Schedule a Free Consultation|
Call 815-740-4025

Potential Defenses for Shoplifting Charge

 Posted on May 14, 2024 in Uncategorized

Will County Criminal LawyerIf you have been charged with shoplifting, you should understand your legal options and potential defenses. Shoplifting, legally known as retail theft, is a serious offense that can lead to criminal penalties. However, an Illinois lawyer can help you build a vigorous defense and protect your rights.

What to Know About Shoplifting Laws in Illinois

Under Illinois law (720 ILCS 5/16-25), retail theft is defined as knowingly obtaining or exerting unauthorized control over merchandise from a retail establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of the item.

It is important to note that shoplifting charges can have long-lasting consequences, including fines, jail time, and a permanent criminal record, which can affect future employment and housing opportunities.

Potential Defenses for Shoplifting Charges

  • Lack of Intent: For a shoplifting conviction, the prosecution is required to demonstrate that you had the intention to take merchandise from the merchant without rendering payment for it. If you accidentally forgot to pay or had no intention of stealing, your lawyer may argue that you lacked the intent to commit the crime.

  • Mistaken Identity: In some cases, shoplifting charges may stem from mistaken identity. If store employees or security personnel falsely accused you due to a misidentification, your attorney can gather evidence, such as surveillance footage or witness testimony, to support your innocence.

  • Entrapment: If store employees or security coerced or pressured you into shoplifting when you would not have otherwise committed the crime, your lawyer may use entrapment as a defense.

  • Illegal Search and Seizure: The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. If store personnel conducted an illegal search or detained you without probable cause, any evidence obtained may be inadmissible in court.

  • Mental Health Issues: In some cases, individuals with mental health disorders, such as kleptomania, may shoplift as a result of their condition. If a diagnosed mental health disorder contributed to your actions, your attorney may use this information to negotiate a more lenient sentence or alternative punishment, such as counseling or treatment.

  • Diversion Programs: First-time offenders or those charged with minor shoplifting offenses may qualify for diversion programs. These programs allow defendants to complete requirements like community service, counseling, or restitution in exchange for having their charges dismissed. Your lawyer can help determine your eligibility and guide you through the process.

Protecting Your Rights

If you face shoplifting charges in Illinois, you should seek the help of a lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will review the evidence, identify potential defenses, and work to protect your rights throughout the legal process.

Remember, a shoplifting conviction can result in financial penalties, imprisonment, and a lifelong criminal record. By working with a lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best possible chance of achieving a favorable outcome in your case.

Contact a Grundy County, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

Shoplifting charges can have serious consequences, but with the help of a Will County, IL criminal defense attorney, you can explore your legal options and build a potentially solid defense. By understanding the shoplifting laws and potential defenses, you can make informed decisions and work towards the best possible outcome for your case. Call Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation.

Share this post:
badge badge
badge badge badge badge badge
Back to Top