The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


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Can I Go to Jail For Shoplifting in Illinois?

 Posted on March 19, 2024 in Theft

Elgin, IL criminal defense lawyerThough many people might think of shoplifting as a relatively minor crime, Illinois law can actually persecute this crime quite severely. This is especially true in certain areas that are lately making an example out of those arrested for shoplifting, as the state tries to deter the significant uptick in retail theft in recent years.

It is possible to go to jail for shoplifting, known as retail theft in Illinois, depending on the circumstances surrounding the theft. If you have been charged with retail theft, it is important to work with an experienced Illinois retail theft defense lawyer to understand the charges against you and minimize their effect on your future record.

What Counts as Shoplifting in Illinois?

In Illinois, the state Criminal Code outlines retail theft as the following activities:

  • Carrying or otherwise taking any type of item from a retail store without paying

  • Tampering with price tags, such as removing or altering them

  • Switching items between containers to avoid paying for them

  • Returning items that were taken from a retail establishment to receive a refund, replacement, or store credit

  • Tampering with anti-theft items in a retail store or using devices to avoid theft detection

  • Permanently keeping an item that was leased from a retail store

Depending on the type of retail theft and the situation surrounding the incident, you may be facing serious charges when caught, including fines and jail time.

Illinois Retail Theft Penalties

Illinois outlines specific penalties for retail theft, and charges range from misdemeanors to felonies in the case of repeated retail theft charges or the theft of high-value items. In general, the penalties for Illinois retail theft are as follows:

  • When the total combined value of stolen items is $300 or less, the penalty is a Class A misdemeanor that can result in up to $2,500 in fines and up to a year in jail.

  • Theft of items $300 or less with previous theft convictions or when utilizing an emergency exit is classified as a Class 4 felony, carrying fines up to $25,000 and between one and three years of jail; when both of these factors apply, jail time is increased to between two and five years.

  • When the total combined value of items is more than $300 in a single theft, or if the theft adds up to more than $300 in a year, it is a Class 3 felony carrying fines up to $25,000 and between two and five years of jail

  • Theft of items more than $300 at once or over a year when utilizing an emergency exit is a Class 2 felony, and this carries jail time of between three and seven years plus up to $25,000 in fines.

Contact an Elgin, IL Retail Theft Defense Lawyer

Navigating retail theft charges against you in Illinois is difficult, and the assistance of an experienced Kane County, IL retail theft defense attorney is necessary to help you advocate for your rights in court and explore your options for reduced penalties and fines.

At The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, Attorney Brian J. Mirandola dedicates his professional career to criminal defense and helping individuals protect their rights when facing criminal charges. He is a former Assistant State’s Attorney and understands the criminal justice system inside and out. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.

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