Shoplifting below crime levels are the most serious offenses involving NY PL 155.25 or NY PL 165.40. Often, prosecutors can make an offer, but the offer refers to a less serious offense. Usually, the offer of assistant prosecutors in New York is either an attempt at petty theft or an attempt at criminal possession of fifth-degree stolen property. These crimes are „B“ offences. While first-time offenders are unlikely to be sentenced to jail, incarceration is a much better option as you get closer to $1,000. As mentioned above, jail shouldn`t be the first concern if you`ve allegedly shoplifted on this scale in New York City. Instead, you should immediately check with your defense attorney whether the case needs to be challenged factually, legally, or mitigated so that you are best placed to avoid a criminal record. Far worse than misconduct, plea or conviction for an offence will give you a „rap sheet“ for life. If you left the store with an item you didn`t pay for, but the ingestion was an accident, you`re not guilty of shoplifting. In fact, the prosecutor must prove at trial that the referral was intentional. In these cases, it is important to speak to a defense lawyer about the allegation.
In many of these cases, the lawyer can help keep monitoring tapes of the incident. These monitoring tapes often go a long way in showing how the error occurred. If the value of the property is $1,000 or less, the likely costs will be petty theft. A Class „A“ offense, Petit Larceny, under New York Criminal Law 155.25, carries a penalty of up to one year in prison. In New York (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens), they spent this year on the infamous Rikers Island. If you are arrested „only“ for possession of the property, as opposed to taking it, if the value is $1,000 or less, you will be charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree (New York Criminal Law 165.40). Like petty theft, criminal possession of fifth-degree stolen property is an „A“ offence. It is important to note that even though your shoplifting ticket can only affect one of these crimes, both crimes are systematically charged in the criminal complaint against you. In addition to criminal charges, jail time and fines, there are other considerations. Your career will be affected as well as any professional license. If you are an immigrant, your status may also be disrupted. The consequences of shoplifting persist for years after arrest.
Many people think that because the theft was only a few hundred dollars, the courts will not take it seriously. Well, if the courts, police, and prosecutors hadn`t taken shoplifting seriously, you wouldn`t have been arrested. If the law enforcement officer decides to make a formal arrest, the person charged with minor theft or shoplifting will be taken to the nearest district for processing. The suspect`s fingerprints and photo are taken during the booking process. If you are detained, security forces must do so appropriately. They must not use excessive force. For example, in cases where it is justified, security guards may use handcuffs to detail you. However, you cannot abuse handcuffs in a way that is harmful to you. Security forces may also not use other forms of excessive physical or excessive verbal force. The use of swearing, racist insults or threats may be interpreted as excessive force. Although security forces may detain you long enough to investigate the incident or wait for the police to arrive, they cannot detain you unreasonably for long. Some retailers are known to periodically hold shoplifting for hours on an unnecessary basis.
If you are suspected of stealing goods worth $25 or more, Wal-Mart will call the police. While you wait for the police, Wal-Mart will try to get you to sign a confession and a statement that you will never enter Wal-Mart or Sam`s Club again. This is important because if you return to Wal-Mart or Sam`s Club property, you could be arrested for trespassing. Therefore, you must not confess, verbally or in writing, to shoplifting or agree not to enter Wal-Mart or Sam`s Club property. Rochelle S. Berliner represents clients in Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn. Call us to take the first important steps to combat your shoplifting. Wal-Mart is one of the largest retailers in the country, with sales of more than $400 billion annually. This is accompanied by a considerable problem of shoplifting. For this reason, Wal-Mart invests a lot of time, money and labor in loss prevention. Wal-Mart employs both uniformed and undercover security forces.