The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120

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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.



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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. 


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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.



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Posted on in Theft

shoplifting, Elgin criminal defense attorneyThe National Association for Shoplifting Prevention reports that over 10 million people have been caught shoplifting in the last five years. Even more surprising, they estimate that about one out of every 11 people in the U.S have shoplifted. Many people consider shoplifting to be "no big deal" or even see it as a rite of passage for young people. The truth is that retail theft is a crime, and depending on the circumstances, can result in serious criminal penalties.

What is Considered Shoplifting?

The most common example of shoplifting occurs when a person attempts to take merchandise from a store without paying for it. He or she may hide the items in a coat or bag while shopping and then attempt to leave the store without paying for those items. Often, a loss prevention officer (LPO), or an employee who is tasked with preventing shoplifting, confronts the person attempting to steal from the store.

Other tactics used by shoplifters include changing price tags on merchandise in order to pay a lesser price for an item, making fraudulent returns in order to receive cash or store credit, and keeping property after a lease has ended. Interestingly, store employees are also a big shoplifting risk. Sometimes a cashier will pretend to ring up a customer as usual but actually, they are not charging the customer for all of the merchandise he or she is leaving with.

Illinois Penalties for Shoplifting

If you are caught shoplifting and the police are called, the extent to which you are held criminally accountable will depend on the value of the goods stolen (or attempted to steal) as well as any prior criminal convictions. If the items cost $300 or less, you will probably be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties for this charge include fines up to $2,500 and up to one year of imprisonment. If you have prior convictions of theft or related crimes, stealing or attempting to steal items worth less than $300 can result in being charged with a Class 4 felony and being fined up to $25,000. You are also at risk of being imprisoned for one to three years.

Shoplifting property which is valued at more than $300 is a Class 3 felony and can result in fines up to $25,000 and between two and five years of imprisonment. If you use an emergency exit when leaving the store with stolen goods, that charge is increased to a Class 2 felony. The penalties for this include fines up to $25,000 and three to seven years’ imprisonment.

Criminal Defense Attorneys Who Will Fight for Your Freedom

If you have been charged with shoplifting, contact experienced Elgin, IL retail theft attorney Brian J. Mirandola for guidance with your case. Call 847-488-0889 for a free, confidential consultation today.


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shoplifting, Kane County criminal defense attorneyThe National Association for Shoplifting Prevention estimates that more than $13 billion worth of goods are stolen from retailers each year. Even more shocking, approximately one in 11 people will shoplift at some point in their lives. Many of the people who shoplift never get caught, but those who do face serious legal consequences.

There are a numerous reasons that a people choose to steal an item from a store. Some may be in serious financial trouble and unable to afford the item or they may simply not wish to pay for it. Others may be influenced by peer pressure or steal in order to impress those with them. Many people shoplift because they believe that it is a victimless crime. Whatever the reason, shoplifting is illegal and doing it can be devastating to a person’s future.

An Eventful Overseas Trip

A college basketball player who had dreams of one day playing for the NBA is facing a much different future after making a mistake many college-aged people make. The young man was visiting China with fellow teammates when the group decided to visit a Louis Vuitton store. The man claimed that his teammates began taking items from the store without the intent to pay for them. He explained that he then started taking items as well because he saw his teammates do it. "We all went out one night, went to the malls…people started taking stuff, and then, you know, me just not thinking and being with them, I took something too," he said.

This young basketball player is not the first person to be influenced to commit a crime because those around them were doing it. After leaving the stores with the items, the basketball players thought that they had gotten away with the theft. However, the next morning police showed up and arrested the players. They spent a day and a half in a foreign concrete-floored jail. There is some dispute as how it transpired, but the young men were returned to the United States and the charges against them were dropped. The NBA prospect who followed his teammates in stealing merchandise was suspended from the team. He later decided to leave UCLA entirely, claiming that the suspension was unfair.

Contact a Skilled Attorney

If you or a loved one is facing charges related to theft, contact an experienced Elgin criminal defense attorney. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation with a member of our team today. We will review your case and help you determine the best course of action for moving forward.

Sources:, Kane County criminal defense attorney

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