If I was with a friend who shoplifted an item, can I be charged too?

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If I was with a friend who shoplifted an item, can I be charged too?

Do police have grounds to accuse and give me a court date for theft when I did not see my friend stealing something (worth $20). I stole nothing? What should I do?

Asked on July 2, 2011 under Criminal Law, Louisiana

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are not an adult, speak with an adult that you trust about getting you an attorney for this matter.  If you are an adult then get one yourself.  Shop lifting is really known as petty theft and with that charge can come a convictionthat will follow you the rest of your life.  It can be visible in a background check by an employer, etc. and cost you a job that you are applying for somewhere down the road.  If you really had no idea that she or he took anything then you need someone in your corner fighting for your innocence. Will your friend testify on your behalf?  Please do not do this alone.  Good luck to you.   


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