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Posted on in Theft

Chicago criminal defense attorneyIt is estimated that there exist approximately 27 million shoplifters in the United States. That means that one in 11 people have shoplifted at some point in their lives. In the last five years, over 10 million of those people have been caught. Shoplifting is so prevalent that there is even a community of proud shoplifters showing off pictures of items they have swiped on the social networking website Reddit. The community, which has over 30 thousand subscribers, is a forum for shoplifters to share methods, advice, and tricks of the trade. The welcome message touts “Welcome to Shoplifting! If you're here to preach morals, enjoy your very brief stay. If you're here to learn and share, please help contribute to our wonderful community of allegedly corrupt and soulless individuals.”

Shoplifting Can Cost More Than You Might Think

Although shoplifting is often seen as a minor crime, the consequences can be serious. If a person is caught shoplifting, they could face criminal penalties including fines, community service, or even jail time.

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Posted on in Theft

Chicago criminal defense attorneysTheft is a crime which can span the proverbial gamut in terms of gravity, at least in Illinois. From a minor retail theft offense to a Class X felony, theft charges can be a minor inconvenience or a life-changing mistake. Either way, if a person has been charged with a theft-related offense, it is imperative that they familiarize themselves with the potential consequences, but also with their rights and responsibilities in responding to such a charge. Misconceptions abound with regard to theft crimes, and if a defendant is not aware of the potential penalties for each charge, he or she may receive an unpleasant surprise upon sentencing, should it progress that far.

Types of Offenses

As you might expect, there are multiple theft charges specified under Illinois law with varying degrees of punishment in the form of fines, jail time, or both. The reason there are so many types of potential charges is that there are multiple factors that must be considered in each case—not only the market value of the property in question, but also the degree of physical harm inflicted (if any), and the intent and circumstances surrounding the taking. The statute specifically defines theft as taking property from someone else, without their permission, with the intent to use, conceal, abandon or otherwise deprive the original owner of the item. All these criteria must be met, as well as assessing the value of the stolen item and other relevant factors.

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