Tag Archives: theft

St. Charles theft charges defense attorney

One of the most common criminal offenses committed by otherwise law-abiding citizens is retail theft or shoplifting. It is estimated that approximately 1 out of every 11 individuals in the United States has shoplifted at some point in their lives. Many people justify stealing items from a retail store by stating that it is a victimless act or that it is not an actual “crime.” However, shoplifting is considered a serious criminal offense in Illinois. A person convicted of retail theft may be subject to a range of criminal penalties, including potential jail time. If you or a loved one has been charged with shoplifting, do not take these charges lightly. Talk to a criminal defense attorney experienced in theft cases to receive the legal help you need.

What Is Shoplifting?

Shoplifting is typically thought of as taking an item from a store and then simply leaving the store without paying for it. This is the most straightforward way to avoid paying for an item. Often, a person may conceal the item in his or her clothing, purse, backpack, or bag, and they may then quickly walk out of the store. However, there are many other ways that shoplifters steal from retail stores. Some people remove price tags from expensive items and replace them with price tags from lower priced items. Others work with a store employee to get away with not paying for items. For example, a cashier may allow a friend to steal from the store by intentionally failing to ring up certain items during checkout.

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St. Charles theft defense attorney

In December 2018, a video titled “Package Thief vs. Glitter Bomb Trap” was posted on YouTube. The video, which has since garnered over 79 million views, shows unsuspecting individuals stealing packages from porches. Once they try to open them, the packages spray glitter all over the place and record their reactions through a built-in camera. As more and more people use online shopping and delivery, concerns about the theft of packages continue to increase. In Illinois, stealing a person’s mail is a major criminal offense with significant penalties. If you or someone you know has been accused of stealing a package from someone’s property, speak with a criminal defense attorney right away to learn about your legal options.  

Taking a Package May Result in Significant Jail Time

Law enforcement and legislators are becoming increasingly vigilant about package theft in the United States. According to one survey, about 30 percent of Americans have had at least one package stolen from their property. Theft of items valued at less than $500 is a Class A misdemeanor offense in Illinois. If convicted of misdemeanor theft, a person may be sentenced to jail for up to one year and required to pay a fine of up to $2,500, in addition to paying for losses caused by the theft. However, if the offender has a previous theft-related offense on his or her record, the charge may be elevated to a Class 4 felony, which is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. If the value of the stolen items was between $500 and $10,000, this is a Class 3 felony offense punishable by two to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000, in addition to payment of restitution.

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St. Charles gun charges defense attorney

Criminal charges related to theft, weapons violations, and possession of controlled substances are often the result of a police search of a vehicle or a home. However, if a police search was conducted, and the proper procedures were not followed, it is possible that any evidence discovered in the search will be inadmissible in court. According to the “exclusionary rule,” the government cannot use evidence against a criminal defendant that was acquired in violation of the Constitution. It is crucial for every person in Illinois to know what their rights are in regard to search and seizure of their property.

When Are Police Allowed to Search My Home?

You have a constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches of your property. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution states in part that the right of people to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures will not be violated and that “no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.” This means that law enforcement cannot search a person’s property without a good reason for doing so. Typically, a person’s residence cannot be legally searched by law enforcement unless the officers have a valid search warrant that was signed by a judge. However, there are several situations in which police can search your home even if they do not have a search warrant.

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St. Charles theft defense attorney

When most people think about the criminal offenses of theft or stealing, they assume that a person can only be charged with theft if he or she actually takes something from someone else. However, under Illinois law, you can also be charged with theft for receiving stolen property or being in possession of property that was stolen. You may not have been the person who committed the act of taking the property from a store, residence, or other location, but you may still face criminal charges for the theft. Therefore, if you or someone you know is accused of this crime, it is essential that you have professional legal representation.

Illinois Law Regarding Theft

The term “theft” can refer to a wide range of actions, including burglary, shoplifting, carjacking, larceny, embezzlement, extortion, identity theft, and fraud. According to Illinois statutes, theft occurs when a person knowingly:

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St. Charles robbery burglary defense attorneyContext is important in almost any situation. A word or phrase that is used interchangeably in everyday conversation cannot necessarily be used in the same way in the legal system. One such example of this is the use of the words theft, robbery, and burglary. Though many people use these terms to mean the same thing during personal conversations, these refer to separate criminal charges when used in legal situations. There are specific differences between the three crimes, and they each come with their own punishments. This is why it is important to know the differences if you have been charged with any of these crimes. 

Theft

According to the Illinois Criminal Code, a person commits theft when he or she:

  • Obtains unauthorized control over property; or
  • Uses threat or deception to obtain control over property; or
  • Obtains control over property, knowing the property was stolen; and
  • Intends to permanently deprive the owner of the use or benefit of the property

Sentencing for a theft charge depends on the situation surrounding the theft, how much the stolen property was worth, and whether or not the property was taken directly from a person. Charges can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class X felony.

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