THE PROSECUTOR’S POWER TO IGNORE:
HOW FELONY RETAIL THEFT TURNED INTO A MISDEMEANOR IN COOK COUNTY ONLY****Attention Shoppers: As of December 11, 2016, if you are lucky enough to catch a retail theft under $1K in value (even with prior credit), you will be the happy winner of misdemeanor charges redeemable through Kim Foxx and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. ****(Offer valid only throughout Chicago & the Cook County area. Prosecutorial discretion applies, prior credit of 10 or more ineligible to redeem). In December of 2016, Kim Foxx, then freshly elected Cook County State’s Attorney, announced a new policy on charging Retail Theft Offenses. The specific policy guidelines direct:
- Retail Thefts should be charged as misdemeanors, unless: o Value of stolen goods exceeds $1K; or o Defendant has 10 prior felony convictions • Prosecutors retain discretion to review cases & take appropriate action on a case by case basis.
- Retail Theft under $300- 1st Offense- cl. A misdemeanor;
- Retail Theft under $300-Prior conviction- Cl. 4 felony;
- Retail Theft over $300-Cl. 3 felony.
- Wisconsin: >$500 and does not consider prior convictions, only value.
- Indiana: >$750 or the person has a prior retail theft conviction.
- Michigan: >$1K or $200 if you have a prior retail theft conviction.
- Iowa: >$1K and does not consider priors for felony enhancement purposes.