Horn Lake, MS Shoplifting Charge Attorney
Whether you were arrested for shoplifting at the new Horn Lake Wal-Mart, at Home Depot, Dollar Tree or any other store in the Horn Lake, MS area, it is likely you are now very concerned about your future. In fact, you have good reason to be concerned. While many believe that a conviction for shoplifting is no big deal, it is a very big deal. You could end up spending from six months in jail to twenty years in state prison, depending on the value of the merchandise taken. Fines can range from $1,000 to $10,000.
As if those criminal penalties don’t sound serious enough, consider the fact that once you have paid your debt to society in the form of criminal penalties, you will now face even more negative consequences related to your Horn Lake, MS shoplifting conviction. If you are currently employed in an area that requires you to handle money or investments, you could find yourself being let go from that job because of your shoplifting conviction.
If you are looking for a job, be aware that your prospective employers can now see your shoplifting conviction on your criminal record. Regardless of whether your conviction was a misdemeanor or felony, it can make a prospective employer decide not to hire you. If you were about to obtain a professional license of some sort, you may now find that option closed to you. If you had planned to attend college via a governmental student loan, this may no longer be an option. Add to all these consequences the fact that shoplifting, like any form of theft, is considered a crime of “moral turpitude.”
This means there may be significant judgment regarding your crime from friends, family members, co-workers, etc. As you can see, being convicted of Horn Lake, MS shoplifting charges is a very serious matter, requiring an attorney who takes the matter just as seriously. The attorneys at The Stroud Law Firm will take your charges seriously, and will work hard on your behalf to minimize the negative consequences of your Horn Lake, MS shoplifting charges.
Examples of Horn Lake Shoplifting
When you take something from a store without paying for it, you have committed the crime of shoplifting. If that item is worth $1,000 or less, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, while if the value of the item taken is more than $1,000, you will be charged with a felony. Aside from simply putting merchandise in your pocket and walking out of the store without paying for it, there are other forms of shoplifting you may not have considered, such as:
- Switching merchandise price tags, so you pay less for the item you want
- Placing a higher-priced item into the box of a lower-priced item, in order to pay less
- Taking clothing or shoes into the dressing room, then leaving the store while wearing the clothing or shoes, without paying for them
- Having a nice dinner at a restaurant, then leaving without paying your bill
- Eating food inside a store, and failing to pay for that food when you check out
Not only is the value of the merchandise taken into consideration, if this is a first-time offense for you, you may be eligible for a pre-trial diversion program, which might be probation. Your probation terms might include community service and/or restitution. If such a program is not available, your attorney may negotiate a plea bargain in which you receive a lesser sentence in return for your guilty plea.
Civil Penalties for Horn Lake, MS Shoplifting Charges
In addition to criminal penalties, if you shoplift, you could also find yourself facing civil penalties. The store owner is allowed to collect two times the actual damages stemming from the offense, or $200—whichever is greater—along with reasonable reimbursement for court costs and attorney fees. The store owner is required to send a written letter to you, demanding damages, and, should you refuse to pay, the owner can file a civil suit against you.
Getting Legal Help for Your Horn Lake, MS Shoplifting Charges
If you have been charged with shoplifting in Horn Lake, you cannot hide your head in the sand and hope for the best. The consequences can be extremely severe, and it is crucial you have an experienced attorney from The Stroud Law Firm by your side during the entire process. Our attorneys will approach your case with compassion and skill, negotiating the best outcome possible on your behalf. If you are a first-time offender, you may qualify for probation or another type of pre-trial diversion program. Don’t wait—contact an experienced attorney from The Stroud Law Firm today at (662) 536-5656.