man shopliftingThis is the next post in my series on the handling of various misdemeanor offenses in Peoria, Illinois. My last article discussed the handling of misdemeanor drug charges in our state. It is important to understand that such offenses still carry for the potential of jail time, can leave an accused individual with a permanent criminal record, and can make passing a background check more difficult. It is also important to understand that you may have options when it comes to defending such matters. It is, therefore, suggested that you discuss your situation with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. In this article I will discuss what to expect when dealing with petty theft charges. If you find yourself facing such a situation then contact my office today to speak with an attorney

Petty theft occurs in our state when one steals money or property with a value of $500 or less. The offense is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Also, the permanent record resulting from a conviction can be quite damaging. Theft related crimes can make it difficult to gain employment in fields where one is expected to be trustworthy. Career paths which involve the handling of money, the handling of sensitive information, or otherwise require an employer to trust the worker, may be closed off to someone who is convicted of petty theft. These are just some of the reasons why a defendant should recognize the gravity of their situation.

Petty theft can stem from a variety of contexts. This can include stealing property from a store, stealing something from one’s work, taking something from someone on the street, etc. The strategy employed in defending against any charges will be based on the specifics of a given situation. A defendant may be able to claim that they, in fact, did not steal the property. If property or money was discovered on their person or in their home, by law enforcement, then a defendant may be able to claim search and seizure issues. There are several other circumstances which could give rise to a possible defense. The key thing to remember in all of these circumstances, however, is that the rules of evidence are complicated and proving your case before a judge can be difficult without a skilled lawyer.

Contact my office today if you or a loved one have been charged with petty theft. I am a former prosecutor and am familiar with the processes used in our local court systems. I understand that you are facing a serious situation and my office will give your matter the attention it deserves. Call today to speak with a Peoria defense lawyer. I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. I also handle federal cases in Urbana.