Request a Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon.

Retail Theft / Shoplifting

Retail Theft / Shoplifting

Don’t Let a Retail Theft Charge in Chicgo Ruin Your Life


The Illinois justice system uses the serious-sounding term “retail theft” (720 ILCS 5/16-25) to describe shoplifting precisely because our state takes shoplifting very seriously. While you might view shoplifting as a one-time mistake that didn’t hurt anyone, Illinois courts often come down on the side of the retailer, and you could face fines, jail time, and a tarnished reputation if you’re convicted.


A retail theft conviction is also a matter of public record, meaning that you could have difficulty obtaining housing, finding a job, getting into educational programs, or joining any organization that requires a background check. These are all obviously consequences that you want to avoid if at all possible, and to give yourself the best chance of avoiding a conviction, you’ll need to work with an experienced retail theft attorney.


Andrew M. Weisberg has years of experience as a Chicago defense attorney, and he has obtained positive outcomes in retail theft cases just like the one you’re currently facing. When you retain him, you get a criminal lawyer who will provide you with the non-judgmental treatment and aggressive defense that you need during this difficult time.


Andrew M. Weisberg Helps You Understand and Navigate Shoplifting Charges


When most people think of shoplifting, they think of someone sneaking an unpurchased item out of a store with no intention of paying. This is certainly one type of retail theft, a crime that is described in Illinois law as taking possession of, carrying away, or transferring any merchandise “with the intention of retaining such merchandise or with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession.” However, there are other types of actions that could result in a retail theft charge, some of which might surprise you. These include:


  • Altering or removing price tags: It’s a crime to tamper with price tags, e.g. switching price tags so that you are able to purchase merchandise at less than its retail value.
  • Transferring merchandise to a container with the intention of theft: This might include hiding merchandise inside of a larger purchased item to avoid paying for it.
  • Under-ringing: It’s not just shoppers who can be charged with retail theft; it’s a crime for a cashier or other employee to under-ring merchandise with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value.
  • Removing a shopping cart from the premises: Although it might seem harmless, taking a shopping cart off of a merchant’s premises without express permission is considered a form of retail theft.
  • Using theft detection devices: If you’re caught with devices that could be used to sneak merchandise through security without triggering an alarm, that device could be used as evidence against you.
  • Obtaining unauthorized control over property in order to permanently deprive the owner of its use: For example, if you signed a lease to rent a new car but then drove off and never made any payments, you would face a very serious criminal charge.

The charges you face will hinge on the specific circumstances of your case and the retail value of the items you allegedly stole. In Illinois, retail theft is generally considered a misdemeanor if the total retail value of the allegedly stolen merchandise is under $300 and a felony if it’s over that amount. No matter what the circumstances or the specific charges brought against you, Andrew M. Weisberg is prepared to provide the best possible defense in your retail theft case.


Weisberg Fights to Have Illinois Retail Theft Charges Reduced or Dropped


While retail theft is considered a felony if the value of the merchandise is over $300, it is not mandatory for the district attorney in Chicago to charge an individual with a felony. Most prosecutors will recognize that a sentence of 1-3 years in prison is disproportionate to the crime of retail theft, but you shouldn’t necessarily count on the prosecution going easy on you. The D.A. has the option of reducing the charge, but that doesn’t mean they will. You need an experienced criminal attorney on your side to give you the best chance at getting your retail theft charge reduced to a misdemeanor or, in some cases, dropped altogether.


As a former prosecutor himself, Andrew M. Weisberg understands the prosecution’s line of thought and has extensive experience negotiating with prosecutors in retail theft cases. You will be able to benefit from his insider knowledge, as it were, in regards to the prosecution’s tactics and arguments. He will work to show the court that a hefty fine or a prison sentence is a disproportionate and ultimately unproductive punishment and, if he is unable to get the charges dropped altogether, he will fight for a less severe sentence.


No matter what approach Andrew M. Weisberg takes, he will keep you informed of your case’s progress every step of the way and treat you with the dignity that you deserve.


When You Need an Experienced Chicago Theft Attorney, Call Weisberg


Facing a retail theft charge that could affect the rest of your life is understandably stressful, and you might be tempted to choose the first defense attorney you come across. However, your choice of lawyer will have a huge impact on the outcome of your case, and you need to be sure that you’re working with a well-qualified retail theft attorney who has a record of success in cases just like yours. With his years of experience as both a Chicago prosecutor and defense attorney, Andrew M. Weisberg is your best bet for a positive outcome in your case.


If you would like to reach Mr. Weisberg quickly and directly, please call his cell phone 24/7 at (773) 908-9811, or fill out the case review form on our website. You will be able to schedule a free initial consultation, during which Mr. Weisberg will listen to the details of your case and advise you as to your best course of legal action. If you choose to retain Mr. Weisberg at this point, he will begin diligently working to prepare the strongest possible defense for your retail theft case.