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Archive for the ‘shoplifting’ tag

Theft-Related Devices and Shoplifting Charges

November 19th, 2018 at 1:38 pm

IL defense lawyerRetail theft is a serious crime in and of itself. Stores across the country lose billions of dollars in merchandise due to theft, and because of that laws are written to severely penalize perpetrators. In fact, retailers lost $50 billion in 2017 due to shoplifting and other forms of fraud. Shoplifting property valued up to $500 is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, whereas theft of property valued $500 to $10,000 is a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to three years in state prison.

However, there are other offenses that you can be charged with on top of theft charges that are not related to the value of the property taken. Possession of certain theft-related devices alone can land you in jail. Theft-related tools and devices vary, but a few of the most commonly used “high tech” gadgets include fabricated keys or devices used to steal from coin-operated machines, theft detection shielding devices, theft detection removal devices, and credit card scanners or recoding devices, used to defraud the customer.

Unlawful Possession of a Key or Device for a Coin-Operated Machine

Under Illinois 720 ILCS 5/16-6, possessing a key, drawing, print, mold of a key, device, or substance designed to do any of the following with intent to commit a theft from the machine is a Class A misdemeanor:

  • Open;
  • Break into;
  • Tamper with; or
  • Damage the coin-operated machine.

It is a Class 4 felony to possess such a key or device and to cause $300 in loss or damage to the machine.

Unlawful Use of a Theft Detection Shielding Device

It is a Class A misdemeanor to knowingly manufacture, sell, offer for sale, or distribute a theft detection shielding device. Similarly, it as a Class A misdemeanor to possess a theft detection shielding device.

Unlawful Possession of a Theft Detection Device Remover

It is a Class A misdemeanor to possess a theft detection device remover.

Scanning Device or Reencoder

It is a Class 4 felony to possess or use a scanning device or recorder to take the information from a magnetic strip of a credit card or to recode the card, with intent to defraud the user.

Call a Rolling Meadows Theft Criminal Defense Lawyer Now

If you have been charged with shoplifting or any type of theft or possession of theft related tools, the charges can quickly add up. What may have been a minor offense, or no offense at all, can amount to serious jail time if prosecutors tack on additional charges, such as possession of multiple theft tools. It is time for you to contact experienced Rolling Meadows retail theft attorney Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200.

 

Sources:

http://time.com/money/4829684/shoplifting-fraud-retail-survey/

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K16-6.htm

Inaccuracies of Surveillance Cameras

November 5th, 2018 at 1:16 pm

cameraA suspect thought to be targeting and shooting random people in Loyola Park near Chicago is believed to live in the area after a surveillance camera spotted him walking down the street masked in black. Police believe that the man who has killed two people in the past two days has a distinctive way of walking and running, as the video surveillance points out. Police say that he walks with his feet pointing outwards, or duck-footed. While video does show the distinctive characteristic, the problem with relying heavily on this type of information is that it could lead to the arrest of the wrong person. Many people walk with their feet pointed outwards, and because the suspect’s face is fully covered, no other characteristics are visible other than his gait. Surveillance footage is typically grainy, the suspect in the footage may be in the background or partially out of the frame, and the angle of the camera may cause distortions or irregularities. On top of this, surveillance footage is often overly relied upon by jurors and is sometimes considered foolproof evidence that the defendant committed the crime.

Surveillance Cameras and Retail Theft Charges

Surveillance cameras are everywhere in stores. From department stores, grocery stores, and restaurants, chances are that every customer is being watched by a camera at any one time. Cameras are often placed even in dressing rooms, with one purpose being to monitor customers’ buying habits so to better advertise to them, in addition to keeping tabs on potential theft. However, camera quality varies widely. Some cameras are hidden and use high definition and software to recognize faces, while others are simply the standard grainy cameras typically spotted mounted on the ceiling. While retail and convenience stores are known to use cameras, virtually all establishments from restaurants and health clubs to bowling allies and bars do too.

