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DuPage County shoplifting defense attorneyBoth retailers and law enforcement take theft very seriously in Illinois. It may seem like a victimless crime, but retail theft hurts the store, and in turn, the economy. If you are caught trying to steal an item from a store, simply paying for the item will not get you off scot-free. Many stores are now pursuing prosecution for shoplifters, and you can be charged with a misdemeanor, or even a felony, depending on the situation.

What Is Retail Theft?

The Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 provides detailed information about criminal laws in Illinois. According to the code, general retail theft occurs when a person takes possession of any merchandise that is displayed or for sale in a retail establishment without paying for the merchandise and with the intention of depriving the retail establishment of the use or benefit of that merchandise. General retail theft is considered to be a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the merchandise is less than $300. In Illinois, Class A misdemeanors carry a sentence of up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.

Other Ways of Committing Retail Theft

The crime of “retail theft” includes more than just taking an item off a shelf. If you are caught committing any of the following offenses, you can be charged with retail theft:

  • Price Switching: If you alter, transfer, or remove the price tag or label of an item, with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full value of the item, you commit retail theft. 
  • Removing a Shopping Cart: Shopping carts are the property of the store in which they are in. If you remove a shopping cart from the premises without the permission of the merchant, you can be charged with retail theft.
  • False Returns: Trying to return an item that you do not actually own in order to obtain cash or gift cards is considered a crime and will lead to retail theft charges.
  • Possessing a Theft Detection Shielding Device: You can also be charged with retail theft if you use or possess a device meant to shield a product from tripping alarms or sensors when it is taken from a store. Possession of the device is a crime in and of itself because it abets someone in committing theft.

A DuPage County Retail Theft Defense Attorney Can Help

If you have been charged with any form of retail theft, it is imperative that you get help from an experienced and knowledgeable Wheaton, IL retail theft defense lawyer. Often, retail theft will be charged as a misdemeanor crime, but in certain cases, it can lead to felony charges. At the Davi Law Group, LLC, we have extensive experience helping those who have been accused of shoplifting in Illinois. Contact our office today by calling 630-580-6373 to set up a free consultation.

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obstruction of justice, resisting arrest, Wheaton criminal defense attorney,  obstructing arrest, Illinois criminal recordMaintaining one's composure is often the best way to handle an interaction with an on-duty police officer. Although an individual does not have to be so kind as to give an officer incriminating evidence about himself or herself, treating an officer with a fair amount of courtesy is always advisable. When interactions remain amicable, officers are more inclined to reciprocate.

However, police officers have bad days just like like anyone else. In some cases, emotions can rise and result in anger, hostility, and an argument. If you argue with an officer making an arrest, can you face charges of resisting arrest or obstruction of justice?

Resisting or Obstructing Arrest

State statutes regarding resisting or obstructing arrests are incredibly vague. The ambiguity is intentional by lawmakers, and thus allows for the inclusion of a broader range of behaviors.

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Wheaton criminal defense attorney, surveillance footage, criminal cases, video evidence, criminal accusationsThey say, “seeing is believing,” when obtaining the truth in many situations. The same idea holds true in a criminal investigation and trial. For decades, attorneys have used chalkboard markings, flip charts, x-rays, maps, diagrams, 3D models and photographs to help the jurors determine the truth behind the story. Advancements in technology in more recent years have catapulted us away from the use of chalkboards and stick figures to digital videography of an incident as it occurs. Today, a surveillance tape video can show multiple angles and enhance audio sound recordings. However, video surveillance is still not a “foolproof” method to prove any case.

Someone is Always Watching

Video surveillance systems sales have skyrocketed recently. Marketing executives everywhere continuously push the debatable argument that these cameras reduce crime and protect the purchasers. The goal of most buyers is to provide evidence should an alleged criminal event arise. However, many of these recordings are not admissible as evidence. Most business owners and homeowners do not spend the necessary money to have a quality surveillance system.

A few common problems with video evidence include:

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DuPage County criminal defense attorneyIn the state of Illinois, a battery is never taken lightly. When the victim is a woman, in some circumstances, punishments can be harsher. If the victim is a pregnant woman, the repercussions double. Not only are there charges for the attack on the woman, but also the child she is carrying. The crime then becomes twofold as aggravated battery and battery of an unborn child.

Aggravated Battery

Assault is a situation in which one person reasonably believes that they are in immediate danger of physical harm. The charge escalates to battery once physical contact occurs. Dependent on who the victim is and where the accident took place, the allegations may increase to aggravated battery. A woman who is pregnant is considered to be a part of the protected group. If the victim and the accused do not know each other but if the defendant knows that a person is pregnant, the charge elevates from battery to aggravated battery. Aggravated battery is a Class 3 Felony. Sentencing for such a crime would be:

  • At least two years up to five years of incarceration;
  • Extended sentences of up to 10 years; and
  • Fines of up to $25,000.

Unborn Victims of Violence Act

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Wheaton criminal defense attorney, justice for juvenilesThere are several different charges related to juvenile theft. Often glamorized by the music industry and mainstream media, many impressionable young adults are led to believe that it is nearly a rite of passage to steal and get away with it. Some consider stealing as a rush; others do it because “everyone else is doing it." Additionally, there may be cases in which a juvenile steals food because he or she could not afford to eat. However, the most common forms of juvenile theft, all prosecutable by law, include the following:

  • Shoplifting: Removing the merchandise from a display or shelf and then exiting the premises with the item without any intention of paying. Merchandise is product that an establishment would sell to the public.

  • Price Tag Switching: Various items cost differing amounts. In this scenario, a culprit may remove a tag off of a higher priced item and replace it with the tag of a lower priced item, a sale item, or a clearance item in order to pay a lower amount. While yes, the individual is still paying for the item, the establishment is still losing revenue on both items. The product that was intended to be a lower cost is now marked overpriced and is not likely to attract a buyer. Moreover, the item that was purchased at the incorrect lower cost only generated a fraction of the amount it was intended to gain.

  • Larceny: This is a very intimidating word to many because it is often heard in high profile cases. Simply put, larceny is theft of personal property. In a larceny case, the person charged is being accused of taking something from an individual without permission or without the intent to return the property.

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Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
Warrenville Office
Address28371 Davis Parkway, Suite 103, Warrenville, IL 60555
Phone(630) 657-5052
Fax(888) 350-9195
Wheaton Office
Address1776 S. Naperville Road, Building A, Suite 105, Wheaton, IL 60189
Phone(630) 580-6373
Fax(888) 350-9195
Chicago Office
Address321 N. Clark Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone(312) 985-5676
Fax(888) 350-9195
Joliet Office
Address58 N. Chicago Street, Suite 102,
Joliet, IL 60432
Phone(815) 582-4901
Fax(888) 350-9195
Davi Law Group, LLC handles criminal law matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Kendall County and Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville.

 

 

 

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