Shoplifting is the Most Common Property Crime in California
It’s true… Theft and shoplifting are the most commonly prosecuted property crimes in California. Whether you left a store and forgot to pay for something or even if you had a lapse in judgment and took something for the thrill and excitement of “getting away with it,” I can help.
Let’s face it, we’ve all done things we later regret. In these unique and financially trying times, when money is tight, family needs can sometimes push you to do things you normally would never consider. Or, like many of my clients, maybe you just acted on a crazy impulse. It happens! After the fact it is easy to recognize that what you did was wrong. Unfortunately, if you don’t have an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney on your side, the store, the police, the prosecutor and the court will never have a chance to hear your side of the story; or temper the fury and the wrath that the system is preparing to bring down on you.
The Short & Long Term Effects of a Shoplifting Conviction
The Consequences of Shoplifting – of even one dollar can result in:
- You going to Jail
- A Permanent Criminal Record (bad news)
- Get you fired from your current job
- Prevent you for obtaining a new job
- Increase your home and auto insurance rates
- Require you to perform community service
- Require a stiff civil penalty to be paid
- Require you to attend special classes (at your expense)
- Travel Restrictions: Entry to certain foreign countries denied
- Deportation – If you are not a citizen
- Inadmissible for US visa, permanent resident status in United States
If you did not get into a physical altercation with a store employee or loss-prevention agent you are typically looking at a misdemeanor. Similarly, if the value of the merchandise you were accused of stealing was not all that much and there was no reason to charge you with a felony, it is likely that your Shoplifting case will be charged as a misdemeanor and handled in municipal court. Although most shoplifting cases are misdemeanors and not felonies, the truth is that a misdemeanor conviction is still serious and results in a criminal record and will effect your employment prospects, state licensing, foreign travel, student loans, federal loans, insurance costs, immigration and more.
How to Lessen the Consequences of a Shoplifting Charge
If you have been charged with shoplifting and do not want to deal with the negative consequences of a conviction, then you need to hire an attorney experienced in defending shoplifting.
The honest truth is that shoplifting is one of the more defensible offenses in California. Unfortunately, individuals too often make the critical mistake of simply pleading guilty when the fact is that there was an extraordinarily good chance that with my help we would have obtained a dismissal and/or downgrade of the charge. The facts are that I am able to reach this type of outcome in an extremely high percentage of cases thereby allowing my clients to avoid the cost, embarrassment, and other problems associated with a shoplifting / theft conviction.
Just because you are facing shoplifting or theft charges, that doesn’t mean that you deserve to be be punished harshly and treated like a hardened criminal.
Read: “Downgrading or Dismissal of Shoplifting Charges”
If you or a loved one was arrested for shoplifting, I am here to help. I am Los Angeles County Criminal Defense Attorney Nicholas Rosenberg. Call me (818) 404-3363.