Monday, November 21, 2016
During the holidays—especially on Black Friday—Chicago police and those in the surrounding communities (such as Rolling Meadows and Skokie) make dozens of arrests for shoplifting.
But what are shoplifting charges, and what are the penalties if you’re caught doing it?
What is Shoplifting?
Shoplifting isn’t actually a legal term in Illinois. However, it refers to the crime of retail theft, which can be a Read more . . .
Sunday, August 7, 2016
If you’ve been accused of shoplifting in Skokie, Chicago or Rolling Meadows—or any of the surrounding communities, for that matter—it’s probably in your best interest to talk to a retail theft lawyer as soon as you can.
What is Shoplifting in Skokie?
Under Illinois law, shoplifting is the crime of taking something that isn’t yours from a commercial or retail establishment.
Read more . . .
Friday, March 6, 2015
Hundreds of people are arraigned for crimes in and around Chicago each day. Some charges are more common than others, according to the FBI, although overall crime in the city is on a decline.
But what are the most common criminal charges in Chicago?
Chicago’s 3 Most Common Criminal Charges
The FBI breaks crime down into several broad categories, such as violent crimes and property crimes. From there, they break things down further into more specific categories. The FBI tracks crime statistics for decades, and far and away, there are three crimes that are routinely the most common in Chicago.
1. Larceny and theft. Theft includes crimes such as shoplifting, and the penalties for a conviction vary widely depending on the value of the property and your criminal record prior to this charge. Larceny and theft can be considered misdemeanor or felony charges that can result in high fines, community service and even jail time.
2. Burglary. Burglary is different from larceny and theft in that it involves entering a building, motor vehicle or other place without the owner’s consent and with the intent of committing a theft or a felony while inside. Offenses such as entering a vehicle to steal something inside often result in burglary charges, as do breaking into homes to steal another person’s possessions. (Just as a side note, residential burglary is a Class 1 felony that can put you behind bars for anywhere between 4 and 15 years).
3. Aggravated assault. Aggravated assault, under Illinois law, involves threatening someone with physical violence. For example, a person can be charged with aggravated assault for physically intimidating another person or for throwing a punch but missing the target. You can be charged with assault even if you didn’t cause the other party any physical harm.
What to Do if You’re Charged with These Common Crimes
Whether or not you’re guilty, it’s important that you use your right to remain silent. Don’t say anything to investigators if you’re accused of these—or any other—crimes. When they tell you that anything you say can and will be used against you, they mean it.
It’s best if you talk to a Chicago criminal defense lawyer who can speak on your behalf. He’ll make sure that investigators and law enforcement personnel don’t violate your constitutional rights and ensure that you get the best possible outcome for your case.
Friday, December 12, 2014
Many people are charged with retail theft in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs during the holiday season, and in most cases, the people accused of stealing things don’t know where to turn for help. Do you?
What to Do if You’re Charged with Retail Theft in Chicago
Maybe it was an accident, or maybe you hoped you wouldn’t be caught. Either way, if you’re charged with retail theft in Chicago or any of the surrounding suburbs, you don’t have to answer the questions police are asking you.
You have the right to remain silent, and in a situation like this, you should absolutely use it. There’s no reason for you to talk to police without your theft attorney present… even if you’re completely innocent.
Why Shouldn’t You Talk to Police?
The police have one job once you’re in custody, and it’s to get you to admit that you’re guilty. In some cases, they’ll resort to underhanded tactics to get you to admit guilt (even if you’re not guilty at all).
They may tell you that things will go “better” for you if you’re honest. They might tell you that they’ll change your charges if you admit to stealing something. Maybe they’ll even tell you that you’ll sit in jail over the holidays unless you give them the information they want.
Even if you are innocent, you shouldn’t try to proclaim your innocence to the police (unless your attorney tells you to, because every case is different).
But who’s protecting your rights in this situation? The police aren’t looking out for you. They’re just trying to get you to take the rap for something that they believe you did.
