Shoplifting is one of several theft crimes. The legal team at DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder is very experienced in defending individuals who have been charged with this crime. Some cases of shoplifting can be the result of a one-time, spur-of-the-moment bad decision, or a person could face charges after absentmindedly leave a store without paying, inadvertently. Whatever the scenario, if you are arrested for shoplifting, you should consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. The consequences of a conviction, even on a misdemeanor charge, can have a significant impact on your future opportunities.
The value of the item that was shoplifted will have a bearing on the penalty if you are convicted. For a value up to $500, you could get up to 6 months in jail with possible fines up to $1000. This level of theft would generally be a misdemeanor. As the value of the goods increases, the crime will be filed as a felony; sentences could be from 6 months to 10 years in prison with fines from $2500 up to $20,000. There are additional circumstances that could result in stiffer punishments, such as stealing from an elderly person, stealing a firearm, or if drugs were involved in the crime, as well as increased penalties for those with an extensive criminal record.
If this was a first-time offense, there is a chance you could avoid jail and get probation, or a diversion program. This usually applies in low-level theft cases, cases involving juveniles, and when the offender has no prior criminal history. If the court feels you can be reformed by these means, it is considered a much better solution, and less costly to everyone.
Many people think of shoplifting as a minor crime, and while this has some truth, this is still a criminal charge with all of the ramifications. If you are convicted, your criminal record will be an unwanted obstacle in your future. It can reduce your employment opportunities, and greatly hinder your ability to get quality employment. Don't face these charges alone. We have the skills to aggressively defend you, maximizing your chances of having the charges dismissed, achieving an acquittal in court, or facing far lesser penalties. Contact us to learn how we can help.