The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120


elgin defense lawyerWith prices going up and wages stagnant, retail theft is becoming a more common occurrence in Illinois. Getting arrested for retail theft is a serious matter that can carry heavy consequences, like fines, jail time and a permanent criminal record. If the price of the stolen goods exceeds $300, you could even be charged with a felony. 

Steps to Take If You Are Facing a Retail Theft Charge

Facing a retail theft charge can certainly be a frightening experience. However, what you do after the fact can have a major impact on the outcome of your case. Here are a few steps to take if you are charged with this crime.

  • Do not run away from store security. When you are about to be detained by store security for shoplifting, you may feel nervous and scared. However, that does not mean you should try to flee the scene. Doing so can make you look guilty and further complicate your case. To avoid more issues, comply with security.

  • Say as little as possible to the police. After the police detain you for retail theft, they may try to ask you questions about what happened. The officers may even lead you to believe that they will go easier on you if you admit guilt. Do not discuss the details of your case with police because they are not there to help you. Tell them that you do not want to talk about your case without a lawyer present. 

  • Consult a criminal lawyer. Shoplifting is considered a serious offense, so you should not attempt to represent yourself. It is in your best interest to hire a skilled Illinois criminal attorney. This attorney will defend you to the best of his or her ability and prepare you for court proceedings. He or she will also ensure that your rights are protected and that you do not say or do anything that will harm your case. 

  • Avoid further arrests. When you are already dealing with a retail theft charge, the last thing you want to do is get arrested again. If you get charged with another crime, it can lead to harsher consequences.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with retail theft, you should get in touch with a Kane County criminal lawyer. At the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we will fully assess your case and come up with the best defense. Call us at 847-488-0889 to schedule a free consultation.


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Elgin IL criminal defense attorneyWhile stealing a car or other vehicle that belongs to someone else is a crime, there are a variety of other offenses that may be considered motor vehicle theft. Depending on the nature of a specific offense and the value of a vehicle that was allegedly stolen, a person could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. People in Illinois who are facing these types of charges will want to understand how the law applies to their situation, and by working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, they can determine their best options for achieving a positive outcome to their case.

Different Types of Motor Vehicle Theft Charges

Motor vehicle theft may involve any situation in which a person possesses a vehicle owned by someone else when they are not entitled to do so. These charges may apply if a person takes, conceals, or sells another person’s vehicle or if a person receives or transfers ownership of a vehicle that they know to be stolen. Theft of a vehicle’s “essential parts,” including its frame, doors, engine, seats, or radio, may be treated similarly to the theft of a vehicle as a whole.

Motor vehicle theft is a Class 2 felony, and a conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to seven years. Aggravated motor vehicle theft charges may apply in cases involving the alleged theft of three or more vehicles or their essential parts, or when the value of an allegedly stolen vehicle is at least $25,000. Aggravated motor vehicle theft is a Class 1 felony, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

Other charges related to vehicle theft may apply in certain situations. Criminal trespass to vehicles, also known as joyriding, involves entering and operating a vehicle without the owner’s permission. Joyriding is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a one-year prison sentence. Vehicular hijacking (carjacking) charges may apply if a person allegedly took possession of a vehicle by force or the threat of injury. Vehicular hijacking is a Class 1 felony. Charges may be elevated to aggravated vehicular hijacking if a vehicle was allegedly taken from someone over the age of 60, if a passenger under the age of 16 was in the vehicle, or if a person was allegedly carrying a firearm or another deadly weapon. Aggravated vehicular hijacking is a Class X felony, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 30 years, and in cases involving deadly weapons, additional time may be added to a sentence.

Contact Our Kane County Vehicle Theft Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of motor vehicle theft or any related charges, you will want to secure representation from an attorney who can help you build an effective defense strategy. At the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we can advise you of your best options, and we will work to help you avoid a conviction or avoid serious charges whenever possible. Contact our Aurora criminal defense lawyer at 847-488-0889 to schedule a complimentary consultation.



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Elgin IL shoplifting defense attorneyThere are a variety of situations in which a person may find themself facing criminal charges. These charges should always be taken seriously, since a conviction can result in multiple different types of penalties, including fines, jail time, probation, community service, and a permanent criminal record. Retail theft, commonly known as shoplifting, is an offense that can result in either misdemeanor or felony charges, and those who have been accused of retail theft should be sure to understand how Illinois law applies to their situation, the potential consequences they may face, and the best defense strategies against these charges.

