A shoplifting conviction may result in serious consequences, regardless of the value of the allegedly stolen merchandise. In many cases, however, the circumstances surrounding accusations of shoplifting involve details that may lead to dismissing or reducing the charges. William J. Routsis is a skilled Reno shoplifting attorney who has experience identifying these facts and presenting them favorably to a judge or jury. He has successfully represented defendants in many areas of Nevada and California, recognizing that careful investigation and well-prepared strategies by a theft offenses attorney may make a critical difference in the outcome of a case.Facing Allegations of Shoplifting in Nevada
Shoplifting is defined as intentionally stealing, taking, or carrying away store merchandise or property. In Nevada, the legal term for shoplifting is larceny. The degree of the offense charged is determined by the monetary value of the property allegedly stolen. If the value of the property is less than $650, the offense is considered petit larceny, which is classified as a misdemeanor. If a person is arrested for shoplifting property worth $650 or more, he or she will typically be charged with grand larceny, which is a felony offense. In some cases, a defendant arrested for shoplifting may face an additional charge of burglary. In this context, a burglary occurs when someone enters a business or store with the intent to shoplift or commit larceny. If the prosecution believes that the defendant intended to steal when he or she entered the store, the defendant may be charged with both larceny and burglary. The penalties for a shoplifting conviction will depend on the offense charged, the defendant’s criminal history, and the circumstances involved. Typically, a sentence for larceny or burglary may include restitution of the property allegedly stolen, fines of up to $10,000, and one to ten years in prison.
However, there are several possible defenses that may be used to prevent a shoplifting conviction or reduce the charges. For example, if you had no intention of stealing the merchandise but simply forgot to pay when you walked out of the store, larceny has not been committed. Furthermore, in every criminal case, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime charged. If you have been wrongly identified as the perpetrator of the theft, or if there is a reasonable doubt as to whether you stole the merchandise or owned it at the time, your case may be dismissed by a judge or jury.
In some situations, police or prosecutorial misconduct may result in the suppression of evidence that was illegally obtained, which may also help your defense. For instance, a judge likely will rule that a confession acquired by unlawful coercion or before the required Miranda warnings were provided may not be used against a defendant. To find out more about these and other defense strategies that may be available to you, discuss the details of your case with a qualified criminal lawyer.Enlist a Shoplifting Attorney in Reno or Beyond to Protect Your Rights
If you have been arrested on charges of shoplifting or larceny, retaining an attorney dedicated to your defense is an important step to take. With over 25 years of legal experience to guide him, Reno shoplifting lawyer William J. Routsis has represented many residents of Nevada and California communities, including Carson City, Winnemuca, Elko, Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, Susanville, and Quincy. To schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney, call (775) 337-2609 or contact us online.