Shoplifting Conviction Can Remain on Your Record
Shoplifting is a comparatively minor crime for which many people do not consider retaining a lawyer. To be true, in Louisiana this charge is not as serious as an armed robbery or other violent crime charge. But if convicted, a seemingly minor charge will remain on your record for years to come. If you have been charged with shoplifting in New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, or elsewhere in Louisiana, contact Bloom Legal today at 504-599-9997 to schedule a consultation on how we can keep your record clean.
Conviction Carries Surprisingly Heavy Penalties
Shoplifting laws and penalties depend on a number of factors, such as your background and prior criminal record, the value of the property stolen, the place in which the crime occurred, and other factors. Depending upon the value of property stolen, you can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. The severity of the penalties for these charge levels differ greatly. If being convicted of a misdemeanor, if it is your first criminal charge, you may only have to pay a fine of a few hundred dollars, attend a “values class” and spend several months on probation. As the severity of the shoplifting charge increases, however, you may end up facing huge fines, jail time and community service. After you serve your time or pay your fine, you will continue to carry the weight of that felony conviction on your record every time you apply for a new job or loan.
Conviction of Intent to Steal
Even if you never actually leave the store with stolen property, you can be arrested for and charged with shoplifting for altering or removing the tags of a product with the intent to steal, or for otherwise manipulating a product in a way that would make it easier to steal. You can also be charged for carrying or concealing a product.
Merchants and their employees are generally allowed to detain a person for whom they have probable cause. For probable cause, they must have direct knowledge of the concealment or manipulation of products with the appearance of intent to steal. At Bloom Legal, our Louisiana shoplifting defense lawyers will investigate your case to determine whether the detaining persons had probable cause and whether prosecutors have enough evidence to continue with the charge.
From the time that you hire a Bloom Legal defense attorney through the resolution of your case, we will work to protect your rights and minimize your penalties.
In addition to examining the prosecution’s evidence, at Bloom Legal we will work to negotiate reduced charges or sentences in order to protect your record and your freedom. If there is irrefutable evidence that you indeed shoplifted, a criminal defense lawyer at Bloom Legal will seek to minimize the role of other factors and maximize your interests. If this is your first criminal charge, you might be able to get the charges significantly reduced to disorderly conduct, in which case you will not have to face the harsh penalties of shoplifting laws. Bloom Legal understands that every case is different, and we will give you personalized attention in order to determine the particulars of your case and how to most effectively defend you.
You can be charged with shoplifting by any merchant across the state of Louisiana. Whether the alleged shoplifting occurred at Oakwood Center in Gretna, Lakeside Mall in Metairie, the French Quarter in Orleans Parish, or elsewhere in in the state, you need the experience and personalized skill of Bloom Legal. Wherever you are in the New Orleans-Kenner-Metairie metropolitan area and the state of Louisiana, Bloom Legal’s shoplifting defense lawyers can help you keep your record and reputation clean. For a consultation with one of Bloom Legal’s attorneys, call 504-599-9997 or fill out our contact form.
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Posted by: Sarah Perrie