Schaumburg Theft Attorney Shannon P. O’Malley
Theft comes in many forms. Often, the term “robbery” is used to refer to theft in general, but it is important to recognize the distinction between robbery and other types of theft. Robbery is a violent crime. It is the act of stealing from another party through the use of force, threat of violence, or intimidation. Other acts of theft can become robbery. For example, an individual can threaten a victim with violence while ordering the victim to hand over personally identifying information. In this scenario, the offender has committed robbery through identity theft. Perhaps a more familiar scenario is bank robbery, where an offender threatens bank staff while demanding money.
Retail theft is the act of stealing from a retail store. Robbery can be committed as an act of retail theft as well – whenever an act of theft is conducted with an additional threat of violence, rather than done discreetly, it can be charged as robbery. If you are charged with theft in any capacity, work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend your case.
What is Shoplifting?
Shoplifting is a term frequently used to refer to retail theft. Retail theft can be committed in a variety of ways by an employee of the retailer or by individuals who enter the store for the purpose of stealing. A few examples of retail theft include:
- Removing price tags or packaging from an item to make it appear like it belongs to the offender;
- Dropping unpurchased merchandise into a bag or another package to avoid paying for it;
- Changing the price tag on an item to pay a lower price for it;
- Intentionally charging a price lower than the item’s actual price; and
- Falsely claiming to have purchased an item in an attempt to return it for a cash refund or store credit.
The value of the items allegedly stolen and the individual’s previous theft history determine how a shoplifting offense is charged.
Penalties for Retail Theft and Robbery in Illinois
Retail theft can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor or a Class 4, 3, or 2 felony depending on the circumstances of the alleged act. An individual can face one to seven years incarceration and a fine of $2,500 to $25,000 for a retail theft conviction.
All robberies are felony offenses in Illinois. Robberies can be charged as Class 2, Class 1, or Class X felonies, depending on the circumstances of the alleged act.
Plain robberies are Class 2 felonies, which carry the penalties of three to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. If a robbery is committed in a school, a place of worship, or a child care facility, it may be charged as a Class 1 felony, which is punishable by four to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Carjackings and aggravated robberies, robberies committed while armed, are also Class 1 felonies.
Armed carjackings are Class X felonies, which are punishable by 55 years to life in prison along with a fine of up to $25,000.
Work with an Experienced Schaumburg Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with any type of theft offense, you need to start working on your case’s defense strategy with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The longer you wait to start working with a lawyer, the more difficult it will be for you to develop a strong defense that can potentially result in your charge being reduced or dismissed. Contact Shannon P. O’Malley, Attorney at Law today to set up your initial consultation with our firm. During your consultation, we can help you determine the next steps to take with your case.