When it comes to shoplifting, you probably have an understanding that anything can be shoplifted and be called a theft. Perhaps you stole a pack of gum, or a pair of shoes. Shoplifting laws vary from state to state and you wonder what penalties you will receive for your actions. Because these laws can be vastly complicated, it is important to speak to an attorney about your case before you move forward. Some questions you may have for them is as follows: What is the value of the items you stole? Were you intoxicated when you shoplifted? Were there others involved in your plan to steal items? Were you caught on a type of recording device? What is your criminal history on these matters?
First Time Theft Offense
Even if you stole was small or only worth a couple of dollars – even if this is your first time offense – you can still be charged with a felony for theft. Depending on what happened during the time the theft was executed, you may not be offered the same plea bargain as somebody who did not commit as harsh of a crime. For instance, what if you stole a necklace while a child was accompanying you? You may be charged more harshly than those who only stole the pack of gum. It really depends on the circumstances and what the judge believes is the best course of action in your case. The merchant may also decide to drop your charges or the state may decide that it is better for you to become involved in a pretrial diversion program.
If you have completed community service for your crimes as well as paid the necessary fines, it may be decided that the charges against you will be dropped. However, despite this fact, the incident could still remain in your criminal history. If you then receive a second theft charge somewhere down the road, you may not have a chance to participate in one of these programs again. This is why you should always take your chance to make things right after the first offense. Call us today if you want more information on how we can help you if you have committed a shoplifting crime and need our help.