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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4492
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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my friend just got caught at Macys store with lest then $150

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my friend just got caught at Macy's store with lest then $150 worth of merchandise. Her criminal record is clean. I picked her up from police station and she will have to appear at court in December. Is it consider as felony or just misdemeanor? What should she expect at court? It is Illinois, cook county.Thanks

This is the law:

(720 ILCS 5/16A-10) (from Ch. 38, par. 16A-10)
Sec. 16A-10. Sentence.
(1) Retail theft of property, the full retail value of which does not exceed $300, is a Class A misdemeanor. Theft by emergency exit of property, the full retail value of which does not exceed $300, is a Class 4 felony.

It is punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $2500 fine. For a first offense, it is likely that she would get probation, a fine, and/or community service. Her county may also have a diversion program, where if she completes the program successfully, the charge will be dismissed, keeping the conviction off of her record.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
would she need to hire a lawyer (she might have someone but it would cost and money is tight)? or is it just like appearing at court for driving over the speed limit just bit more serious.
It's similar but definitely more serious because it carries jail time, although it is unlikely as a first offender she'd get any. She may want to contact the public defender's office to see if she qualifies for a free or reduced cost lawyer. If she doesn't, she can choose to either hire a lawyer or go to court and see what the prosecutor is offering to plead guilty. If she doesn't like the offer, she can then ask for a postponement to get a lawyer. It's up to her how she wants to proceed.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
1 - Just in case...what would be the cost of hiring a lawyer in case she won't qualify for free defender through public defender's office, and decide to hire one?
2 - she is foreigner with "green card" and her english is not perfect so can she have her husband to be with her at court as a translator?
3 - is deportation something she should be worried about? as i said her record is abslutely clean.
The cost varies from lawyer to lawyer and region to region, so someone would have to call around for her to criminal lawyers and find out what their fees are. Most will do a case like this for a flat fee.

Her husband can't act as a translator. Someone should let the court know about her English issues and they can order a court-certified translator for her court date to assist her.

I'm not an immigration lawyer, but it's my understanding that if the probation is less than a year, they will not deport her. But I am a criminal lawyer, not an immigration lawyer, so she will want to discuss the ramifications of a conviction with her lawyer.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Does it have to do anything with the credit history on SSN?
I don't know what you mean.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Will this criminal record affect on her credit history?
It shouldn't.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
one more question... they found a scissors in her hand bag. How does it affect on this case?
It shouldn't affect it at all. It's not illegal to carry scissors in your purse unless you are on an airplane or using them as a weapon.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
If she signed the papers in Macy's that she did steal and she agreed to pay the penalty $500 for Macy's, can she say at court she was not sure what she was signing?
The civil penalty is separate from the criminal case, although the paper can be used as evidence in the criminal case. It would only matter if she were pleading not guilty later. But the amount she already agreed to pay has nothing to do with the case and she would have to go to civil court on that to get out of paying it.
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