The severity of shoplifting charges can vary depending upon the value of the property you’re accused of stealing. With that being said, regardless if you’re charged with a misdemeanor petit larceny (PL § 155.25) or a felony grand larceny (PL §§ 155.30, 155.35, 155.40, 155.42), consequences can be severe. From jail time to fines, these consequences must be taken seriously. Fortunately, skilled defense attorney Mike Schillinger can help you develop a strategy for fighting a shoplifting conviction.
The sooner you get Mike involved, the better. His professional guidance could be exactly what you need to beat the rap and avoid a conviction. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, your options, and to see how Mike can help fight for you.
What Is Shoplifting?
While New York State does not officially identify any criminal offense as “shoplifting,” the term is commonly used to describe the action of stealing – larceny – from a retail store. A person is guilty of larceny when they intentionally take the property of someone else.
What degree of larceny a person is charged with depends primarily upon the value of the property that was allegedly stolen. When the property is valued at $1,000 or less, which is the situation with most shoplifting cases, the charge tends to be petit larceny – a class “A” misdemeanor.
On the other hand, when the allegedly stolen property is worth more than $1,000, or when the theft involves the use of a forged or stolen credit card, the person may be charged with a felony – grand larceny. Depending upon the specific value, grand larceny charges range from a class “E” felony, all the way up to a class “B” felony. As an experienced attorney in Islip, Mike can explain shoplifting charges and help you build a solid defense against them.
Penalties for Shoplifting in Islip
While New York State law determines the maximum penalty for a shoplifting conviction, we are often able to negotiate much lesser sentences with the District Attorney’s Office. Through plea-bargaining, Mike will fight at the negotiation table to secure you the best resolution possible on your case. This can sometimes include lower fines, non-criminal resolutions, and sometimes, even adjournments in contemplation of dismissal, where your case is eventually dismissed and sealed.
With that being said, if you are convicted of shoplifting, you may face potential jail time. For instance, when an alleged shoplifter is convicted of a misdemeanor (petit larceny), the maximum jail term is one year. In addition to jail time, a conviction also carries a monetary fine of no more than $1,000. Since the law does not specify a minimum sentence for a shoplifting conviction, a skilled local lawyer like Mike could make a case for a lesser penalty, even post-conviction.
Sentences are only handed down when there is a guilty plea or conviction. That means building a strong defense could help avoid the penalties related to a shoplifting case. Mike could help you determine the best possible defense strategy to limit your potential exposure.
Not all penalties for shoplifting are defined in the statute. In addition to the possibility of jail time or fines, there are additional consequences that might apply in these cases – known as collateral consequences.
A prime example of a collateral consequence resulting from a criminal conviction is the potential loss of employment. For some people, a criminal conviction could cost them their current job or the opportunity for a job in the future.
Criminal convictions can also affect immigration status. Someone in the process of applying for a visa could face legal obstacles to their immigration application based on a criminal conviction for shoplifting. When you face these consequences, Mike can help.
Call a Shoplifting Attorney in Islip As Soon as Possible
When you are accused of shoplifting, having the support of aggressive legal counsel is crucial. A conviction in your case could result in steep fines and even incarceration.
The good news is that a strong defense could help you avoid a conviction. Mike Schillinger is an Islip shoplifting lawyer who will fight to protect your legal rights and freedom. Call today to set up a meeting and learn more about how Mike might be able to help you.