My mouther stole some products from her old work she is paying it back and getting help can she go to jail

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My mouther stole some products from her old work she is paying it back and getting help can she go to jail

My mouther stole some products from her old work she is paying it back and getting help can she go to jail

Asked on June 9, 2009 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Sjhe could, even though she is repaying and seeking help, but it's unlikely.

The criminal law system operates independently of the civil system, and in the criminal law system, the state brings criminal charges to enforce the law, in theory regardless of what the victim of the crime wants.

However, in practice, especially for smaller crimes (such as if you mother did not steal much) and crimes that do not involve an injury to people, prosecutors will often defer to the victim and not prosecute if they don't want it.

Also, even if prosecuted, both prosecutors (in recommending sentences) and judges will tend to look at whether  this is first time offense, whether the defendent shows remorse or that she's sorry, whether the defendant is seeking psychological counseling (if appropriate), and whether the defendent is trying to fix what she did. It sounds like your mother has all those factors going for her, so it's very doubtful that, even if prosecuted, she would do actual jail time. More likely, she'd get a suspended sentence or probation or community service or some other alternative  punishment.

And if you mother's former employer did not and does not report the theft to the police, then there'll be no prosecutution at all, since the police and prosecutor will be unaware of it.


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