A theft charge in Illinois is usually a misdemeanor offense when the amount of goods is less than $300. In one woman’s case, however, her theft charge over some pillowcases turned into a felony because of her history of convictions. At Richard F. Blass & Associates LLC., we understand how important it is for you to prevent a charge from becoming a guilty verdict. While you have the legal right to defend yourself, entering into a plea agreement does not always result in punishment that requires a lengthy jail sentence.

The 49-year-old woman faced allegations of stealing some pillowcases from Walmart. According to the Journal Gazette/Times-Courier, the defendant received a four-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to the charge of retail theft. She entered her plea, however, without first making an agreement. This may result in a longer sentence.

Retail theft may seem like a minor offense with less than one year of jail time, but with prior misdemeanor convictions, prosecutors might find a way to elevate a new charge up to a felony offense. Generally, a subsequent theft offense for goods valued at less than $300 could result in a Class 4 felony charge in Illinois. A conviction of a Class 4 felony theft may result in paying a $25,000 fine and serving a sentence in prison of up to three years.

Since this is not her first offense and she pleaded guilty without a legal agreement, the woman found herself sentenced to four years imprisonment. Allegedly, another woman attempted to return the stolen goods back to Walmart for a cash refund and received a sentence of probation.

Our page on theft charge defense provides more information on your rights in DuPage County.