When you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, life can change in an instant. In the case of shoplifting, it is a much more serious crime than what many may see it as. It is a crime that can result in jail time and a mark on your permanent record.
A person convicted of shoplifting may have difficulty finding employment, keeping their existing job, obtaining credit, keeping their professional license, and even finding a place to live. Much of this is especially true for those who are training to become a professional or are currently practicing. Some professions will not permit someone being convicted of shoplifting to hold a certification. In fact, there are many professions, especially those involving the handling of money that will not permit someone to have a single mark on their criminal record.
If you have been accused of shoplifting, then you need a Mesa shoplifting lawyer who has experience helping individuals combat the charges. It is possible to have the charges reduced or dismissed so you can move forward with your life.
Keeping Shoplifting Off Your Record
The first thing that you need to do is seek the assistance of a Mesa criminal defense attorney to defend you against the charges. Do not plead guilty until you have become aware of your rights and options. Even if you are guilty of the crime, there are ways to keep the offense off of your criminal record. Explaining to authorities why the crime was committed or why it wasn’t is not going to help the case since anything that you say can be held against you. A plea of guilty can guarantee the mark on your record.
Avoid The Consequences Of Shoplifting
If convicted of shoplifting and the value of the item was more than $2,000, the shoplifting was to promote another criminal act, assist a street gang, or the property was taken during another criminal act, then the charge is a class five felony. A first offense is punishable by probation with either no time served in jail or one year in jail. This could also result in a prison sentence of six months to 2 ½ years. If the person has a prior felony conviction, then the prison time can be one to 3 ¾ years in prison. If there are two prior felony convictions, then the time in prison may be 3 years to 7 ½ years.
Overall, the penalties are based on the amount of the item stolen, the number of previous offenses, and if there were any devices used in the commission of the crime. Your attorney will work with you toward avoiding the consequences or as many of the consequences as possible.
Contact A Mesa Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of shoplifting, don’t dismiss it as a minor charge. A conviction will result in a criminal conviction that can cause you difficulty getting a job, finding a place to live, and much more. It is best to seek the representation of a highly experienced attorney who knows how to get results. Call Myles A. Schneider & Associates, LTD. Call today at 602-926-7373 for a free consultation.