Parking Lots, Public Streets, Parks, and Other Places

Chicago is the third most watched city in the world when it comes to surveillance cameras.  Chicago is only behind Beijing and London in terms of the number of surveillance cameras. A Georgetown University law professor who studies surveillance technology suggested that the general mindset of the public regarding surveillance cameras set up throughout cities on virtually every block is that individuals who are not willing to submit to this type of surveillance must be doing something illegal. Unless the defendant has a highly experienced criminal defense attorney, a jury can easily be convinced that a defendant is guilty of a crime:

  • Simply because they were caught on camera in proximity to the crime location; or
  • Because the defendant looks vaguely like the person committing the crime on camera.

Contact  Rolling Meadows Attorney

If you have been arrested for retail theft or for any other crime, contact dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200. The presence of surveillance camera footage is not a dead end for your case.

 

Sources:

https://abc7chicago.com/video-released-of-masked-suspect-in-rogers-park-shootings/4401888/

https://vintechnology.com/2011/05/04/top-5-cities-with-the-largest-surveillance-camera-networks/

https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2013/06/20/191603369/The-Business-Of-Surveillance-Cameras

What to Know About Retail Theft

February 19th, 2018 at 11:41 am

retail theft, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, shoplifting, stolen merchandise, employee theftShoplifting is considered theft of an item for sale at a place of business. It is a major problem for retailers across the United States. Seemingly minor shoplifting habits, such as taking a candy bar or a pack of gum from a store without paying, can result in major legal trouble. Moreover, depending on the value of the stolen items, felony charges could result.

In 2016, loss of inventory cost U.S. retailers nearly $49 billion. It is not just outsiders stealing goods. Employee theft accounted for 30 percent of inventory loss.

Retail theft can occur in many ways. Even ringing up an item at a lower price is considered theft.  The laws and penalties vary from state to state. Therefore, it is important to understand the laws that apply should you ever be charged with retail theft in Illinois.

Illinois Retail Theft Laws

Under 720 ILCS 5/16-25, shoplifting occurs when a person does the following:

  • Takes possession of an item for sale in a store without paying for it;
  • Alters or removes a price tag or label from an item to avoid paying for it;
  • Transfers an item from one container into another to avoid paying the full retail price;
  • Intentionally under-rings the item to avoid paying the full price;
  • Removes a theft detection device from an item using a device remover for shielding device;
  • Steals the item and then attempts to return it for cash or merchandise credit; and
  • Permanently removes a shopping cart from the premises of the retail establishment in an effort to deprive the shop owner.

Criminal charges depend on the value of the stolen item. When the value of the stolen items is under $300, the person is typically charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This is the most serious type of misdemeanor, and is just one step below a felony. It is punishable by a $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail.

When the value of the merchandise exceeds $300, the charge is elevated to a Class 3 felony. The penalties are much harsher than a misdemeanor. The person can face 2-5 years in prison and a fine of $25,000. If a person has prior retail theft charges on his or her criminal record, the penalties are often enhanced further.

Let Us Assist You with Your Case

While theft is typically not a violent crime, it is still punished severely. You could face fines, prison time, and other penalties.

If you are facing theft charges, you need solid legal defense. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley has defended many criminal cases in the area and may be able to assist you as well. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today for help.

Sources:

http://time.com/money/4829684/shoplifting-fraud-retail-survey/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-25

Detained for Shoplifting? Know Your Legal Rights in Illinois

December 5th, 2017 at 3:55 pm

allegedly shoplifting, private person arrest statute, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, shoplifting, criminal defenseDid you know that when a security guard at a mall in Illinois detains someone who is suspected of shoplifting, the guard is actually making a citizen’s arrest? In other words, he or she is acting as a private citizen and is therefore bound by our state’s private person arrest statute just like anyone else who makes a citizen’s arrest.

Citizen’s Arrests: The Basics

In Illinois, our private person arrest statute is codified in code section 725 ILCS 5/107-3 and states, “Any person may arrest another when he has reasonable grounds to believe that an offense other than an ordinance violation is being committed.” Therefore, a store’s security guard (or any other person for that matter) is legally within his or her rights under Illinois law to arrest you if he or she reasonably believe that you are shoplifting.

In order for his or her suspicion to be reasonable, he or she generally must have seen you take merchandise, or have been alerted to the fact that you have merchandise on your person when a security tag sounded.

