Retail Theft Lake County
The criminal defense attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. represent clients throughout Lake County on charges of retail theft (sometimes referred to as shoplifting). Allegations of retail theft, both misdemeanor and felony, are prosecuted in the main court complex located in Waukegan, Illinois. The majority of these matters are prosecuted as misdemeanor offenses, but felony retail thefts are also seen with frequency in the various felony courtrooms in Waukegan Courthouse. There are multiple misdemeanor courtrooms within this courthouse, primarily on the fourth floor of the building, where retail theft/shoplifting cases are heard.
When Retail Theft charges are brought as local or village ordinance violations, these cases will then be prosecuted in the various branch courts located throughout Lake County, which include Park City Courthouse, Mundelein Courthouse, and Round Lake Beach Courthouse. A local ordinance violation is preferred to a State charge because the risk of jail is eliminated when the offense is charged in this manner. The local police officers throughout Lake County have the discretion to charge Retail Theft allegations as true misdemeanor offenses, by charging suspected offenders under the Illinois Criminal Code. When this happens, Retail Theft is charged as a Class A Misdemeanor and the maximum penalties under this classification is a $2,500.00 fine plus court costs, and a maximum of 364 days in the Lake County Jail. Penalties for retail theft ordinance violations generally involve community service and a fine.
There are a tremendous number of retail establishments throughout Lake County and whenever a theft occurs, the local police departments may be notified to make an arrest on scene. Larger chain stores (i.e. Kohl’s) normally have a Loss Prevention Department that employs agents who become a necessary witness in the prosecution of this charge. The Arresting Officers rarely witness the alleged crime itself and generally receive details from the Loss Prevention Agents and/or store employees.
Often, there is video surveillance of the alleged crime. As your defense attorneys, we subpoena this evidence to aid us in determining whether or not a case is appropriate for a trial, or if it is better suited for a negotiated plea disposition. In other instances, the testimony of the Loss Prevention Agent and/or store employee is the primary evidence used by the State to prosecute these charges. Sometimes, the loss prevention agent or store employee does not appear in court for trial. When this happens, we object to any further continuances and, often, judges are unwilling to grant the State’s continuance, which may result in a dismissal.
The retail theft defense attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. have years of experience practicing in the Waukegan courthouse and the affiliated branch courts and are familiar with the local procedures, prosecutors, Assistant State’s Attorneys, Clerks of the Circuit Court, and the Judges that preside throughout Lake County. Contact us if you require legal assistance for an ordinance violation, misdemeanor charge, or felony allegation of Retail Theft in any of the courthouses throughout Lake County including Waukegan, Park City, Mundelein, and Round Lake Beach.