Many of the State’s Attorneys have been adding burglary charges a Class 2 felony, punishable by 3-7 years, to every misdemeanor retail theft by charging that these shoplifters were entering or remaining in the store to commit a theft and were thus committing a burglary. Fortunately, the Appellate Court applies some common sense which will hopefully curtail this practice.
In the case of People v. McDaniel, 2012 IL. App (5th) 100575, Court agreed with the Defendant that the legislature should decide how crimes are to be punished and every retail theft should not become a burglary.
Prosecutors should charge offense fairly and not with an intent to overly punish those who commit misdemeanor offense