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Posted on in Theft

b2ap3_thumbnail_porch-pirate_20200217-141909_1.jpgSomeone is known as a “porch pirate” when they steal packages from the doorstep of someone else’s house. The state of Illinois is the 13th worst state in the country when it comes to packages being taken. This offense is punished as theft because the person who commits the violation has the intention of keeping the items they take and they know it is against the law. Under Illinois’ theft law, porch pirating is considered a misdemeanor for items that value under $500 and a felony for items that value over $500.

The Penalty for Being Caught Pirating from Porches

On average, 11 million homeowners have packages stolen from their doorsteps in one year. As a result, victims find themselves changing their schedules when they know they have a package being delivered so they can be home to claim their box immediately.

Others pay a hefty cost to install home cameras in order to catch any would-be porch pirates in the act. These products lead to the identification of the offending parties who are then liable for all stolen items.

Illinois law classifies porch pirating as a form of theft. Charges increase in severity depending on the value of the stolen items:

  • A Class A misdemeanor is charged when the stolen items have a value of $500 or less. Offenders face up to one year in jail and fines of up to $2,500.
  • A Class 4 felony is charged when the building being pirated is a place of worship, a school, or government property. Offenders face a prison term of 1-3 years and fines of up to $25,000.
  • A Class 3 felony is charged when the property being stolen values between $500 and $10,000. Offenders face a prison term of 2-5 years and fines of up to $25,000.
  • A Class 2 felony is charged when the property being stolen values between $10,000 and $100,000. Offenders face a prison term of 3-7 years and fines of up to $25,000.
  • A Class 1 felony is charged when the property being stolen values between $100,000 and $500,000. Offenders face a prison term of 4-10 years and fines of up to $25,000.
  • A Class X felony is charged when the property being stolen values over $1,000,000. Offenders face a prison term of 6-30 years and fines of up to $25,000.

On average, the property that is pirated from doorsteps values between $50 and $100.

How to Defend Against Allegations of Porch Pirating

Most of the time porch pirates are caught if the homeowner has a camera installed to monitor the front doorway. However, a camera can only capture so much and sometimes a certain identification cannot be made.

Or, a person could be falsely accused of porch pirating if their car was seen at the victim’s home when the package was taken.

Some defenses against charges of theft include:

  • Mistake of fact
  • No intent to permanently deprive the homeowner of their goods
  • Prove owner’s consent to the taking of the package
  • Coercion
  • Entrapment
  • Insanity

If the items are returned to the homeowner after charges are issued against the offender, this does not erase the theft charges.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

The lawyers from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola have experience helping defendants of all sorts of theft cases. They can bring light to the facts of the case and protect clients from any unlawful punishments. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-1

https://patch.com/illinois/chicago/how-often-porch-pirates-steal-amazon-packages-chicago

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IL defense lawyerIt has been getting harder and harder for criminals to steal from retail shops due to the security measures being taken. However, people still attempt to steal and unfortunately, this makes stores extra cautious.

As a result, patrons who frequent a specific store may be falsely accused of retail theft if they have previous purchases with them when they enter the store. Without the proper authorities being involved, a falsely accused person could face possible felony charges.

What Are Illinois’ Penalties for Retail Theft?

The state of Illinois covers a wide range of criminal actions when it comes to retail theft. A person could face charges of retail theft not only for running from a store without buying items but also if they are caught:

  • Switching labels on an item to make it seem cheaper in price
  • Attempting to remove security devices from an item to not set off the alarm
  • Moving an item from its proper container to attempt to decrease the value
  • Claiming ownership of an item that was taken without purchase
  • Using an anti-theft device to hide the crime

Charges and punishments are given out depending on the monetary amount stolen and if the accused has a history of thievery. Retail theft of items valued lower than $300 will be cited as a Class A misdemeanor for first offenses and a Class 4 felony for subsequent offenses.

If the value of the stolen items totals more than $300, the thief will be charged with a Class 3 felony for first and subsequent offenses.

Punishments include fines of as much as $25,000 for felony cases ($2,500 for misdemeanors) and prison time depending on the severity of the case.

How Could Someone Be Suspected of Theft When There Was No Crime?

It is common for someone to enter a store where they previously purchased an item in order to buy another similar product. For example, a woman could enter a store with a previously purchased bottle of makeup looking to compare her purchase with a fresh bottle that she would like to buy.

The shopper could be confronted by the store’s security if they see her pocketing the used bottle before going to buy her new purchase. This is a common “mistake of fact” which is a simple defense for false theft accusations; if the shopper simply proves that she entered the store with the already opened and used purchase, the accusations become void.

Other defensive strategies for false accusations include:

  • Proving that the criminal action was done on accident
  • Proving that the accused did not know that the theft was happening
  • Proving that the accused was persuaded to steal and they would not have done so without pressure
  • Proving that the accused did not know what they were doing was wrong

Contact an Elgin, IL Retail Theft Lawyer

Some false accusations of retail theft cannot be resolved simply. If the retail establishment insists that there was a crime, the accused should contact a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola to build a defensive strategy and avoid unlawful consequences. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County retail theft lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-25

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Posted on in Theft

Aurora, IL Theft Attorney

Every year, retailers throughout the United States lose billions of dollars due to shoplifting. Because of this, store security and law enforcement are increasingly on the lookout for shoplifters. According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP), approximately 1 in 11 Americans will commit retail theft at some point in their lifetime. If you have been charged with shoplifting, you need to fully understand the implications of a conviction and seek skilled legal representation as soon as possible.

