Many of our clients come to the Criminal Defense Team because they are shocked at how harshly prosecutors may treat those accused of theft and shoplifting charges. The clients also come to realize that having a theft conviction on your record may have serious ramifications for your future. Many employers may have no issue with a DUI conviction or even a possession of marijuana conviction, but will seriously pause before hiring someone who has a record for a crime of dishonesty, like theft or conversion or shoplifting. This is especially true if the potential employee will work around money or items of value. For some reason, we find that many people accused of these crimes don’t feel the need to hire a lawyer. They think they can handle it on their own. This could be a very big mistake.
At the Criminal Defense Team, our lawyers have encountered a variety of theft charges in our 90+ years of combined criminal law experience working out of our Franklin office, but practicing all over the state of Indiana, including central, south central and southern Indiana counties. Often there are defenses available, even when the client believes there is no hope. If it is a shoplifting case, for example, involving a loss prevention officer, there are certain rules that need to be followed. Also important is video. What does it show, or perhaps more importantly what does it not show. Was the intent to steal, or was it merely a mistake made by an overwhelmed or absent-minded person with a lot on their minds? Certainly we have represented elderly clients who may make the mistake of unintentionally walking out of a store without paying for an item.
We also have represented clients who are accused of stealing seemingly abandoned items at properties which don’t seem to have an owner. Are there defenses in that scenario? Perhaps. In other instances, someone is falsely accused of stealing items by another who has a motive to make up the story.
Even in those cases where a person simply made a mistake by intentionally committing the crime of theft or conversion or shoplifting, does that meant that person must have a criminal conviction as punishment? No. Routinely the our lawyers will secure a diversion agreement which essentially is a contract between the client and the prosecutor in which the client pays some money and performs other tasks that once are completed will result in a dismissal.
When you are accused of theft-type crimes, don’t’ go at it alone. The Criminal Defense Team and its lawyers are prepared to fight for you, working toward the best outcome that is practically possible. Our Franklin based lawyers practice all over the state of Indiana and have successfully won cases at trial and had cases dismissed before trial. In fact, we have combined experience in over 300 jury trials. We have also secured diversion agreements that have resulted in hundreds of dismissals.
The least amount of charges you can face are known as level A misdemeanors, which have the potential of up to a year in jail and a maximum $5,000 fine. These include shoplifting items valued at less than $750.
If the amount stolen is between $750 and $50,000, the crime is considered a level 6 felony, with six months to three years in jail and a potential $10,000 penalty. Any property totaling more than $50,000 is a level 5 felony. This comes with a prison sentence of one to six years as well as the $10,000 fine.
From the moment you speak with our Franklin criminal defense attorneys, we begin working on a creative defense to help protect your rights. Don’t take any plea deals or admit fault to law enforcement officials without first consulting with The Criminal Defense Team.