Skokie Retail Theft Lawyer
Being charged with retail theft in Skokie, IL is a very serious matter that requires the immediate attention of an experienced and skilled Skokie retail theft lawyer. The village of Skokie is located within Cook County and is considered a suburb of the Chicago metropolitan area. With a total area of an estimated 10.06 square miles, Skokie has a population of about 65,176 permanent residents as of 2013.
In general, the Skokie area has a reputation for being fairly tough on all types of crime because it is known for having remarkably lower crime rates than many other areas of the state and country. Because it is considered a low crime area, this means that the justice system is more likely to take each criminal offense more seriously than you might expect and devote more resources to prosecuting even minor crimes in Skokie. It may be tempting to think that just because you are a first time offender and have a clear criminal record, the consequences of being convicted of a crime in Skokie, IL are less severe than they would be for others. This thinking is dangerous and may cause you not to take your criminal charges as seriously as you should to end up winning your case or having your charges dropped. An experienced Skokie retail theft lawyer can talk you through the process to make sure that you are not blindsided by the justice system in Skokie and do not miss out on a crucial opportunity to win your case right from the beginning.
All criminal charges, including criminal retail theft charges, in Skokie set for court in the Second Municipal District Courthouse, which is located at 5600 Old Orchard Road, Skokie, Illinois 60077. It is important that your Skokie retail theft attorney is familiar with this court and the prosecutors and judges that hear cases there regularly. This is because you need every advantage you can get in defeating or minimizing your retail theft charges as quickly as possible. When you trust the Skokie retail theft lawyers at Goldman & Associates with all of the details of your criminal case, you can rest easy that you are working with attorneys who have tried and won countless cases in the Skokie courthouse. We are familiar with all aspects of the procedure and can take advantage of that knowledge to push for the best outcome for your retail theft charges in the Skokie area.
Illinois Law on Retail Theft
The crime of retail theft in Skokie, IL is considered a fairly serious offense even for first time offenders or those with a clean criminal record. In essence, this crime involves the unauthorized taking of someone else’s property or services along with the intent to commit that crime. It is also commonly referred to as shoplifting or stealing from a store. The exact criminal offense of retail theft in Illinois is defined under Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/16A-13.
Besides simply removing items from a store that you did not pay for, retail theft in Illinois can also involve changing price tags on items in a way to buy the item at a lower retail value than it was originally marked for by the store. This may also involve swapping out one item for a cheaper one. The same is true for a person trying to fabricate a receipt or gift card in an attempt to make a false return to a store. If you lease property from a retail store, such as furniture or a television, it is illegal for you to keep the item after the lease expires if the store has given you written notice of the expiration. Any of the above scenarios can result in the serious charge of retail theft in Illinois.
Speaking with the experienced Skokie retail theft lawyers at Goldman & Associates can help you better understand the nature of your retail theft charge and find out if there was a miscommunication that could result in your retail theft charges being dropped right away without ever having to step into the courthouse.
Consequences for Retail Theft Convictions in Skokie, IL
Depending on the total dollar value of the items you are charged with stealing in Skokie, the consequences for a retail theft conviction can vary. Of course, if you are a repeat offender or are currently on probation for another crime, the penalties may increase severely for this criminal offense. This is why it is so important to take the charge of retail theft in Skokie, IL and speak with the Skokie retail theft attorneys at Goldman & Associates right away to prepare your criminal defense.
For goods stolen from a retail store in Illinois with a value up to $300, the offense is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Conviction for this Class A misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence of up to one year in prison along with a hefty fine of up to $2,5000. In addition, this conviction can have lasting consequences for the rest of your personal and professional life because these convictions are not allowed to be expunged from your criminal record under Illinois law. However, you can be found eligible for supervision, which means that you would not serve the jail sentence and not have a conviction on your criminal record. You could also later seek expungement of the criminal retail theft charges from your record, which is important for future employment and credit checks.
In the event that the value of the stolen goods is more than $300, then your charge will be classified as a Class 3 felony under Illinois law. The consequences become much more severe than that of a misdemeanor offense in Illinois. You may serve a prison sentence of between two and five years. A conviction of this nature can never be removed from your criminal record, except if you receive the very rare remedy of a pardon from the governor.
For any retail theft conviction, regardless of the value of the property stolen from the retail store, if you have a previous record of any crime involving theft, you may face charges for a Class 4 felony, which are even more serious. This can involve a prison sentence of between one and three years. You may be eligible for probation under these charges, depending on the circumstances of your case.
Any type of charge for retail theft in Illinois has the potential to have a life changing effect. This is why you need to trust the experience and knowledge of a committed Skokie retail theft attorney to make sure that you navigate the system and all aspects of your case properly.
Civil Penalties for Retail Theft in Skokie, IL
In addition to the criminal penalties you may face for a retail theft conviction in Illinois, there is also the potential for civil penalties, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the retail theft incident.
This could involve having to pay the full retail value of the merchandise stolen, a fine of between $100 and $1,000 or attorneys’ fees and court costs for the retail store. You may receive a civil demand letter from the store stating these penalties. It is best to communicate directly with your experienced Skokie retail theft attorney to avoid having to pay any of these penalties even if your criminal charges or dropped or you win your criminal case at trial or in front of a judge. It is possible to avoid these fines and other consequences if your case is handled properly from the start and without delay.
Call an Experienced Skokie Retail Theft Attorney Right Away
Do not delay in consulting with the Skokie retail theft attorney at Goldman & Associates. We are available on a 24/7 basis to take your call on any retail theft charge in Skokie, IL. We do not delay in protecting our clients’ rights after being charged with retail theft and neither should you. This is too serious of a matter to be handled by a public defender. You should not take any chances with making sure that your rights are protected and doing everything you can to win your retail theft case in Skokie. The first part of this process is speaking with the Skokie retail theft attorneys at Goldman & Associates who have the skill and experience to make sure that all aspects of your case are taken care of as quickly and effectively as possible.
If you or a loved one have been charged with retail theft in Skokie, IL, call the trusted team of Skokie retail theft attorneys at Goldman & Associates at (773) 484-3131 so that we can get started now on ultimately winning your case.