What Is Considered Retail Theft?

While shoplifting will often involve pocketing merchandise and leaving a store without paying for these items, retail theft can take a variety of other forms. According to Illinois law, retail theft can also include:

  • Altering or removing price tags in order to purchase items at less than their full retail value.

  • Transferring an item into the box or container for another item with the intent of paying less than the full retail price for an item.

  • Ringing an item up on a cash register for less than the item’s full retail value.

  • Stealing a shopping cart from the premises of a retail store.

  • Attempting to exchange merchandise for money or store credit when a person did not legally acquire the item.

  • Removing a theft detection sensor from an item or using a theft detection shielding device with the intent of stealing the item.

  • Failing to return items or equipment that had been leased or rented from a property owner.

  • Using an emergency exit to commit one of the above forms of retail theft.

Retail theft is usually charged as a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the property that was allegedly stolen is $300 or less, or $150 or less in the case of motor fuel. A conviction for a Class A misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of $75 to $2,500. If the property that was allegedly stolen is worth more than $300, or $150 of motor fuel, retail theft is charged as a Class 3 felony, and a conviction can result in a two-to-five-year jail sentence and a fine of $75 to $25,000. Felony charges will also apply if a person allegedly committed multiple acts of retail theft within one year and the total value of the merchandise stolen was over $300, or $150 of motor fuel.

If a person had previously been convicted of any type of theft charges, including robbery, burglary, or forgery, retail theft involving property worth $300 or less will be charged as a Class 4 felony, and a conviction can result in a jail sentence of three to six years. Theft by emergency exit is also a Class 4 felony if the merchandise that was allegedly stolen is worth $300 or less. Theft by emergency exit of merchandise worth more than $300 is a Class 2 felony, and a conviction can result in a jail sentence of three to seven years. All felony convictions carry a maximum fine of $25,000.

Contact an Aurora Retail Theft Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of committing retail theft, you will want to take steps to protect your rights and defend against these charges. At the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola, we can provide you with representation during criminal proceedings and help you build a defense strategy that will allow you to avoid a conviction or minimize your potential consequences. Contact our Elgin criminal defense attorneys today at 847-488-0889 to set up a free consultation.



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Kane County burglary defense lawyerIf you are accused of burglary, which is considered a felony in Illinois carrying with it harsh penalties, defending your case can be challenging. The prosecution will likely muster all available evidence in an attempt to establish your guilt. However, a skilled defense attorney can help you protect your rights and work to ensure a fair legal process so that you have a chance of avoiding unnecessary penalties. Depending on the situation, here are some defense strategies that your attorney could use.

1: Challenge Assertions of Intent

In Illinois, burglary is defined as unlawfully entering or remaining on a property with the intent to commit a felony or theft. Your attorney may be able to help you avoid a burglary conviction by challenging the prosecution’s attempts to establish your intent. If this strategy is successful, your charges may be dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense like criminal trespassing.

2: Emphasize Procedural Flaws

Your attorney can fight to ensure that your constitutional rights are protected. If there was impropriety in your arrest, or if the prosecution attempts to present evidence obtained through an unlawful search and seizure, your lawyer may be able to make the cases for your charges to be dismissed. Your lawyer can also challenge evidence that may be unreliable or circumstantial.

3: Establish an Alibi

If you were elsewhere at the time the alleged crime was committed, your attorney can help you present evidence and testimony to demonstrate the legitimacy of your alibi. A solid alibi can help you make the case for your innocence, and may lead to a dismissal of charges or a verdict of not guilty.

4: Show That You Were Not in Control of Your Actions

In some cases, it may be possible to argue that the alleged actions that led to your burglary charges were not under your control. This could be the case if you have a mental illness that impedes your ability to control your actions, or if you were forcibly coerced.

Contact an Elgin, IL Burglary Attorney

Though burglary charges can feel difficult to overcome, you have the right to a fair trial, and your attorney can work to present the best possible defense. If you are facing charges, consider contacting an Aurora IL criminal defense lawyer at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation. The talented team at the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola knows the appropriate strategies to employ during your trial so that they can help you attain a fair outcome.



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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.



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