Shoplifting (or “petty theft”) is one of the most frequent crimes people ask me about.
The story is usually one of these two: My (son, daughter, husband, friend) was arrested for shoplifting. They’ve never even had so much as a traffic ticket and now they’re facing criminal charges. Or – I’ve been accused of stealing from my employer and now the police are involved. What do I do?
If charges have already been filed, somebody thinks there’s enough evidence to prosecute the case. I can represent you in court and challenge every aspect of the case against you. Any theft charge has a specific intent requirement that the prosecution must be able to show. They must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that at the time the property was taken, you had the specific intent to “permanently deprive” the owner of the property of their stuff. If they cannot show that intent, the case must be dismissed. Over the years, I have seen many cases where the “proof” of that intent is just plain lacking. The case should never have been filed in the first place.
If you have been accused of any form of theft – embezzlement from your employer, theft of retail property or white collar crimes, the police are working on building a case against you. With legal representation, you can protect your Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. Before responding to any request to discuss the incident with you, contact me for advice. If you make any statements that admit guilt or fault, those statements will be used against you.
Theft charges can have lasting consequences. Contact me if I can help in any way. There are often things we can do to keep this from becoming a conviction on your record. The only way to know what we can do about your case is to discuss it. There’s never a charge for an initial consultation.