A theft charge in Illinois is pretty straightforward. According to state law, a theft occurs when a person takes property from someone else without their permission and also if you knowingly possess stolen property, even if you did not take it.
Not all theft has the same punishment, however. The type you are charged with depends on the value of what was stolen and the circumstances by which it was stolen. Generally, the higher the value of the property that was stolen the more severe the penalty.
If a theft occurs on school, religious property, or if it was the property of the government or a non-profit organization, the charges and penalties are more severe. The severity of the penalty also depends on your criminal history. If you have been previously convicted of theft, robbery, burglary, or other related crimes, the penalty can be more severe.
Refer to Illinois Statute 720 ILCS 5/16-1 to read more about the penalties for theft.
Retail theft, also known as shoplifting, according to Illinois Statute 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(1), is when a person knowingly 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.
If you are accused of shoplifting, it’s important to know your rights. Store security guards and employees are permitted to detain suspects “in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable length of time,” they don’t have to read a person their rights, and they can question a minor even before their parent or guardian arrives.
The penalties for shoplifting, much like a traditional theft charge, vary by the value of the merchandise and can range from a Class A misdemeanor to various felony classes. That’s why it’s important to secure high-quality legal representation when facing a these types of charges.
The Law Office of Paul M. Marriett serves Rockford, Machesney Park, Loves Park, Winnebago County and the surrounding communities. Contact attorney Paul M. Marriett for a free consultation at (815) 391-0089 or by email here.