Las Vegas Shoplifting Lawyer
Shoplifting in Las Vegas is a crime of theft that can have a number of potential punishments. A suspected shoplifter is usually contacted and detained by store security immediately after being observed taking products from the vendor without spending for it.
A frequently asked question by people accused of the offense is exactly what would be the possible effects and how are they going to be dealt with by the criminal justice system and the Court.
The answer to that question depends upon exactly what steps are taken by the accused shoplifter right after the event. In case the person becomes proactive and seeks the help of a Las Vegas attorney, the outcome can, and often will be quite different than those who did nothing and buried their head in the sand praying it will all go away.
As a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney defending clients accused of shoplifting and theft for years, our offices possess the direct knowledge and experience to fix these kinds of particularly humiliating cases and work on obtaining a disposition that, on many occasions, doesn’t result in a criminal conviction that could haunt a person for the rest of their lives.
Sadly, many people make the crucial error of listening to friends who have been arrested or so-called experts they met in jail, and other non-legal experts who actually tell them to save their money and go to Court and plead no contest for probation.
The actual long lasting effects of this mistake could be devastating. Companies are more and more doing exhaustive criminal records investigations on potential employees and consider a shoplifting conviction to be a major act of dishonesty, justifying the denial of employment.
A criminal defense lawyer Las Vegas who is aware of the local customs and practices of the Court can often discover an alternative choice to a criminal conviction, for example: civil compromise with the store, informal diversion, city attorney alternative disposition, conditional dismissal, infraction adjudications, reductions to non-theft offenses, dismissals due to insufficiency of the evidence, are common methods that can be employed in a shoplifting case to mitigate the end result.
Our firm aims to figure out ways to help our clients avoid a long lasting scar on their record when cited or arrested for shoplifting. For example, in cases affecting second time offenders, when retained immediately after the event, theft charges can be resolved by implementing a counseling plan with recognized providers.
Additionally, we will go to Court for the client when necessary, sparing our unnerved clients the humiliation of a public appearance before a Judge in an open Court of Law.
A frequently asked question concerning a shoplifting arrest is whether or not the District Lawyer needs to have a videotape of the act so as to convict in Court. The simple response to that question is no. A shoplifting case usually involves observations by loss prevention officers, additional eyewitnesses and admissions and possible confessions by the accused.
The good news is the fact that a skilled lawyer can frequently punch large openings in the case to raise reasonable doubt in an effort to either get the charges lowered or dismissed in most cases.
When considering a lawyer to defend you on a shoplifting case it is very important find an attorney who has a history of great results. Our firm has such a track record. What is imperative in all of the Las Vegas shoplifting cases is getting a defense attorney as soon as the person is released from custody.
Our firm will try to initiate speak to with store counsel in many cases and discuss just what some call as a “civil compromise” wherein the client will pay statutory civil penalties and costs to the victim in return for a commitment to not seek criminal prosecution.
Call our office directly immediately for a no obligation consultation regarding your shoplifting case. Our fees are affordable and we will handle the case personally, limiting the need of having to go over the situation with non-lawyers such as paralegals and legal assistants.
Las Vegas Shoplifting Offense
Even though the term “shoplifting” often creates images of kids stealing bubblegum and candy from the local convenience store, the truth is, the offense carries with it large penalties. Those caught for shoplifting in Las Vegas face charges ranging from a disorderly persons offense up to an indictment for a second degree crime, and calls for an attorney in our wisdom.
Each and every lawyer at our Law Firm is prepared to defend you against these kinds of really serious claims. Our law firm deals with shoplifting cases in Las Vegas and statewide. The attorneys at our Law Firm will make sure that your interests are protected each and every step of the way. Call us today for an absolutely free consultation.
Las Vegas Shoplifting Law
Shoplifting can consist of any one or more of the following acts:
(1) For any individual deliberately to take possession of, carry away, move or cause to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise shown, held, stored or offered for sale by every store or some other retail mercantile establishment with the aim of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or advantage of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such individual without paying to the merchant the entire retail value thereof.
(2) For any person purposely to hide upon his person or otherwise any goods offered for sale by any store or any other retail mercantile establishment with the aim of depriving the merchant of the processes, use or benefit of such goods or converting the same to the use of such individual without paying to the merchant the value thereof.
(3) For any person purposely to change, transfer or remove any label, price tag or marking indicia of value or other markings which aid in determining value affixed to any goods displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment and to attempt to purchase such items personally or in consort with another at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or some part of the value thereof.
(4) For any individual purposely to transfer any items displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail items establishment from the container in or on which the same shall be displayed to any other container with intent to deprive the merchant of all or some part of the retail value thereof.
(5) For any person purposely to under-ring with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value thereof.
(6) For any individual purposely to remove a shopping cart from the premises of a store or other retail mercantile establishment without the consent of the merchant given at the time of such removal with the intention of permanently depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such cart.
Additional information on shoplifting.
It really is worth remembering that an individual can only be penalized for this offense if he/she acted with purpose, this means that there has to be some intention on the part of the defendant to take without having to pay.
Nevertheless, the state can meet its burden of proof by showing that the defendant purposefully hid the merchandise, which is prima facie evidence of the intent to completely deprive. Even so, this intention requirement often gives fertile ground for defense strategies.
An individual has committed a shoplifting offense if he/she,
(1) takes or carries away products offered for sale,
(2) hides or conceals merchandise,
(3) changes or alters price tags,
(4) transfers goods from one container to another,
(5) under-rings at the register, or
(6) gets rid of a shopping cart from the store.
Most frequently, an individual is detained before leaving the place and accused of hiding or concealing products. A law enforcement office may detain a shoplifting suspect for a reasonable period of time and in an acceptable manner upon having probable cause to think that the suspect “willfully concealed un-purchased goods.” Additionally, the officer have to think that “he could retrieve the merchandise by taking the person into custody.”
Whether or not the detention was reasonable is a ruling to be made by the court. If the judge finds that the officer effectuating the detention did not act reasonably, criminal and/or civil charges might result.
A lawyer from our Las Vegas law firm will ensure that the prosecution fulfills its burden of proof and, if he does not, that the case is terminated and/or downgraded.
Mandatory Jail and Mandatory Community Service Penalties
For most states, the shoplifting statute mandates community service for a first offense, second offense and third offense. Just for the first offense, the offender must perform 10 days of community service.
For the second offense, fifteen days of community service, and for the third or following offense, no more than twenty five days may be imposed. More importantly, in case you are determined guilty of a third offense, you’ll be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of three months jail time.
It is very important keep in mind however, that the accused could be exposed to imprisonment on a first offense or second offense if an indictable shoplifting offense is involved. If a person is indicted for a fourth degree, third degree, or higher offense, then the sentencing and jail provisions under the criminal code will apply.
Given the effects associated with gathering shoplifting convictions, and the jail associated with indictable offenses, it is essential for you to seek the services of a criminal defense lawyer who can help you avoid the numerous pitfalls that surround this area of the law. Each and every attorney at our law firm is knowledgeable in taking on shoplifting charges in Las Vegas.