Beverly Hills Shoplifting Lawyer

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Shoplifting may sound like a minor charge. And it is classified as a misdemeanor. But the penalties can still be serious.

Shoplifting means you’ve gone into a commercial establishment during open hours intending to take property without paying for it. It covers amounts up to $950. Stealing more than $950  transforms a misdemeanor shoplifting charge into a felony Grand Larceny charge.

It’s easier to get accused of shoplifting than you think. Many innocent people have been accused of this crime because of they:

  • Were tired and distracted, and so put a small item into their bag by mistake.
  • Forgot to hand something to the cashier, or put it on the belt.
  • Made a mistake with the self-checkout machine.
  • Were victims of store employees who thought they did something that “looked suspicious.”

Unintentionally taking property without paying for it is not shoplifting. The crime must have the intent to be a crime. But intent can be hard to determine. Often, law enforcement officers will make an arrest and let the court system sort out whether the defendant is guilty of a crime or not. Sometimes they’ll do it even if they can’t find any property on your person, by claiming you simply disposed of the property somehow.

Of course, simply saying, “I didn’t mean to” isn’t much of a defense. It takes a solid legal defense from an experienced criminal defense attorney to prove you made a mistake.

For example, it is possible to get charged with shoplifting even if you paid for other items. Hiding more expensive items inside of less expensive items is a common theft tactic. Price label switching–the practice of swapping a higher price tag for a lower one–is another common tactic. Thus proving no intent exists takes more finesse than simply pointing to a receipt.

Retailers are aggressive about pursuing shoplifters. They lose billions of dollars every year to people who commit this crime.

Penalties For Shoplifting

In Beverly Hills, the penalty for shoplifting is up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1000. If you have certain prior offenses on your record the shoplifting can be punished as a felony. These prior offenses include homicide and any sex crime which required you to register with the sex offender database.

The judge may also order you to pay restitution. Usually, this means repaying the value of the item you stole. Under certain circumstances, the judge may order you to pay more.

A conviction can have other, far-reaching consequences. It can be difficult to secure a job or to find housing after a shoplifting charge. But there’s hope.

Civil Compromises for Shoplifting

If this is your first shoplifting offense a good defense attorney may be able to talk the judge into granting you a civil compromise. The prosecutor must also agree to the civil compromise.

In shoplifting cases, this would mean paying the store for the item that you allegedly took. Agreeing to do so, and then doing it, would help you avoid being convicted of a crime.

Always consult with your Beverly Hills criminal lawyer before paying the retailer anything. Retailers will begin demanding money long before you’re convicted of anything at all. The law allows them to do so without waiting to see if you’re guilty.

If you pay them it can look like an admission of guilt, and it can close the civil compromise option because you’ve already paid the store. They can even start demanding up to $500 if you returned the property to them. And they don’t have to pay you back even if the case is dismissed. Even if you fear they’ll forward this demand to collections, paying is rarely advantageous to you.

Sometimes fighting back is all it takes.

You may not be innocent, of course. 1 in 10 Americans shoplifts every year. But guilty shoplifters have rights too. And if the prosecution doesn’t do its job well, you could be acquitted or see your case dismissed just as an innocent person would. We’re not advocating that you go out and commit crimes, of course.

Did you know retailers rarely even send a representative to shoplifting trials? When this happens we can often make a case that the prosecution lacks evidence. If the judge rules in our favor, the charges get dismissed.

If the trial does proceed, we can often prove that you attempted to pay, prove that you were misidentified, or show the prosecution can’t prove you took any items in the first place.

If that doesn’t work, we have also been successful at pursuing alternative resolutions. Alternative resolution lets you have the charge dismissed if you meet certain conditions set by the court.

A private criminal defense attorney offers your best chance.

It may be tempting to fall back on public defenders. But the vast majority of public defender cases are resolved through plea bargaining. A plea bargain will require you to plead guilty to something and to accept punishment for it. It may successfully keep you out of jail, but it may leave black marks on your record that will show up in background checks.

Public defenders don’t do this because they’re bad people or bad lawyers. They do it because their caseloads are too heavy to do anything else in most cases. Most of the time, they don’t have time to do more than quickly read the facts of the case as presented. That’s a far cry from a private defense lawyer who can carefully and thoughtfully review the facts of a case while developing a solid case strategy. We have the time and resources to be vigorous advocates for you.

In most cases, you can’t afford to go without private representation. At Greco Neyland, we work with you on payments if necessary.

If you’ve been charged with shoplifting it’s time to get help.

Contact Greco Neyland today. We can help you protect your freedom and reputation. Just call (213) 984-2300 for your free consultation.