That’s why you need a lawyer by your side. Your attorney will make sure that your rights haven’t been violated up to this point, and he’ll ensure that police don’t cross the line from here forward.
Whether you’ve been charged in Cook County or in DuPage County, you do not have to talk to police. All you have to do is request that your lawyer is present the next time they want to speak with you. In most cases, that’s the best choice.
If you have been charged with retail theft in DuPage County or in Cook County, we can help. Call 847-920-4540 right away to make sure that your rights are protected under Illinois and federal law.Matt Fakhoury
Monday, March 17, 2014
What to Do When Your Child is Charged with Retail Theft
When you get the phone call, your mind starts racing. Your child has been charged with retail theft – and you aren’t quite sure what to do next.
Whether your child is a minor or an adult, the first thing you should do is get in touch with a Rolling Meadows lawyer who has experience in shoplifting cases. He’ll handle the legal aspects of your child’s case so that you can take care of your family.
Relax – It Will Work Out for the Best
Many parents begin to panic when they find out that their child is being charged with a crime, but that can be counterproductive. You may be shocked, angry and confused, but you can process those emotions without panic when you understand that your lawyer is in your child’s corner.
Gather Information about Shoplifting
Retail theft is commonly called shoplifting, and it can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. The classification depends on the dollar value of the items taken. Shoplifting is a misdemeanor when the value of the items totals less than $300; when it totals more than $300, it’s a felony.
A few other factors can affect the way your child is charged, including whether he or she was caught in possession of (or actively using) a theft detection device remover or shielding device. Because no two cases are identical, it’s best to ask your lawyer any case-specific questions you have.
Support Your Child… and Yourself
While it’s difficult to rally in support of your child during a difficult time like this, it may be the best thing you can do. Psychologists suggest that sticking things out together can make a big difference in how likely your child is to learn from their mistakes – and the more they learn, the better.
You also need to make sure you get the support from friends and family that you deserve. You’re in a tough position, and sometimes talking about what you’re going through can lift a huge burden off your shoulders.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Retail Theft is a serious offense. Illinois law imposes severe penalties on those convicted of theft from retailers. The typical case of retail theft involves a situation in which an individual knowingly took an item or items from a store without paying. This is referred to as shoplifting.
The penalty for retail theft depends on the dollar amount of the goods that were taken. The offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the items involved. The possible sentence for a misdemeanor retail theft includes up to one year in jail and fines. Should the offense be charged as a felony, however, the penalties are considerably more severe, including higher fines and possible prison time. In addition, this type of felony conviction cannot be expunged.
A individual arrested for this offense should expect to receive notices in the mail demanding payment for civil penalties. The law stipulates that the store can collect up to $1,000 in addition to the value of the goods taken. All too often people believe that if they pay the penalty, the case will be dropped. However, this is not the case.
If you have been charged with a retail theft in Illinois, call the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury for a confidential case review. Former prosecutor Matt Fakhoury has a proven track record representing clients charged with retail theft throughout the Chicagoland area. Call us today at (847) 920-4540.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
The laws in Illinois regarding retail theft have been significantly overhauled in the past several years. Most importantly, the penalties for retail theft have been dramatically increased.
The offense of retail theft is found under 720 ILCS 5/16-25. The statute states that a person is guilty of retail theft when he or she knowingly takes possession of any merchandise displayed or offered for sale in a retail establishment. The key here is intent: the accused must have the intention of permanently depriving the merchant of property without paying for it.
I recently had a client in my office who had been charged with felony retail theft. She had altered an item’s price tag by replacing it with that of an item with a lesser price tag. While she acknowledged her actions were unethical, she did not realize that she was in violation of the law and would have to answer to felony charges.
Despite the complexities of 720 ILCS 5/16-25, a retail theft case is still beatable in a court of law. I have defended numerous people who have unintentionally left a store without paying for merchandise. One woman simply forgot she had an item in her hand when she exited the store, while another man simply left an item in his grocery cart and strolled out of the store, with a cart full of purchased groceries and one item for which he did not pay.