However, it should be noted that what the court finds to be a reasonable belief in one situation may not hold up under different circumstances and that a local criminal defense lawyer should review the facts of your case in order to determine whether or not your detention was proper.

Your Rights

If you are detained for allegedly shoplifting, remember that you have rights and try to keep your wits about you no matter how stressful the circumstances may be. For instance, do not feel pressured to sign anything. Those who detain you may try to pressure you into signing a statement admitting your guilt; you are under no legal obligation to sign such a document. Furthermore, if the person who detained you did so without possessing the requisite legal grounds, then you may be able to file a claim against them for false imprisonment.

Additionally, if the police are ultimately called remember that you have the right to remain silent. They can ask you questions; however, beyond identifying yourself, you are not legally obligated to answer them. Also, keep in mind that if you are arrested by the police you have the right to speak to a lawyer and that if you are under 18 you have the right to have a parent or legal guardian present when you talk to the police.

Need Legal Advice?

Accused of shoplifting in Illinois? If so, contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley without delay. Shoplifting is often thought of as a minor offense for which violators are given only a slap on the wrist, but be warned that in Illinois that is not always the case!

Depending on the facts surrounding your arrest a shoplifting conviction could mean spending significant time behind bars. Do not bury your head in the sand; be proactive and contact our office to schedule a consultation with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney today.

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/citizens_arrest

How to Defend Against a Shoplifting Charge

October 6th, 2017 at 12:49 pm

Illinois criminal law, Rolling Meadows retail theft attorneys, shoplifting, shoplifting defendants, shoplifting defenseUnder Illinois law shoplifting (also commonly referred to as retail theft) occurs when someone knowingly steals goods from a retail establishment. While shoplifting in Illinois can be committed in any of the various ways enumerated under 720 ILCS 5/16-25, shoplifting most commonly occurs when someone:

  • Takes merchandise from a retail establishment without paying for it; or
  • Exchanges the packaging of one item with the packaging of a lower priced item in order to pay a lower price.

Commonly Asserted Defenses

Although every shoplifting defense must be tailored to suit the facts of the applicable case, many shoplifting cases contain similar facts and, therefore, shoplifting defendants often assert similar defenses. Commonly asserted shoplifting defenses include:

  • I did not intent to steal the merchandise: Intent is a key element that must be proven before a defendant can be convicted of shoplifting. In order to secure a shoplifting conviction in Illinois the prosecution must prove that the defendant knowingly stole. Therefore, if a defendant can prove that he or she accidentally walked out of the store with merchandise that did not belong to him or her, then his or her charge will be dismissed. Sometimes a defendant can prove that he or she did not intentionally take merchandise by producing evidence (usually via the store’s security cameras) showing that he or she was distracted by a phone call, text message, his or her crying child, etc. just before exiting the store.

A quick note about intent: It should be noted that under Illinois law a person can actually shoplift without physically leaving the store from which he or she stole. This is because a person can intend to shoplift and take an article of merchandise into his or her possession while still inside a store. For example, someone who knowingly slips a lipstick into his or her purse while in a store has shoplifted the lipstick if he or she intends to take the lipstick home without paying for it.

  • The person I was with stole, not me: When one person is caught shoplifting, it is common for anyone that he or she is with to also be detained by the store. This is because anyone who is found to have been working in concert with the person who did the actual shoplifting can also be charged with retail theft. In other words, if two people walk into a department store and one shoves clothing into a bag while the other keeps a lookout, then both individuals can be found guilty of shoplifting if they each had the requisite intent to steal. However, someone who was arrested after his or her friend was caught shoplifting can often argue that he or she was in no way acting in concert with his or her friend and that consequently only the friend broke the law.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

If you have been charged with shoplifting or retail theft in Illinois contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced Rolling Meadows retail theft attorneys. We would be happy to discuss your legal options with you and, if you decide to retain our legal services, craft a defense tailor made to suit the facts of your case. A shoplifting conviction can negatively impact your life for years to come so take a step towards protecting your legal interests today and contact us.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-25

FAQs About Shoplifting in Illinois

July 10th, 2017 at 8:48 am

Rolling Meadows shoplifting defense lawyer, shoplifting, retail theft, felony offense, shoplifting chargeShoplifting (also know as retail theft) is the willful theft of goods from a retail establishment while posing as a customer. Shoplifting is a crime that occurs frequently in Illinois and throughout the United States. In fact, the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) reports that more than 10 million people have been caught shoplifting in the United States over the last five years.

