DuPage County Shoplifting Defense Lawyers
Effective Legal Representation Against Allegations of Retail Theft
While you might presume that retail theft from a local department store is “no big deal,” a conviction can have a significant impact on your future. If the value of the merchandise is $300 or less, you will usually face a misdemeanor criminal charge. A conviction of shoplifting can be considered a crime “moral turpitude”, so it can impact professional licensing eligibility, future career opportunities and immigration status. When the value of the goods stolen have a higher value or you have prior convictions, you could face a felony charge and potential incarceration in jail or prison.
At Ramsell & Kunowski, L.L.C., we often hear from people who accepted the first plea offer from the prosecutor many years ago but now find that their decision is damaging their ability to obtain a potential job or career advancement. Even if you are convicted of a first offense that involves less than a hundred dollars in merchandise, a misdemeanor conviction will result in a criminal record that can be discovered with a basic criminal records search by future employers and landlords. Misdemeanor convictions of retail theft also will carry other forms of punishment that include potential jail time, costly fines, classes, probation and other forms of punishment.
Our DuPage County shoplifting attorneys understand the serious consequences of a misdemeanor or felony theft conviction. We conduct a thorough investigation of alleged retail theft allegations, which includes scrutinizing the police report, assessing statements from store employees and security personnel, reviewing video surveillance footage and analyzing other evidence. Our founding partner Donald Ramsell has been widely recognize as a top criminal defense attorney, garnering the ranking of “Illinois Leading Lawyer in Illinois Criminal Appeals” and an “Illinois Leading Lawyer in Criminal-DUI Defense” by Crane Magazine. He also has been honored as an “Illinois Super Lawyer” by Chicago Magazine.
Protecting People from False Allegations and Overzealous Loss Prevention Officers
If you are confronted by a store security guard and asked to come back into the store, it is important to understand that store security personnel are not restrained by the same constitutional limits as police officers. Store employees may suspect that you have committed retail theft because they think you hid merchandise or switched price tags. YOU SHOULD NEVER PROVIDE A WRITTEN OR ORAL STATEMENT TO STORE SECURITY. While you might think that cooperating will be the best way to avoid police involvement, the statement you provide without constitutional or Miranda protections will often be the most damaging evidence in a shoplifting prosecution. The law does not require you to answer any questions posed by store security personnel. The police will often be summoned whether or not you provide a statement.
Compelling Defense of Retail Theft Offenses in Illinois
Our DuPage County petty theft lawyers are committed to providing the most effective defense strategy to avoid a conviction or to negotiate court supervision, so we can later seek to expunge your conviction. We invite you to call us today at 630-256-8001 or to contact us online to schedule your free consultation in our conveniently located office in Naperville. Ramsell & Kunowski, L.L.C. also has offices in Wheaton and in Rolling Meadows by appointment.