Hernando, Mississippi, Shoplifting Charge
Shoplifting is one of those criminal offenses that, while it may seem relatively minor, can actually alter your life and your future in ways you cannot imagine. Most people who shoplift do so on impulse. In other words, you may have had no intention of shoplifting merchandise when you went to the store. Perhaps you shoplifted out of financial need, on impulse, or you simply made a bad decision.
This does not mean you are a bad person, only that you made a mistake and now need an advocate in your corner who will work hard to minimize the consequences of that mistake. The attorneys at The Stroud Law Firm will approach your charges with determination to achieve the most positive outcome possible, and with compassion for your current circumstances. There is no judgement—we understand that a decision made in one moment does not define who you are, and we will work hard to ensure others understand that as well.
Whether you shoplifted an item at the Hernando Wal-Mart, the Dollar Tree, Walgreens, or any other store, you may not know what you need to do now in order to avoid a severe criminal penalty such as jail or prison time. Don’t face your Hernando shoplifting charges on your own. The Stroud Law Firm can help you determine what steps you can take right now.
Criminal Penalties Associated with a Hernando Shoplifting Conviction
Should you be convicted of shoplifting an item valued less than $1,000, you could face jail time of up to six months, and a fine as large as $1,000. If you have two or more prior shoplifting convictions, you could face up to three years in jail. Should you be convicted of stealing an item valued from $1,000 to $5,000, you could face up to five years in state prison, and a fine up to $10,000.
For shoplifting merchandise worth $5,000-$25,000, you could face up to ten years in state prison, and a fine as large as $10,000. Finally, should you shoplift an item worth more than $25,000, you could face up to 20 years in state prison and a fine as large as $10,000. Shoplifting any item worth more than $1,000 will be charged as a felony, while shoplifting an item worth $1,000 or less will be charged as a misdemeanor.
Pre-trial Diversion and Intervention Programs
If this is your first time shoplifting in Mississippi, you may be eligible for a pre-trial diversion or intervention program. These programs could include probation, making restitution, and performing community service tasks. If these programs are not available, your attorney may attempt to plea bargain your charges down to lesser charges or a lesser sentence in return for your guilty plea.
Additional Consequences of a Hernando Shoplifting Conviction
While being sentenced to jail or prison is certainly bad enough, a shoplifting conviction can bring consequences which are far-reaching—and which you may not ever have imagined. You could find that your entire employment future has been severely and negatively affected by your conviction for shoplifting. Whether you end up with a misdemeanor or felony conviction on your record, prospective employers will be able to look at that record when considering your employment. Based on your criminal record, they could decide it is just not worth the risk to hire you. This means you could be denied one job after another that you are otherwise well-qualified for. Further, you may have been working for months or years to obtain a professional license, which is now off-limits to you. If you are currently in a job which requires that you keep books, handle money, or have anything to do with stocks, bonds or investments, you might actually lose that job. If you were planning to further your education, and intended to obtain a government student loan to do so, you may now be unable to do that either.
Why You Need an Experienced Hernando Shoplifting Attorney
The single greatest asset which lies between a Hernando shoplifting conviction and a dismissal of the shoplifting charges is your attorney. If your attorney from The Stroud Law Firm is unable to have your charges dismissed, he or she may be able to negotiate a plea for reduces charges or a lesser sentence. Contacting an attorney quickly after being charged with Hernando shoplifting, is extremely important, in order to allow him or her the time to investigate all the facts, to obtain statements, to contact the prosecutor’s office and even to possibly negotiate a civil settlement as an alternative to a criminal prosecution. The attorneys at The Stroud Law Firm can handle all these tasks, taking some of the burden off your shoulders. Those who have an attorney by their side at every court appearance nearly always have a more positive outcome to their criminal charges. Don’t wait—contact an experienced attorney from The Stroud Law Firm today at (662) 536-5656.