Despite the prevalence of shoplifting, this crime is not frequently reported on and is often misunderstood. Consider the following frequently asked questions about shoplifting and Illinois’ shoplifting laws.

Q: What is the profile of a typical shoplifter?

A: According to the NSAP, there is not really a “typical shoplifter.” Men and women appear to steal from stores at comparable rates. However, approximately 75 percent of shoplifters are adults while only 25 percent are children.

Q: What constitutes shoplifting in Illinois?

A: In Illinois, shoplifting or retail theft can be committed in a variety of different ways. For example, under 720 ILCS 5/16-25 a person commits retail theft in Illinois when he or she knowingly:

  • Takes merchandise from a retailer without paying for it;
  • Alters the price tag or label on merchandise in order to buy the item at a reduced price;
  • Swaps the packaging of one item with the packaging of a cheaper item in order to pay the lower price;
  • Rings up an item for a lower price than its retail value (when allowed to ring up their own items at checkout);
  • Lies by saying that an item belongs to them when it in fact belongs the store that they are stealing it from;
  • Removes an anti-theft device in order to steal merchandise without paying for it;
  • Steals a shopping cart; or
  • Takes possession of leased property with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of that property.

Q: Is retail theft a misdemeanor or a felony offense in Illinois?

A: Retail theft can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense in Illinois depending on the value of the merchandise that was shoplifted. Under state law (720 ILCS 5/16-1), anyone who steals something that has a full retail value of more than $500 can be charged with a felony. However, someone who has a record of committing theft-related offenses can be charged with felony retail theft in Illinois in some circumstances even he or she was caught shoplifting less than $500 worth of merchandise.

Q: How can I defend against a shoplifting charge?

A: Each shoplifting case is unique, but some commonly asserted defenses in Illinois include:

  • Insufficient Evidence: The prosecution failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove their case.
  • Wrong Person: This is a case of mistaken identity, the defendant is not the person who stole the merchandise.
  • Lack of Intent: The defendant did not knowingly take the merchandise.
  • The Retail Value Does Not Support the Charge: The retail value of the allegedly stolen merchandise is not high enough to support the crime that the defendant has been charged with.

Contact Us for Professional Help

Have you been charged with retail theft in Illinois? If so, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help. Our team of experienced Rolling Meadows retail theft and shoplifting defense attorneys offers zealous representation for both juveniles and adults accused of shoplifting throughout the greater Chicago area. To discuss your legal options, contact our office today.

Source:

http://www.shopliftingprevention.org/what-we-do/learning-resource-center/statistics/

Accused of Burglarizing a Store? Get a Criminal Defense Lawyer

May 3rd, 2017 at 8:10 am

burglarizing a store, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerBurglary in Illinois involves someone knowingly entering a building without permission, and with the intent to commit a theft or a felony. One of the most common targets for acts of burglary are stores and shops.

From large retailers to small mom-and-pop type stores, virtually any type of store can be the target of a burglary or an attempted burglary. The main reason why a person commits a burglary of a store is usually to steal some piece of merchandise or to steal money. But what is interesting about the crime of burglary is that a burglar does not actually have to steal anything in order to commit the crime. Simply breaking into the store with the intent to steal something is enough to warrant a conviction for burglary.

Burglary is a Different Charge Than Theft or Shoplifting

Burglary is often charged when a person breaks into a store with the intent to steal something when the store is normally closed. Burglary could also be charged if a person remains in an open store after being asked to leave, or remains in a store in an off-limits area—in either case while having the intent to steal or commit a felony. Still, burglary is a different offense than theft or shoplifting.  

As a general rule, someone who is charged with burglary is not also charged with shoplifting, even if the person steals something during the burglary. Rather, he or she may be charged with burglary and theft, but each situation is unique and the exact charges will depend on the circumstances of the offense.

