Theft Crime Lawyer in New York
Theft is sometimes referred to as larceny. Basically, theft is taking something from someone to keep it from them for a while or even forever. However, the severity of punishment depends on what you've stolen and the state in which you commit the crime. For instance, a person that steals good worth below $950 in a cloth shop may be charged less than the person who takes jewelry worth more than $950. Our Theft Crime Lawyer in New York can provide you with a solid criminal defense by using their wide knowledge in handling theft cases in NYC. All you should do is to call us and we will stand up for your rights!!!
What is petty theft and shoplifting?
Often, petty theft and shoplifting are thought interchangeably. Well, it's understandable bearing the two has two common elements. First, the two crimes involve perpetrators taking something with a minimum value of $950. Secondly, if one takes the good with the intention of keeping it from the owner, then the two terms describe the act. In fact, shoplifting and petty theft New York means the same thing. However, most other states define shoplifting as; knowingly taking possession from a retail shop without the seller's consent and without paying the purchase price.
Petty theft, on the other hand, involves a person who is lawfully in the premises where they intend to take or steal something. For instance, when an employee intentionally takes some money from the employee. Although the two crimes sound relatively minor, they can hugely affect your future, including getting a job. Moreover, if you've been charged before with petty theft, you could be exposed to severe penalties. It is therefore essential to contact your lawyer as early as the defender makes charges.
Examples of petty theft
Although petty theft is commonly referred to taking something and putting it in the pocket or purse without the seller's consent, it might also involve the following;
- Switching price tags on merchandise items
- Eating in food joint and failing to pay
- Watching a film in a theater without paying for it
- Putting a more valuable item in less costly packaging. For instance, if you empty a box from a more valuable box and put it in a package with a lower price tag.
People don't consider the above four situations as theft. However, ignorance of the law doesn't mean you won't be charged with it if you commit any of the crimes.
Can you defend yourself from petty theft?
Defenses to petty theft may include;
False accusation: issues of mistaken identity as well as falsely charge might save you from the claws of the law.
Lack of intent: petty theft involves taking something from someone with the plan to keep it from them. However, if you dint intend to take it, you can use a lack of intent as a defense.
Duress: This is another form of defending yourself, and it applies when someone else false you to steal at gunpoint or under threat of harm.
Evidence issues: the prosecutor must obtain evidence through the proper channels such as acquiring a search warrant. Otherwise, you can use it to defend yourself, and this could hugely affect the case outcome.
There is more defense that could apply depending on the situation of crime and state. Furthermore, it is the duty of the lawyer you hire to find the ideal defense.
Should you hire a lawyer for a petty theft case?
The term petty theft is often misleading. However, its consequences are not insignificant. In fact, it will be challenging to defend yourself, and you, therefore, need to hire a lawyer who understands the law and is experienced in delivering quality services regarding petty theft defense.
Furthermore, having a lawyer is your best chance of winning the case or preventing the incident from escalating. Moreover, hiring a lawyer as soon as the charges are made presents the lawyer the chance to solve the case outside court. Lawyers ensure that an honest person who made a silly mistake doesn't ruin their future over petty issues by addressing the matter outside court.
Can you settle petty theft outside the court?
Yes. Well, when the loss prevention officer finds you with an item in your bag that you haven't paid for, they give you a ticket. You are then supposed to carry the ticket to a police station as soon as possible. On the other hand, the store owner or LPO might file the case. But, if you hire a lawyer before the case is filed, you can resolve the issue outside the court.
Ideally, the attorney will help you to reach a civil compromise, out-of-court or help you access the diversion program. Essentially, the lawyer's goal is to ensure the case is dismissed before it ruins your record.
What should you do when a store security officer approaches you?
The store security officer, also known as LPO has no power to arrest you. However, they might detain you if they suspect you of shoplifting. Nonetheless, they can't force you to open your bag to search but can hold you until a police officer arrives to search your bag.
It is essential, however, to keep your calm and silence when you're accused of shoplifting. Instead, follow their instructions and avoid talking until you speak to a lawyer. Another thing you can do to show your cooperation is giving your name and identification document.
The advantage of calling your lawyer is that he/she can negotiate with the store on your behalf before the police arrive.
What evidence can the prosecutor use against you?
A case becomes tangible when the prosecutor has enough evidence. However, a good lawyer should explore all possible gaps and find a concrete defense. Nonetheless, here are the things the prosecutor must provide or prove to build a concrete case against you.
- That you took something that belongs to someone else
- That you took the item without the owner’s consent
- That you intended to keep the property from its owner
- That you moved the item from one position to another and held it for a period
Should I plead guilty?
Unless there is no alternative to a criminal conviction, pleading guilty is not an ideal option.
Can I be charged with shoplifting if I never left the shop with the merchandise?
Yes. Considering that shoplifting is taking something without the consent of the seller, you may be charged. However, a loss prevention officer must have discovered that you took something from the store, for them to charge you.
Can petty theft charges be dropped?
Yes. If the accuser decides to drop the charges, then the case won't proceed to court. However, you might have to undergo a civil compromise.
Is petty theft an infraction or a misdemeanor?
Petty theft is a misdemeanor and not a felony, at least in most countries. In other words, petty theft is stealing items with a maximum value of $950. Penalties for a misdemeanor are less harsh as compared to felony penalties. However, a misdemeanor can be reduced into infraction whereby the charges are further reduced.
If I’m arrested, will I go to jail?
Petty theft cases don't escalate to the point of getting jailed. In fact, the police may not be involved, but you'll be handed a ticket. So, immediately, you're handed the ticket, call us or look through our directory to find your ideal lawyer.
Although there are multiple defense options following a petty theft case, it’s best to resolve the issue before the lawsuit is filed. In fact, you can work with any lawyer at this stage. However, if things escalate, you need an experienced attorney. It is important to note that returning the item might not save you from getting theft charges.
Our theft lawyers in New York, USA can provide you with a solid criminal defense by using their wide knowledge in handling theft cases. We are all about standing up for your rights!!! Our telephone: +(1) 347-763-93-96 or you may attend our office our office at 464 Ocean parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11218.