Retail Theft/Shoplifting

We wrote the chapters on Defenses, Arrests and Investigatory Stops, and Search and Seizure!

We wrote the chapters on Defenses, Arrests and Investigatory Stops, and Search and Seizure!

Arrests for retail thefts are extremely common in Illinois. Stores have broad powers to monitor customers. The loss prevention industry is far larger and more powerful than most consumers realize. Insurance companies pressure stores into keeping their losses low, so that stores feel they must vigorously prosecute these offenses or face rising insurance premiums.

In some case, the theft value might be quite small. In other cases, the retailer might have been very aggressive about invading the shopper’s privacy, even into the dressing room.

Another problem with retail theft is that a few pairs of pants can end up as a felony charge! The dollar amount between when a retail theft goes from a misdemeanor to a felony charge can be surprisingly low. As a rule, you cannot expunge, or clean, a felony from your record, so that even one conviction for a small amount of property can permanently damage your reputation.

A qualified attorney is important to insure that you receive the best treatment possible in court. Often, a defendant is pressured into a guilty plea at the first court appearance. Because retailers are serious about this offense, they usually appear in court to press charges so that the charges are seldom automatically dropped. Therefore, a defendant needs an attorney that the court knows is equally serious in defending the charge. I can help you fight this charge or if necessary, work out more favorable terms for a plea agreement.

For a fascinating look at some of the invasive surveillance techniques being considered by retailers today, see Total Surveillance.

©2014 Matt Keenan. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this website should not be construed as formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.