MCHENRY COUNTY THEFT DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Theft charges come in a variety of forms and Evan E. Randall has successfully defended against them all. The most common theft crimes include:
- General Theft (720 ILCS 5/16-1)
- Theft of Lost or Mislaid Property (720 ILCS 5/16-2)
- Theft of Labor or Services (720 ILCS 5/16-3)
- Retail Theft (720 ILCS 5/16-25)
While each of these theft offenses include elements unique from the otheres, they all include the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of them. In most cases, these offenses are charged as class a misdemeanors, but there are certain facts which, if present, would elevate them to felonies. These generally could include:
- Type of institution (church, school)
- Value of item
Whether a felony or misdemeanor, these are serious charges and require an experienced defense attorney. There are programs offered through court services which, if properly used, could result in a complete dismissal of the charges. An attorney familiar with the programs offered through the local court would be able to advise as to how to get the best result from a particular case.
Retail theft is a particularly unique crime because the victim is a business, not a person. Retail theft can take various forms:
- Simply taking merchandise from a store without paying for it;
- Removing a label or altering the price tag in order to get the item at a discounted rate;
- Under-ringing items at self check-out;
- Taking a shopping cart;
These are the most common forms of retail theft, but the statute provides for a few other lesser used ones.
Whenever someone is caught stealing from the store, that person can expect a civil demand letter to arrive in their mailbox shortly afterwards. This will happen regardless of whether charges are brought or the police are involved. Essentially, it is best to think of retail theft as having two main components: a civil part and a criminal part.
The civil part is the store seeking restitution for the damage caused. By sending a demand letter, they are asking you to pay them money in exchange for a release from civil liability. This constitutes the civil part of the retail theft offense.
The criminal process is only included when the police are called, or an arrest is made, resulting in charges being filed. While separate from the civil part of the process, they are obviously related and an attorney with the necessary skill to handle both is required.
Many counties in Northern Illinois, including McHenry, Boone, Lake, DuPage, and DeKalb, have some sort of program available for first time offenders. The exact requirements may vary from county to county, but completion of the deferral agreement made with the State's Attorney will often result in a dismissal of the charges. No court fines, no community services, and nothing on the background check. The key is getting an attorney familiar with the programs and who knows how use them to his client's benefit.
When you or someone you care about is facing theft charges, an attorney with the experience and knowledge is needed in order to get the best outcome. Evan E. Randall knows how to get results.