Retail Theft Charges in Illinois 

Here in the state of Illinois, shoplifting is defined as the act of taking, possessing, or carrying away a retail item without paying the marked retail value. It is important to note, retail theft is not limited to the act of physically stealing an item. Illinois law states a person can be charged with shoplifting if they pretend to own an item, utilize an anti-theft detection device, or alter the price tag of a retail good. The ramifications of a shoplifting conviction can be severe. 

If a person steals merchandise under $300 in value, it is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum fine of $2,500 and up to one year in jail. Any subsequent conviction may result in a Class 4 felony. If a person is charged with retail theft of an item or items valued at over $300, the punishment can be much more severe. If convicted of that Class 3 felony, you could face up to $25,000 in fines and three years of incarceration. 

Due to the severe legal punishment of retail theft, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense team. Some of the most common retail theft defenses include the lack of intent, entrapment, or impairment due to intoxication or mental disability. 

Contact an Elgin, IL Shoplifting Lawyer 

A retail theft conviction can come with life-changing ramifications, especially for minors, who make up 25 percent of all convicted shoplifters. With years of successfully defending Illinois clients, Attorney Brian J. Mirandola is prepared to aggressively fight to minimize the potential damage of a shoplifting charge. If you or a loved one are charged with shoplifting, it is critically important to secure adept legal guidance. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense attorney, contact our team today, at 847-488-0889. 

Sources:

http://www.shopliftingprevention.org/what-we-do/learning-resource-center/statistics/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+16&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=36200000&SeqEnd=40800000

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Posted on in Theft

thieves, Kane County criminal defense attorneyRetail theft costs American retailers over $40 billion each year in lost revenue. Stores must constantly be on the lookout for individuals who attempt to conceal products and leave the store without paying for them. Even with advances in security systems and vigilant loss prevention officers carefully observing patrons, stores continue to see increases in shoplifting.

Each year, more and more individuals are apprehended for stealing. Some retailers blame the increase in organized retail crime for the increase in theft losses each year. Many instances of shoplifting are not carried out by individuals but instead organized teams of thieves who work together to steal items from the store and sell them. Another method of shoplifting which is quickly gaining popularity is the use of "booster bags" which are designed to beat the in-store security systems. If you have attempted this or other methods of retail theft, you may face serious punitive consequences.

Stores Find that Anti-Theft Devices Work for Some But Not All Shoplifters

Most people are familiar with the small plastic tags attached to some merchandise at retail stores. These anti-theft devices are heavily relied upon by many common stores. The tag must be carefully removed by a store employee, most often a cashier, before the product can be used or worn by the customer. Other tags are built into the product or packaging and must be deactivated by a special device. If a product with an intact, activated anti-theft tag comes close to specialized sensors at the entrance of the store, a loud alarm will sound and employees are alerted to the attempted shoplifting. This method of theft prevention has worked to dissuade some would-be thieves, but others simply find methods to overcome the tags and sensors.

Booster Bags Are Intended to Prevent Anti-Theft Alarms From Sounding

Booster bags can be any type of purse, container, shopping bag, or clothing item that contains a layer of aluminum foil. The sensors designed to detect the anti-theft devices attached to merchandise cannot penetrate through the aluminum foil, rendering the stolen merchandise invisible to the sensors.  Shoplifters using booster bags hope they can walk out of the store with the stolen merchandise undetected, but many still get caught.

Have You Been Arrested on Shoplifting Charges?

If you have been charged with shoplifting, or retail theft, legal counsel from an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney can help you avoid jail time or reduce your charges. Call 847-488-0889 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation at the The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola.

 

Sources:

http://fortune.com/2015/01/26/us-retail-worker-theft/

http://www.securityinfowatch.com/article/12083144/annual-retail-theft-survey-does-not-have-much-good-news-for-loss-prevention-executives-as-shrink-soars

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-booster-bag.htm

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Posted on in Theft

burglary, Kane County criminal defense attorneyThe terms burglary, breaking and entering, robbery, and theft often get used interchangeably, and some confusion about the meaning of the terms exists. If you have been charged with burglary, you are probably unsure of what will happen next or what punitive consequences you may face. Read on to learn about burglary charges in Illinois and how a criminal defense attorney can help you fight these charges.

Burglary Occurs When Someone Trespasses with Intent to Commit a Crime

The Illinois Criminal Code provides the technical definition of burglary. "A person commits burglary when without authority he or she knowingly enters or without authority remains within a building, housetrailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof, with intent to commit therein a felony or theft." Put simply, a person who enters or remains on another person’s property without permission and intends to steal something or commit another crime on that property is committing burglary. Someone who breaks into a property but does not attempt to steal something or has no other criminal intent will usually only be charged with trespassing or another lesser crime.

A Prosecutor Must Prove Awareness and Intent

In order for a defendant to be convicted of burglary, a state prosecutor must demonstrate that the defendant entered a property without permission or refused to leave the property after he or she no longer had permission to be there. Furthermore, the prosecutor must show that the defendant knowingly entered the property, meaning that he or she was aware of his or her actions and had intent to commit theft or another felonious crime on the property. Burglary of a non-residential building, boat, car, or aircraft is generally considered a Class 2 felony. Burglary of a residential home, school, church, or other place of worship is usually a Class 1 felony.

Penalties and Sentences

Someone convicted of burglary as a Class 2 Felony potentially faces imprisonment for three to seven years and a fine of up to $25,000. A person convicted of burglary as a Class 1 felony faces the same steep fine and may be imprisoned for four to fifteen years. Those defendants with a prior criminal history may face higher sentences. In some cases, a judge may find probation to be a more appropriate punishment than jail time.

If you have been accused of burglary, do not try to face the prosecution alone. For legal advice you can trust, contact one of the skilled Elgin criminal defense attorneys at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola. Call 847-488-0889 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation of your case.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-1

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