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DuPage County Theft Defense Attorney

Theft And Shoplifting Charges Can Lead To Long-Term Consequences

Most people do not realize the serious nature of a conviction for theft or shoplifting. The seriousness of the charge is determined in part by the value of the items stolen. In general, theft is considered a misdemeanor when the value of the property involved is less than $500. If the value of the property stolen is in excess of $500, felony charges are involved. As a result, young people who start out stealing an occasional candy bar and graduate to stealing cameras or expensive electronics equipment often have no idea what the long-term consequences of their actions can be.

At the criminal defense Law Office of Philip R. Nathe, we represent adults and juveniles arrested for property crimes, including retail theft and other forms of theft. Depending on your criminal record and the specifics of your case, we may be able to convince the court to reduce the charges and sentence against you, asking for probation and community service hours in lieu of jail time and steep fines.

Considering the Consequences of a Conviction for Theft

In general, a theft conviction cannot be removed from your criminal record. Regardless of whether you are convicted of misdemeanor or felony theft, the result will be a criminal record that will appear any time a background check is performed. This means when you apply for a job, an apartment lease, or other kinds of positions, your theft conviction will appear. If you plan on attending college, your conviction for theft could prevent you from receiving certain kinds of financial aid.

When Theft Turns Into Burglary

It is not uncommon for people to leave their garage doors up during the warm months of the year. Teens often make the mistake of assuming it is not a property crime to steal beer or other items out of a garage. If caught, however, they could be charged with residential burglary, a much more serious felony charge that carries jail time or time in juvenile lockup.

Defending Yourself Against Shoplifting Charges

There are a number of issues that must be considered in shoplifting cases. If a juvenile is involved, store security is required to follow certain procedures in detaining him or her. Once your son or daughter was brought in by store security, were they allowed to call you, or were they interrogated? When were the police called? Do they have security camera footage of the alleged theft? The answer to these questions can determine whether charges can be filed against your teen and whether or not certain kinds of evidence can be introduced against him or her in juvenile delinquency proceedings.

In shoplifting cases involving adults, a number of important issues surround how you were caught. Is there video of you putting merchandise in a bag? Were you approached by store security before you tried to leave the store or after you entered the parking lot? Again, the actions taken by store security are important for determining whether charges can be filed against you. If there is video footage of your alleged crime, is it grainy or clear and distinct? Can the items that were found on your person be traced back to missing or unaccounted for inventory?

Contact an Experienced Naperville Theft Defense Attorney

If you or your teenage son or daughter has been arrested on charges of theft, contact Naperville theft defense attorney Philip Nathe today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to learn how we can help you. Call toll free at 888-583-6197 or 630-416-7600. Alternatively, contact us online.

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