The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120


Kane County Retail Theft Defense AttorneyGrocery stores and retail chains across the United States are relying on self-checkout kiosks more and more. Self-scanning checkouts can reduce costs and speed up the checkout lines. However, they also offer additional opportunities for theft. One study showed that $850,000 of goods were stolen from self-checkouts over the course of 1 million transactions.

If you or a loved one were charged with retail theft after using a self-checkout, contact a criminal defense lawyer for help. Shoplifting may seem like a petty offense; however, it can lead to significant criminal penalties and even jail time.

Misusing the Self-Checkout Can Have Serious Consequences

Self-scanning kiosks are becoming increasingly popular. At a self-checkout, the customer is responsible for scanning the items in his cart, bagging the items, and paying the total. However, self-checkouts are not always used correctly. Some customers intentionally or unknowingly miss items while scanning. Others switch price tags on items to avoid paying full price. Another common tactic is to ring up an expensive item as a lower-priced item. This so-called “banana trick” is possible when the price of the item is determined by the item’s weight. Actions like these may seem harmless. Many people accused of self-checkout tricks like these do not even realize that the actions are technically shoplifting. It is only when the police show up with handcuffs that they realize how serious the situation really is.

Illinois Shoplifting Laws and Penalties

Being accused of theft is an embarrassing, upsetting experience. If you or a loved one were accused of retail theft, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help. In Illinois, theft of items valued at less than $500 is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. However, if the offender has previously been convicted of theft, the offense may be considered a felony even if the value of the goods is under the $500 threshold. Theft of items valued at greater than $300 is a felony punishable by several years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

Contact an Elgin Shoplifting Defense Lawyer for Help

Skipping a few items at the self-checkout may seem like a “victimless crime.” However, doing so can lead to criminal charges and irreparable harm to your personal and professional reputation. If you were charged with retail theft, contact the The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola for legal help. Kane County criminal defense attorney Brian J. Mirandola can help you defend yourself against the charges and ensure your rights are protected during any criminal proceedings. Call 847-488-0889 for a free, confidential case assessment.



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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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