7 Ways to Shoplift in Illinois
When people hear the term “shoplifting,” they typically think of someone taking an item for sale in a store without paying for it. This is the classic form of shoplifting. However, Illinois law defines many other acts as shoplifting.
Other acts that are considered shoplifting in Illinois include the following:
- Changing the sale price or removing tags;
- Under-ringing merchandise. This could come up in a self-checkout situation or be done by an employee;
- Removing the store’s shopping cart from the premises;
- Returning stolen merchandise for cash, exchange, or store credit;
- Using or possessing a theft detection shielding device; or
- Failing to return an item that has been rented.
The Prevalence of Shoplifting
According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, approximately 27 million people have been caught shoplifting. About 10 million people have been caught in the last five years.
Most people caught shoplifting are adults. Only 25 percent of shoplifters are teens. More than half of adult shoplifters report that they began shoplifting in teenage years.
Penalties for Shoplifting in Illinois
Depending on the facts of the case, shoplifting can be a Class A Misdemeanor to a Class 2 Felony. Misdemeanor charges will result if the goods taken total less than $300. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to $2,500 in fines and one year of imprisonment.
If the value of the goods exceeds $300, a Class 3 will result, which is punishable by up to $25,000 in fines and between two and five years of imprisonment. Shoplifting becomes more serious if the accused is a repeat offender or if the shoplifting was executed using emergency exits.
What to Do if You Have Been Stopped in a Store
If you have been stopped by in-store security or police officers on suspicion of shoplifting, you should not answer any questions and you should say that you want to speak to a lawyer. Some people think they can outsmart a security guard, but speaking before you have a lawyer almost always hurts your case.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Shoplifting Lawyer
If you have been accused of shoplifting, an attorney can help. A skilled criminal law attorney will meticulously review your case and look for any weakness. An attorney can also work to effectively negotiate with prosecutors to reach a plea deal.
The DuPage County, IL shoplifting attorneys stand ready to defend the rights of the accused. For the convenience of our clients, we have several locations that serve DuPage, Kane, Cook, Kendall and Will Counties.
Davi Law Group, LLC can be reached at (630) 580-6373.