Shoplifting, on the other hand, is charged when someone steals merchandise from a store, alters the price of the item, or attempts to buy an item for less than its ticket price due to some sort of trickery (e.g., price tag swapping, or trying to trick the self-checkout scanner at the store). Shoplifting is usually associated with theft that occurs during normal business hours of the store’s operation.

Why You Need to Fight Your Criminal Charges

Whether you are facing burglary, theft, of shoplifting charges, it is important that you fight your criminal charges. If you are convicted of burglary, it is a Class 2 felony. If you are convicted of theft, it can be either a misdemeanor or a felony level offense. Similarly, depending on the circumstances surrounding the shoplifting, you could be convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony level offense.

A conviction will leave you with a criminal record, which can follow you around for many years, making it difficult to get some forms of employment or to rent an apartment. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer to fight for you will give you your best chance of defending yourself against the charges.

If you did commit the crime, then it is important to try and get the charges reduced, or dropped, and you will want to have a lawyer on your side to make sure that you receive fair treatment under the law.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

Burglary, theft, and shoplifting charges are nothing to be taken lightly. You need the help of an experienced and talented criminal defense lawyer with years of experience to fight the charges that are pending against you. Contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office for assistance with your case.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=62600000&SeqEnd=63400000

Theft Crimes in Illinois Require Knowledge and Intent

January 25th, 2017 at 9:12 am

theft crimes, Rolling Meadows Theft AttorneyTheft is one of the most commonly committed crimes in Illinois. Theft in the broadest sense involves someone knowingly taking property that belongs to another without permission and with no intention of giving the stolen property back to its proper owner. There are a number of criminal offenses that stem from theft, including:

  • Petty theft. Petty theft is also known as misdemeanor theft. Petty theft occurs when the item that was stolen has a value of $500 or less.
  • Shoplifting or retail theft. Shoplifting occurs when a person knowingly takes an item from a merchant without paying full price for the stolen item.
  • Receipt of stolen property. Receipt of stolen property occurs when someone knowingly accepts property that he or she knows to be stolen.
  • Stealing a motor vehicle. Stealing a motor vehicle arises when a person takes a vehicle belonging to another without permission.
  • Robbery. Robbery occurs when a person takes property belonging to someone else by the use of force. Robbery can become aggravated robbery if a weapon was used as the threat of force.
  • Burglary. Burglary occurs when a person knowingly breaks into a building belonging to another without permission to be there with the intention of committing theft of some other felony offense.

In many theft scenarios, law enforcement arrests whomever stands accused of committing the theft crime, and then the state prosecutor presses charges against the accused. Oftentimes, the state prosecutor will look at the evidence surrounding the alleged crime and will bring charges for every crime that might have been committed. To be sure, criminal defendants often face multiple charges for a single alleged crime.

Each theft-related crime has its own unique elements that must be proven by the prosecution in order to obtain a conviction. A skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney will demand that the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the theft crime with which he or she has been charged.

You deserve fair treatment under the law and fair trial, and your criminal defense attorney should fight for your rights and on your behalf.

Knowledge and Intent Are Key Elements of Theft Crimes

A common thread shared by all theft-related crimes is that knowledge and intent are key elements to establish that the crime was committed.

  • Knowledge means that the person who allegedly committed the crime knowingly did so.
  • Intent means that the person who allegedly committed the crime has no intention of returning the property that he or she has taken from the rightful owner without permission.

The elements of knowledge and intent are often the prosecution’s weakest arguments, and a seasoned criminal defense attorney knows this. Many criminal cases turn on whether the criminal defendant had knowledge that he or she was stealing or whether the criminal defendant had no intention of returning the property that he or she had taken.

Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Anyone who is facing theft-related criminal charges needs to consult with an experienced Rolling Meadows theft attorney immediately. Do not hesitate to reach out to us today for professional help with your case.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=61900000&SeqEnd=62600000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=62600000&SeqEnd=63400000

Retail Theft Can be a Felony Offense

November 4th, 2016 at 7:00 am

retail theft, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyShoplifting is one of the most frequently committed theft crimes in Illinois. Shoplifting involves knowingly taking merchandise from a store without the intention of paying retail price for the item that is stolen. Shoplifting can take many forms, including taking physical possession of a retail item and removing it from a store without payment, altering or swapping out labels or price tags to get a desired retail item at a cheaper price, and swapping a retail item’s packaging for the packaging of another, less expensive item. If you have been charged with retail theft, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge, you need to get in touch with an experienced retail theft criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

When Retail Theft Rises to the Level of a Felony

Many people who engage in retail theft do not think that the charges associated with their offense will be very serious. But this is a misconception. Even as a first-time offender, stealing something from a store that has a full retail value of more than $300 can result in a class 3 felony charge for retail theft.

Stealing something that is expensive, but small, leads to a felony level retail theft charge. It does not matter if the item is a phone, other electronics, jewelry, a watch, or designer sunglasses. If it costs more than $300, you will face felony level charges if you are caught stealing.

Felony Level Charges for Those With a Record of Theft-Related Offenses

Illinois law is stricter on those who commit retail theft and have already previously been convicted of any other form of theft. For instance, if someone who has been convicted of a theft crime in the past steals an item from a merchant that has a retail value of less than $300, he or she can be charged with felony retail theft, under 720 ILCS 5/16-25(f)(2). Similarly, second time offenders who get caught stealing retail merchandise by using a theft detection shielding device can be charged with a felony under 720 ILCS 5/16-25(f)(1). Or, second time offenders who get caught stealing retail merchandise by darting out an emergency exit door can  be charged with a felony under 720 ILCS 5/16-25(f)(2).

Individuals who have a criminal history involving theft-related offenses, or who presently face retail theft charges, need to consult with an experienced attorney. Second-time theft offenders face a tough road when they are charged with retail theft and should not go down that road alone. An experienced criminal defense attorney will make sure that you are treated fairly under the law.

Let Us Help You With Your Retail Theft Charges

Retail theft charges are serious. Please do not delay and contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for help.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=39200000&SeqEnd=39700000

Possession of Stolen Property in Illinois

October 20th, 2016 at 7:00 am

Possession of Stolen Property, Rolling Meadows Theft Crimes LawyerThe crime of theft encompasses many different charges under Illinois law. Not only is it a crime to commit theft by being the person who knowingly takes property belonging to another without permission, which is the case in crimes such as vehicle theft or shoplifting, but it can also be a theft crime if you end up in possession of stolen property. Similarly, it is a crime to be involved in a complicated white collar theft or fraud plot, where you might not be the ringleader of the theft, but are still a beneficiary.

In Illinois, you can be charged with a theft crime even if you are not the person who took the property from its rightful owner. To say this another way, you do not have to be the person who physically commits the theft act; you could be a beneficiary or recipient of stolen property or money and still be just as criminally liable as the actual thief.

Many criminal defendants are often in disbelief when they are charged with a theft crime, especially when they are not the person who took the item or property in the first place. Regardless, these are serious charges that you face. Just like any other criminal offense, if you are charged with a theft charge for possession of stolen property, or receiving stolen property, you need to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Possession or receipt of stolen property is a crime in , that is much akin to theft; the difference being that you may not be the person who actually took the property from its rightful owner. However, if you know, or have reason to believe that the property that is now in your possession is stolen, your possession of that property is considered a theft crime.  

Punishment for Theft Crimes Depends on Value, Circumstances, and Past History

The punishment for theft crime varies and depends upon the seriousness of the theft. When the item stolen has a high value, the penalties are more severe than if the value of the stolen item is low. Someone who steals a car at gunpoint is going to face steeper penalties than someone who shoplifts a magazine. Similarly, when a theft crime is committed at a specific location, such as a church or school, or if the theft involves stealing from a particularly vulnerable victim, such as an old person, then the penalties for the theft can be enhanced. Punishment for a theft crime can also be enhanced if you already have a history of committing theft-related crimes.

Accused of a Theft Crime? Get a Lawyer

People make mistakes all the time, and if you are charged with a theft crime, whether it is shoplifting, stealing, or receipt of stolen property, you should speak with an experienced and skilled Rolling Meadows theft crimes lawyer. Do not hesitate to reach out to our office today for help.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=36500000&SeqEnd=39200000

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