New York Shoplifting Lawyer

Although there is no specific crime in New York called shoplifting, it is defined as a context in which theft occurs. Shoplifting is a larceny or criminal possession of stolen property, in the form of either wrongful taking, or depriving property of another. It could also be defined as being in possession of knowingly stolen property.

If you have been charged with such a crime, it is crucial that you contact a theft attorney as soon as possible. A New York shoplifting lawyer will be able to help reduce or dismiss any consequences you may be facing.

Defining the Charge

Theft is not shoplifting when an individual uses their employer's credit card, but it is shoplifting to walk into a store and take clothing or food out of the vicinity without purchasing it. An individual can be arrested for shoplifting while they are still in a store.

It is sometimes tricky to say that this was an accident, or that the individual was distracted and took the items. The store owner will likely not believe such an excuse. However, an individual can consult with a New York shoplifting lawyer to gather the evidence to prove that the alleged shoplifting should not be prosecuted.

These actions are defined as shoplifting due to the context, but is the same crime of petit larceny, grand larceny, and criminal possession of stolen property or the felony version of such.

In New York City, shoplifting arrests that are misdemeanors, where items are valued at $1,000 or less, are often prosecuted by Desk Appearance Tickets, which are still arrests. At this point, an individual has been fingerprinted and charged with a crime.

Aggravating Factors

There are a few aggravating factors in New York shoplifting cases. Depending on the age of the alleged criminal and the value of the items stolen, an individual will either be judged less or more severely. An individual should not hesitate before contacting a New York shoplifting attorney to best understand their charge.

There are more severe aggravating factors as well, such as if the person had to clip off the security devices, if they have shoplifted in the past, if the crime is considered a felony or a misdemeanor, and similar elements.

Although the value of the items, $20 vs. $600, for example, is not treated differently in the eyes of the law, the $600 theft is going to be treated much more seriously.

Location

Depending on if the theft happened in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens, the charge will be treated one way. If it happens in Westchester or Rockland, however, the court may treat that same crime much more harshly. Where the shoplifting takes place is incredibly relevant in these instances.

Stopping an Individual

It is crucial to determine how an individual was stopped by law enforcement. A knowledgeable New York shoplifting lawyer will determine whether the individual was stopped in the store or not.

The law allows, in New York State, for a shoplifter to be arrested for committing shoplifting without having left the store. A person could be stopped in the door area or when walking past the sensors near the exit. A person may also be stopped heading down an escalator or elevator after leaving the store.

Trespass Notice

If someone had shoplifted at a store before, whether someone was arrested, in New York, often, the stores will have people sign a trespass notice. That would state that an individual cannot return to that store for a certain period of time.

A person would not only be trespassing if they returned to the store, but if they are accused of shoplifting or larceny, that can now make the crime a felony.

Further Factors

When determining any aggravating factors, a New York shoplifting attorney will determine the length of time an individual spent in the store, if they were cooperative, if they damaged the goods, and if the store could recover the goods.

A shoplifting attorney in New York City can help an individual determine all the relevant evidence to properly combat a theft charge.

Potential Penalties

A misdemeanor shoplifting charge carries a sentence of up to a year in jail. An individual may also be subject to probation and community service.

Depending on the severity of the charge, it may be a Class E felony, which produces a consequence of between one a third to four years in jail. A Class D felony, which is a third-degree charge, carries between two and a third to seven years in jail.

A Class C felony carries up to 15 years in prison, and a Class B felony carries between eight and a third and 25 years in prison.

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