cook County. This program will select non-violent offenders to participate in an intensive twelve month pre-indictment program and offer services to the defendant directed to help them avoid future criminal acts. When the defendant successfully completes the year-long program, the Prosecutors’ Office will dismiss the charges against the defendant.

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 Old Orchard Mall, 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 Old Orchard Mall, Illinois or any other municipality.

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