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When is Retail Theft a Felony in Illinois? 

 Posted on February 26, 2024 in Criminal Law

Naperville, IL criminal defense lawyerIn Illinois, retail theft can be charged as a felony under certain circumstances. Illinois states retail theft as the act of taking possession of, carrying away, or transferring any merchandise displayed for sale in a retail establishment with the intention of not paying for the item. If you are facing charges related to retail theft, discuss your case with a lawyer to ensure you can obtain a robust defense to fight the charges you are facing adequately. 

When Does Retail Theft Become a Felony?

Several factors can elevate a retail theft offense to a felony charge:

  1. Value of the Stolen Goods – If the value of the stolen merchandise exceeds $300, the offense is considered a felony in DuPage County. This threshold is important because it distinguishes between misdemeanor and felony charges. It is important to note that the value of the stolen goods is determined by the total retail value of the merchandise, not the discounted or sale price. 

  2. Prior Convictions – If the individual has a previous conviction for retail theft, the offense may be charged as a felony, regardless of the value of the stolen goods. Repeat offenders are often subject to harsher penalties, including felony charges. 

  3. Use of Force or Threat of Force – If the individual uses force, threatens to use force, or causes bodily harm to a merchant or store employee during the commission of the theft, the offense may be charged as a felony. This includes situations involving a weapon or violence being used to facilitate the theft.

  4. Aggravating Circumstances – Certain aggravating circumstances may sometimes turn a retail theft offense into a felony. For example, if the theft is part of an organized retail crime operation, involves the use of a device to deactivate security measures, or is committed in concert with others, the offense may be charged as a felony. 

It is important to note that felony charges carry far more severe penalties than misdemeanor charges, including potential imprisonment, fines, and a permanent criminal record. If you are facing felony charges for retail theft in Illinois, seeking legal representation to protect your rights and explore your defense options is crucial.

Contact Our Naperville, IL Retail Theft Defense Attorney

If you are facing felony charges related to retail theft, all hope is not lost. You do have options. Contact the experienced DuPage County, IL retail theft defense lawyer with Appelman Law LLC. Call 630-717-7801 for a free consultation.

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