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Charles Magill

Fresno Defense Attorneys | Fresno Criminal Defense | Central Valley Criminal Defense Law Firm

Shoplifting

Fresno Shoplifting Attorney

Shoplifting is one of the most frequently charged offenses, but as any Fresno criminal defense attorney will tell you, a shoplifting conviction can have serious consequences.

Shoplifting and petty theft are some of the most commonly charged offenses. Many times, however, these alleged crimes may occur by error. For instance, even if you forget to pay for something that you picked up during a hectic shopping trip, you could be arrested and charged with shoplifting. Other times, shoplifting is the result of severe financial constraints.

Whatever the reason, you could find that a shoplifting conviction ends with a lifelong blemish on your record, embarrassment, humiliation, and a negative impact on your future job prospects. Not many people are enthusiastic about hiring a person with a shoplifting conviction, especially for jobs that involve the handling of money, even in the retail and foodservice industries. You could even lose your existing job or have trouble applying for college scholarships. Shoplifting convictions come under the category of theft, and may be sufficient to bar an immigrant from gaining US citizenship.

Most states’ laws lay down strict punishments for shoplifting, depending upon the value of the merchandise. For example, in California shoplifting sentences for even a low valued item can be significant.  For a first offense, you could be looking at paying a fine and spending up to three years on probation. You may also be required to perform community service, and may have a misdemeanor conviction on your record. For a second, third or fourth offense, you may be handed a prison sentence of 16 months to three years or one year in county jail, and this could result in a permanent felony conviction on your record.

In case of a juvenile offender, defendants may be looking at detention, a juvenile criminal conviction record, penalties and fines as well as community service.

An experienced Fresno shoplifting defense lawyer can help get many shoplifting and petty theft charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed altogether and may also be able to prevent a criminal conviction on your record.