The word “shoplifting” may sound a bit trivial, like a minor offense that can quickly be resolved with a return of the merchandise and a stern reprimand from the store owner. That scenario might happen when a shoplifting child is brought back to the establishment by parents who want to make sure the youngster is taught a lesson, but it’s unlikely for an adult. An adult who is caught after stealing merchandise from a store may need help from a Criminal Lawyer in Mankato MN to prevent serious consequences that could result from his or her actions. Those consequences could include jail time.
Stealing even relatively inexpensive items is risky behavior. If the amount of value is less than $500, the charge is a misdemeanor, but a judge can sentence the person to a full 90 days in jail upon conviction. The person may owe a fine up to $1,000. If not all of the merchandise was recovered or it has been used, the individual is responsible for paying back that cash value too. The situation becomes even more dire if the person has stolen items worth between $500 and $1,000. Now a judge can sentence this defendant to a full year in jail if a guilty verdict is issued.
A Criminal Lawyer in Mankato MN can help in various ways. A diversion program that requires community service may be allowed in lieu of prosecution. The person must have an otherwise clear criminal record. Theft charges are dropped after the program is completed. If this option is not allowed or is denied, the lawyer may advise the client to accept a plea bargain. The attorney negotiates with the prosecution for a lesser sentence if the client pleads guilty. The defendant will have the conviction on his or her record, but may receive a sentence of community service and probation instead of risking jail time. Prosecutors often are agreeable to this because court dockets can be overloaded and jails overcrowded. Anyone who has been charged with the theft crime of shoplifting may hire a firm such as Blatz Law Office for legal representation. Visit Blatzlawminnesota.com to learn about this organization.
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