Category Archives: Shoplifting

How, if even, would a retail store contact me if they have video of me stealing?

Mary Beth Harrell dismisses videoLegal Question: I have no excuse, nor do I know why I did, but, I stole a $3 item from a store. I told a friend about it (who worked for the retail store, he was not involved) about it. I had no idea why I stole it and just wanted at least one person to tell me something good.

A week later he called me and said he had heard that the store had become aware the object was missing (a wrapper). He doesn’t know how lost preventions handles such things, if at all. I could say what retail store, but this is a public forum so I will not.

However, I know there is probably video of me stealing the object. If they do come after me, would it be by police, certified mail…how would I get notified? This retail store has almost all my information. Address, name, date of birth, etc. because I worked for them year or so before this event.

Answer: If you’re convicted of Theft under $50, then the court can order you to pay a fine up to $500 plus court costs – but you cannot be sentenced to jail. However any type of theft conviction is considered a crime of “moral turpitude” branding you as a thief and a liar. The theft conviction is permanent and can never be erased. It will follow you the rest of your life and can make it very difficult to get a job or student loan. So if you’re charged with theft then hire a lawyer. And if you really don’t know why you shoplifted then consider enrolling in counseling now. The counseling may help you to correct your poor judgment so you don’t risk ruining your life again.

Will I serve jail time for stealing?

Harrell law firm can help with a shoplifting chargeQuestion: I am 18 and recently a friend and I got caught stealing from the mall. It was a huge mistake. We stole from 4 different stores and the total came out to over $500 but less than $1000. I have no prior arrests and have never been in legal trouble. I am currently pregnant and can’t imagine putting my child through any of this. What are the chances of jail time?

Answer: You should not have to serve jail time for this theft. But you need an attorney to negotiate for one of three different plea agreements:

  1. Dismissal of charges
  2. A pre-trial diversion
  3. Deferred adjudication probation

Any one of those plea agreements would mean that you will not take a conviction. A theft conviction has far reaching and damaging consequences so consult an attorney before you make a decision about your case.