A retail theft conviction can have a devastating impact on your life. Potential employers, college admissions counselors, and even vocational licensing boards often exclude those charged or convicted of a retail theft.
If you have been arrested for retail theft, it is imperative to resolve the case in a manner that does not impact the rest of your life. Do not let a retail theft conviction become a life sentence. Contact the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury for a free and confidential case review. (847) 920-4540
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Retail Theft, or Shoplifting, is a serious offense. Illinois law imposes harsh penalties on those caught stealing from a retail store. The typical case of retail theft involves a situation in which the defendant knowingly took an item or items from a store without paying. This is referred to as shoplifting.
The penalty for retail theft depends on the dollar amount of the goods that were taken. If the value of the items was under $300, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor. The possible sentence for a misdemeanor retail theft includes up to one year in jail and fines.
If the total value of the merchandise was greater than $300, then the offense can be charged as a felony. This type of felony includes a sentence of 2 to 5 years in prison and fines. This type of felony conviction cannot be expunged or sealed.
A individual arrested for this offense should expect to receive notices in the mail demanding payment for civil penalties. The law stipulates that the store can collect up to $1,000 in addition to the value of the goods taken.
All too often defendants believe that if they pay the penalty, the case will be dropped. However, this is not the case. If you have been charged with a retail theft in Illinois, call the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury for a free case review. Former prosecutor Matt Fakhoury has a proven track record in representing clients charged with retail theft throughout Cook County. Call us today at (847) 920-4540.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Black Friday sales brought Christmas shoppers out in droves this past weekend to take advantage of great deals. Retailers were prepared for shoppers and had their loss prevention departments on high alert. Many retailers caught people red handed and pressed charges against them.
Although most of these cases are misdemeanors, the offense of Retail Theft is considered a crime of Moral Turpitude that can have serious ramifications on your life. Moral Turpitude refers to conduct that is against society’s morals and implies a deceitfulness and lack of honesty as to one’s character. Potential employers, college admissions counselors, and even vocational licensing boards exclude those charged or convicted of a crime of Moral Turpitude.
If you have been arrested for Retail Theft, it is imperative to resolve the case quickly and correctly by removing from your record. Contact the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury for a case review at www.ILDefense.com
Sunday, November 18, 2012
With black Friday around the corner, retailers around Chicago are preparing for a busy holiday season. Many malls such as Woodfield mall in Schaumburg and Old Orchard mall in Skokie increase their security in order to prevent retail theft.
The Law Offices of M. Fakhoury, a criminal defense firm, represents clients charged with theft, retail theft, forgery, and credit card fraud throughout the Chicago metro area. Retailers who catch offenders committing crimes in their stores will prosecute in order to deter others from stealing.
With retailers prosecuting to the full extent of the law, it’s imperative to have an attorney defend you to the full extent of the law. A theft or retail theft charge can have lasting consequences if not resolved correctly.
Contact Matt Fakhoury, a former prosecutor, for a free case review.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
The first question that is usually asked after a retail theft has been committed is “what was stolen?”. If you are charged with retail theft, the question that should be asked is if you are suffering from a substance abuse problem.
This question is critical because it could provide a way of not only addressing an addiction, but also a way of avoiding jail. At the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury we recognize that offenses such as Retail Theft, Burglary, and even Robbery are crimes that are committed in order to feed a drug habit.
Unfortunately, people addicted to drugs or alcohol commit theft related offenses to covert stolen merchandise into cash to feed their addition. The way to address this from both an individual and societal perspective is not to lock up the offender and throw away the key. Rather, the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury we will explore other options to keep you out of custody.
Matt Fakhoury, a Chicago Retail Theft Attorney has kept several Retail Theft clients out of jail by getting the Judge to approve substance abuse treatment programs monitored by the court in lieu of incarceration. These programs get to the heart of the issue and benefit not only the individual facing charges, but also society at large.
If you have been charged with Retail Theft, Contact Attorney Matt Fakhoury for a free case consultation.