Accusations of any type of crime can take a serious toll on a person’s life. In some cases, young people or even those of an older age may not consider certain actions as explicitly illegal or even wrong. However, if the action breaks the law in any way, it is possible for criminal charges to result.
In particular, shoplifting is something that could come in many forms, and some of those forms may not seem serious. Nonetheless, if you stand accused of shoplifting in Illinois, you could face serious consequences, depending on the details involved and if a court convicts you of the alleged crime.
Types of shoplifting
If you are facing accusations of shoplifting, you undoubtedly want to understand why the charges came against you and what type of repercussions you could face. Part of that understanding could be determining what action or actions authorities suspect you carried out, which could include any of the following:
- Moving an item from one container to a different container in order to change the price
- Removing price tags
- Changing price tags from a cheaper item to a more expensive item in order to get a lower price
- Altering the price tag to reflect a different price
- Claiming to already own the item without having made a purchase
In Illinois, the category and severity of the charge brought against you can depend on the value of the item or items allegedly stolen. Even the exit used during the commission of a shoplifting event could affect the type of charges.
What could you face?
Though you want to do your best to avoid any type of conviction and punishment for the charges, you may still want to know what you could face, which may involve the following:
- A Class A misdemeanor charge for items valued under $300, which could lead to less than one year in prison and a fine up to $2,500
- A Class 4 felony for any additional offenses involving items valued under $300, which could result in one to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000
- A Class 4 felony on a first offense for use of an emergency exit
- A Class 3 felony for items valued over $300, which could result in two to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000
- A Class 2 felony for a first offense involving items valued over $300 for use of an emergency exit
As you can see, the details of your situation can play a major part in your case. As a result, you may want to work closely with an experienced criminal defense attorney who could go over the specifics of your situation and help you find the best way to move forward.