Stamford Shoplifting Lawyer
If you have been arrested for shoplifting in Stamford Connecticut, then it is important to understand your rights and the charges against you in order to give yourself the best possible chance of avoiding a criminal conviction record or jail time.
Shoplifting should be considered a serious crime, and a conviction can result in harsh penalties. Depending on the value of the merchandise stolen, you could be facing the serious consequences of a felony conviction.
There are multiple ways to defend you against these charges, and our Stamford Connecticut shoplifting lawyers have defended clients against all types of shoplifting charges and can help you determine and initiate the most cost-effective defense strategy for your case.
Benefits of Hiring a Stamford Shoplifting Criminal Attorney
Shoplifting is prosecuted aggressively in Connecticut, particularly if the total value of the merchandise taken is greater than $2,000. Because it is difficult for stores to recover stolen merchandise once a shoplifter leaves the premises, Connecticut law empowers store owners to temporarily detain and question people who they reasonably believe are shoplifting.
Although store owners do not have the power to make arrests, detention situations can become extremely volatile, and often the legal rights of the accused are not fully respected. A violation of a defendant’s legal rights in this situation can affect the outcome of any criminal charges being brought against them.
An experienced shoplifting defense attorney typically sees arrests at Lord & Taylor in Stamford, Saks Fifth Avenue in Greenwich, Connecticut, or Kohl’s in Norwalk, Connecticut.
These attorneys will examine all the police reports and surveillance evidence available to determine the weakest areas of the prosecution’s case, while taking steps to ensure their client’s rights are protected at all times.
Shoplifting arrests are also known as larceny arrests in Connecticut, which include other types of crimes where someone is unlawfully deprived of their property. Connecticut law defines shoplifting as intentionally taking any goods, wares, or merchandise from a store or establishment without paying the purchase price. As we discuss here in greater detail, any person who intentionally conceals an item while in a store will be presumed to be concealing it with the intention of shoplifting.
The law merely requires a defendant to take possession of an object with the intention of leaving the store in order to commit this crime, meaning that charges of shoplifting can be brought even if no merchandise was ever removed from the premises of the store.
Because concealing store merchandise constitutes prima facie evidence of the intent to remove it without paying, those who are “caught in the act” face the same penalties as shoplifters who successfully remove items from the premises.
A shoplifting conviction in Connecticut can lead to serious jail time depending on the total value of the merchandise at issue. Shoplifting property with a total combined value of up to $2,000 is a misdemeanor offense, with penalties including prison sentences lasting up to one year in duration, fines of up to $2,000, or both.
Shoplifting property in Connecticut worth more than $2,000 is a more serious felony offense that can result in prison sentences of up to 20 years, fines of up to $15,000, or both.
In addition to serious criminal penalties, convicted shoplifters may also be sued by shop owners in civil court to recover for the value of merchandise that was not returned in merchantable condition, as well as for punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
Nonetheless, convicted shoplifters, especially first-time offenders, are often able to avoid jail time with the help of the best Connecticut shoplifting and larceny criminal lawyers and attorneys. There are several court-sponsored diversionary programs available in Connecticut to give judges appropriate options to sentence defendants who show remorse.
Advantages of Working With a Local Lawyer
A local attorney is going to be more familiar with the procedures of that particular courthouse. There is a code of criminal procedure in the state of Connecticut and a practice book, which establishes rules of the court, the way things are done on a day-to-day basis, and the way those rules are implemented, which varies from courthouse to courthouse in terms of the logistics of how things move around. A local attorney may be able to navigate that situation more efficiently than someone that is not local.
Also, a Stamford shoplifting lawyer may be more familiar with the judges, the prosecutors, and other court staff with whom the defendant may interact or may have an influence over how the case proceeds. The attorney will not exert any sort of improper influence over any of these people, but it does give the attorney a good form of context not only to give the client a good idea of what to expect but also in terms of understanding what types of information is important to the different people with whom they are interacting.
If a particular judge likes to see certain things, for example, that the person is working or doing treatment while the case is pending, it is important for the defendant to know that and to do those types of things because that particular judge tends to look upon it favorably. A local attorney might be more likely know these tendencies and help present information that is consistent with the tendencies of the different people involved in the criminal justice system that would be to the defendant’s highest advantage.
Consult a Stamford Shoplifting Attorney Today
If you are facing shoplifting charges or were detained by a shop owner on suspicion of shoplifting in the Stamford area, then you will need an aggressive Connecticut defense attorney to help protect your rights.
These types of cases move quickly, and you do not want to harm your chances of having the charges against you lowered or dismissed by not getting the help of an experienced attorney in Stamford. Although serious penalties can result from a shoplifting conviction, there are also many available legal options to defend yourself and avoid jail time.