In many states, such as New York, more people each year are arrested for shoplifting, also known as “petty larceny”, than for any other theft related crime. While shoplifting is typically charged as a misdemeanor, if the value of the property exceeds $1,000, the individual can be charged instead with “Grand Larceny”, a felony, even if the person did not realize the value of the property. Therefore felony charges often arise when one is caught stealing luxury items.
What are the potential ramifications of a charge of larceny?
Even if the allegedly-stolen items are of minimal value, the ramifications of any theft-related charges can be extremely serious. For example, if someone is charged with stealing items from a store, something as minimal in value as a pack of gum, they could face up to a year in jail, the possibility of three years’ probation, as well as the prospect of a lifelong criminal record. In addition, their immigration status could be jeopardized, they could lose or be denied all forms of professional licenses, could be fired from their job, or could face the prospect of never passing a background check.
Is it important to have a qualified attorney for even a minor larceny charge such as shoplifting?
It is absolutely essential to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney if you are facing a charge of shoplifting or petty larceny. In too many instances, people go to court without experienced counsel, enter a plea of guilty or otherwise accept a reduced charge without properly understanding the ramifications, and then spend the rest of their lives suffering the consequences of the decision they made by relying on the advice of the wrong lawyer.
What difference will it make to have the right lawyer?
Over and over again, the attorneys at Elliot Felig & Associates have successfully had all charges dismissed on behalf of clients who were charged with a variety of criminal offenses, and we take every charge extremely seriously, even the misdemeanor cases. Elliot Felig, having 20 years of experience in criminal law, knows exactly how to fight these cases, and knows exactly what issues can be raised before prosecutors and judges to get the best possible outcome.
When should someone charged with larceny contact an attorney?
Anyone charged with any type of theft offense, even a misdemeanor, should immediately contact an attorney. Any delay could result in the prosecutor making irreversible decisions that will have lifelong ramifications. In addition, crucial evidence could be lost if an experience attorney is not immediately involved. Call Elliot Felig & Associates today for a free consultation at 212-828-2770.