Shoplifting is a common form of crime that typically starts at a very early age. While it may be considered a minimal offense for some, statistics show that shoplifting can lead to much larger and more serious crimes such as home invasions or car theft.
If you are convicted of shoplifting, you still have rights and should get legal assistance from a reliable and trustworthy attorney as soon as possible so that you may receive the best possible outcome in your case.
What are the Laws for Shoplifting in Brooklyn?
In the state of New York, Shoplifting is viewed as larceny. Larceny is a crime that is Committed when a person wrongfully takes the property of another individual, with the intent to deprive the owner of the property.
Shoplifting is a crime that has many serious penalties. You could be faced with fines and jail time depending on the value of the items stolen. Shoplifters can also be sued by the store owners and must show up in a civil court case to reconcile the damages.
A merchant who has been victimized due to the shoplifting crime can sue adult and emancipated minor shoplifters, (or the parent or legal guardian of a minor) for the retail value of the merchandise that was stolen for as much as $1,500 if the stolen merchandise is not returned in its original condition. These merchants are also entitled to a penalty that equals the greater of $75 or five times the value of the merchandise, up to $500.
What is the Usual Punishment for Shoplifting?
There are various criminal penalties that go along with shoplifting, and it all depends on the value of the item that was stolen. If the value is $1,000 or less, it is considered Petit Larceny or Class A Misdemeanor. In this case, a person could face imprisonment up to one year and be fined up to $1,000.
When a person shoplifts property that is valued at more than $1,000 and equal or less than $3,000, it is Grand Larceny in the 4th Degree or Class E Felony. The person could face imprisonment up to four years with a fine that can’t exceed $5,000 or twice the amount of the offender’s gain from shoplifting.
When a shoplifter gains property that is more than $50,000 and equal to or less than $1 million, it is Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree, a Class D Felony. The punishment is imprisonment up to seven years and a fine not to exceed $5,000 or twice the amount of what the offender gained.
Can an Attorney Help with a Shoplifting Case?
An attorney with experience in shoplifting cases can help you with your case. Some individuals who are accused of a first-time offense or what the law considers a low-level crime may be eligible for a diversion program or a plea bargain. They may pay restitution instead of serving time or perform community service so that their criminal charges will be dropped.
A good lawyer can help you negotiate a plea bargain if needed with the prosecutor to help lighten your punishment. In a plea bargain, the shoplifter would agree to plead guilty to their crime in exchange for a lighter sentencing.
Why You Should Hire an Attorney
Anytime that you are convicted of a crime, it is important that you get in touch with a criminal defense law firm, such as Spodek Law Group – Attorneys at Law, for help. They can assist you with your case any time and help you get the reasonable outcome for your crime.
Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s important that we learn from them and do the right thing. By getting in touch with a professional criminal lawyer in the Brooklyn area, you can decrease your chances of going to jail and help get your life back on track.
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