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How Much Trouble Will I Get in for Stealing Makeup From a Drugstore?

 Posted on August 31, 2022 in Criminal Defense

Joliet criminal defense attorneyIn recent years, news headlines in many states have announced that minor shoplifting is not being seriously prosecuted and defendants charged with stealing items valued under a certain amount are only being charged with a misdemeanor offense. Certain cities in Illinois have taken a similarly lenient approach. In 2016, Kim Foxx told Cook County prosecutors that the vast majority of retail theft under $1,000 would only be prosecuted as a misdemeanor rather than a felony. 

While news like this may make it seem like stealing products of little value from retail stores is not a big deal, many drugstores have closed because of an inability to prevent theft and previously lenient prosecutors are now taking a firmer stance against minor theft. Theft laws in Illinois still remain strict and, in Will County, prosecutors are still going after retail thieves aggressively. 

Many Actions Can Be Considered Retail Theft

Everyone knows that putting an item in your pocket or your purse and leaving the store without paying for it is stealing. But several other behaviors can be prosecuted as shoplifting as well, including: 

  • Altering or switching price tags
  • Scanning inaccurately, or failing to scan in merchandise at self-checkout stands 
  • Taking anti-theft tags off of items (and even having an anti-theft device remover)
  • Taking a shopping cart off the premises of the store

These and any other manner of obtaining control of someone else’s property are considered theft, as is obtaining control of items that were known, or should have been known, to be stolen. 

What Are the Consequences for Shoplifting in Joliet?

The consequences of retail theft depend on the value of the item or items that were stolen. If the total value of the items is less than $300, the defendant will likely be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and face up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. First-time offenders will rarely face the full consequences of shoplifting, but if they have a previous criminal record, they may. 

If the stolen items are worth more than $300, the defendant can be charged with a Class 3 felony. Someone successfully convicted of a Class 3 felony faces two to five years in prison and fines up to $25,000, as well as repayment to the owner or establishment from which the items were stolen. 

Call a Joliet, IL Shoplifting Defense Lawyer

Even if you were only caught stealing a small amount of product, it is important to take shoplifting charges seriously. If you are successfully prosecuted, the charges can remain on your record and make it more likely that you will get in serious trouble for any future run-ins with the law. Get help from an experienced Will County shoplifting defense attorney with McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC by calling us today at 815-727-0100 and scheduling your free consultation. 




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