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Staten Island Shoplifting Lawyers

Shoplifting Charges in New York: Understanding the Legal Process and Hiring a Defense Attorney

Types of Shoplifting Charges

Shoplifting is a common criminal offense that can have formidable consequences. If you or a loved one is facing shoplifting charges, it’s essential to understand the legal process and how a skilled attorney can assist you in beating or managing your case.

Shoplifting generally falls under the definitions set forth in NY Penal Law Article 155 (Larceny). If you shoplift $1000 or less worth of items, you’re charged with petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor. Don’t let the label of misdemeanor give you any relief – a Class A misdemeanor (shoplifting) is punishable by up to one year in jail. You could also face probation and heavy fines.

If you shoplift more than $1000 worth of items, you can be hit with a charge of grand larceny, which means higher fines, more jail time, and a felony charge on your record.

Five minutes of shoplifting could land you in hot water and make your life very difficult.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

The Importance of Hiring a Defense Attorney

That’s where a skilled defense attorney comes in! In a shoplifting case, even if it seems very cut and dry, you need a quality defense attorney on your side. Without one, you could easily be taken advantage of at any time during your arrest or arraignment.

Shoplifting Arrest and Arraignment

If you are caught shoplifting, often there is a confrontation with store employees, security, or police. You will be detained in the backroom, searched, and interrogated. They may encourage you to write a statement of guilt, sign documents (which will be legally binding, even if you don’t understand them), or pay fines. When the police arrive and bring you to the station, you will be detained and interrogated again. You’ll be fingerprinted and photographed. Your mugshot and arrest report will become publicly available online within days or even hours. You’ll receive a desk ticket informing you of when you must appear in court for your arraignment. If you fail to appear, a warrant can be issued for your arrest.

At the arraignment, you will hear a formal reading of your rights and charges. You should absolutely have an attorney at the arraignment with you. You and your lawyer will hear about the nature of your charges and the evidence that the prosecution has against you. Then your attorney can move for a dismissal, enter a plea, make other motions, or negotiate. The judge at this stage can set bail, dismiss the case, or agree to negotiations. It is imperative to have an attorney at this stage. If you plead guilty without a lawyer to advise you, you will be convicted right away and you risk receiving the harshest penalties available.

Possible Defenses to a Shoplifting Charge

If you don’t plead guilty to your charges or enter a deal, you and your attorney will go to court where your attorney will make defensive arguments and motions on your behalf. These could include:

  1. Proving intent: A shoplifting charge requires that the alleged actor show both an intent to steal and an intent to deprive the store of the items or money owed. Your attorney could argue that your actions were accidental, ignorant, or otherwise unintended. Perhaps you accidentally walked out of the store with something and immediately attempted to pay for it upon realizing it. There would be no intent in this instance.
  2. Challenging the witness: An unreliable witness greatly diminishes the strength of the charges. Your attorney could prove, for example, that the witness was actually not present at the store at the time of the incident or mistaken or fraudulent in their statements.
  3. Negotiating a deal: After the arraignment, the prosecution may offer you a plea deal. If you’ve gotten this far without a lawyer, be extremely careful. Plea deals may seem preferable if they eliminate the possibility of jail time, but the prosecution does not have your interests at heart. You may still be left with a criminal record and/or excessive fines. Having a lawyer is imperative because they can knowledgeably and successfully advocate for your best interests. An attorney can help you lower fines, reduce jail time, or in very specific circumstances (i.e., crimes committed because of substance abuse) seal your criminal record. If you do end up with a criminal record, a good attorney can assist you in obtaining a Certificate of Good Conduct to help mitigate some of the consequences of your criminal record.

A shoplifting charge should be taken seriously and handled professionally by an attorney with New York criminal court experience and has your best interests at heart. Mishandling or delaying in retaining an attorney could have detrimental consequences to all aspects of your life – employment, housing, finances, and immigration or travel. If you are facing a shoplifting charge in New York City, rest assured that we fit the bill with experienced, professional, and friendly attorneys ready to take your case.

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