What Activities Can Lead to Theft Charges During the Holidays?
While the holiday season is usually a time of peace and joy, running into trouble with the law can cause difficulty for a person and his or her family during this time. Theft is an issue that can affect many people during the holidays, and it can take multiple different forms. Retail theft often increases during the holiday shopping season due to crowded stores. Package theft, in which items are stolen from a person’s porch or doorstep, is also likely to occur during the holidays, especially in 2020, when many people are shopping from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who have been accused of committing theft should be sure to understand the specific criminal charges that may apply, and they will want to secure legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help them determine how they can achieve a positive outcome to their case.
Criminal Theft Charges in Illinois
The penalties for a conviction on theft charges will depend on the circumstances of the theft and the value of the property that was allegedly stolen. Under Illinois law, a theft involving property that is not taken directly from a person is a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the goods is $500 or less. However, for goods valued between $500 and $10,000, this type of theft is charged as a Class 3 felony.
When considering charges of package theft, the value of items that were allegedly stolen will often fall under $500, and a conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to one year and fines of up to $2,500. However, if a stolen package contained electronics or other goods worth more than $500, a conviction could result in a prison sentence of two to five years and fines up to $25,000.
Retail theft charges may apply in cases where a person shoplifts items from a store without paying for them, as well as situations where a person changes the label on an item or rings an item up incorrectly at a self-checkout in order to pay less than the item’s full value. Retail theft is a Class A misdemeanor in cases where the goods that were stolen are valued at $300 or less. If stolen items are worth more than $300, retail theft is a Class 3 felony.
Retail theft charges will increase if a person allegedly left a store through an emergency exit while stealing items. In these cases, theft of goods worth less than $300 is a Class 4 felony, which can result in a prison sentence of one to three years. Retail theft through an emergency exit of items worth more than $300 is a Class 2 felony, which can result in a prison sentence of three to seven years. As with other felonies, a conviction can also result in a maximum fine of $25,000.
Contact Our DuPage County Theft Defense Attorneys
If you have been accused of committing theft over the holiday season or at any other time of year, Davi Law Group, LLC can help you determine the best defense strategy against these serious charges and a criminal record. We will make sure all circumstances of your case are considered, and we will help you understand the best course of action to help you avoid a conviction. Contact our knowledgeable Wheaton, IL criminal defense lawyers by calling us today at 630-580-6873 to set up your free consultation.