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Attorney for Theft Charges in Wheaton

Wheaton Theft Defense Attorney

Shoplifting Lawyer in DuPage County, Illinois

Because theft is typically a non-violent offense, many people assume that the penalties associated with a theft or burglary charge are trivial. However, theft charges can lead to significant criminal penalties in Illinois, including imprisonment. If you have been charged with theft, shoplifting, or burglary, do not underestimate the impact these charges may have on your life. Being convicted of theft in Illinois can threaten your personal reputation, professional opportunities, and even your very freedom.

I am DuPage County criminal defense lawyer Stephen A. Brundage. As a former police officer with over 30 years of experience practicing law, I know just how devastating a criminal conviction can be to your future. I also know that the law says that a criminal defendant is innocent until they are proven guilty. My team and I can defend you against the charges you face and ensure that your rights as a criminal defendant are not violated.

Defense Lawyer Protecting the Rights of the Accused in Naperville, Aurora, and the Surrounding Areas

Retail theft or shoplifting is one of the most common criminal offenses in Illinois. However, shoplifting can result in significant penalties, including jail time. Shoplifting may take the form of:

  • Concealing items in your clothing or bag and leaving the store without paying for them
  • Switching price tags on merchandise so that you can pay a lower price for an item
  • Returning stolen items for store credit or cash
  • Using the self-checkout register to avoid paying for all of your items
  • Working with a store employee to steal from the store

The penalties for shoplifting vary depending on the value of the goods that were allegedly stolen. If the alleged theft involved items valued at less than $500, the offense is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $2,500. If the items are valued at greater than $500, shoplifting is a felony offense punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

Receiving Stolen Property Can Also Lead to Criminal Charges

Many people do not realize that buying or otherwise receiving stolen property can also lead to criminal charges in Illinois. Consider the following example: You purchase a car from a neighbor for cash. However, the neighbor previously stole the car from someone else. In a situation like this, you could be charged with theft and sentenced to prison even though you are not the one who stole the car. However, if it can be proven that you did not know that the car was stolen, you may be able to avoid criminal theft charges.

Criminal Defense Lawyer for Burglary Charges

Burglary involves entering into a building, vehicle, or structure with the intention of committing a felony crime or theft. Most of the time, burglary is charged as a Class 2 felony which means that burglary is punishable by up to 7 years in prison. However, if the burglary took place in a school, daycare, church, or another place of worship, the crime is a Class 1 Felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Residential burglary, or entering someone's home and stealing items or committing another felony offense, is also a Class 1 Felony offense.

Home invasion is considered the most severe type of burglary. A home invasion occurs when an individual enters the home of another person and:

  • Possesses a firearm or other weapon and threatens or uses force
  • Deliberately injures someone
  • Discharges a firearm
  • Commits sexual assault

Home invasion is one of the few Class X felonies in Illinois. Class X felonies are punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Get the Legal Support You Need

If you or a loved one were charged with theft, burglary, or shoplifting, contact Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law. Call 630-260-9647 for a free, confidential consultation today. We serve clients in Wheaton, Naperville, Aurora, Downers Grove, Carol Stream, Lombard, Elgin, Kane County, and across the Chicago area.

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