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How Is A Theft Charge Usually Handled By The Prosecution?


Usually, for misdemeanor charges for a first time offense, the prosecutor will consider giving the person court supervision, and give them a period of time to stay out of trouble, along with an order that the person stay out of that store and make restitution up front. A person will usually not get jail time on the first offense, although for a repeat offender, it’s a jail-able offense because they will figure they didn’t get the message the first time.

People don’t want their things stolen because it raises prices for everyone else, to pay for security people, security cameras and damaged goods, and the thief is was making this happen for everyone and they have to pay the price. The person should always have their case negotiated as best as they can. The prosecutor will try to make sure his people were happy and that the people were protected so that it did not happen again, so a repeat offender can expect the punishments to increase very rapidly, which is why the second offense turns into a felony.

What Could Help Someone Who Was Facing Theft Charges?

It helps if the person has no prior offenses and if there was some sort of necessity that might raise itself to a little bit of mitigation, such as the person is absolutely destitute and needed the medication they stole from the grocery store’s pharmacy. That’s the kind of mitigation that is right, although if the person had taken it just to go sell it somewhere else to get drugs, no one will feel bad for them. There is no such thing as a necessity defense per se, but everyone will take into consideration the fact of aggravation or mitigation in any crime regarding whether there was something that tended to excuse that person’s behavior.

The excuse that someone really had to steal some food because someone was close to dying may work once, but not week in-week out. After a while even the authorities who understood the person was destitute would note that there are other places like shelters and food pantries to get food. Usually, no one can justify a necessity defense.

What Could Help Lessen Damage From Theft Charges?

As far as making things better, the person’s lack of a record, making sure that whatever goods they stole were returned undamaged or that restitution was paid would go a long way because the state’s attorney can satisfy the people of the state of Illinois that the thieves were dealt with. The people from the store may agree that although they got back all of their product and they were not out any money, they still wanted the person prosecuted to set an example. In this case there won’t be any restitution due, which always makes it easier to resolve a case.

If there was a lot of restitution due and the people got their money or their possessions back, they may want more than a pound of flesh from the person, so they will tell the state’s attorney not to give that person a break because they don’t deserve one because of their bad attitude; a person’s attitude is always important in any case.

How Can Someone Help Their Theft Case?

The first thing the person should do is make sure not to talk to anyone at all; if asked about anything, they should immediately invoke their right to talk to an attorney and make no further statements. Everyone has a right to remain silent and not incriminate themselves and I strongly advise people to exercise that right; the minute they started talking, they will probably put their foot in their mouth and the police or DA may be able to twist and turn what they said into statements the person had not actually made and there will be nothing to twist if they made no statements.

The first step when talking with anybody in a theft situation, is always to be polite but insist on not making any statements without their attorney being present, ever.

For more information on Helping Your Theft Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (847) 244-4636 today.

Barry Boches, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free phone consultation (847) 244-4636.

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