Beverly Hills Shoplifting Lawyer

inne-rpage-seperator

Shoplifting may sound like a minor charge. And it is classified as a misdemeanor. But the penalties can still be serious.

Shoplifting means you’ve gone into a commercial establishment during open hours intending to take property without paying for it. It covers amounts up to $950. Stealing more than $950  transforms a misdemeanor shoplifting charge into a felony Grand Larceny charge.

It’s easier to get accused of shoplifting than you think. Many innocent people have been accused of this crime because of they:

  • Were tired and distracted, and so put a small item into their bag by mistake.
  • Forgot to hand something to the cashier, or put it on the belt.
  • Made a mistake with the self-checkout machine.
  • Were victims of store employees who thought they did something that “looked suspicious.”

Unintentionally taking property without paying for it is not shoplifting. The crime must have the intent to be a crime. But intent can be hard to determine. Often, law enforcement officers will make an arrest and let the court system sort out whether the defendant is guilty of a crime or not. Sometimes they’ll do it even if they can’t find any property on your person, by claiming you simply disposed of the property somehow.

Of course, simply saying, “I didn’t mean to” isn’t much of a defense. It takes a solid legal defense from an experienced criminal defense attorney to prove you made a mistake.

For example, it is possible to get charged with shoplifting even if you paid for other items. Hiding more expensive items inside of less expensive items is a common theft tactic. Price label switching–the practice of swapping a higher price tag for a lower one–is another common tactic. Thus proving no intent exists takes more finesse than simply pointing to a receipt.

Retailers are aggressive about pursuing shoplifters. They lose billions of dollars every year to people who commit this crime.

Penalties For Shoplifting

In Beverly Hills, the penalty for shoplifting is up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1000. If you have certain prior offenses on your record the shoplifting can be punished as a felony. These prior offenses include homicide and any sex crime which required you to register with the sex offender database.

The judge may also order you to pay restitution. Usually, this means repaying the value of the item you stole. Under certain circumstances, the judge may order you to pay more.

A conviction can have other, far-reaching consequences. It can be difficult to secure a job or to find housing after a shoplifting charge. But there’s hope.

Civil Compromises for Shoplifting

If this is your first shoplifting offense a good defense attorney may be able to talk the judge into granting you a civil compromise. The prosecutor must also agree to the civil compromise.

In shoplifting cases, this would mean paying the store for the item that you allegedly took. Agreeing to do so, and then doing it, would help you avoid being convicted of a crime.

Always consult with your Beverly Hills criminal lawyer before paying the retailer anything. Retailers will begin demanding money long before you’re convicted of anything at all. The law allows them to do so without waiting to see if you’re guilty.

If you pay them it can look like an admission of guilt, and it can close the civil compromise option because you’ve already paid the store. They can even start demanding up to $500 if you returned the property to them. And they don’t have to pay you back even if the case is dismissed. Even if you fear they’ll forward this demand to collections, paying is rarely advantageous to you.

Sometimes fighting back is all it takes.

You may not be innocent, of course. 1 in 10 Americans shoplifts every year. But guilty shoplifters have rights too. And if the prosecution doesn’t do its job well, you could be acquitted or see your case dismissed just as an innocent person would. We’re not advocating that you go out and commit crimes, of course.

Did you know retailers rarely even send a representative to shoplifting trials? When this happens we can often make a case that the prosecution lacks evidence. If the judge rules in our favor, the charges get dismissed.

If the trial does proceed, we can often prove that you attempted to pay, prove that you were misidentified, or show the prosecution can’t prove you took any items in the first place.

If that doesn’t work, we have also been successful at pursuing alternative resolutions. Alternative resolution lets you have the charge dismissed if you meet certain conditions set by the court.

A private criminal defense attorney offers your best chance.

It may be tempting to fall back on public defenders. But the vast majority of public defender cases are resolved through plea bargaining. A plea bargain will require you to plead guilty to something and to accept punishment for it. It may successfully keep you out of jail, but it may leave black marks on your record that will show up in background checks.

Public defenders don’t do this because they’re bad people or bad lawyers. They do it because their caseloads are too heavy to do anything else in most cases. Most of the time, they don’t have time to do more than quickly read the facts of the case as presented. That’s a far cry from a private defense lawyer who can carefully and thoughtfully review the facts of a case while developing a solid case strategy. We have the time and resources to be vigorous advocates for you.

In most cases, you can’t afford to go without private representation. At Greco Neyland, we work with you on payments if necessary.

If you’ve been charged with shoplifting it’s time to get help.

Contact Greco Neyland today. We can help you protect your freedom and reputation. Just call (213) 984-2300 for your free consultation.

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