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Will County criminal defense attorney, felony theftIf you find yourself facing shoplifting charges, how will you know if the charges against you can be upgraded to include felony counts? While most citizens are likely to understand the basics of shoplifting, in Illinois there are laws that specifically target retail theft and are stricter than those in other states. Working with an experienced theft defense attorney is your best course of action for receiving the advice and counsel needed to face these potential challenges.

When Does Shoplifting Become a Felony?

The most basic definition of retail shoplifting is any instance when a person is alleged to take, possess, carry away, or transfer any retail merchandise; however, the intent to deprive the merchant of full value must be proven. Under this definition, a crime is said to be committed should the accused pay for the merchandise, but not pay full value—as if one were to change a price tag or “under ring” at checkout.

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