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Gurnee Theft Lawyer

Theft Defense Attorneys in Illinois

Theft is often an act of desperation rather than malice. In classic literature and films, a protagonist may be portrayed as something of an ethical thief, such as Robin Hood, who steals from the rich to provide for the poor. Of course, in modern times, theft is often far more complicated. There are myriad reasons why people steal today. Some may be struggling with addiction, or they may have lost their jobs and need a way to support themselves or their families. Others may commit theft while participating in some form of organized crime, be it a street gang or a sophisticated shoplifting ring. Regardless of the circumstances of a case, courts will take criminal charges of theft seriously. If you are caught knowingly taking something that does not belong to you without permission or without a clear intent to return it, you will likely be prosecuted.

Brady Cole Trial Lawyers are here to build your best possible defense, no matter the circumstances. We are skilled at designing strong defenses to any type of theft charges. Our goal is to achieve the best outcome possible in your case, whether that means having felony charges reduced to misdemeanors through a plea bargain or fighting for an acquittal at trial. We will do what is right for you.

Gurnee Theft Attorney

Misdemeanor Theft

Misdemeanor theft generally means the item or items stolen were less valuable, and there were no secondary violations or acts that would enhance the charges, such as assaulting a victim of theft or brandishing a weapon.

However, misdemeanor theft can still leave a black mark on your criminal record that could lead to judicial consequences like jail time or probation, as well as what are called "collateral consequences." You may find that potential future employers do not trust you or that it is more difficult to get into an educational program. We will strive to minimize the impact of your arrest.

Felony Theft

Being charged with felony theft usually means that the value of the items stolen exceeds a certain value. In Wisconsin, that limit is $2,500. However, if you live in Illinois, that limit is a mere $500. It is quite easy to exceed that limit. Consider the example of snatching an unattended purse. While it may seem that a purse and its contents should not be worth more than a few hundred dollars, many purses alone are worth that amount even before considering the value of their contents. You may also be charged with a felony if there are aggravating circumstances, such as using a weapon or breaking into a home.

As you can see, it is fairly easy to find yourself charged with a felony over what you initially thought would be a rather minor offense. In many cases, we are able to see charges reduced by plea bargaining in order to minimize the potential consequences, but fighting for acquittal at trial may also be a good option in some cases.

Theft of a Vehicle

In nearly all cases, stealing a vehicle is a felony. Vehicle theft has become a very significant and ubiquitous problem in recent years. It makes sense - vehicles are generally worth thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. Having a vehicle stolen and being unable to replace it can place significant hardship on the victim. Courts do not take vehicle theft lightly, especially in cases where there is an element of organized crime. If you have been accused of stealing a vehicle, it is important to act quickly by contacting a lawyer immediately.

Retail Theft or Shoplifting

Shoplifting is commonly seen as one of the most minor forms of theft, given that the victim is usually a large corporation. Unfortunately, the law disagrees. In Illinois, retail theft of over $300 is a felony. In Wisconsin, you are more likely to face misdemeanor charges, but shoplifting is still taken seriously and can impact your future prospects. We will do everything we can to offer you the best defense possible.

Contact a Lake County Theft Attorney

If you are facing theft charges in the Kenosha or Waukegan areas, Brady Cole Trial Lawyers can offer you top-quality representation. Our experienced attorneys are skilled in building strong defenses. Contact us today at 847-752-9639 for a free consultation.

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