New York City Shoplifting Lawyer
Shoplifting in New York City is considered a misdemeanor and can result in paying hefty fines, spending up to one year in prison, having a criminal record, and being subject to a civil lawsuit by the company whose goods were stolen.
If you have been charged with shoplifting in New York City, contact an experienced New York City shoplifting lawyer.
Let a qualified criminal defense attorney review the details surrounding the incident and determine whether it is possible to have the charges against you dropped or mitigated through a plea bargain.
How Does New York City Define Shoplifting?
Shoplifting is considered petit theft, or petty theft, under New York law – and the definition is very simple and clear. According to New York Penal Law § 155.25, a person is guilty of petit larceny when they steal property.
Petit larceny is generally the theft of property with a value of $1,000 or less – which typically applies to most shoplifting incidents.
New York classifies shoplifting as a class A misdemeanor which can result in paying fines of up to $1,000, spending up to one year in prison, and being subject to probation which can significantly affect freedoms.
Consequences of a Shoplifting Offense
New York City shoplifting convictions can also result in having a criminal record which can affect someone’s ability to rent an apartment, obtain a job, and qualify for financial aid.
An increasing number of landlords, employers, and financial institutions are requiring background checks and a shoplifting conviction will show up for the rest of someone’s life as New York law does not allow shoplifting convictions to be expunged from a criminal record.
In addition to facing criminal charges by the state, shoplifting convictions also give stores the right to seek civil damages from shoplifters for the value of the stolen property plus monetary penalties and attorney fees.
Finally, convictions may also affect someone’s immigration status. The bottom line is that shoplifting charges should always be taken seriously. Those facing charges should contact a New York City shoplifting lawyer as soon as possible.
Defenses For Shoplifting
There are many defenses to shoplifting such as challenging the alleged shoplifter’s intent to steal an item, casting doubt on what a security guard witnessed, or questioning the validity of video surveillance used to substantiate the charges.
It is also important to keep in mind that first-time offenders may be able to have the charges against them dismissed altogether or mitigated through a plea bargain.
Whatever the case, an experienced New York City shoplifting attorney can fully analyze the situation and determine the best course of action.
Necessity of a New York City Shoplifting Attorney
Penalties for shoplifting convictions in New York City are harsh. However, the penalty that may haunt you for the rest of your life is having a criminal record as New York does not allow shoplifting convictions to be expunged.
If you have been charged with shoplifting in New York City, talk to a New York City shoplifting lawyer. Let a lawyer review the charges against you, perform a separate investigation to determine whether the prosecution has enough evidence for a conviction, and analyze every legal defense available to you.
In most cases, shoplifters simply make a bad judgment call in the moment without thinking of the very real consequences of their actions. Do not let a temporary lapse in judgment affect the rest of your life. Call today for a free consultation to see what options are available to you.