What to do if I was arrested for felony shoplifting?

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What to do if I was arrested for felony shoplifting?

They said that it was $700 worth of merchandise between the 4 of us; 1 was my 13 year old daughter, 1 was her 16 year old friend and the other was a 17 year old friend of hers. I am 28 years old. The 17 year old and I were arrested and charged with felony shoplifting. My daughter and the other girl were told that they would have a court date as well. They did not read me my rights when I was arrested. I was also arrested 3 years ago for a shoplifting misdemeanor and completed the pretrial intervention program successfully (in another sate). That is the only other time I have ever been in trouble. I am disabled and receive social security disability. What type of sentence am I facing?

Asked on December 23, 2012 under Criminal Law, South Carolina

Answers:

David West / West & Corvelli

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Felony shoplifting is a serious charge for someone in your situation.  While it is unlikely that you will be jailed for this offense since your record is not terribly bad, if you are convicted then you will be a convicted felon and this could affect your rights and your federal benefits.

You don't describe the offense enough for me to know if you have a good defense to the charge - that is why you should consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer like myself and get a free consultation.  After listening to the details of what happened we may be able to determine if you have a defense to the charge.  

The fact that miranda warnings were not read to you will not prevent them from charging or convicting you in most cases.  The only impact this would have is on the admissiblity of any statement you may have made to police.  For instance, if they handcuffed you and after you were in custody they questioned you and you admitted you helped steal this merchandise - that statement would not be admissible in court against you if they did not read you your rights.  They could still use all the other evidence they have, including videotapes or witness/co-defendant statements but they would not be able to use your own statement to convict you.

The sentence you are facing depends on what state you are charged in.  Each state has different penalties for felony shoplifting.  In Georgia, that charge carries up to ten (10) years in prison - though no one in my 20 years has ever gotten more than 4 years in jail for such a charge.  Nevertheless, it is serious and you need help right away.

David West

Attorney at Law

David West / David West & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Felony shoplifting is a serious charge for someone in your situation.  While it is unlikely that you will be jailed for this offense since your record is not terribly bad, if you are convicted then you will be a convicted felon and this could affect your rights and your federal benefits.

You don't describe the offense enough for me to know if you have a good defense to the charge - that is why you should consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer like myself and get a free consultation.  After listening to the details of what happened we may be able to determine if you have a defense to the charge.  

The fact that miranda warnings were not read to you will not prevent them from charging or convicting you in most cases.  The only impact this would have is on the admissiblity of any statement you may have made to police.  For instance, if they handcuffed you and after you were in custody they questioned you and you admitted you helped steal this merchandise - that statement would not be admissible in court against you if they did not read you your rights.  They could still use all the other evidence they have, including videotapes or witness/co-defendant statements but they would not be able to use your own statement to convict you.

The sentence you are facing depends on what state you are charged in.  Each state has different penalties for felony shoplifting.  In Georgia, that charge carries up to ten (10) years in prison - though no one in my 20 years has ever gotten more than 4 years in jail for such a charge.  Nevertheless, it is serious and you need help right away.

David West

Attorney at Law


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