The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120

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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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Aurora IL forgery defense attorneyIn Illinois, in its simplest terms, forgery can be understood as the knowing and willful falsification of signatures, documents, or objects. Once such items are falsified, the charges can be compounded by the propagation of these false items or other defrauding activities that lead to another individual or organization being misrepresented or losing something valuable, money or otherwise. Forgery and other deceptive practices are quite common, mainly because they can run the gamut, comprising a wide variety of defrauding actions.

Common Acts of Forgery and Illegal Deception

Among the many examples of forgery and other deceptive practices in Illinois are:

  1. Forged checks—If you sign someone else’s name on their check without their knowledge or approval, you are committing fraud.

  2. Faked mortgage documentation—Whether it be manipulating the data in your mortgage documents or faking your own personal information in a mortgage loan application, falsifying any of this serious documentation can result in severe legal penalties.

  3. Completing a credit card application for someone else without their knowledge—Pretending to be someone else and completing a credit card application on their behalf is illegal. You are misrepresenting them, possibly lowering their credit score and opening the door to identity theft.

  4. Sending checks from closed accounts—Not all bounced checks are created equal; some are from closed accounts. This is fraudulent activity when you know the account is closed but you still write the check.

  5. Misreporting your data on loan or other major financial applications—This includes claiming a greater income than you actually make, lying about employment or tax obligations, or lying about your ownership of property. Whatever the case may be, lying on major financial applications is deceptive and against the law.

  6. Art forgery—This is what many people think of when they think of forgery due to representation in popular culture. Attempting to pass off a falsified art piece as the work of a famous or popular artist is against the law.

  7. Prescription forgery—Drug addicts and patients with drug-seeking behavior might try to alter the prescriptions they are given by their doctors to get higher doses or more refills of painkillers and other legal drugs. They might even make fraudulent copies of blank prescription sheets and distribute them. Sometimes they might not even forge a signature, they merely manipulate what is there on the page and keep the same signature. This is still a forgery, though, and it is illegal.

  8. Faked forms of government identification—From a driver’s license to a passport, forms of identification have been falsified for years. This does not just include teenagers trying to drink before the age of 21, either. These faked documents can also affect immigration, international travel, and other important legal matters.

Contact a Kane County Forgery Defense Attorney

Defrauding anyone—a business or a person—through forgery and other deceptive practices is a crime. If you are facing charges of forgery or fraud, consider retaining representation from a knowledgeable and skilled Aurora IL deceptive practices defense lawyer. Call the team at the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.



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Elgin IL domestic violence defense attorneyWith lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic having occurred throughout the country, and indeed the entire world, there has been an uptick in domestic violence as partners and families are spending more time in close quarters. Recently, November 25 marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, with protests in countries around the world attempting to raise awareness of this important issue.

With tensions running high during this time, you may also be more likely to face allegations of domestic violence that you believe to be unfounded. If so, an attorney can help you protect your rights and develop a defense strategy through which your perspective can be heard. Know that an accusation does not necessarily have to result in a criminal conviction.

Responding to Allegations of Domestic Violence in Illinois

Here are some suggestions to guide you through any possible domestic violence charges you might face when staying at home during the pandemic:

  • Understand your rights. Although allegations of domestic violence can seem difficult to overcome, you have the right to a fair trial and a qualified defense attorney who can handle your case. You also have the right to decline to answer questions from law enforcement without the presence of your attorney. If you are a parent, it is important that you understand how domestic violence allegations could impact your child custody rights so that your attorney can help you avoid excessively negative consequences.

  • Comply with orders of protection. Though it may be frustrating when you are facing allegations that you believe to be untrue, it is still important to comply with the terms of orders of protection issued against you. If you wish to contest an order of protection, perhaps because you believe it causes you undue hardship during a time when staying away from your home is difficult, you should do so with the help of your attorney through the appropriate legal avenues rather than trying to take matters into your own hands. Violating an order can result in further legal consequences, and it could negatively impact the outcome of your criminal trial.

Contact an Aurora, IL Domestic Violence Lawyer

If you are accused of domestic violence or abuse, it is important to think carefully about how you respond. You should consider seeking the guidance of an experienced Elgin, IL domestic abuse attorney who can advise you on the best course of action and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process. Call the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.



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Elgin IL reckless driving defense attorneyWhile both aggravated speeding and reckless driving are more than minor traffic violations, they are still separate and different charges, each carrying with them relatively severe penalties. In some cases, the two can be compounded with other charges, making for an especially challenging case to manage and difficult punishments to handle.

What Is Aggravated Speeding?

Speeding may seem like a minor and oftentimes innocuous traffic violation, at least relative to other dangerous behaviors, but there are instances when speeding is not simply a minor infraction. As speed increases, it can become more and more dangerous, and excessive speeds can result in aggravated speeding charges under Illinois law.

According to state law, aggravated speeding occurs when the driver is speeding above the local limit by 26 miles per hour or more. In cases of 26 mph to 34 mph above the limit, the crime is considered a Class B misdemeanor by Illinois law, and in cases when the speeding is 35 mph or more above the speed limit, it is considered the more severe Class A misdemeanor. 

Depending on the severity of the aggravated speeding charge, offenders might face fines of up to $2,500, up to one year in county jail, and suspension of their drivers’ license. Aggravated speeding charges can also lead to higher car insurance rates, and even a permanent mark on the driver’s criminal record that may be ineligible for expungement.

What Is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving is any driving that puts the safety of people or property at risk. In other words, according to Illinois law, it is the “willful disregard” for the public’s safety while driving. Many behaviors can be considered under this particular charge, including excessive speeding above the local limits, driving drunk, running a red light, tailgating other vehicles, weaving in and out of traffic, and texting while driving. Reckless driving is classified as a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. Penalties include up to $2,500 in fines and up to one year in county jail.

Can You Ever Be Charged with Both Reckless Driving and Aggravated Speeding?

Aggravated speeding and reckless driving are both very serious traffic crimes, and they are both treated as such; in fact, many times the two coincide and a driver will be charged with both. Since driving above 20 mph can be viewed as reckless driving and driving above 26 mph is considered aggravated speeding, then driving over 26 mph could result in a charge of both depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, such as an accident, an injury, or damage to property. 

Contact an Aurora IL Reckless Driving Lawyer

Whether you are facing aggravated speeding or reckless driving charges, or both, you will need an experienced Elgin IL aggravated speeding attorney to help guide you through the process and advocate for your fair treatment under the law. Call the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for 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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